Need input on business direction

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by turfman59, Feb 11, 2003.

  1. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    I started out with just irrigation my first year. In my rural market you cant just specialize, ( unless you like to eat Ramen Noodles)
    2nd Year I did a bang up job in landscape installation and added mowing service. (did so so on the mowing needed a ZTR for the work we were doing) ... it put us in some good neihborhoods and picked up more landscaping work and service work. had great feed back on attention to detail and good comments on my employees ( two college kids ) I have a full time job and am tryin to build this with my efforts and the efforts of employees just like a business should be, I dont want to be self employed or just have a different job I want a actual business. My wife see's potential and is excited about it, My question is can I succesfully put this all in one packaged profitably. I am trying to do this just like a supermarket layout Produce dept, Deli Dept, Meat Dept Bakery Dept, Trying to create lots of work for what I call my Yardineers ( you know the guys that do all of this grimmy work) Kind of gives it a Disney theme to it. Has anyone ever tried to put this plan all together in a 3-5 year plan? My next purchase is a Ztr which will be in the next couple of weeks. I really like to stay busy and its actually starting to be less stressfull than the first year trying to install sprinklers by myself. Need just a little mentoring
  2. MikeK

    MikeK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    In my opinion, if you are into a bunch of different things, you never do any one thing well.
    In business today, everything is very competitive and prices for our services are getting less and less. that's because our competitors are taking advantage of Economies of scale. Example. They own 1 pipe pulling machine and run it 40 hours a week ect. this keeps thier cost per job down less than someone who only pulls one job a week.

    The more irrigation you put in, the faster you will get at it and the more money you will make.

    We do not even plow snow in the winter as I like to stay 100% focused in irrigation. Instead of pushing snow around for little margin, I'm working on getting more jobs for the next year.

    As I age, my philisophy on this may change but for now, it seems to work OK for me.
  3. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    I've failed at the landscape install thing twice and it has cost me a bundle of $$$$'s. Lawn care and irrigation fit well together.

    With landscaping it was always design time, search for material timemeet the customer several times, price and reprice which made it very sales, management intensive. I had several designer sales people that just couldn't get it off the ground. It is the one thing that really needs a lot of specialty management and attention and a person that can focus almost exclusively on it.

    Landscaping took away from time needed for the other two operations. I've found it better to develop alliances with landscapers that specialize in design-build only.

    I also quit snow plowing. I hated getting up in the middle of the night or not being able to travel much in winter. When you are small, that's the way it is. It ahted all the maintenance and set up time for snow that didn't come. I hated it when you got early or late season snows and had to break off other work and set up for snow. But our climate is different than yours.

    I like lawn fert work and irrigation. For me, their perfect together.
  4. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    I guess when your small you use one thing to feed off from another, ( rather spening a whole lot of money in advertising) Being out there just gives you a lot of exposure and has created more sales, and also business lessons. I like the irrigation feild and mowing combination, but the landscape work is huge dollars and most of it was like falling out of the sky in my market. I am currently negotiating with the state an apprenticeship so I can get a Pesticide/ herbicide applicators license by doing a 2 year application ( gratis of course) for my local municipality. The only other way would be work for two years for someone else as a certified applicator and then say see ya now I am going to do it for myself. thanks again for your time.......Bruce

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