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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by _LawnmowerMan, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. _LawnmowerMan

    _LawnmowerMan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hi All-

    I am researching the possibility of starting a full time lawn care business in my part of Southern New England that I would launch in the spring of 2020. My working theory is that this would be a one person mow, blow and go operation where I would focus on efficiency and volume.

    Two questions:
    1. Will the fact that I won't offer complimentary services such as snow removal, hedge trimming, fertilization, mulch, etc. be a significant hurdle to overcome in winning customers?
    2. Has anyone run into the same issue and come up with a effective response to that objection when speaking with a potential customer?
    Thanks in advance for any thoughts. I look forward to participating in these discussions!


    JLSLLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 20,276

    Not saying it can’t be done but your limiting yourself being a mow only company. Some ppl want mostly everything done by one guy or company. snow removal mulch etc..

    Guys do it on this site. Do some research, it might answer a few other questions you have right from the start. Good luck and welcome
    RussellB, sjessen, MattZ28 and 6 others like this.
  3. Charles

    Charles Moderator, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 11,804

    You would have to limit your volume to have the time and energy to do the extras. The older you get the less energy you will have for extras. Hot and humid here so hedges and beds take a lot out of you. Weed pulling is the worst. Then go mow lawns? Easier said than done.
    Hedges and beds are a biggee with many customers. You either do them or you will need to sub them out. Hard to find customers with no beds or hedges, but they are out there. Hard to find customers who will do their own beds and hedges, but they are out there too. So yes you are limiting yourself to a certain segment of customers. Major problem with being solo. Start looking for someone, who just does hedges and beds, to refer to your customers. I let him deal directly with the customers. You got the right idea, but it is just a fantasy if you don't have a sub.
  4. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,912

    To add to what Charles said try to find a company that plows but doesn't do lawns, maybe a pool, construction or landscape construction company that you know is reliable. They are usually looking for plow work to keep employees busy in the off season.
  5. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,235

    Mow only has it’s place. In my experience as long as your quality matches your rates and you market to the appropriate customers, you’ll find success.

    I offer full service and always seem to pick up customers who have had mow only guys cuz they would rather deal with 1 company. When they are dealing with multiple companies and someone makes a mistake it becomes a “whose fault was it” game, that nobody enjoys.

    Not too mention it’s a lot easier to sell an additional service if your already their lawn care provider. Which is a lot more productive and profitable. For example, if you have a pesticide license and the customer has a broadleaf problem. You can provide both services(mow and app) on the same visit, maximizing your efficiency and profitability.
  6. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Missouri
    Messages: 16,692

    As JLS said you're limiting yourself. You only have so many months of mowing. Now you can limit services offered. I only do mowing, aerating/seeding, leaf cleanup, and snow removal. Snow Removal is for mowing clients only. I don't do mulch, shrub trimming, apps etc....I have an app company (that doesn't mow) I refer and they do landscaping too so a lot of my clients utilize them. They aerate too so that's the only direct competition, but we worked out that if it was my client first I get the aerating, if it was their client first they do the aerating.

    To be honest I haven't ran into anyone that has said no to me based on not offering more services. That's not to say some of the no's I have gotten aren't for that reason and they didn't tell me, or someone decided not to call me based on that. But if you do face that response just move on...not everyone is going to be a good fit...not everyone will want you for a lot of reasons, this is just one of them and nothing to fret about.

    If you're only going to offer mowing you're going to have to offer pristine service and charge a higher rate...and not slack on that...you charge a higher rate because of the details then you need to hit those details on every lawn, every time. But you have to make up the money somewhere...either higher pricing for mowing or adding on additional services.
  7. OP

    _LawnmowerMan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks all for the replies and insights. So far this confirms what I suspected.

    As a follow up question, is there a particular service that seems to be particularly under served in the market? Perhaps something that you don't offer and can't find anyone to refer your clients to when they ask for it?

    Again, thanks for the insights!
  8. Koehn's Lawn Service

    Koehn's Lawn Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 939

    I have done lawn service 33 years mow trim blow edge spring and fall cleanups once you build you base and show 100% quality it can be done I have been doing this so long find good people you can trust and do quality work I have people I contract to in sprinklers fertilization tree trimming have worked with them for years I just got out of aeration sold my aerater but have couple guys do great job and do all my aerating so yes it can be done I've done it 33 years I have enough lawns I wouldn't have time to do extra unless I wanted another crew I don't want that headache good luck
  9. LPSiowa

    LPSiowa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    It is doable for sure.

    In my area there are quite a few outfits like that.

    I lean more heavily towards landscaping and total property maintenance which is a niche here that doesn't have a lot of businesses in currently. A lot of guys here will cut the heck outta your grass, but if you ask about a bush or hedge they'll run away.
    _LawnmowerMan and hort101 like this.
  10. Groomer

    Groomer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,579

    I groom lawns and network with 3 other different guys,who between those 3 cover everything from fert. to hardscape to snow-we've all known each other for years and refer to one another-hell, I think my fertilizer buddy treats 80+% of my lawns. I've had the random, "we just want one service for everything" happen, and it's usually a cash/price, or even we hired our nephew thing, no biggie, thanks, call me if things don't work out.

    We all stay busy. Just remember as you grow you can't do it all by yourself and that means finding good labor-which we all know in today's world can get a little sketchy.

    Know as well there are regional differences-what works in new England will be different from SW ohio, etc.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
    F&J Lawn Service and hort101 like this.

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