One Great Crew Residential or Commercial Work?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jake Wolf, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. Jake Wolf

    Jake Wolf LawnSite Member
    from NYC, NY
    Messages: 37

    I'm starting next year off with two great guys and am trying to decided whether it is better to focus on high end residential work or commercial jobs. I have years of experience working residential, but would like to have a smaller client list.

    If you could start all over again which one would you pick?
  2. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 554

    I don't know your town, but most of the time res. are your bread n butter. with com. work, bring the meat home! with 3 guys starting out big, you have a lot of hours to fill up! just starting out i would do and look for anything. what do you have for eqmt?what have you done to get your name out there? i hear the train a coming. all ways be a good boy don't ever play with guns. good mother of all mowers. Johnny cash is the man. ok.. have you done comm. bids before? high end res. work tough to get into, there is a lot of loyalty
  3. Dashunde

    Dashunde LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 638

    Just keep doing your current list, add a comm account when able, drop your worst res accounts (pitas, $ losers, slow-payers, hard on equipment, etc) as needed to stay inside of a reasonable/managable work week.

    Get to a 50/50 mix... then decide which way to go from there.
    Also.. see what your guys like... just a thought.
  4. Jake Wolf

    Jake Wolf LawnSite Member
    from NYC, NY
    Messages: 37

    I'm not familiar with the difference in rates between residential and commercial which is really what I'm wondering about. I can offer residential customers a full package of maintenance, seasonal plantings and IPM. Is there a higher profit margin with commercial work?
  5. Dunn's

    Dunn's LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,534

    It all depends on your area, and also the company. How cheap are they? In some areas the commercial accounts are looking for the lowest bid period. Other areas they want their properties to look nice. So again all depends on the area same with the residentials as well. Lower middle class and upper lower class neighborhoods just want the cheapest guy around while mid middle class to upper middle class want the job done right and don't mind spending the money to get quality.upper class has it's mix of people willing to pay and cheap@sses. How else do you think they got into the upper class? Hope this helps, but only you can be the judge of what is better for your company.Yes I know that you just want a staight commercial or residential answer. But I would be doing you a disfavor by answering with out knowing your area,and your abilities.
  6. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 554

    res work 35-40 per hr. comm 40-50 per hr
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Exact opposite here Good residential 40-50 commercial 25-28. The key is Good. I believe good work is lost on commercial accounts as long as the grass is green and they can get to the door. It doesn't seem to mater if the shrubs are round square or dead as long as they are not in the way. Residential client appreciate the attention to detail and some are willing to pay for it.

    Try telling a commercial account you are very busy have not had time to complete their bill but it is over 5-K can you just write me a check for 3-K and I will finish your bill at the end of the week? See how far you get. I can and do this more than I should but the key is they are happy and they trust me completely.
  8. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 554

    comm. work for 25-28. wow there no way i would stop for 25-28. i would show them a copy of my ins. paper if i pay you pay. my liability for comm. work isn't worth it. so i guess you do all res. work
  9. dlm17

    dlm17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    ive done both over the years settled on full service high end residential, the scary thing about commercial is if you are not large enough to treat a commercial property like a residential and you equip your self to do a larger property, then it can really hurt, where losing one residential is no big deal, be careful not to take on what you can not afford to lose
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    hands down, high end resi...that's bout all my company does anymore btw.

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