Only Commercial?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by roscioli, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 749

    Is anyone out there only commercial? My two biggest competitors have both gone only commercial from what I hear... I haven't talked to them, but last year I picked up a few new customers from the biggest guy (the customers told me this is what he did). Just today I got a call from a guy whos 3 neighbors and himself were dumped by the second biggest outfit in town because they are only "commercial only". From all the comments I hear on this site about how most people hate commercials, this seemed a little odd. What do you guys think about this strategy?
  2. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    larger/corporate commercials, and large condos, 60 units and up,(which large LCO's sometimes consider commercial) can be a headache. but, according to the big boys in our area, that's where the big money is. we maintain some commercial properties, but none that are on an extremely large scale.
  3. totallpm

    totallpm LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 50

    I think balance is important residential and commercial. If you loose a 25.00 residential it is relatively easy to replace.

    If you loose a large complex (like I did last monday to a scab) it is not easy to replace 40,000 I was generating from the one property.

    I have a residential customer who we never see anymore and we asked him where he has been. He told us jokingly that he had to get a second job to pay us for all the work that we do for him.

    In 7 month he had spent 1925 in cutting and 2675 in extras.

    The point being bigger in not always better

    Kevin Total Landscaping:D
  4. Pauls Mowing

    Pauls Mowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    I'm 100% commercial now for 3 years. For me, it's the only way to go. Business in increasing, and it's easy to manage. I send the residential requests to a fellow lco who is strictly residential, and he sends me his commercial. Works for me.

  5. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 542

    This April will be the marke of my first year in the business. I'm starting to see a disturbing trend in Tallahassee: several of my residential customers cannot be pleased. They seem to find issues to bring up like " you only worked an hour here" "The leaves are falling, I can't tell is you were here or not last week" "Why are there so many brown spots in my yard?".

    The commercial accounts, for the most part, are reasonably easy to please. They know what is extra work out side of the maintenence agreement and what is clearly part of the contract. The only thing that is challenging is a few of my accounts want non-business hours visits.

    I'm considering moving toward commercial only w/i the next 12 months.

  6. jaybird24

    jaybird24 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 623

    I find commercial much easier to make up maint. schedules for. At the beginning of the year I know what work needs to be done there and can put everything on a calendar- with residential sometimes they do some services themselves or are hard to contact, w/ comm. someone is always there to speak with. I enjoy doing residentials but have decided only to keep the customers I have and grow in the commercial market. Another plus is the commercial usually leads to snow contracts also as where as almost all my res. do it themselves.
  7. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    Commercial has it's merits no doubt .... few outfits around are only Commercial n they have like Gated Communities on the Golf Courses, Shopping Malls, Large Publix Centers, Johnson Controls, Rockwell, Hilton size lots ..... that's Commercial n it requires attention to detail .... upfront Capital ..... trained n experienced work staff ….equipment n back up equipment ….NO Excuses are taken

    The rewards can be consistent payment schedule … ALL side work n extras …. Larger pay (not necessarily higher pay ..but generally YES ….God I love State Work) due to work scope ….. the down side is if or when you lose it ….n you don’t lose it to no “scrub” …these guys require the paper work …

    Either you Fail in work scope or the new manager comes in n figures to save on the budget for their bonus ….n yes if replaced the new guy may be cheaper some here would call a “lowballer” ….. I really don’t care what you call em’ …if they can operate with lower overhead, indirect or direct cost more power to em’ …but again if or when they fail the phone will call …. The begging will commence …. There is NO dedication to services n there should be NO hostile feelings when dropped ….oh ya be prepared when to lose a big one the income is gone ….to adjust your own cash flow ….

    Commercial like the small stand alone business or small strip center even the single non national restaurant are different …. These are easier to maintain….slow payers …but these are Chicken bones … n meat on em’

    Don’t go 100% Commercial until you are been up n down the hills at least 5 even 10 years of 100% doing it FULL TIME …. Good Luck ;->
  8. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    these guys are at about $1.2M per year (lawn and landscape mag quote) and 95% Commercial. Had an opportunity to see the place and they have a decent operation. I am eager to meet that level.


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