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Property Size

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by rcreech, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,153

    As you have seen by my posts recently I am looking at taking my business to the next step and growing.

    That means all I do is think and worry about it.

    That brings me to my question:

    What property size do you like to shoot for? I have picked up a majority of my lawns by word of mouth so I have no way of picking the size of the property. But if I am marking I can have more say over the size of the lawn.

    I love big lawns....but know there can be more money in the smaller ones. I have several $1200+ customers...but if a couple of them would leave me it would hurt. I would like to spread out my risk and get more smaller lawns.

    I have mostly larger property sizes with my avg being 25K. That is over about 240 customers. A lot of my lawns are an acre+, but I do have some 7K, 15K and so on to bring my avg down.

    I am thinking about trying to market more in the sub division like homes where lawns are 7 to 10K. Just about all my lawns are within 7-10 miles from my home...but I would like to get in town and get VERY concentrated.

    More money, get more lawns done in a day and less supplies!

    What do you guys think? What is your favorite size lawn? Where do you feel the most money can be made?


  2. Shades of Green LService

    Shades of Green LService LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,011

    My biggest lawn is 12,000 and the rest are 1,000 -8,000 on average. i set a minimum charge, tell the small ones that i will put them at the minimum and they are usually happy with that. I'm there 5-10 mins or so and on to the next one. I think the small ones are more profitable and easier to stay on top of.
  3. beano

    beano LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    I personally love the individual homeowners that have 2 or 3 acres. I can ride, usually dont have more than 15 minutes of trimming to do and they pay pretty well. Thats where i make most of my money. Not a lot of overhead and usually maximum profit.
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,570

    Numerous small lawns--not good. Time consuming--spend more time driving, writing the invoices, doing the sales, bookwork and collecting. Min charge should be at least 25 to 30 per ap. True--the fertilizer usage is low--but the time consumed is high--unless they are really concentrated. You have to do about 30 to hit production sales of $750 per day.
  5. ampeg76

    ampeg76 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    i suddenly feel good about being able to charge $40 for 3-4,000 sqft.:)
  6. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,153

    I don't really don't want the small $30 lawns as I use a PG...I was thinking of in the 7-10K range where I would be in the $45-55 range. Most of the new plat homes around here are in that range I think.
  7. MStine315

    MStine315 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    I guess I like a mix. I don't know if I'd actually pick one or the other, as they all have their own unique circumstances. Acre+ lawns are great. Lower customer count, fewer people to "deal with." But....lower profit margin. Just the opposite with smaller lawns. Higher profit margin, true, but higher customer count, more customer service. The smaller the lawn, the more picky the people, too. In other words, don't put all your eggs in one basket.
  8. GrazerZ

    GrazerZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 670

    Size is not an issue for me. I look for route density. Thats how you will make the most of your time.
  9. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,153

    Totally agree, as we don't make money driving around, and I think everyone knows that...but that isn't the question here!

    First you have to get into new neighborhoods before you can grow density! That is where I am now and why I asked the question.

    Once you get into a new neighborhood, and they see you, the lawn improve, plus some cloverleafing that is the way to grow density! But we can't put the cart before the horse!
  10. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I believe you have the cart before the horse with your question. Business is Business and Mickey D's is the most successful franchise because they do their Market research first before opening another store. Study the Demographics of your Marketing area as well as the Expendable income of those areas before deciding which market to approach. There can be a good profit margin in both big lawns and small if approached in a business like manner. Small lawns require a higher density but can be very profitable.

    In my own case I service two different markets with success in both. One is the smaller fine lawn in upscale water front neighborhoods at a premium price. The other is straight Fire Ant control in working class neighborhoods at a low ball price. I use two different trucks but the company name is the same. Fire Ant control has low material costs but high competition because of the profit margin. Low ball pricing means more clients with less advertising cost and therefore higher profits. Fine Lawns is higher material cost, more head aches, but better customer retention when TG/CL low balls my price. I realizes you don't have the Fire Ant Problem in Ohio that we have in the South. However I use my own experience to make my point about researching your market's demands. Study the DEMAND of your market and then design a program that fills that need at a profit in your pocket. Be PROACTIVE not REACTIVE in your quest to increase your business.

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