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relocating business to warmer place

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by seabee24, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    *trucewhiteflag* i give in

    hey guys fist post here, im considering moving my business to a warmer place, to deal with ZERO snow fall. i not going to go into detail on it, but snow removal makes lawncare seem easy

    so a warm a tropical area ... i was thinking florida, and in particular clearwater area

    If anyone is from around those parts a little info would be appreated. Whats the average income, and housing like? im tring to do as much research as possible on my own , but i figured you guys know some of this stuff. the only info i could find was from back in 2000...... We all know working on higher end projects and for "richer" bigger home owners or buinesses, seems to pay better

    how long does your season run? mine is 8 months currectly, plus snow

    when does the heavy bidding take place for next years contracts? im not moving over night , but around by me, a contract will normally run april -nov, with bidding in Jan for the following year.

    anyother info is great and apperiated :drinkup:
  2. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,444

    That area is 12 months a year.

    My brother in law runs a business in St. Pete since 1980. Competition is fierce and it's very hard to get a homeowner to sign a contract for lawn service. Even as long as he's been in business (had some customers almost 20yrs) few are under contract.

    He has a 10-12% turnover every year and it's because of low-ballers. He gets many of them back but loses them for awhile none the less.

    He has one helper and keeps 95-105 accounts. He does good work (I've seen it) and charges a fair price. It's just a very tough environment down there especially now with all the forclosures and "snow birds" trying to sell their "winter homes" as they can't afford to keep them anymore. Add to that the preponderance of illegals (mexicans) in the business and it's tough.
  3. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    sounds like you would advise against that area

    what about commercial accounts?
  4. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    sorry , i guess i should be a little clearer on things, when i said under contract, i ment just a general agreement for work , not nessesarly a set price for the yr. As i under stnad it , florida is primarly a pay per cut area , at least for RES customers

    truthfully , i have little to no interest in Res customers. They are nice to have from time to time, but i have found Commercial customers easier to deal with. And simply put if that area is anything like my current , all you really need to do is some home work , and some calling around, and you can place bids for work

  5. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,444

    True, but bring enough cash to see you through the wait.... those are heavily "bid" for the same reasons you mentioned.
  6. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    well if i would do it, i would sell a great deal of equiptment up this way including all the trucks, then i would get 2 "newer trucks" - used

    bring the rest of the cash with, plus a small trailer and some basic equitment (its not a whole **** load , but id say the average person in florida makes this per yr ) , rent a house for a yr , to see how things go

    I can collect unemployment for a while , or get a second job
  7. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    No we are not a pay per cut area. We are the least pay per cut anywhere. Here is how it goes. We mow every week from april to Oct and every other week from Nov-March. Most people have shrubs to be trimmed as needed, and everyone pays a flat monthly rate. Only commercial customers have a contract and since we are working year round, there is no "bidding for next year". There are pros and cons to all of it. There are some people around here that way underbid, but that is everywhere.

    Where are you located now, and what do you gross per man hour?

    I honestly wouldnt do any moving now the way things are, but houses are going good now. I sold me last house about 3-4 years ago. I sold it for $200,000, and it just re-sold as a foreclosure for $115,000.
  8. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    so if i understand you lawnman - i wouldnt matter if i moved in June , or January, my chances at bidding commercial work would all be the same?

    up here , like i said the out door work stops in nov.... and then its snow season. But in jan almost every commercial property is up for bid again, it a nice way to get a foot in the door

    we charge between 38-42 per man hour, and pay workers 10-15 depending
  9. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    Yes. I have done estimates at all tiems. And once you get it you have it as long as you can keep them happy. The only thing that really gets bid yearly is govt work.
  10. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    so would you say that your area is very hard to work yoru way in?

    assuming i came down with all equiiptment , trucks, and things nessesary paid for and in good condition

    had at least 1 yr of cash on hand to keep me going

    do you think it is possible by yr 2 , to have a semi decent income of lets say 40k minus expenses off of Commercial properties?

    around here 40k would be one single contract of many that i might sign for a season

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