Residential vs. Commercial Accounts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Crew Cut Lawncare, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. Crew Cut Lawncare

    Crew Cut Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    This is my second year in business and am wondering if I am better off having more residential or commercial accounts. I was under the impression that I could make more money on commercial properities, but I am finding out that they take longer and don't pay as well. Is this your experience too, or am I doing something wrong?
  2. PPLMike

    PPLMike LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    Just like when people ask which mower they should by, you should do what works best for you. Find your niche in the business, and work that aspect.
  3. Moguy

    Moguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    Agree with PPLMike, do whatever type of accounts thats easiest and most profitable for you.
  4. fivestarlawnken

    fivestarlawnken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    Try a mixture and see what works.I like commercial because you can mow early or late if its in the right area.Competion is sometimes intense.You have to go the extra mile or make them feel special.Get a good relationship going.
  5. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    I think everyone thinks this when they first get started. Really, you'll make higher year end grosses, but you won't neccesarily make any more profit. You'll definitely increase costs, you'll need more equipment, more employees, etc. It can really be a case of diminishing returns.

    The very most efficient operation is the one man solo. I know that it doesn't sound like it, but so many of us actually start outsmarting ourselves when we start thinking that if a little is good, a whole lot more will be better. But the man working alone can get a much higher man hour rate, establish an excellent rapport with the customer, treat his equipment with greater care and have more jingle in his pocket with a lot fewer headaches.
  6. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 976

    Mix it up and find your niche. If you already have a crew in place why not utilize their full potental? If you're running solo, like me, you may try your hand at some small commercial accounts to see if you like it.
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Maybe...and maybe not.

    When I was a one-man band 9 years ago, I had to work in the winter also to pay bills. Now that I have people working for me and paying them $15 - $20 per hour (and yes, there are other incremental expenses that go along with more than just the labor expense), but I am charging $65 per man hour. Guess what...I don't have to work in the winter anymore...except to plow which I really don't mind doing anyway.

    The rest of the time I relax, go away, play golf, read, etc. You can only make X amount of dollars being solo (no two ways about it). I agree, there are diminishing returns. But in the end, there is MORE money.
  8. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    you will find out what works best, residential or commerical. I think that I am personally going to try to switch over to more commerical next year because they seem to like long term contracts compared to residential which will make things easier for me

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