Should I cut out mowing service completly?

teamgreendude

LawnSite Senior Member
Good morning guys,
I've been mowing for the past 12 years including Mowing, Fertility & Weed control, Tree & Shrub pruning as well as snow & Ice Management. Right now I'm currently in school to obtain my horticulture degree and gain more expertise in the areas of irrigation, Arboriculture and Fertility for trees & Shrubs. My question is Should i limit what i do to Fertility & Weed control(disease & Pest management), Tree care(pruning, removal, Plant health care), irrigation(install, service, repair), landscaping and snow Management. Sure mowing is great and i do enjoy it but there's another company here in Kansas that Basically does everything i listed(with the exception of landscaping and snow management). I've talked with the owner(Larry Ryan) and it seems that it's a better business, especially because I don't think a college graduate with a degree in horticulture will want to run a mow crew. Sorry for the long novel i just want some feedback on what you guys think?
Thanks,
James
 

Durabird02

LawnSite Member
Location
Indiana
I personally would not cut out mowing all together. It is a good, steady income when other things get slow. If you dont want to mow, you can always have a crew that does the mowing so you can focus more on the landscape side of the business. If you are successful with your mowing business, i would not get rid of it all together.
 
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teamgreendude

LawnSite Senior Member
My main reason for cutting out mowing is because of the money i can make doing tree care, Fertility, landscaping and irrigation. I recently spoke to a company at the professional land-care network called swingle Lawn, tree and landscape care, he pointed out when your mowing you'll be there for 30-60 minutes and only make $35-40 for it. Where if your spraying for emerald ash borer your there literally for 10-20 minutes and you'll easily make $75-$85 per stop. I also see that companies like that( no mowing or maintenance) tend to make a heck of a lot more.
 

KrayzKajun

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Harvey,LA
I will never cut out mowing. A lot of landscape,tree and irrigation work comes from mowing accnts. On the flip side, a lot of the lanscape,tree and irrigation jobs turn into full maintenance accnts including mowing.
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Fine Gardens Landscaping

LawnSite Member
Location
San Ramon CA
Agree with above poster. You're mowing accounts will generate leads for your other landscaping services. They will be unlikely to bid things out as well so there's a lot of value there.

Also, when you do your 20 minute $85 for spraying for emerald ash borer math don't forget what it really cost you to get that job. You may or may not have to do a bid/consultation (unpaid time) before you get that job. Plus you will have spent marketing $ to get that job and it's a one time $85. Where as with mowing you give the bid once, you have that customer for years generating you income and referring you other work.

If you're not opposed to growing and managing employees you should consider employing a mowing crew. You manage the route but it should not take up much of your time (you can probability make $100+ an hour because they'll be putting in the 40 hrs. a week and you'll be spending maybe 4 hours a week managing it). Then you can spend the bulk of your time working on more interesting projects.
 
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CTS Lawn & Landscape

LawnSite Member
Location
Cincinnati, OH
I will never cut out mowing. A lot of landscape,tree and irrigation work comes from mowing accnts. On the flip side, a lot of the lanscape,tree and irrigation jobs turn into full maintenance accnts including mowing.
Posted via Mobile Device
EXACTLY!

For me the mowing pays the bills and then some, and landscaping projects are the icing on the cake.

I would love to have a crew run the mowing side to help free me up to take on more projects and getting to the customers a little quicker, I'm backed up at least til the middle of May!

Something to consider about what you are saying about spraying a tree and make $60-85 for one stop... can you keep that rolling everyday of the week, week after week?? Mowing you can.... so a one time spray got you $85. a weekly mowing job at $35 for an average of 30 cuts you made $1050... I'll take the mowing. and tree service as the side jobs
 

White Gardens

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Bloomington IL
Think of mowing like a pension. Mowing provides that steady monthly income. Everything else has highs and lows.
Posted via Mobile Device
Agreed!

Even though my business model does not focus on mowing, we still do it.

Though only one day a week, it does help supplement the income. The first few years of the business, it was up and down with a few lean months with strictly landscaping services.

Luckily, though I was looking for some mowing accounts, I was higher than the average bear on price for mowing. But, luckily I got a few accounts that were looking for full grounds maintenance that included the mowing along with a couple of higher end mowing accounts. So even though I didn't want to mow, at least the mowing accounts I did pick up are profitable and not making me irritated at the fact that I was mowing that one day a week.

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