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Sole Operators

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by lush&green, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. lush&green

    lush&green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    Just wondering how many liscenced applicators here are the sole "Employee" operators. If so how many accts/sf do you have, equipment and so on. Are you HAPPY? lol Tim
  2. Green Dreams

    Green Dreams LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 593

    I have been at it for almost 5 months now. I have about 25% of the customers I need to do okay. I can't wait to be able to afford a gal to take of the office part. I made a tv commercial that debuts this week. I know this is the wrong time of year,but I hope the exposure helps me in the spring. Stay tuned...lol
  3. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    I started this in April 04.

    My current business involves both mowing and fertilization/weed control. I only have about 15% of the revenue that is required to make this sustainable as a full time job. Next year should be much better because referrals have already started happening.

    Long term I plan to drop mowing completely because of equipment maintenance, labor involved, and lower profit margin.

    Fertilization is simply a better business for a solo operator IMO.
  4. mwallingford

    mwallingford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    I'm a retired high school business teacher. I've been in business for 4 years. I have been fortunate to pick the customers I want to take on. How lucky I have been. They're all good people. I don't have to send out bills at the end of the month (just once in a while on some), I probably don't have to drive over 10 miles to see any of them, and each year I continue to get calls from TGCL customers. TGCL has to drive 50 miles to get to my community. It seems that cusomters like knowing that the same person will be there on each application. I'll never let it grow to point where I have to worry about it. Besides, I like to ride my Harley too much.

    Being born and raised in this community has obviously made it that much easier.
  5. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    Good friend does fert and squirt solo he has ran his own operation for 10 years he has about 900 accounts. Last year he bought a turf tracker, he's got a nice company van, truck all the equipment. He said took five good season to be comfortable that means in ohio rain in june july and august. He also does aerations for current clients only. Hope that helps.
  6. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    Solo, doing 900 customers, holy crap....I dont think one guy can do that, unless he only does 2 apps a year.

    Im solo, been squirtin for 19 years now, 10 on my own. Im at 350 thats a good number for me, I added services on to my program to raise my avg $$ per customer, its right around $545 per year.

    No plans to grow much bigger than maybe 2 techs, so I can get off the road, maybe with 2-3 years that will happen. Budgeting for each tech to do 450 lawns each.
  7. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    I think that number will work. For what its worth the outfit I used to work for had 6000 fert and squirt customers with 12 techs doing the running around. So that re-enforces your estimated numbers.
  8. rkk95

    rkk95 LawnSite Member
    from west PA
    Messages: 165

    James, my avg price per customer is about the same as yours, I do 6 apps per year, I also do aeration and lime but those services are sold on an"as needed" basis each year and are not calculated in the avg price. You say that you added services to your program. I am curious as to what you added,
    I don't reply on this site much anymore because of all the negative people, but I am always interested in what you have to say.
  9. Green Dreams

    Green Dreams LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 593

    negative people motivate me..

    I am shooting for 400 customers per man. After 5 months, its still me and my hundrednsumthin'...
  10. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    My avg price per customer is reached by takin my overall gross sales and the divide by the unumber of customers, so all services I do are included.

    Here is a list of what I offer

    5 app program
    core aeration
    aeration & seeding
    slice seeding
    Grub control- even though its optional, I dont let people skip it, 99% take it

    New for this year ( 2004 )
    2nd crabgrass control ( post control )
    Mosquito Barrier
    Disease preventive ( fungi )- dropping for 05+
    Mulch bed pre emergent, & post emergent control

    New for 2005
    Turning the mosquito program into a mosquito & Tick program.

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