Springtime Startup Strategies

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    There is another person/company wanting to start organic lawncare next year.
    For those on this site that has strategies for healthy goodlooking lawns that are on their way to complete organic program:

    ...What is the FIRST significant step that you will take next spring?

    Sharing this information can be very helpful to us all.
    [The "first mowing of the season" - can be used as the timeline benchmark for applications in your zone..]
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    We will need to make some assumptions to get the ball rolling. Lets assume that they service each site completely. Mow and Blow as well as fertilize, disease and pest control. Is that Okay or.......?

    The first step is realizing what your program will look like and how you will break down services. Not every customer is going to want exactly the same services or may not be able to afford the cadillac service.

    Then wrap products and labor into those services, you will probably want to make a simple door hanger as well
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082


    The idea is to simplify. For exa.,
    My first step will be Compost and/or maybe molasses/sugar after the second or third mowing.

    I was more thinking about the first step in getting the grass to grow better. Business management comes after your important steps are determined.
    Thanks for the reply.
  4. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    my .02
  5. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 612

    In the immortal words of the underpants gnomes PHASE 1 collect underpants............PHASE 3 profit. What's phase 2 "we don't know":hammerhead:
  6. Littleyardgnome

    Littleyardgnome LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 7


    Start with a good soil sample on each property. Plan on an early preM application. Start to manage weeds that are already present.

    Get the soil sample, analyze, develop the program for that specific lawn.
  7. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    I thought this thread would go all over the place, everyone has a different starting point

    I start with cost and that decides the price to the end user. if you don't start with what is profitable and know your cost up front, your done, kapput, over, bye bye

    what is the program specifically in your head, write it down. what do you have to do in order to get the materials to complete the first job. materials should be 20% of your cost MAX
  8. Littleyardgnome

    Littleyardgnome LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 7

    That makes sense, but you don't quote until you have some research in your pocket? I think you would lose out on accounts if you can't at least range your program price wise without the necessary base info. Most want some concrete figure.

    This is the hard part for me...bidding a program without enough info to bid properly. With synthetics, you just bid your program without concern for what it does necessarily because the apps are not a course of building the necessary soil/microbes to make it last. The apps are designed to replace the natural biology artificially.

    To 180 it, the organic program is built to assist/expedite the natural manufacturing of the environment (soil) and the needs change as development of the organic system ages/changes/challenges are presented.

    I think this is where we are at a significant disadvantage because quoting to at least acknowledge a higher but reasonable pricing structure can pin you in a corner when there is later a need for more invasive assistance and you can't profit when you rise to the challenge. Many small companies cannot weather such circumstances.
  9. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    OK, this is my deal for right now...

    I am organic-based and work with Bermuda lawns 95% of the time. Bermuda is sod grown so there is no way people are going to pay to have their lawn torn up and replaced... and bermuda grows fast enough I can get a bad lawn decent by years end.

    For a bad lawn, I start with a typical synthetic program, properly, fast simple and the weeds are controlled like the customers want...

    From there I change out to organic... but keep the synthetic pre-ms until the lawn is in great enough shape to keep the weeds out on its own, this takes some time, I have 1 organic lawn that needs assistance in one area...

    A nice chem treated lawn... that is in decent shape, nice, thick, and weed free...

    Depending on the shape of the lawn, start with synthetic weed controls and organic ferts. Then after I get a feel of the lawn and customer when I feel the lawn is thick and healthy enough, kick the chems to the curb...

    I should be able to take multiple customers to all organic next year... may start with a pre-m in spring to be safe and then pass in fall...

    I know many people don't agree 100% with this... but that is what I have found, to this point, to be the best route that keeps the customers happy and allows me to have the main goal be organic... just takes some time to get there...
  10. Barefoot James

    Barefoot James LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    WOW - this thread will set back organics 100 years!

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