Subbing tree work

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by maxwilbryan, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. maxwilbryan

    maxwilbryan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Is it pretty normal to sub this work out? If the company has insurance and is very reliable is there any reason not to make a little proffit since I am finding and selling the job? I've typically givin my customers the guy's number. I've never really looked at subbing work out. Just wondered if there were any thoughts on the matter.
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  2. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    If your just giving your customer his number, that's not subbing the work out, that's a simple referral. If you wish to sub it out and make a profit, you schedule the job, ensure that it is completed properly, collect payment and pay the sub.

    Tree work is a specialty that requires specialized tools, a specific skill set and insurance most don't want any parts of, so subbing out tree work is a good idea. A good tree company can make your life easier, a bad one can haunt you for a long time.

  3. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    I just refer customers who need tree work to a company I'm very comfortable with. Let the tree guys do their work. No need getting involved with such specialized work. They have even sent me a little cash as a thank you, wasn't expected or necessary, but was nice to be appreciated for the referrals.
  4. BearWise Landscapers

    BearWise Landscapers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    From the insurance point of view, it is not worth subcontracting the tree work. It will save you substantially on your premiums to simply refer it to tree trimming specialist. It is fine to work out a deal with him where he will give you a percentage of the revenue you send his way. It is when you bill the client for the services and then you pay the tree trimmer that your business inherits more liability exposures.

    If any of you have further questions about the impact on insurance, feel free to ask.
  5. maxwilbryan

    maxwilbryan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    That's good info.
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  6. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Compare the small profit you will make to the various pitfalls of using someone else.

    - what happens if he damages something and doesn't pay up or is slow to? You think the customer who sent payment to YOU will not want YOU to pay them? And remember, YOUR insurance doesn't cover YOU for treework another company did. Do you trust YOUR financial future in the hands of another businessman?

    - What if he just does a crummy job? YOU will have to deal with complaints, issues, etc.

    - Say it's a $2000 job, what are you going to be able to get, $200? How many of those a year? Then compare that to the cost of losing just ONE maintenance customer due to problems with the job they did.

    - If the customer pays you, I'm pretty sure you're ultimately liable for the job.

    I just stick to referrals, that way if something comes up I'm not stuck in the middle. I'm sure I leave money on the table, but it's not worth it to me.

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