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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HLM86, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. HLM86

    HLM86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    I do not have my license to fertilize or spray and if I get a commercial account i would have to sub out the fert./spraying part. How would i go about doing this? Would I get an estimate from someone and then add my price to it and give that to the customer, and then have the customer pay me and I keep my portion of the money and then I pay whoever is hired to do the feritlizing? Or would i just have the customer give the check straight to whoever does the fertilizing? Thanks for any help.
  2. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 599

    In the beginning, we subcontracted the work and marked it up. What I discovered, is it generated more paperwork than profit. Other than a few accounts that we manage other services [large estates], I direct them to my licensed applicator.

    In addition, I push his services on every property as this only makes our job look better (green with no weeds). He stays busy, makes us look fabulous, and I get exceptional service. It's a beautiful thing.
  3. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    We subcontract out ALL of our spraying now! It's one of the best moves we've ever made...

    We offer every lawncare service including spraying and fertilizing; however, we handle the fertilizing ourselves. Two of our guys are certified for spraying but it's just not practical for us to do it. It's really a PITA for us, so we found a very reliable company and send all of the spraying their way. We markup the prices. The customer pays us directly and we pay the subcontractor for their work. This is money without doing anything!

    Always make sure that prices are kept confidential because this could piss the wrong people off if they found out... Good luck with it!

    Oh, they also send all their bush trimming and landscaping work our way, so both companies win. :D
  4. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    We subcontract out our fertilizer/pesticides as well. We mark up the subcontract ~10-20% to cover costs associated with it and to make profit on it.

    One thing nobody has touched on yet is insurance issues. Be careful. Two things...First, make sure you get a certificate of insurance from them AND that there insurance is at least equivalent OR better than yours (better meaning higher converages). Second, have them sign a hold harmless agreement. Basically, the reason why we had them sign this is b/c we are not covered for pollution or causing someone's dog to die in the event they digest/whatever the pesticide. Therefore, instead of paying my insurance company an additional 5-600 per year to be covered for pesticides I had the other company (who, BTW, is covered for this area..again 'better' insurance) sign a hold harmless. They had no problems signing this...after all how the heck could I be responsible if I'm not applying the product. Although I'm sure in court they can prove that I'm at fault cause we hired the subcontractor.

    FYI, I had my attorney review the hold harmless agreement sent from my insurance company to make sure there were no loopholes (at least foreseen loopholes)

    good luck :waving:
  5. derek1

    derek1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    Watch who you use when it comes to fert app people I am in your area and there are very few I choose to deal with because then they try to take over as a full service LCO
  6. HLM86

    HLM86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    Thanks for all of yalls help. Derek can you recommend a good company for me to check with? Thanks again.
  7. jtrice11

    jtrice11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    I think industry standard is a 10-20% mark-up. Common practice in any blue collar (or white collar for that matter) industry.
  8. derek1

    derek1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    Sorry for the late reply, PM me and I will try to give you people I know.
  9. farmerphilco

    farmerphilco LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    Very good advice LB! Could not have said it better myself.

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