Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Oscapes, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Oscapes

    Oscapes LawnSite Member
    from OHIO
    Messages: 60

    Yeah, I know what your saying another new guy. I just had a quick question about subcontracting. If anyone would be so kind to hook a dude up with some advice. I am going solo, part time, in the spring. Right now, I going to be mulching, mowing, trimming, edging, tree and plant trimming, fall and spring clean ups and some other odds and ends. Services like fertilizing, decks, fences, and patio/walls, can I subcontract these out to companies that specialize in those areas? Is this a dumb idea and I am too nieve to think it would work or is it smart because I am solo? Eventually if the business grows I can hire on crews and add those subbed out services little by little. Obviously, I would have the sub bill me and I would bill the customer. Would I be adding too many services for the customer to choose from or would it help me get business? Just curious any advice will help. I am new at this. So be easy on the fella. Thanks guys.
  2. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 811

    I'm not sure how that will work for you. I've been thought by people that know how to grow, and have been told not to advertise service that I can not do now. So, if you feel you can pull this off, be sure to have your Subs lined up first. Some of your subs may want their money before you get paid, so be perpared to work it out in advance. Personally, I would get good at, what I'm good at, first, then diversify. Running a business well is challanging. Starting a very diversified business solo can be brutal. Don't let the fear of failure stop you from trying.
  3. Oscapes

    Oscapes LawnSite Member
    from OHIO
    Messages: 60

    That makes sense. I guess my idea was to offer something that nobody else is doing?
  4. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,794

    What you described is how its done in the home building business and home improvement business. Builders have few employees that build , its salesmen , superintendants , and office staff, maybe a punch out guy . They sub out everything.
  5. bushtrimmer

    bushtrimmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    Managing those subs is a full time business for them. You'll still spend a lot of time on a job even subbing out. And it can be fairly capital intensive. A customer doesn't pay on a big job, but u still have to pay sub, small guy could lose more than shirt. Unless u take collection lessons from Bobby g.
  6. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    What exactly are you offering that no one else does? It looks like all of those services you could call someone in the phone book for. You should only subcontract those things that make your job easier! I lay a lot of sod, do not have the money or knowledge to install sprinkler systems, so I sub them out. You want to stay in one genre when advertising work. If you are offering painting, and deck installs, do you think anyone will think you are a great landscaper if you have to do painting to stay busy?
  7. Oscapes

    Oscapes LawnSite Member
    from OHIO
    Messages: 60

    Yeah, your right, those are services you could call somebody in the phone for. But why have them do that, when they think that I can do that for them. Just like a builder. The customers knows that the builder is taking care of it all. And I think those services would be a lot easier on my. I mean if I only have time to to lawn maitenance, and somebody wants a paver patio or fertilization, I think subing those kind of services out would help me out.
  8. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,071

    I keep a list of companies that offer services that I do not. Often they will offer a pecentage for referring them. I turn that down and give them cards so they may suggest me to thier clients. Worked out real well the first couple of years, not really looking for anymore work now. As as solo operator things get hecktive enough with out trying to wear too many hats.
  9. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    Do you think that maybe eventually you'll find yourself so busy that you won't want to mess with half the stuff you mentioned. I only mow, trim bushes, mulch, and fert and I can hardly keep up with that on my own. I "built" my house at the end of last season and I wanted to pull my hair out dealing with all the subs.
  10. Oscapes

    Oscapes LawnSite Member
    from OHIO
    Messages: 60

    all ferris, how many years have you been in the biz? Do you do it full time?

    I'm not going to worry about subing things out right now. Probably the only think I may sub out is fertilizing. Maybe some patios or decks. If I do decide to sub out anything. Like when i advertise, should I say one of my services is fertilizing even if I am subing it out?

    For example
    Mulch, Mow, Fall and Spring Clean ups, Trim, Edge, Fertilizing, Aerating, Dethaching.

    And then for the Fertilizing, Aerating, Dethaching I sub those out. Is that out it usually work? Sorry if that's confusing.

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