Toss Commercial Accounts!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Acute Cut, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    OK, radical thoughts. I know this may be a locality thing, so bear with me here.

    Most of the guys i know around here that mow do commercial properties too. Some only do commercial. They have told me what they make and it rather surprises me. I know one contract for a leading grocery store in our area (very high end as far as grocery stores go) gets like 1200 a month. It takes a three person crew like 4-7 hours per week there. It has alot of bushes and beds. So, you gotta do the numbers and wonder "why".

    I make as much and/or more doing just residentials. And i get a whole LOT less hassles.

    I know not EVERY commercial is like that. But 75% around here are. Strip malls, main mall, all store fronts on main streets. The only half way decent payers are the big factories. (oil and aluminum) And even they are getting cheap. I have a couple easy commercials that pay ok. Not great, but ok. Am i missing something guys?
  2. mow2nd

    mow2nd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 603

    I dont do commercial because of 2 reasons.

    1) Most commercials are not Loyal, you can do good work for the year and they still find another service.........too cut throat.

    2) Commercials look at the bottom line.......Price

    Residential customers are loyal and if you give them a good service they will stay with you for years to come. Do good work for them, and price doesnt matter
  3. LawnSmith

    LawnSmith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 389

    commerical pays year round and has the potential to make good money with extras(flowers, pruning, snow/ice management, mulching, etc.).
  4. ParkerLawn

    ParkerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 512

    I am glad to hear someone with same outlook on this subject. Commercial work around here is so competitive that people are doing the work for nothing. Granted there are some commercial accounts people do very well with but it is going towards the bottom line and it just isn't worth it. I have geared my work towards residential and having a full service contract with them for flowers, mulching, etc to compensate. I make double the profit on residential accounts than commercial because of how low people bid just to get the job. Anymore I put my bid in for it is worth to me and if they go elsewhere because of price it is no loss to me. I know some people who just beg for commercail jobs just so they can say that they are doing big commercail jobs but how impressive is it if I make double your profit on a residential account and work a 3rd of the time?
  5. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    Very good point. Look at all the recent posts asking how to land commercial accounts... newbies see guys "sitting on ztrs and making loads of money" and once they go get "one of them there cool toys" your market is nearly toast.
  6. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,389

    Just the opposite here. Commerical customers are more quality minded. They are also more loyal. Most of mine are on a 3 year contract with fuel and annual increase clause. On the other hand residentials are looking for the lowest bid and are a major PITA. Always wanting extras for free. We stopped doing residential several years ago. I do not like my day to consist of mow-load-mow-load-mow-load. I like a project that is large enough to take several hours if not more.
  7. chevyman1

    chevyman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Maclawn dude, K-Love? time to pick a new station buddy, haha. Seriously though, you have nothing to worry about newbies unless you yourself have flaws in terms of dealing with commerical accounts. You have to be a professional in order to speak with the right people, to become a registered vendor, to work with procurement agents, etc.
  8. cush

    cush LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    If you go commercial you must build a lasting relationship with the decision maker. Also many companies have been burnt with poor service and will see the value in quality service, sooner or later things will even out because Lawn care pros will go where ever they can make the most profit.
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I have never liked commerical. Most of my commerical accounts are a result of doing the owners residential property.
  10. ParkerLawn

    ParkerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 512

    It all depends on your area. Like I said earlier, some commercial properties are great for people but around here, people just bid them to death. I do mainly high end residential accounts and have all of them setup doing their lawn service, fertilization, landscaping and maximize my profits on my existing customers. I have a customer who allows me to do whatever is needed or will improve their property, because they trust me and we have a great business relationship. I did a job for them last year for a party they were having and the end bill was $25,000, so I am only saying that I have the option to pick and choose my customers now and take on accounts like this. I see alot of guys wanting more work and more accounts but I disagree with alot of that. My reasoning is, you should always maximize profits and services for your current customers before taking on more customers. This may be unclear to some but most will understand where I am coming from. Look at your current customer base for more profit before looking into more accounts.

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