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Turning drought into dollars

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Dry much in your area this year?

    Crying the blues yet from lost mowing income?

    What are you doing about it?

    In any business, you have to learn to roll with the punches. Doing so means taking charge and using your noodle to turn negatives into positives.

    If you have suffered a lot of drought this year, it's likely going to be just as bad in August too. Less time spent mowing means you are free for additional opportunities you would not normally be free for.

    You should commit your month of August to selling hard. Use bad years like this as PROOF in your sales.

    "Like I've told my other clients... sometimes it just doesn't rain. Your lawn is at the mercy of mother nature. Irrigation is cheap insurance to protect your investment, and it increases the value/resale value of your property. It's going to cost you $____ to repair the drought damage to your lawn this fall. Chances are like flipping a coin that it will happen again next year and cost you another $____ plus. I could install irrigation for you while the lawn already needs repair for $____ which is cheap insurance for the future not to have big drought repair bills, and do the drought repairs after the installation for $____."


    "Did you notice how that lawn over there bounced back fast and turned green this week after that little bit of rain? Notice how yours didn't? The answer why is simple. The soil over there is in better condition and more absorbent. It's not hard-packed like this is. Rain soaks in over there, but it just runs off over here. That's the difference. Remember when I tried to inform you of the importance of regular core aeration to relieve soil compaction and increase soil absorbancy?.... Well now you can see and understand why. I will be doing core aeration on this route _____ and if you want to sign up now, I can aerate yours for $_____ while I'm on this route doing the others."


    And the list goes on and on....

    But the point is to use high stress weather to your advantage to prove your points and drive home their importance, and sell your customers on the value of these other high profit services.

    You'd be surprised how much lost mowing income you can make up for in a single fall planting season... etc...
  2. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,933

    all that is true. Lawn restoration -aeration and seeding should be big this year. the key would be to find a way to use idle time to drought proof your income. some say contracts help but it can also ailienate your customers as they are paying for nothing. It may be the thing that makes them look elsewhere next year. I don't have contracts but have another service that does better when it doesn't rain. I would consider investing in a trailer mounted water tank and watering lawns for the weekly mowing fee of a contract customer if I went that route . No one like paying something for nothing. You can fill the tanks from your customers homes or at a hydrant using a meter you rent.
  3. Frue

    Frue LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,472

    great thread, I had to go and back log landscaping. I have enough to get thru august and most of sept. Just praying and believing that it will change in sept!
    Once again great thread!
  4. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,933

    burned up landscape plants will no doubt be just as lucrative as the dead lawns.
  5. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,157

    We have been getting calls alraedy for some Lawn renovation, Your right Envy Aeration and seeding should go well this season. I think the fall clean-up will be big as well.
  6. ACutAboveNC

    ACutAboveNC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    Getting through a drought is not the difficult issues, if you are a good salesman. Plan ahead for the month of August and do drainage, patios and other hardscapes that are not weather dependent in the summer. I know it is hot as hell, it will be near 100 for 3 days upcoming soon. I plan most of my summer projects for August because of the fury of mother nature. I tell all my contractorial customers that I will make a weekly appearance to maintain beds and general clean up of lawns of debris and make them aware of other services that I can perform. Today, I picked up a drain job by just talking to a customer concerned about there lawn through August and the impending drought in the area.
  7. captken

    captken LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,704

    Put deposit on water meter. [to hook up to fire hydrant] Find out your commercial rate for water usage. Use fire hydrant for water source. Utilize friend [what I did] on local fire department, buy out of service fire hoses used on fire trucks, got 500'. Provide watering services to high end commercial and residential properties who will pay for green grass.

    Meter water and charge for that and the time it takes you to do the job. You would be amazed at how much people will pay to have the greenest grass around.

    30,000 gallons of water, 2 hrs. time, 450.00 - 500.00 dollar charge. Been there done that. Works for high end commercial and residential properties who don't have irrigation. Especially for high end commercial who want the greenest grass vs. the competition.

    I am thriving through the drought. I have so much business that if it were to rain regularly, I'd have to use the second truck and trailer, bring the Hustler Z out of retirement and hire twice as many people to keep up.
    I am growing and thriving. Because I am adaptive.

  8. KTO Enterprises

    KTO Enterprises LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,286

    We have core aerators here. They are called moles. HAHA. Funny thing is that they work pretty well.
  9. captken

    captken LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,704

    There are the extras, can you say landscape design?
  10. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Great thread and good advice. I like the pitch about the core aeration. I can use that, thanks.

    I might add that for a lot of us, irrigation system design and installs are out of reach without a fair amount of experience and education. Though I sure wouldn't mind knowing how to do them:)

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