What service can I add?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by John Deere, Mar 18, 2000.

  1. John Deere

    John Deere LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    For those of you who are like me, I would like to know what other types of services I could add. We currently Mow, Fertilize, Aerate, Power Rake, Edge, Trim/Prune and Landscape. Looking for suggestions and please try and give me any downfalls to the service and what it would require. Thanks!
  2. cjcland

    cjcland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    maybe you could get a liscence for pest control or irrigation, i heard the irrigation test is realy hard but like with anything else if you study hard you can pass<br>you could also do tre work but you would need to check about the insurance for that it can be pretty high but there is good money in tree work i trim alot of palms and i do pretty good just need a ladder saw and belt for that<p>----------<br>CJC Landscape Management<br>Winter Haven, Florida
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,890

    First thing, don't branch out too far. It's good that you are looking to add more services, just be careful not to get too broad. This is just my opinion of course but it comes from a good deal of experience. I began to branch in to a lot of things over the last few years, including landscape design and installation. And I am not saying it's a bad idea for everyone. But for me, I wasn't ready for it. We were getting TOO much work after we started doing installs. Not to mention I wasn't an expert at it, like I was at maintenance. I could do it okay but I soon realized that compared to the other Landscape Contractors out there with lots of experience, I wasn't so hot. I finally decided to put our company's focus back on maintenance only and I took on an informal partner to handle the installation side of things. Much better now. He does what he does best and so do I. My only point is to be careful where you draw the line. Make sure you are doing something you can do well and are good at. <p>That being said, some things that we do a lot of that I didn't see you mention are the following;<p>1) Spreading Mulch or Barkdust - I know that this varies with locale and in your area this may not be a big thing. But in Oregon, where we are, it's huge business. I'd say about 1/5 of our yearly volume is from delivering and spreading barkdust (mulch). Down side? Not much. I love spreading barkdust. It's relative easy work. And it takes a landscape from zero to hero in one day. People are always excited when they get home. Doesn't cost much to do. A wheelbarrow and a scoop shovel. <p>2) Clean-ups - I am sure you already do these but I didn't see you mention them specifically so I thought I'd add that. A ggood portion of our business is just one time clean-ups. That is, weeding, mowing, setting a new edge, pruning, all in one. Cleaning up the landscape. This is big money. My clean-up crew of 2 guys nets me an average of 600 a day this time of year. <p>Down side? Well, weeding sucks. But when you have employees it's not that bad ;-) When I first started out I'd get asked all the time &quot;Do you do weeding?&quot; I'd answer, &quot;No.&quot; I hate it. My first job at 14 was weeding at a nursery down on my knees 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. I did that for two summers at minimum wage. I have a personal vendeta against weeding. I vowed to never do it again. But once I got employees, it's sad to say, now we do weeding whenever someone wants it done :) I don't do it all the time and I do let applicants know up front what they'll be doing. But it does make a lot of money for us and people hate to do it. So why not fill that need? <p>3) Topiary and Bonsai pruning. There are a lot of cool shapes you can make with plants, trees and shrubs. And I'm not talking animals and stuff. That takes some serious training. But you can make spirals, pom-poms, bonsai, and all sorts of shapes like that very easily and it's pretty easy to learn. Just take a look at the houses that have such topiary work and figure out which plants or trees lend themselves to that work. Go to a big nursery and see how they do topiary and bonsai. Just emulate what you see. You learn that way. There are a lot of books on this too. But once you do a few it's real easy to get creative and learn more. It's a lot of fun and people love it. Although, I must admit it's not a huge money maker. Profit's good it's just not a frequently requested item. That's the only down side. But I often offer it to people. I say, &quot;You know, if you were willing to invest just a little more money, I could bonsai these goldthread cypress' for you. They'd look like this (I draw them a quick sketch) and I guarantee it'd be the showcase of your landscape.&quot; They will usually take me up on it. I charge $35-$40 an hour for this. And it's something that's a blast to do. Oh, and you also gotta be careful what kind of tree or plant you do this too. That's why I said above to make sure you do it with one that lends itself to topiary. Boxwood can make awesome castle style hedges! <p>There isn't a lot more that really makes a ton of money. Depending on the laws in your state you could probably at least do a limited amount of the following; sprinkler maintenance (replace broken heads, program computer, etc.), planting flowers + ornamental shrubs, rock walkways, insect and disease control, etc. But none of these are really big money makers. <p>You are doing most of the main stuff. That's where 90% of the maintenance business is - in the stuff you already do. <p>Anyway, that's my 2¢.<br><p>----------<br>Jim Lewis - Lewis Landscape Services<br>http://www.lewislandscape.com
  4. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Buy a tractor and slasher (bush hog).Anywhere<br>from 50hp - 90hp with a 5 - 8 foot slasher.<br>50hp + 5'slasher = $45-$50 p/h<br>90hp + 8'slaher = $65-$75 p/h<br>These prices are in Australian Dollars.<br>Hourly rates in the U.S. should be about the same. Also with tractor you can pull <br>aerator,fert speader,driller/seeder ect.<br>Ford,Case,Fiatagri,Kubota and Massey all make<br>good gear.I hate to say this JD,but the <br>Deere tractors are a bit unstable on steep<br>blocks and loose to much power through the pto.<br>Good luck<br>Karl<br>
  5. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    Where I live peoples gutters get clogged from leaves falling. You can usually get two cleanings a year per customer. Downfalls: falling off roof. Multi level home are tricky. Only requirements are a ladder, leaf blower, non-acrophobiac...some guys hang X-Mas light displays also.
  6. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,214

    Power washing, I have a friend that gets some calls for decks mostly.Also rototilling gardens.<br>
  7. manr

    manr Guest
    Messages: 0

    I added on parking lot striping last year not much competion in my area
  8. ChrisYanik

    ChrisYanik LawnSite Member
    from OHIO
    Messages: 50

    Try hydroseeding.......It's an excellent service to add. In my area...there's a ton of new development which means there will be plenty of work for all the landscapers around. .08 to .09 cents a square foot can bring in a fairly solid profit in a short period of time.
  9. ChrisYanik

    ChrisYanik LawnSite Member
    from OHIO
    Messages: 50

    Lawn Rolling???????
  10. steven Bousquet

    steven Bousquet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    deeproot feeding of trees and shrubs is Very profitable and easy to sell, all you need is a tank and a feeder you can avg around $100 per hr. plus materials and peole are thrill to see you doing it. hey Chris lawn rolling? a old fashion way of crushing the crown of the turf grass plant and compacting the top layer if the soil, not a good idea for lawns, if the turf is bumpt try overseeding to thicken the lawn.

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