Winter $income?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rowdyz92, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    Leaf removals IF you want to get into it. There's many methods to getting leaves moved around so make sure you do your research before you just buy a leaf vacuum and buy a big blower that can get the job done.

    Like the others said you need to budget and try to make enough during the growing season to cover the winter months. Its something we all struggle with.

    Good luck! I'm sure many others will chime in.
  2. vaacutabove

    vaacutabove LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,011

    rowdy what part of central va are you from. Snow is a killer here some years you can't order enough ice melt and others you can't pay someone to take it off your hands. don't count on it most of what we get here is wet and ice.
  3. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Snow is a tricky subject, even here in Michigan. I have little interest in getting into the snow side of this business, so I just sub all that work out to a few friends who plow. However, I only work in the landscape industry part-time, I have a couple other things I do that keep me busy (college classes and part-time work as a firefighter/paramedic).

    There are plenty of opportunities out there that you can add to your business to make your "off season" a little more productive and profitable. Christmas decorating is becoming a very big thing for some companies and if you have the skill and the desire, that can be a very lucrative business. You can also look into landscape lighting services. If you don't get much snow, this would be a good time to do things like the landscape lighting, when you aren't so busy with mowing or doing spring/fall cleanups.

    The winter also offers you a good opportunity to start some advertising for the next season. Get ideas for door hangers, flyers, websites, networking, etc.

    Budgeting is going to be an important part since you are in a seasonal business. You NEED to plan on making enough money during the normal mowing season to get you through the winter. Think of any work you pick up during the winter as "bonus" money, put that in the bank, reinvest in your company, etc.
  4. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    If I were solo I'd take the winter off. Like someone said, find a part time job if you have to. For us plowing just turns dollars, makes payments and floats payroll.
  5. zippy-phil

    zippy-phil LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    I am in Florida so no snow for use. yards still get cut, just not as often. We wait until the winter month to start offering gutter clean outs, junk removal, pressure washing. I don't think I would want to hang christmas lights.
  6. yardworkswi

    yardworkswi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    try to get the customers that you have that want snow removal on a yearly contract. When you are not removing snow still visit their property and tend to their shrubs and ornamentals along with a general clean-up on each visit. Figure to visit their property 1 or 2 times a month to do these things and charge accordingly and you will have money coming in every month. If you are good with heights make sure to offer gutter cleaning. Also I have thought about taking taxidermy classes my dad does it as a hobby and you would be surprised how simple it is to do a deer head mount (the only hard part is the fleshing & tanning which you can outsource, just figure those things into your cost) and you can get around $400 each and about half of that would be your cost. Fish and birds are a pain but mammals in general arent too hard.
  7. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    How do you prune shrubs in Jan., when there may be a foot of snow on the ground? Or what happens if you have record snowfalls, do you still go there twice a month because you are contractually obligated? Too many variables, which is why after Thanksgiving we stay away from grounds care until April 1 unless there is still snow on the ground.
  8. yardworkswi

    yardworkswi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    I dont prune shrubs in Jan. because like you said there may be a foot of snow on the ground but different places it could be an option or last winter around here it would have been. The contract would not have a monthly visit scheduled for the winter months the only thing scheduled would be the snow removal when necessary. Thought of this due to the winter we had last year only 3 or 4 events. Just dont want my customers resenting me when they get my invoice for a month that I was never there. So if it hadnt snowed in a few weeks I would swing by my accts and do a general clean-up just to show that I am still caring for there property to atleast some extent. I am new at this on my own and this may not be necessary or practical (for bigger outfits) but being solo I definately dont think it would hurt.
  9. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    Companies around here check on seasonal camps when there is little snow so that may be an option for some. Our customers know how the weather is, if it doesn't snow this year we may get walloped next year. In the end it evens out from year to year.
  10. yardworkswi

    yardworkswi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Hey Jr, I have heard mixed views on that with the snow fall from year to year and again being new I am not sure how my customers will go for it just plan to educate them on the seasonal contract and how it will go both ways. Hope they are understanding of it maybe me getting burned first will help. What do you mean by "check on seasonal camps" hope its not a duh ? just not sure what you are talking about and would like to know if it is something that could help me out. Thanks

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