Winter Services

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by jvanvliet, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    Does anybody offer "other" services during the slow season to stay busy and generate some ca$hflow payup ?

    We have added pressure cleaning, window cleaning and driveway sealing during the slow season. Seems like this time of year people want to clean sidewalks, roofs, houses, windows; perk up their homes in general. They are low entry cost services & it keeps us busy during the slow season. It also introduces us to new potential clients.

    We clean large commercial complexes to SFH; we just finished a four building apartment complex and have landed the grounds maintenance.

    I'm interested in any other ideas or just get a sense what you guys are doing to generate additional revenue.
  2. williams lcm

    williams lcm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,184

    I usually like to enjoy this time of year. To sit back alittle and get some projects done around the house. Yes I could go out and powerwash and make some extra cash. I already a good monthly cash flow. But in 2 months we will be back at it hard with mowing in the growing season. I just feel like I deserve a nice well earned brake from the hectic growing season. But i guess we all do what we chose.
  3. yamadooski

    yamadooski LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 434

    I have to agree with williams. Even if I did do extra stuff I really wouldnt get on here and tell everyone about.
    There are over 5,000 licensed lco in the Tampa area and I dont really know how many come on here and just look and get ideas. Therefore making my profit smaller.
    I do one thing that I stock up on and hold until summer and sell at 5x the cost.
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    OK I will play devil's advocate. IMHO you can add too many services and change your Image in a bad way. I think it is good to Vertical market which means adding services to existing accounts. But I believe you have to be selective of those add on services so you are not perceived as a Handyman. My point is if you are a landscaper then be a landscaper. Don't offer window washing and pool cleaning etc. On the other side of the coin, A home maintenance contractor business plan could be very successful.

    The longer I am in Business the more specialized to fewer areas I want to be. My goal this year is to actually drop certain Service categories and fill in the income with less stressful services. I see Pressure cleaning as a real liability. First Tile roofs are super dangerous. second the Chlorine used to clean will kill plants. I think I have made my point, so I won't beat a dead horse. I Do what I do Best and leave the Rest.

  5. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    My goal is to keep people working
  6. williams lcm

    williams lcm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,184

    Yes you do have to be careful in pressure washing. I know a guy down the street who does this full time. When he first started out he killed plants ect with bleach. He did water damage under the vinyl siding on a mobile home. You can do some major damage. Most think it is easy to do but you have to have the right people doing it. I would not recommend employees doing it unless under supervision. What will you do if a customer wants his house power washed in the winter. Well you say yes. Now that customer knows you do powerwashing and he now wants it done during the summer also. This is your busying mowing season. Are you going to schedule him in around the afternoon thunderstorm when you have alot of lawns to cut. If you say no you cant do it then you can run into some problems. Especially if you have alot of customer that want it twice a year. You can stress yourself out very fast.
  7. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    Your right, you got to be careful and one can get overwhelmed.

    We usually furlough 1/3 of the crews at EOW and drop to a four day week. The men who remain are key employees.

    The pressure cleaning enables me to call back some of the furloughed employees (or give key employees a 5th day). I like this because I don't have the learning curve with a bunch of cherry's come spring. They have been trained in the operation of the pressure cleaning, we haven't had any major problems yet. We don't advertise the service because we get lot's of referrals from our regular accounts.

    With some exception, most people down here (east coast zone 9/10) do their pressure cleaning after EOW in anticipation for the holidays or spring cleaning. If I find there is sufficient work year around for the pressure cleaning, I'll hire extra men, get a cheap truck and a skid rig and put them to work.

    By the way, the men really appreciate that I look out for them, most come back in spring which benefits me.
  8. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    You are probably right. My experience is though that 99.99% of the people who see a good idea will not follow through on it.

    My attitude is nothing is mine to begin with, and everything I "posess" is a gift. Freely I have received so freely I give. It has never ceased to amaze me how many people refuse the gift.

    Here's another gift; consider signing agreements to install hurricane shutters (on retainer) when a storm is imminent, we do this every year with select clients. The service also generates business when neighbors see my truck signs and crews putting up shutters for Ma & Pa Kettle. (How many people will consider it?)

    The trick is not to get greedy and overwhelm yourself. The benefit to that is, the more exclusive you become, the more people want your services.

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