working with other LCO and growing your business

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by grassmasterswilson, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. vaacutabove

    vaacutabove LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,011

    I mow and spray. But i also spray for some guys that just mow but i am friends with them. I have gotten more work from them then anything else. You have to be good to your word i won't even bid a job that they could do on these yards. It would be hard trying to convince some one i don't know i won't bid on anything but spraying

    i often see the same person out mowing a bunch of times a day. I always thought if we could work together we could get supper tight routes. But my luck i would only get pita out of it
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  2. olcllc

    olcllc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 202

    I started out just mowing like most I would imagine. Went large in the mowing but then found it difficult to maintain quality help. Labor and fuel will always be your biggest expenses, so I decided to cut labor, went small in the mowing, started spraying two years ago and if all things go well, will not be mowing at all next season.

    I work with three other LCO's in my area. Two of them do mowing on a large scale and used to sub out to TG/CL. The other does landscaping/hardscaping. It works well with the cross referrals and lowers your advertising cost.
  3. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,906

    That is what I hope to do. I would love to do only applications, aerations, and seeding. I just don't think there is a market for that here. My thoughts were to network with some guys who do mowing only and let them sub out the other work to me. I'm solo with a summer helper and i'm at a crossroads. I either want more apps with lower labor or go much bigger in mowing and gain higher labor.

    Seems there are 2 ways to look at this. Either you bill other lco for doing their apps or pay them a referral and then the customer is yours. The second being what i would like to do. Maybe if I explain I want to get out of mowing that it may not scare some guys off that might think I would "steal" their mowing customers.
  4. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    Getting sub contract work from other mowing companies for application work is great if you can deal with the fact that the accounts they provide for you really are not under your control. Let me explain further. My company was a sub contractor for fertilizing on about $15K on a number of commercial accounts for one landscape company for a number of years. The work was fine but fickle. There was never any guarantee that that work would continue each season as most mowing companies each spring have to wait for contracts and or submit bids each season and wait for the work to come in. That being said each spring we had know idea if we would retain that work. We auto renew our customers each spring so we pretty much know what we are looking at as far as ordering material, setting up routes etc.. Waiting for their accounts to give the go ahead was and continues to be a PITA. Don't get me wrong here we will take the money any day of the week . You just have to work a little harder being a sub.

    If your looking to get increase your application business I would suggest you separate your mowing business from your fert business. By that I mean create a complete and separate entity. Different name , phone number, web site etc.. Why you might ask? Mowing contracts don't want another mowing contractor pulling up to one of their accounts and advertising another mowing service. It's that simple. You need to keep your application business specialized. Customers IMO prefer companies that focus on doing applications. Not a whole list of other services like mowing, landscaping etc.. Potential customers when seeking out lawn fertilizing or weed control applications will look for that first and foremost over a jack of all trades type company.

    If your at a crossroads here I would move toward applications over the mowing part of your business. There is more money to be made and you won't be fighting for work with every " Joe " out there with a lawn mower and a pickup truck!
  5. doug1980

    doug1980 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 276

    Around here the customers want a one stop shop. They want to write one check and that's it. Could be different there, but that's how most view it here.

    We do spray outs for a sod company here. He is a competitor for sod installations, but we gain 60% of our new Lawn Care customers from his refferals. Kind of a give and take, but it seems to work well for both parties.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  6. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,645

    Lat year I had a few other LCO's contacting me about being subed for spraying. Needless to say it didn't work out, they didn't like my prices... they didn't realize the cost of having a lawn sprayed.
  7. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    You really have to watch some of these guys because they play games. We once bid about twenty accounts from a landscape company only to have him start doing them himself ( without a license I might add ). Think about it. We priced them out for him and he didn't have to measure a single property. There are unscrupulous people everywhere!
  8. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,076

    Wow, sounds all negative. We work with other LCO's all the time. Little to no problem. We spray for them/they give us work. But you need to remember it needs to go both ways. If they help you, you need to help them. Let them use mower when theirs is down. Let them use your aerator if they do not own one. We have even given away some of our mowing accounts that did not fit in our route real well, and they have let us use their equipment, or give us jobs they do not do. PS don't keep score! Just think of it as someone you help because they help you. We worked with 3 other LCO's this season so far, on several accounts. And have done so for the last 10 years.

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