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SuperiorPower
11-29-2009, 09:53 PM
I really have....

So tell me what you guys think. I have been thinking about quitting my full time job and trying to make it full time in the shop. Optionally, I could do some other things like spraying and pressure washing until I got busy enough in the shop. I am actually very intrigued with the success that swstout and picframer have had with spraying, etc. I have a mower and a lawn tractor (an older one) and a 4 wheeler. I have a back pack sprayer and could probably get a pull behind sprayer easily. I also have a pressure washer, though it is a small and cheap Craftsman model, I suppose it would do until I could get something better or put something better together.

I feel like I have all winter to think about this, perhaps do some research about this and get a plan together if I decide to do it.

What do you guys think? Is there more to it than I realize? Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Eli

Steve
11-29-2009, 10:13 PM
How much of what you'd like to do full time can you do now part time??

How would doing it full time put you in a better spot?

SuperiorPower
11-29-2009, 10:24 PM
How much of what you'd like to do full time can you do now part time??

How would doing it full time put you in a better spot?

I can do most of the things now, except I do not have time to do all of them. I run out of time. Because of this, I don't get machines done as soon as the customer wants and they get impatient. That is not my goal at all. I want to be a business that they can truly say is "Superior". I am also limited by the kind of jobs I can take because of time.

On Saturday at an auction I spoke to several people who said they would be bringing me work. One of them said he would be bringing me a skidloader that has engine problems. If I had very many of those jobs and would try to do them part time, I would not have time to do the smaller jobs.

Steve
11-29-2009, 10:27 PM
What's your take on the competition in the area? Do you feel there is a need for you to go fulltime with these services? Also have you thought about when during the year would be the best time to go fulltime with it?

SuperiorPower
11-29-2009, 10:40 PM
What's your take on the competition in the area? Do you feel there is a need for you to go fulltime with these services? Also have you thought about when during the year would be the best time to go fulltime with it?

As far as the shop, there is some competition, but its mostly 15+ miles away. As far as the other things I mentioned, I doubt I would do much in the way off mowing so I really do not think there is that much competition. I know someone who does power washing so I may talk to him soon if I can. He may tell me not to get into it since he would consider me competition though! lol

Steve
11-29-2009, 10:47 PM
Do you feel there is a certain time of year that would be better to go fulltime with this venture than other times?

If so, why not save some money and then go and do it.

I don't know much about it but I figure if you could become certified to handle warranty repairs, you could probably get some pretty steady work with that.

I think it could be a lot of fun, especially for someone who really enjoys small engines!

swstout
11-29-2009, 10:55 PM
Organic lawn spraying is not that difficult.
Products:

Nature's Magic - The best soil builder available
Aerify - Organic aerifying agent that is far superior to mechanical aeration
Bio-Dethatcher - Bio-enhanced dethatching agent far superior to mechanical dethatching
Insect Guard - Natural Insect Repellant
AquiGold - (US name Gluten8) for organic pre-emergent weed control
Beneficial Nematodes - Biological insect control
Fish Emulsion - Micro nutrient supplement
Bio-enhanced fertilizers - Safe Organic lawn food
Wipeout - Over winter insect control
Liquid Lime - Raises soil pH
Liquid Sulfur - Lowers soil pH
Liquid Iron - Important soil conditioner
Botanicals - Organic insect control (Caster Oil from the castor bean - kills chinch bugs that have become immune to chemical pesticides) 
The beauty of these is that they can be mixed and applied simultaneously.
The biological's here need climate control (41 to 78 degrees F). They are living organisms. Also, the biological's are harmed by chlorine in municipal water supplies. You can get pond de-cholrinator from Lowe's to add to your mixtures.

Different turfs have different requirements. You can customize treatments for particular turfs. If you decide to go this route, I can help with the mixtures.

Application is easy. You an train someone to apply them in a day or two.

I'll help you in any way I can.

Steve

SuperiorPower
11-29-2009, 11:00 PM
Spring is the time I would do it if I did. Saving money is not really gonna happen anytime soon. I am trying to get my tools and parts together as I go. I may have to wait another year or so. But there are things that are making me want to do it (things I can't discuss. lol).

I used to think that I would never quit law enforcement but the entrepreneur bug seems to have bit me...

Steve
11-29-2009, 11:14 PM
Here is a video that I think might be helpful at such a cross roads :)

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/yQXKOxGhMuA&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/yQXKOxGhMuA&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

SuperiorPower
11-29-2009, 11:15 PM
Organic lawn spraying is not that difficult.
Products:

Nature's Magic - The best soil builder available
Aerify - Organic aerifying agent that is far superior to mechanical aeration
Bio-Dethatcher - Bio-enhanced dethatching agent far superior to mechanical dethatching
Insect Guard - Natural Insect Repellant
AquiGold - (US name Gluten8) for organic pre-emergent weed control
Beneficial Nematodes - Biological insect control
Fish Emulsion - Micro nutrient supplement
Bio-enhanced fertilizers - Safe Organic lawn food
Wipeout - Over winter insect control
Liquid Lime - Raises soil pH
Liquid Sulfur - Lowers soil pH
Liquid Iron - Important soil conditioner
Botanicals - Organic insect control (Caster Oil from the castor bean - kills chinch bugs that have become immune to chemical pesticides) 
The beauty of these is that they can be mixed and applied simultaneously.
The biological's here need climate control (41 to 78 degrees F). They are living organisms. Also, the biological's are harmed by chlorine in municipal water supplies. You can get pond de-cholrinator from Lowe's to add to your mixtures.

Different turfs have different requirements. You can customize treatments for particular turfs. If you decide to go this route, I can help with the mixtures.

Application is easy. You an train someone to apply them in a day or two.

I'll help you in any way I can.

Steve

Thanks Steve. I was hoping you would see my post. I have been really intrigued with your success.

But something that seems to hamper me just a bit is I know absolutely NOTHING about soil ph levels, what local soil issues are, etc. I have just recently started reading more about soil and soil health. I found a few articles I liked and posted them in my forum (http://lawnmowerforum.superiorpowerequip.com/index.php/board,39.0.html) and even made a special little section for those articles... I honestly don't know that much about the sprayers and that kind of thing since I have never really needed to work on them and dad never sold sprayers other than an occasional backpack sprayer.

What kind of sprayer do you use? a pull behind? or should I consider one of those that mounts on a 4 wheeler? I don't really want to use my 4 wheeler if I don't have to since I would not be going fast enough to properly cool the engine. Any sprayer advice?

Like I said though, I have little interest in mowing unless I can get a good account or two. I have some decent connections because of my law enforcement job and feel that it may help me along if I decide to do it.

SuperiorPower
11-29-2009, 11:22 PM
So what the **** should I do?.......

Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future.

That vid, though I don't cuss, said it about as good as it can be said....

swstout
11-29-2009, 11:35 PM
Thanks Steve. I was hoping you would see my post. I have been really intrigued with your success.

But something that seems to hamper me just a bit is I know absolutely NOTHING about soil ph levels, what local soil issues are, etc. I have just recently started reading more about soil and soil health. I found a few articles I liked and posted them in my forum (http://lawnmowerforum.superiorpowerequip.com/index.php/board,39.0.html) and even made a special little section for those articles... I honestly don't know that much about the sprayers and that kind of thing since I have never really needed to work on them and dad never sold sprayers other than an occasional backpack sprayer.

What kind of sprayer do you use? a pull behind? or should I consider one of those that mounts on a 4 wheeler? I don't really want to use my 4 wheeler if I don't have to since I would not be going fast enough to properly cool the engine. Any sprayer advice?

Like I said though, I have little interest in mowing unless I can get a good account or two. I have some decent connections because of my law enforcement job and feel that it may help me along if I decide to do it.

Here is a good place to start. http://www.swstout.com/soil_is_the_soul_of_the_lawn.html (http://www.swstout.com/soil_is_the_soul_of_the_lawn.html)

I have 2 tow behind sprayers, a 25 gallon and a 50 gallon. I use an old Murray mower that I took the deck off to tow it (also a craftsman rider if I need it for more that one job per day).

They are both electric that runs off the tractors 12v battery. Both have an 80" spray swath. A backpack sprayer will really wear you out.

I will look for more info for you and pass it on.

Steve

StartALawnCareBusiness
11-30-2009, 12:15 AM
Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future.



Risky Business is a great movie. One of those movies that everyone of my generation was enthralled with...right up there with Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

The video also talks about making mistakes. It's cool to say "what the f..." but you still want to be careful to make the best decision for you.

Have you put pen to paper...accounting style?

You are in the unique position of having a great idea how much you can make per hour. Do you think your part-time per hour revenue will translate into 40 or 50 hours per week? If it will translate, will it be enough to cover your expenses?

Is your current job fulfilling your life enough (not just financially) for you to keep it? Or can you take it or leave it?

Keith

picframer
11-30-2009, 04:18 AM
I think everyone's situation is different and there is no yes or no answer, how is your business doing now? Do you have more work than you can handle, do you have enough saved to carry you a few months without taking a salary, I think an owner should be able to go the first year and not draw a salary, at least in this business, how are things going in your area, what is the required capital investment to get your target market and do you have it.

If memory serves me correct you are a police officer, remember you will loose your benefits, can you take a leave of absense to see if you can make it then go back if you can't? If it failed can you find a job without loosing everything?

swstout
11-30-2009, 05:57 AM
You said earlier, that you had reasons for quitting and going the business route that you didn't want to get into now. Let me take a stab in the dark.

You are a political animal to the right of Washington. With the Obama administration turning over the management and regulation of police agencies to organized labor you feel a loss of personal power and rights. Organized labor has no room for non liberal, non-democrats in their ranks. You, as a police officer and not being a democrat will be on the short end of the promotion Merry-Go-Round. Your dues will be used to promote the liberal agenda without any say on your part. If you do complain, you will get the worst assignments with the least chance of advancement.

The above is why my brother will be leaving LE if Obama gives control of the police to organized labor. And according to him, he won't be alone!

Steve

SuperiorPower
11-30-2009, 05:33 PM
Here is a good place to start. http://www.swstout.com/soil_is_the_soul_of_the_lawn.html (http://www.swstout.com/soil_is_the_soul_of_the_lawn.html)

I have 2 tow behind sprayers, a 25 gallon and a 50 gallon. I use an old Murray mower that I took the deck off to tow it (also a craftsman rider if I need it for more that one job per day).

They are both electric that runs off the tractors 12v battery. Both have an 80" spray swath. A backpack sprayer will really wear you out.

I will look for more info for you and pass it on.

Steve


What brand do you have? I was hoping I could do something other than a backpack because I know it is slower and will wear a person slick very soon.

Thanks for the link.
Eli

swstout
11-30-2009, 05:52 PM
What brand do you have? I was hoping I could do something other than a backpack because I know it is slower and will wear a person slick very soon.

Thanks for the link.
Eli

I have a Fimco 25 gallon http://www.fimcoindustries.com/images/catalog/09/trailer_sprayers.pdf

and a Agri FAb 45 Gallon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007UQ2UU/ref=asc_df_B0007UQ2UU974953?smid=AAFUY8Q6EU21B&tag=dealtmp333223-20&linkCode=asn&creative=380341&creativeASIN=B0007UQ2UU

Steve

SuperiorPower
11-30-2009, 05:52 PM
Have you put pen to paper...accounting style?

You are in the unique position of having a great idea how much you can make per hour. Do you think your part-time per hour revenue will translate into 40 or 50 hours per week? If it will translate, will it be enough to cover your expenses?

Is your current job fulfilling your life enough (not just financially) for you to keep it? Or can you take it or leave it?

Keith

No, I have not put pen to paper. I am in just the very early parts of this planning stage. I do know, that I would need at least $1500 per month, free and clear just to stay afloat. I should have at least $2000 to get ahead. I would need to get at least 40 hours per week in the shop just to make it, which would be hard to come up with. I think I will be raising my shop rate to $50 per hour (this is almost in line with other local shops) which would help me make it at just 30 hours per week.

As far as my current job (this is also partially an answer swstout's post), I enjoy my co-workers, and for the most part I enjoy the work, but admin SUCKS! The saying about the brass and a** is true. Trust me. I recently bumped heads about the way some things were handled and I obviously came out on the bottom (but I will leave the rest of that alone). My career is over if I want advancement. PERIOD. And financially right now, it is just barely enough. In about 2 months I will likely start seeing some OT. But not too much.

Thankfully, we do not have a union so there are no dues to go to places I do not want them to go.

That is that.
Eli

SuperiorPower
11-30-2009, 06:08 PM
I think everyone's situation is different and there is no yes or no answer, how is your business doing now? Do you have more work than you can handle, do you have enough saved to carry you a few months without taking a salary, I think an owner should be able to go the first year and not draw a salary, at least in this business, how are things going in your area, what is the required capital investment to get your target market and do you have it.

If memory serves me correct you are a police officer, remember you will loose your benefits, can you take a leave of absense to see if you can make it then go back if you can't? If it failed can you find a job without loosing everything?

I can not keep up with my work in the shop right now, but I do not know if I can find 40 hours per week yet. I was hoping that I may be able to find additional work and I was thinking that perhaps the spraying and pressure washing may help me out.

I do not have the funds to live off of until I can get floating better. I have considered holding off going full time for another year, hoping I can get some things I place between now and then. Honestly, I am in pitiful financial shape at the moment (about 1-2 months behind on most payments). I expect that to change in the near future based on some funds I will have coming in soon.

I have no real idea what kind of capital investment would be needed to get rolling on the spraying. I have pretty much everything that I need to get my shop going full time. I stock some parts but no matter how long I am in business, I will never have all the parts I need so that is just a matter of business. I think I will be able to trade out some labor to get some work done on my building to allow me to be more productive in the shop.

As far as the spraying and pressure washing, I don't know of much that I need to invest in other than sprayers and the spray mix or whatever. Also, I do not have a truck with a hitch and only have a small Nissan pickup at this point.

In retrospect, I may have to wait another year with me hammering it hard this coming summer and trying to lay some funds aside. And no, leave of absence is not possible.

Something else, how do I fond out what others around are charging for spraying? I know that I can probably find out how much the going rate is for pressure washing since I have a friend in the business.

Steve
11-30-2009, 07:01 PM
I know there are a lot of conversations going on here, but I just wanted to say in general, now is the perfect time to get started with anything.

What happens when things are put off, they tend to get put off more and more. 1 year becomes 2, becomes 3 etc.

Then one day you look back and say, why didn't I get started way back when, when my life was so much easier.

If there is a desire to do this, it should be done. One way or another once you get into the mix, you will work on figuring out ways to make it grow. This is very hard to do when you are not committed to it.

Ultimately though you gotta do what YOU want to do because this is your life and it's yours to live.

SuperiorPower
11-30-2009, 07:21 PM
I know there are a lot of conversations going on here, but I just wanted to say in general, now is the perfect time to get started with anything.

What happens when things are put off, they tend to get put off more and more. 1 year becomes 2, becomes 3 etc.

Then one day you look back and say, why didn't I get started way back when, when my life was so much easier.

If there is a desire to do this, it should be done. One way or another once you get into the mix, you will work on figuring out ways to make it grow. This is very hard to do when you are not committed to it.

Ultimately though you gotta do what YOU want to do because this is your life and it's yours to live.

That is kind of my fear, but I also have to consider that I have a house that I do not want to lose..... At least the good thing is I have no wife or kids to worry about. I mean, heck, God forbid I lose everything, but if I do, its just me and I could get enough to feed my own face surely.

And after I posted about the vehicle situation, I remembered that I actually have a 1991 Ford cargo van (or is it a 1993????). It is not running right now and is at my dad's house but it has a hitch and I could pull a trailer (which I do not have). I also could load the majority of the equipment into the back of the van.

Steve
11-30-2009, 07:43 PM
That is kind of my fear, but I also have to consider that I have a house that I do not want to lose.....

I preface this by saying, you gotta do what's best for you.

This brings up a great point and a great topic that we never really learn about in school. As we go through life, we tend to acquire more baggage. The stuff we think we own, ends up owning us.

We need to keep doing this or that. Working at the job. Why? because we have this lifestyle we have grown accustomed to. We have to keep up appearances.

Now I am not saying this at you, I am saying this is something we all deal with in one way or another.

Employers realize this and use it to their advantage. They pay you the absolute minimum and then we all go out and spend the absolute maximum. We dig our own holes and jump into the pit. Employers simply hand you the shovel to do it and then we all seem to want to instinctively dig on our owns. Most likely because of societal influences.

As we go further in life and work at jobs further, we get more dependent on the job. Our skill set tends to narrow as does our marketability. We begin to realize that we could not find another job like this one at this pay so we need to desperately hold onto the job. We then grow to hate the job because we need it so badly and we can't get away.

This is why it is so much more easier to get started in the entrepreneurial world when you are younger and dumb enough to tell all those influencing you, that you are going out there on your own path.

Everyone that is older and wiser than you is going to be in a position where they can't leave their job. They are afraid and they will let you know YOU should be afraid too!

What about your benefits? What about your retirement? What about your fancy car? What about your wife's gold earrings? BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Next thing you know it, you're old. Your unhealthy. Your body has been beat up over the decades and the vibrancy of your youth has been sucked out weekly while all you got was that weekly paycheck that has long ago been spent. You sit there with your body aching thinking of the things you wish you would have done. You look around and all those who whispered in your ear to not try anything, to not explore, are all gone and you wonder why you ever listened to them.

You become this guy. And all that you have left in you is the slight ability to warn others not to do what you did.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2123/2424624202_a3e8a81264.jpg

SuperiorPower
11-30-2009, 08:04 PM
Steve you make some very good points. Overall, I am glad I started looking into this now. I have several months to ponder the question and possibly acquire what I need to do it. This includes research, possibly pick up a sprayer here and there in the off season (maybe on ebay?), and decide if I really want to do this or not.

I know that in time I want to go full time in my shop. And I know that I can. Its just that its hard to do it since while I work a full time job I can not gain enough work to actually the customer base to be 40 hours per week. The reason I want to go full time is I do not want to expose my family to what I am exposed to with all the idiots that I see off duty in Wal-mart or wheree ever I am.

Something that I have really thought about is to do the door to door thing that lawn care folks do.:D What I mean by this is print out some flyers and come up with some specials to hand out. I believe I might be able to drum up some business if I did that.

The down side is, what am I going to do during the winter when times are VERY slow. I have almost ZERO chain saw or "winter" business. I would have to get creative and possibly run " winter specials" to give people an incentive to bring in their mowers and other equipment to be serviced during the winter months.

I really have no interest at this point in trying to do snow removal, but maybe I need to change my idea about that?

dhawk
12-01-2009, 05:52 AM
You are a political animal to the right of Washington. With the Obama administration turning over the management and regulation of police agencies to organized labor you feel a loss of personal power


LOL - except that I am not in LE, you just described me!
Actually, I think you just described a LOT of people, Steve.

Too bad you are not down here, Steve. I would be trying to network with you. I have one small lawn and ornamental spraying company that I deal with here, and they seem to be really busy.

They are busy enough that it has me considering going into it myself.

Steve
12-01-2009, 03:45 PM
Another thing that happens when you get into your project full time is that you put yourself 'in play.' This means you are now open for opportunities that may come along that you weren't open to in the past.

Others will see that you are making a go of this and will keep you in mind when they talk to others. If they know you are in play they can throw you work.

dhawk
12-01-2009, 09:06 PM
Another thing that happens when you get into your project full time is that you put yourself 'in play.' This means you are now open for opportunities that may come along that you weren't open to in the past.

Others will see that you are making a go of this and will keep you in mind when they talk to others. If they know you are in play they can throw you work.

Well said, Steve - what you said is so true about "being in play".

I can't put into words the difference between trying to keep a full time job and run a business at the same time versus only focusing on your business.

As Steve said, you will find yourself taking on a LOT of jobs that you would not even have considered when trying to work full time and run the biz - there are only so many hours in a day.

Like everyone else said - you have to do what's right and best for you.

I bet, however, you would find 40 hours work once you were able to devote yourself to it.

Whether it be plowing or spraying, or powerwashing, find a niche to make up for the slow times.

I am staying busy power washing swimming pools on foreclosure properties and doing landscape/cleanup on the same properties.

That just happens to be a niche right now in Florida - the foreclosures are starting to sell to private individuals - and they have a lot of work to do on these properties.

I guess if you are in the north, snow removal seems to be a big one. Brrr.

SuperiorPower
12-01-2009, 09:27 PM
Yea, I suppose. Its just real scary to go full time and lose benefits, job security, etc. Like I said before, during the winter months is where it will be the hardest. I think, and hope, that I have established some good contacts that may help me in times to come. I have been "accused" of being a "net-worker" so that may play out well. lol

Steve
12-01-2009, 10:29 PM
Its just real scary to go full time and lose benefits, job security, etc.

I am sure it is. I bet we could chart those who start up businesses based on age. The older you get, the more risk averse you get.

When we see folks on here that are a little bit older and starting a business for the first time, it's usually because they got laid off from their job and they were thrown into either unemployment or start a business.

This is not something that gets easier with age and I think it's good to know. Knowing this lets you know its easier to act today than tomorrow or the next day or the next etc.

swstout
12-01-2009, 11:00 PM
Perception is dangerous. At age 50, I thought about going back to school for my BS. Nearly all the math and science I took for my AS was not transferable. Computers you know! I was looking at 3-4 years if I went full time. I told the councilor that I would be 54 or older when I got the degree. He said "How old will you be in 4 years if you don't pursue the degree?

Know what I found out? School was easier. They say you need 3-4 hours studying for every hour of class. For my AS I spent (maybe) 1 hour. At fifty, 4 hours was easy. No 2 legged deer hunting, no all night binges, no popularity contests. I made the President's list and got a scholarship to go on for may MS.

The point I am trying to make is. Life experiences and maturity set the stage for your future. Research, planning, networking has become second nature. Caution, yes but determination and commitment that come with age is a dynamic factor.

OK, so you're 45 and it will take at least 2 years to get established. How old will you be in 2 years if you don't try?

Steve

Steve
12-02-2009, 12:28 AM
When you look at your peers, would you say on average they feel the same as you on this or different on this?

swstout
12-02-2009, 01:40 AM
When you look at your peers, would you say on average they feel the same as you on this or different on this?

Depends. Those who were in the military and/or struggled with a fanily tend to feel the same. I taught at SUNY Onondaga Community College (State Uiversity of New Youk) both traditional student and non-traditional students. I soon found I didn't have the patients for the traditional students. They for the most part were there to get away from home! And, college was just a waste of time (they already knew it all!).

The non-traditional students - the ones who went to night school while raising a familly and working full time + were there to learn. Many, to advance at their present job, many looking for a new vocation, almost all were committed. I taught statistics. It was dreaded by the traditional, embraced by the non-traditional. Grades C's and D's by the traditional with none asking for extra help. B's and A's by the non-traditional with everyone seeking extra help.

Maturity, experience and attitude define the day (and the results)!

Steve

Steve
12-02-2009, 03:38 PM
That is very insightful. I guess ultimately we can all do what we want if we set it as our goal to achieve, otherwise we are just toying with the idea.

SuperiorPower
12-02-2009, 10:09 PM
Thanks swstout for the thot about being the same age in 2 years whether I do it or not.

So, another question for those of you who use the organic sprays.... Do you guys use any granular fertilizer?

And also, what is your approximate application cost for a given area, including the product (Aerify Plus, or what ever).

And how much do you charge for that same area? What I am getting at is basically, what kind of profit (say per hour) could I expect for this?

swstout
12-02-2009, 11:08 PM
Thanks swstout for the thot about being the same age in 2 years whether I do it or not.

So, another question for those of you who use the organic sprays.... Do you guys use any granular fertilizer?

And also, what is your approximate application cost for a given area, including the product (Aerify Plus, or what ever).

And how much do you charge for that same area? What I am getting at is basically, what kind of profit (say per hour) could I expect for this?

I have broken down the costs to cost/oz and cost/1,000 sq. ft. (k)
<TABLE dir=ltr border=1 cellSpacing=1 borderColor=#000000 cellPadding=7 width=638><TBODY><TR><TD width="25%">Product
</TD><TD width="25%">Cost/oz
</TD><TD width="25%">Oz/k
</TD><TD width="25%">Cost/k
</TD></TR><TR><TD width="25%">Nature's Magic
</TD><TD width="25%">$0.24
</TD><TD width="25%">4
</TD><TD width="25%">$0.96
</TD></TR><TR><TD width="25%">Aerify
</TD><TD width="25%">$0.72
</TD><TD width="25%">4
</TD><TD width="25%">$2.88
</TD></TR><TR><TD width="25%">16-4-8 Liquid
</TD><TD width="25%">$0.23
</TD><TD width="25%">6
</TD><TD width="25%">$1.38
</TD></TR><TR><TD width="25%">Fish Emulsion
</TD><TD width="25%">$0.29
</TD><TD width="25%">2
</TD><TD width="25%">$0.58
</TD></TR><TR><TD width="25%">Biological dethatcher
</TD><TD width="25%">$0.52
</TD><TD width="25%">3
</TD><TD width="25%">$1.56
</TD></TR><TR><TD width="25%">Gluten8
</TD><TD width="25%">$0.35
</TD><TD width="25%">32
</TD><TD width="25%">$11.20
</TD></TR><TR><TD width="25%">Liquid Sulfur
</TD><TD width="25%">$0.13
</TD><TD width="25%">8
</TD><TD width="25%">$1.04
</TD></TR><TR><TD width="25%">Liquid Iron
</TD><TD width="25%">$0.21
</TD><TD width="25%">7
</TD><TD width="25%">$1.47
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
Here are some comparable granular cost/k
Granular
Fertilizer $3.47/k
Sulfur $51.00/k
Lime $3.00/k
Gluten $24.00/k

Dethatch and Aerify Mechanical equipment

As you see the costs of liquid lawn products is less than granular.
Liquid dethatcher and aerify is easier to apply, cheaper in costs of equipment and gives supperior results.

If you charge comparable rates you can earn well. Plus, you can mix different products and apply simultaniously reducing the cost to customer even more while increasing your profit even more.

Steve

SuperiorPower
12-03-2009, 06:56 PM
Thanks Steve.

So another question, about how long does it take you with your set up to spray 10,000 square feet? 5 minutes? more? less? What hourly charge do you shoot for?

I am trying to find a total cost per hour so I know how I need to charge. If you prefer, you can pm me or email the info to me at eli@superiorpowerequip.com.

So I have been wondering about something else, and that is, I wonder if I should go with a different name for the spraying/pressure washing part of my business? Like "Superior Homescapes", "Superior Organic Services" or something like that? Or should I change my general name to something like "Superior Power Equipment and Lawncare"? I know of a business that is named "XXXX lawn care and equipment". I was wondering if I should go down that road or if I should keep it separate? All of this is assuming that I will go full time...

Thanks,
Eli

swstout
12-03-2009, 07:56 PM
Thanks Steve.

So another question, about how long does it take you with your set up to spray 10,000 square feet? 5 minutes? more? less? What hourly charge do you shoot for?

I am trying to find a total cost per hour so I know how I need to charge. If you prefer, you can pm me or email the info to me at eli@superiorpowerequip.com.

So I have been wondering about something else, and that is, I wonder if I should go with a different name for the spraying/pressure washing part of my business? Like "Superior Homescapes", "Superior Organic Services" or something like that? Or should I change my general name to something like "Superior Power Equipment and Lawncare"? I know of a business that is named "XXXX lawn care and equipment". I was wondering if I should go down that road or if I should keep it separate? All of this is assuming that I will go full time...

Thanks,
Eli

Set up time.
 
One gallon of solution treats about 500 sq. ft. So 10,000 sq. ft will require about 20 gallons pf solution. If you are using chlorinated water you should de chlorinate before adding Aerify or Bio-dethatcher. Chlorine will kill the micro-organisms in these products. I use a Pond De chlorinator I get from Lowe's. About $10.00 for a seasons supply (a cap full will treat 25 Gallons).
 
Add your concentrates per the chart I already sent and let mix for a few minutes. Say you wanted to fertilize, Aerify and raise pH you would add"
Nature's Magic - 40 oz,
16-4-8 - 60 oz.
Bio-Dethatcher - 30 oz.
Aerify - 10 oz.
 
Your costs:
Nature's Magic - $0.72 x 10 = $7.20
16-4-8 - $0.88 x 10 = $8.80
Bio-Dethatcher - $1.82 x 10 = $18.20
Aerify - $0.88 x 10 = $8.80
 
Total = $43.00 and you are doing 4 operations at once.
 
I would figure $50.00 hour for each operation or in this case $200.00/hour. With travel time and set up I would estimate 2 hours or $400.00 for the job.
 
To have the same service done individually by a "mechanical" contractor it would be:
Fert With travel 2 hours = $100.00
Aerate with travel and cleanup 4 hours = $200.00
Dethatch with travel and cleanup - 4 hours = $400.00
Soil amendments - none - can't offer
Total $700.00
 
These hourly estimates are based on the going rates here in South Carolina. You would have to adjust to your local estimates.
 
I think I would change my name to Superior Equipment and Organic Lawn Care. I feel the US will soon follow Canada and ban chemical/synthetic products. Obama is in too tight with the environmentalists. Be ahead of the curve!
 
Steve

SuperiorPower
12-03-2009, 10:40 PM
I sent an email to them on Tuesday (I think) and got a phone call from them yesterday. They were recommending using the Aerify Plus versus the Aerify+Nature's Magic. What is your opinion on that? He suggested that it would be the most economical, etc.

swstout
12-03-2009, 11:20 PM
I sent an email to them on Tuesday (I think) and got a phone call from them yesterday. They were recommending using the Aerify Plus versus the Aerify+Nature's Magic. What is your opinion on that? He suggested that it would be the most economical, etc.

I both agree and dissagree. How's that for a definitive answer?

They recommend one oz. Areify per 1,000 sq. ft.

Areify Plus is a 50/50 mixture of Aerify and Nature's Magic, so that would be 4 oz per 1,000 sq. ft. I'm sure the Aerify Plus would be more benificial to the lawn but in the short run, but I would like to get another application or 2. I want to be seen as often as possible. When permitted, I will place my lawn sign after every application to get referrals and calls. The more applications I do, the profit I make.



Here is my lawn sign



Steve

SuperiorPower
12-04-2009, 12:27 AM
I both agree and dissagree. How's that for a definitive answer?

They recommend one oz. Areify per 1,000 sq. ft.

Areify Plus is a 50/50 mixture of Aerify and Nature's Magic, so that would be 4 oz per 1,000 sq. ft. I'm sure the Aerify Plus would be more benificial to the lawn but in the short run, but I would like to get another application or 2. I want to be seen as often as possible. When permitted, I will place my lawn sign after every application to get referrals and calls. The more applications I do, the profit I make.



Here is my lawn sign



Steve

Ok. But If you were planning to apply both, Aerify and Nature's Magic, wouldn't it be more economical for me to use Aerify Plus since it is cheaper per gallon than the Aerify alone is? From their website it appears that Aerify Plus is $69.95 per gallon, Aerify is $85.95, and Nature's Magic is $29.95. According to my figures it would cost $21.90 per 10,000 square foot if using the Aerify Plus and $38.40 if mixing Aerify and Nature's Magic. I know that you won't get the same coverage than you would if using straight Aerify but for the price....

Am I missing something? I get the feeling I am figuring something wrong, especially since I have not used either product yet....

SuperiorPower
12-04-2009, 12:57 AM
Steve I was also wondering if you use any soil testing tools to test the soil so you know what you need to apply?

swstout
12-04-2009, 03:27 AM
Steve I was also wondering if you use any soil testing tools to test the soil so you know what you need to apply?

 
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=251966-83666-1240&lpage=none (http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=251966-83666-1240&lpage=none).
One meter measures moisture, light and pH with just the flip of a switch
The simple probe tester comes with easy to use instructions
Test results are easily read and accurate
Meter requires no batteries
 
 
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=214248-83666-1210&lpage=none (http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=214248-83666-1210&lpage=none)
(N-P-K) Nirtogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium May test OK but may not be available to the grass. If not chelated, they can be trapped in the soil and not available. I usually test spray a small section (about 4 x 4) with Nature's Magic, Aerify, and Bio-dethatcher. Do so in a prominent area and then come back a few days later and run the soil test. I explain about the nutrients possibly not being available and the importance of micronutrients to lawn health and let the products do the selling. The results of the test area are often so dramatic, the customer begs you to do more!
 
It's low pressure marketing with high pressure results.
 
Steve

Steve
12-04-2009, 03:41 PM
It's low pressure marketing with high pressure results.

I guess ultimately a customer can be shown what their soil tests results are. Maybe they can be shown on a chart where they are compared to where they should be? Then from there they can be educated and sold on which products would be needed to correct their lawn's situation?

SuperiorPower
12-04-2009, 06:29 PM
Ok, any ideas where I can get these other than at Lowes? I really have no appetite to go back to Lowes today. I stopped by today while in uniform and asked their "professional" about de-chlorinator. He looked at me and said why would you want to do that? I explained to him that the chlorine is not good for anything, not even the soil. He basically laughed at me and said that I needed to tell the guy recommending it (that would be you, swstout) that it is unnecessary and to ask you what you do when you irrigate or water your lawn. He wanted to know how you get the dechlorinator into the irrigation system!! I had to explain to him over and over and over again that this is for spraying liquid organic fertilizer that is mixed with water in a sprayer. He kept asking me how we are going to mix it into the irrigation system!!! He also said if it is bad then everyone in Columbia Missouri is doing something that is bad for their grass... DUH!!

Then he had the gall to tell me that he thinks that you (that is you, swstout) are just trying to get into my pocket. At this point I told him, no, I am looking at doing organic spraying myself, and no, I KNOW that you are not trying to get into my pocket. I wanted to tell him that this spray is actually cheaper than synthetic, granular fertilizer but decided to just walk away before I made him roll across the floor like only Santa Claus can do....

Mind you, this is the way he was talking to me while I am in full uniform. I know I am no better than anyone else but dang it, at least respect me as a customer. He was literally poking fun at me. So excuse me for wanting to go elsewhere because that is no way to treat ANY customer. Not even if you think they are dead wrong and completely stupid and uneducated. I know I can be as crass as the next guy, but when I am representing anyone other than me, especially to a potential customer, crass is VERY SELDOM the way to go.

I may go back and try to find him and get his name so I can make an official complaint against him to Lowe's Corporate......

I am STILL sore about this....


And do you have any further details about what the dechlorinator is called? Brand, product name, and what section to find it would be great.

swstout
12-04-2009, 07:03 PM
Link: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=86016-1566-PL002-16&lpage=none

It is also common for aquariums. The Pond quantity is the most economical size though.

Steve

SuperiorPower
12-04-2009, 10:51 PM
Thanks Steve. I think I need to put together a "want" list for this. I am almost sure that one way or the other, I will be getting into spraying. I may have to take an occasion vacation day to work it in. By the spring I will most likely be working second or third shift if I remain here. I think I will likely be able to work more, having 2 days off throughout the week on most weeks. I hope this will allow me to get my shop work done and get a start on the spraying business and get a "feel" for the spraying before I have to make a decision to go full time or not.

So far my list contains:
-the above mentioned testers,
-dechlorinator,
-the product (obviously),
-and a Sprayer.

Anything else I need to look at? Do I need something to mix the product into the water? Perhaps a paint mixer that you put in a cordless drill?


On the sprayer note, I have been brain storming and thinking how I would like to build my own sprayer machine of sorts. This may be nothing more than taking a lawn tractor and building a bracket over the engine compartment for the water tank. Then build another bracket on the back side of the tractor to mount the spray booms to. It may not be such a noble idea but I was thinking that it would be nice to have a single "vehicle" sprayer rather than having to pull a trailer. It bothers me though that there is a chance of spilling the contents onto the engine unless I build some shield over the engine. And then the more I do this, the harder it will be to service the engine or even check the oil. Any thoughts about this? Be nice to be able to find something like this (http://www.rittenhouse.ca/asp/product.asp?PG=1141), but for less money.

On this note, I was also wondering how do you know how fast to drive when pulling a pull behind to make sure that you get the proper application level per 1000 square foot? Do you just go back over it until the tank is empty? Because I would think that you would get less coverage on some of it than you do on other areas. Am I making this harder than it is?

swstout
12-04-2009, 11:24 PM
Anything else I need to look at? Do I need something to mix the product into the water? Perhaps a paint mixer that you put in a cordless drill?
 
No special equipment needed for mixing other than measuring cups.
 
On the sprayer note, I have been brain storming and thinking how I would like to build my own sprayer machine of sorts.
I would not recommend making my own. The engineering has already been done and the products work well.
 
Be nice to be able to find something like this (http://www.rittenhouse.ca/asp/product.asp?PG=1141), but for less money.
 
The "this" likn is broken

 
On this note, I was also wondering how do you know how fast to drive when pulling a pull behind to make sure that you get the proper application level per 1000 square foot?
This is the manual for a Femco 25 gallon tow behind unit. It gives information you request
http://www.fimcoindustries.com/images/manuals/LG-2500(FM1312).pdf (http://www.fimcoindustries.com/images/manuals/LG-2500(FM1312).pdf)
 
Steve

SuperiorPower
12-04-2009, 11:32 PM
the link worked for me so let me just do it this way....

http://www.rittenhouse.ca/asp/product.asp?PG=1141

Basically, its a stand on sprayer but also has a spreader attachment on the front.

swstout
12-04-2009, 11:36 PM
Still a bad link

Catch you later. My pillow is calling.

Steve

SuperiorPower
12-04-2009, 11:59 PM
Still a bad link

Catch you later. My pillow is calling.

Steve

I don't understand why... It still works for me. I wonder if it works for anyone else?

Either way, search for "Cub cadet xp sprayer".

swstout
12-05-2009, 01:46 AM
http://equipment.greenindustrypros.com/product/67326/Cub_Cadet_Commercial_3-in-1_XP_Stand-on_SpreaderSprayer

$4,000.00 for 10 gallon capacity just doesn't seem worth it!

Steve

SuperiorPower
12-05-2009, 01:50 AM
I found this for a glutin distributor. is this a good price?

http://www.ictorganics.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/products.productDetail/productID/9/index.htm

SuperiorPower
12-05-2009, 01:57 AM
http://equipment.greenindustrypros.com/product/67326/Cub_Cadet_Commercial_3-in-1_XP_Stand-on_SpreaderSprayer

$4,000.00 for 10 gallon capacity just doesn't seem worth it!

Steve

Exactly! As far as that particular machine, I was merely saying that it would be nice to have a machine like that. If only they took the spreader off the front and placed a bigger tank there and cut the price considerably, it would be pretty cool I think.

But I think I can make one of my own, with little trouble for not too much $$. I have several ideas that I am toying with.

swstout
12-05-2009, 01:57 AM
That is who I use. It is the only US distributor of the Canadian Manufacturer.

I have requested more info from them (there seems to be no discount for larger orders). Same cost per gallon for 1 gallon as for tote.

Steve

SuperiorPower
12-05-2009, 02:03 AM
That is who I use. It is the only US distributor of the Canadian Manufacturer.

I have requested more info from them (there seems to be no discount for larger orders). Same cost per gallon for 1 gallon as for tote.

Steve

As I recall they said to get discounts you gad to place your quantity order by November 15, 2009 and they start shipping in January.... I don't understand the early order date. I think if it were me, I would say, order this quantity, for a discount..... But then it may just be me....

swstout
12-05-2009, 02:10 AM
The Manufacturer calls it LiquiGold. Their previous US distributor started making their oun version calling it by the same name and got put out of business after the legal battle.

At any ratem it works very well and is much cheaper than the granular counterpart.

Steve

SuperiorPower
12-05-2009, 02:26 AM
So can the liquid Iron, Liquid Sulfur, and the Glutin all be mixed with the Nature's lawn products? Or would it even be wise to apply a pre-emergent with the Nature's Lawn products?

swstout
12-05-2009, 09:54 AM
So can the liquid Iron, Liquid Sulfur, and the Glutin all be mixed with the Nature's lawn products? Or would it even be wise to apply a pre-emergent with the Nature's Lawn products?

I mix and match most of the liquid products with good results.

Steve

SuperiorPower
12-05-2009, 11:26 AM
Thanks for that info Steve. I have been doing some research on the Gluten idea and came across this post on another forum by "Bill" from ICT Organics.

with CGM the application needs to be watered in and there has to be a small drying period for the CGM to attack the root (same is true with synthetic pre-m's)
with our liquid product you do not have to water the application in
We sell our product to some folks out west where it is very dry, if they apply CGM they may come back 6 weeks later and the granules are still apparent (no rain and no humidity conditions) so it does not do its job

Now if I understand this correctly, this is a good reason to NOT use the granular Gluten but rather use the liquid Gluten8. Some of the prices they were throwing around there it appears that sometimes the dry CGM is available for a bit cheaper than the Gluten8. BUT! If you figure in that you have to "water in" the CGM, you will have a higher end cost. Because now you have to charge for your labor to "water in" the CGM so it even has a chance to be affective, PLUS it is less effective!

Am I correct on this Steve and Andy?