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View Full Version : Lawn vs. Landscaping


tiedeman
09-01-2006, 10:06 AM
What about this thought: What if a company was to just offer lawn maintenance services strictly for the lawn, such as mowing, applications, aeration, dethatching, etc, compared to offering full services for both lawn & landscaping?

1. Do you think that it would work out?
2. How much money are you leaving on the table by not providing landscaping maintenance services with the lawn maintenance?
3. Would you lose customers from it?
4. Would it make your schedule easier for you wouldn't have to worry about landscaping maintenance?
5. How much money could you save by not having to worry about any landscaping tools and equipment?

Please also share any additional thoughts and comments outside the questions as well

Steve
09-01-2006, 06:09 PM
My view is if you don't offer full service, you will leave money on the table and that is alright. It's like the saying when you trying to be all things to all people you become nothing to no one.

Sure you could lose some money and lose some customers as well however it does allow you to streamline your operations. You focus on a few services that you can do faster and better, potentially than other companies.

For instance and I bet Kurt could jump in here too because he has had experience in the pizza business. The more items you offer on a menu the quicker your chances are of going out of business. Now you have to stock all these items and cook all these items.

When McDonalds started, it was burgers and fries. Easy and simple.

I think it's best to find the services which make you the most money and you enjoy performing the most and stick with them.

tiedeman
09-01-2006, 07:18 PM
That are my thoughts exactly. I think that instead of offering a wide range of services, you should concentrate on only a few select services. By concentrating on only a few select services not only can you charge top dollar for them, but you are also basically an expert is those. The downside is that perhaps customers are looking for a jack of all trades. So when you don't offer trimming of shrubs, they move onto someone else.

But like you said, you can streamline everything, only have to worry about certain services, certain customers, and a certain set schedule.

Steve
09-02-2006, 01:05 PM
Can you think of previous experiences where you were trying to be all things to all people and it stretched you out too thin?

tiedeman
09-02-2006, 09:08 PM
Yes, it has happened many times. The thing that I am worried about is losing current customers. Approx 10% of my customers take advantage of some type of landscaping maintenance; whether it be weeding of beds or pruning of shrubs.

kc2006
09-03-2006, 09:21 PM
My plan for next year is to concentrate on mowing. I'll still offer other services but only to my customers. I see alot of guys that offer every service under the sun plus some are stretching into other services, I saw one LCO the other day that installs pole buildings too! It might be working for them, their gross revenues could be huge. But what are their profits like at the end of the year? And then take into consideration the amount of added stress and time that they had to invest.

I've weighed all my options, then I looked at what I really want to do, and that should be number one. This year I believe around 2% of gross sales was from one time services (landscaping, landscape maintenance). But, roughly 20% of sales came from one time services for weekly clients. That pretty much told me I, can't relie on landscape installs or maintenance only, and it's saying its a waste to advertise specially for those services. Now comes what I want to do. I like mowing, it's relaxing to me and I actually make just as much if not more mowing then I do landscaping. Everything pointed for me to concentrate on mowing next year.

So yes I'm technically leaving money on the table. But if I replace the time spent on the less profitable work (landscaping side) with the more profitable mowing am I really losing money? I don't think so.

Steve
09-04-2006, 08:58 PM
Quote[/b] ]So yes I'm technically leaving money on the table. But if I replace the time spent on the less profitable work (landscaping side) with the more profitable mowing am I really losing money? I don't think so.

Very good point. It makes you wonder how often we are all lured with money, away from our focus or specialty. As a business owner you feel compelled to go where the money is, but how often does that money not take you where you want to be?

kc2006
09-04-2006, 09:40 PM
I think the business owners that are lured by money are the ones that are in a business just to make the absolute most amount of money they can. The business owner that wants to do what they love and make a living from it won't be lured as easily I think.

I got into this business because I wasn't happy working for other people and it was something I really loved to do. So I figure why kill the whole reason of starting my own business by doing things I don't fully want to do. All it's going to lead to is me not wanting to do the work and everything will suffer from that (productivity and quality). I found out this year that when you finally find what you really want out of the business it will drive you harder then ever to accomplish it.