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View Full Version : Two Pronged Assault


afpettijohns
04-04-2011, 02:14 AM
This is an idea in process: Not quite there but have some ideas.

There are two main points of competition in this industry, quality and quantity. Dealing with the low-ballers and servicing the elite customer.

From how I see it you have to get to peoples houses, which means lo-balling to get them interested in your service. I think these people need to be treated as elite customers until they prove otherwise. So you go out and manicure there lawn, taking a loss to weed out the true elite. I mean the ones that don't mind spending a few more bucks on sprinkler repairs, maintenance and added services. The ones that are resistant to any added services, "just cut my lawn", need to be moved into another category.

So, you have two crews, join up with another to do this or find a foreman for the second crew. Me? I got my brother. He will have a truck, some rakes, a mower, string trimmer and a blower. He is my mow and blow crew. He will be able to go through 25 lawns a day, just mow and blow, edging every other stop and anything that can cut costs.

I will be running my truck with the premium equipment and spending extra time getting that perfect manicure, selling add on services to every stop atleast once a month. Every client on my route will have an increase in fees for this premium service (may just be adding $10 a month for fertilizing, weed control and such).

He will be doing 25 lawns at $20 per stop and I will be doing 15 lawns at $45 per stop plus add on services. Both making a profit. I haven't worked everything out but I think this is the way it's going to have to be with the competition I have. It may come to just throwing the bottom work out but I am game to make a buck anyway I can. I may end up with 10 mow and blow crews and only one or two premium crews. (thinking big) Let's see how it works out. I will keep everyone updated and if anyone has any similar experience, please share your experiences with me.

Steve
04-04-2011, 11:05 AM
How do you ultimately differentiate the services? Do you have different packages or do you use a different business name?

I would think you would want something to be different so one neighbor doesn't talk to the other neighbor and find out the same company is mowing the same sized yard for a different price?

SpokaneSRC
04-04-2011, 08:32 PM
So would you profit from what your bro does, or is that his? If not, then it would seem to me that it would basically be 2 seperate companies, yours and his. Does that make sense? Kinda hard to explain what goes on in this head of mine sometimes.

afpettijohns
04-05-2011, 01:25 PM
How do you ultimately differentiate the services? Do you have different packages or do you use a different business name?

I would think you would want something to be different so one neighbor doesn't talk to the other neighbor and find out the same company is mowing the same sized yard for a different price?

I believe in the advertising I will need to lo-ball to get the customers along with a bold statement that says, ask about our premium services. I can feel out a customer pretty quick.

The two levels of service will be ran as separate entities with different goals in mind. One, move move move, get as much mowed as you can. The other a bit more relaxed and detailed. Including extra time to communicate with the customers.

Work in progress, this helps to help me define my strategies. Gives me ideas to develop.

So basic advertisement would be: We will mow your lawn for $40 a month every other week or $60 a month every week. Free estimate, be sure to ask about our premium services.

Anyone that is interested in the premium services would instantly become my client. Anyone that say, oh, just need it mowed would be his.

As for profit, yes both sides of the business would have to make a profit on there own, they both have to be viable to the company or customers would have to be fired. Just like any big corporation, you can't have a sub buisness be supported by another. That's bad business. My brother would be like a foreman for my company, eventually directing multiple trucks.

Well, that's the dream. will keep everyone updated.

Steve
04-06-2011, 11:48 AM
What would be the sales pitch as to what the benefits are of the higher priced packages?

LuckyImage
04-08-2011, 05:08 PM
this is so much like the situation I'm in right now and sounds like a good idea. I have some customers, like you said, that I have "felt out" that are wanting their yard to really be taken care of the whole 9. then I have some that are I just want it cut and that's it, nothing else. And the low ballers around here are cutting $25 a yard or whatever ya know. and I haven't been able to compete with that, but with this kind of approach, shoot, I think I could easily run 20 yards a day mow and blow, and 10-12 of the premiums a day and make a pretty nice profit. I may have to look into this. on Premium days I could have my brother working with me, and on mow and blow days run it by myself since my bro can only work certain days!

afpettijohns
04-08-2011, 06:16 PM
this is so much like the situation I'm in right now and sounds like a good idea. I have some customers, like you said, that I have "felt out" that are wanting their yard to really be taken care of the whole 9. then I have some that are I just want it cut and that's it, nothing else. And the low ballers around here are cutting $25 a yard or whatever ya know. and I haven't been able to compete with that, but with this kind of approach, shoot, I think I could easily run 20 yards a day mow and blow, and 10-12 of the premiums a day and make a pretty nice profit. I may have to look into this. on Premium days I could have my brother working with me, and on mow and blow days run it by myself since my bro can only work certain days!

I just put together a mow and blow lo-ball flyer. I handed it to a lo-ball customer and she called that night wanting me to really take care of her property. I'm going there next time to spend 3 man hours at $45 an hour (not including my regular stop price) I told her my regular hourly is $65 but since it's a regular stop I can do it for $45, she thinks she got a deal and I make a very happy, premium customer. Tried to post it but it said data base error. The size isn't too big so it's on my site at http://www.afpettijohns.com/testing/loballflyer.jpg

LuckyImage
04-08-2011, 07:10 PM
I like where you are going with it. How do you profit doing free fertilizing and overseeding?? and those prices may be a little too low unless I can get several in each subdivision. And are you not having a problem with door to door advertising right now? I'm getting a lot of complaints from people who are overwhelmed with all these start up companies and want us to stop advertising all together like that. And I do have a lot of people that have sprinkler systems around here that ask about that, but I dont have a lot of experience with it. where did you learn to repair and install them?

CHEESE2009
04-08-2011, 09:38 PM
I have thought about this a lot. I think I have a post on this forum from way back with the same idea.

I'd like to see the responses!
////////////////////////////////////////////


The problem all comes down to time, and man power.

Being solo, it's almost impossible to offer detailed work/upsells while offering basic mowings - you'd be too busy.


With two guys you can think of two possibilities.

1. A two man crew, double the speed - work together on everything.

Pros:
*You cut the time in half per job. Your morale is higher.

Cons:
*The days are a few hours longer. (You are taking on more work)

2. 1 man per crew, one focuses on mowing - the other on odd jobs
(gardens, gutters, etc)

Pros:
*You are able to cater to all of your customers needs.

Cons:
*You tend to procrastinate knowing you are alone for each job.
*Each job takes a pretty long time.
*There is no one to "socialize" with.

/////////////////////////////

I would say that separating the man power might be a good move for the business, but the next best thing would be to hire two extra men to assist in each crew to make each job smooth and less stressful.


When I see my daily schedule "20 lawns, 2 gutter jobs, 2 gardens"
- If I don't have someone to assist me and depend on - I tend to stress out. When I'm done my lawns, I don't wanna have that "gotta go back to work" feeling!

Doing a job you don't want to do sucks - two people doing a job they don't want to do is FUN.

LuckyImage
04-08-2011, 11:38 PM
all those facts are true. and if it got to that point for me, "too busy", then I could hire two guys, one to work with me and one to work with my brother. that way I have constant supervisors on the jobs and double the labor. He works just as hard and diligently as I do, so I know that could be a success. And there are a lot of landscapers or just plain laborers available down here, I think would easily be able to help me pull it together. right now with as scarce as the work is out here, I would love that problem.

afpettijohns
04-09-2011, 04:23 AM
I like where you are going with it. How do you profit doing free fertilizing and overseeding?? and those prices may be a little too low unless I can get several in each subdivision. And are you not having a problem with door to door advertising right now? I'm getting a lot of complaints from people who are overwhelmed with all these start up companies and want us to stop advertising all together like that. And I do have a lot of people that have sprinkler systems around here that ask about that, but I dont have a lot of experience with it. where did you learn to repair and install them?

First, as a salesman (and you have to be a salesman) look at every door slammed as a learning experience. Sprinklers are simple beasts, repairing them is even easier. I started with being a cheap monkey and installing my own. I have a mobile home with a four station automated sprinkler/microsprinkler system that only cost me about $700, I would have charged a client over $2000 for it and done it in a day. Go to Home Depot and bug the poop out of there staff to help you figure it all out. lol (worked for Home Depot for a bit, you gotta be annoying for me, pleeeessseeee!)

afpettijohns
04-09-2011, 04:39 AM
This is a longer view. Now there has to be a head man, no partnerships, I think partnerships are bad. Every decision goes to the discussion floor for approval. No, one boss.

Okay, you are a one man crew. You get busy enough to warrant paying someone a very very modest income so you can take on more work. Then you buy a new truck, $2000 toyota with the basic equipment for your mow and blows. You focus on the premium clients and fill your time (if any) helping with the mow and blows. The other, the mow and blow meets you in the middle and helps you with the premiums if he ends earlier than you.

Then you take on more work, always training and looking for the next premium forman and mow and blow formans. Each will have different qualities and you have to look at a new truck only making you a few buck bottom line profit every day. Including all costs (which intails $for the next crew) you make $10 for the day then it's worth it thats an extra $300 a month per crew. Hopefully more.

Focusing on always expanding to the next truck, the next crew and so on.

An always moving business is never boring. I know what you mean by not wanting to go to work that day. I've put off clients till the next day when I started only 3 months ago but I'm over that. Schedules have to be kept, clients need to know your reliable, honest and dedicated or none of them will be premium clients.

Thank you very much for this insight, it helps me so much.:D

I have thought about this a lot. I think I have a post on this forum from way back with the same idea.

I'd like to see the responses!
////////////////////////////////////////////


The problem all comes down to time, and man power.

Being solo, it's almost impossible to offer detailed work/upsells while offering basic mowings - you'd be too busy.


With two guys you can think of two possibilities.

1. A two man crew, double the speed - work together on everything.

Pros:
*You cut the time in half per job. Your morale is higher.

Cons:
*The days are a few hours longer. (You are taking on more work)

2. 1 man per crew, one focuses on mowing - the other on odd jobs
(gardens, gutters, etc)

Pros:
*You are able to cater to all of your customers needs.

Cons:
*You tend to procrastinate knowing you are alone for each job.
*Each job takes a pretty long time.
*There is no one to "socialize" with.

/////////////////////////////

I would say that separating the man power might be a good move for the business, but the next best thing would be to hire two extra men to assist in each crew to make each job smooth and less stressful.


When I see my daily schedule "20 lawns, 2 gutter jobs, 2 gardens"
- If I don't have someone to assist me and depend on - I tend to stress out. When I'm done my lawns, I don't wanna have that "gotta go back to work" feeling!

Doing a job you don't want to do sucks - two people doing a job they don't want to do is FUN.

afpettijohns
04-09-2011, 04:49 AM
Your point is to get so much work in a single subdivision that your mow and blow crew is carrying the equipment to the next job. One big lawn. Dominate the neighborhood. Give a free months service if a refferal stays with you for three months. What ever it takes, if you do the job the customer can be happy with then you have a customer for years.

Free Fertilizing and over seeding? That is in the wording and a little bit sneaky. You are doing the fertilizing and over seeding for free, that's the labor it takes to put it on there lawn. You charge a modest price for the materials (materials plus a small margin of profit). If you put down a modest amount of materials, say $2.50 then charge them $5. There lawn will benefit from it, you make a tiny profit on 100 mow and blows and it takes minutes to hand toss it on there lawns every 3 months. But to be honest? the mow and blows won't even notice if they where missed. They don't care.

I like where you are going with it. How do you profit doing free fertilizing and overseeding?? and those prices may be a little too low unless I can get several in each subdivision. And are you not having a problem with door to door advertising right now? I'm getting a lot of complaints from people who are overwhelmed with all these start up companies and want us to stop advertising all together like that. And I do have a lot of people that have sprinkler systems around here that ask about that, but I dont have a lot of experience with it. where did you learn to repair and install them?

afpettijohns
04-09-2011, 04:54 AM
The third man would be a floater. Depending on demand he would work with either you or your brother. When you have enough work to hire 2 floaters then you start looking at them for being the next foreman, a third truck. If neither fit the bill? fire one and hire another until you find the next foreman. You pay a worker $75-$100 a day, you pay a foreman $100 to $125 a day. Until you can afford your brother? He works for Free, LOL! Mine does.:D


all those facts are true. and if it got to that point for me, "too busy", then I could hire two guys, one to work with me and one to work with my brother. that way I have constant supervisors on the jobs and double the labor. He works just as hard and diligently as I do, so I know that could be a success. And there are a lot of landscapers or just plain laborers available down here, I think would easily be able to help me pull it together. right now with as scarce as the work is out here, I would love that problem.