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View Full Version : Thinking about making that jump!


lawnsalonforyou
02-09-2009, 09:57 AM
Hi guys I need some more advice! I'm currently in my first year of owning my own lawn maintenance company. Business is coming in a pace I'm comfortable with, but there is just one problem...people want more than lawn maintenance. People want there flower beds done...and retaining walls to go with them...sod put down...and weed management! Most of which requires me to get my landscaping license.

I am confident in my ability...but do you guys think its a good idea? Should I get my landscaping license and be able to offer my clients a lot more instead of subing it out?? I welcome any and all advice guys!

Thanks again!!!;)

lawnsalonforyou
02-09-2009, 10:00 AM
P.S. I think the last message kind of left me wide open...Lawn Salon is legal and I do have my licenses for that...we pay taxes like we should! lol

Steve
02-09-2009, 11:41 AM
I'm currently in my first year of owning my own lawn maintenance company. Business is coming in a pace I'm comfortable with, but there is just one problem...people want more than lawn maintenance. People want there flower beds done...and retaining walls to go with them...sod put down...and weed management! Most of which requires me to get my landscaping license.

I am confident in my ability...but do you guys think its a good idea? Should I get my landscaping license and be able to offer my clients a lot more instead of subing it out??

I'd like to know what you ideally would like to do?

I see two sides to it. One side is, since you are new, stick with one thing now and get it up and running where you are comfortable with it. Work on developing your core competency. Focus on being as profitable as you can with what you do the best and sub out the rest. Then as you grow, you can later experiment with other projects.

On the other side, if you feel like experimenting, go for it. That is what business is all about.

I just want you to know, I have known many new lawn care businesses that started out taking care of lawns and then jumped on projects that they had no clue how to do. Like retaining walls. Then the project turned into a disaster. These little disasters turned into bigger disasters and their businesses failed.

Beginnings are a very delicate time and I like to see new businesses shore up their infrastructure before they experiment too much.

But all in all it's up to you and the above is just my opinion.

What is yours?

lawnsalonforyou
02-09-2009, 12:01 PM
Thanks so much Steve! I really love the design part of the business and that is what I ideally want to do. I agree with getting everything set up before I start out on something new. Ive built retaining walls before. We just moved into our new house this Dec...and we are starting from scratch in our own lawn. We just built two yesterday afternoon. I think that's when I got bit by the landscaping bug! lol

Its a hard decision that I think I'm just going to have to pray about for a bit. I don't want to get myself in too deep...but landscaping weather it happens this year or in a few I think is definitely in our future!

legendlawn
02-09-2009, 12:28 PM
I see no problem with you laying sod, or building retaining walls, but I would be careful about venturing into weed control starting out. Steve kind of eluded to the fact that your business should have a core focus, but also there is alot of licensing and liablility that comes into the weed control, or anything that has to do with chemicals. (more than just a landscaping license)

lawnsalonforyou
02-09-2009, 07:57 PM
I've found a guy to sub all my weed control clients out to. I was looking into the correct procedures for becoming licensed for that kind of thing and OMG!! Its a lot of stuff. I don't mind the getting licensed part....its the insurance hike that turned me off. We can't afford something like that, and by subbing it out I don't have to deal with it...and I still keep my clients happy.

legendlawn
02-09-2009, 08:29 PM
Yep, I think thats the way to go. at least for now anyways.

Steve
02-09-2009, 08:41 PM
I've found a guy to sub all my weed control clients out to. I was looking into the correct procedures for becoming licensed for that kind of thing and OMG!! Its a lot of stuff. I don't mind the getting licensed part....its the insurance hike that turned me off. We can't afford something like that, and by subbing it out I don't have to deal with it...and I still keep my clients happy.

How did you decide to go with this? Do you get a % of the job or do you have him refer you clients and keep it an equal trade like that?

justin_time
02-09-2009, 09:56 PM
I looked into getting my pesticide license and i didn't think it was worth paying for it. They don't have a bylaw for that but i'm trying to help the environment without applying dangerous pesticide. They were asking 150$ for the course/test and 200$ for an exterminator license after that every 2 yrs (i forget now)

swstout
02-10-2009, 02:00 AM
Hi Justin,

I only treat Fire Ants and don't have a licience! I get around it by having the customer get the readily available granules from Lowes and then apply it with my spreader. I knock down the mounds and rake in the granules extra thick. The customer is happy and I am happy. I don't buy the pesticide, I just do the customer a favor by applying it.

Steve

englishtree
02-10-2009, 09:23 AM
I am a certified pesticide applicator for the state of PA and it cost me 100 dollars for the core test and 50 dollars for each category which I had to get for the business I worked for plus you have to abtain so many credits within a time frame to keep it active. Also I believe in PA if you own a company You need a BU number which also cost more money. So just because I am certified doesn't give me the power to use it unless I work for that company or another company that has a BU number.

Steve
02-10-2009, 10:47 AM
What is a BU number?

englishtree
02-10-2009, 11:27 AM
A BU is your business ID number that is placed on vehicles that carry the products or chemicals Its like a registration for a vehicle. But I'm not sure if you need one if your private applicator

Steve
02-10-2009, 11:55 AM
Oh thank you.

From the time you decided to get your license until the time you got it, how long did it take? It sounds like this isn't something that you can quickly get.

legendlawn
02-10-2009, 10:58 PM
In Kansas you have to have your numbers visible on your truck as well.

lawnsalonforyou
02-11-2009, 10:16 AM
All of this is very interesting! I haven't had my meeting with the pre emergent guy yet. But I'm looking to get a percentage since the majority of my clients want and need weed control services. What do you think would be a fair amount to ask for?? Seeing that I'm bringing him a large amount of clients.

Steve
02-11-2009, 11:09 AM
This is a quote from ritchiem in another post (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=7960).

28% is my subcontract fee. I always bill the customer and pay the sub. I add 28% on top of the sub's invoice. It goes that way for all my subs.

What do you think about something like this?

englishtree
02-11-2009, 03:06 PM
It takes about 3-6 months to study, find places that test. sometimes you can't find any or there's not many of testing areas then you must wait.