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  • Single Service?

    Do any of you just offer mow, trim, edge & blow without offering any other services? While I realize I will be leaving a lot of money on the table I have a master plan. I'm blessed so I don't have to worry about bringing in money to eat with so I'm not worried about bringing in a little extra for that flower bed cleanup, I'm interested in my 20 year plan. Just wondering if anyone else only offers mowing? Thanks

  • #2
    I don't and I'm sure a lot of guys here don't either.

    For anyone starting out, I would suggest focusing on only mowing until your ready to grow. You won't overwhelm yourself and scheduling will be easier for you.

    Those "other jobs" are the ones that bring in the good $$$, but they are never consistent. So mowing and doing other jobs work hand in hand.

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    • #3
      I think most would say you have it backwards the little extra is mowing. The bigger the job the bigger the money and mowing is very small with high overhead.

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      • #4
        I think most would say you have it backwards the little extra is mowing. The bigger the job the bigger the money and mowing is very small with high overhead.
        I see what your saying. I think I should clarify more.

        Where I live (in MD), you can't do hardscapes without a MHIC (Maryland Home Improvement Contractor) license. They clarify it by any permenant structure must have a MHIC license. Sod, to them, counts as permenant, so you can't even install that, the same as putting in new gardens. So there goes your landscape design work. For tree removal, you have to be a licensed tree expert. There is a TON of BS to get that license. And for fertilizers, well, pay some money and take a test.

        So smaller jobs would be weeding flower beds, aerations, leaf removal, etc. These bigger $10K hardscape projects....well.....you can forget those unless your a licened contractor.


        For me, mowing is where the money is. Watching my overhead is the big thing. So these other jobs pay more, but are less consistent. I have to offset with mowing to keep my revenue coming in. Some guys in MD offer everything, but few are actually licensed. The state has been cracking down and actively investigating unlicensed companies.


        So when I think or hear of other projects, I forget your state doesn't suck as much as mine does.
        Last edited by LawnBoy0311; 11-01-2013, 09:04 AM.

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        • #5
          I see what your saying. I think I should clarify more.

          Where I live (in MD), you can't do hardscapes without a MHIC (Maryland Home Improvement Contractor) license. They clarify it by any permenant structure must have a MHIC license. Sod, to them, counts as permenant, so you can't even install that, the same as putting in new gardens. So there goes your landscape design work. For tree removal, you have to be a licensed tree expert. There is a TON of BS to get that license. And for fertilizers, well, pay some money and take a test.

          So smaller jobs would be weeding flower beds, aerations, leaf removal, etc. These bigger $10K hardscape projects....well.....you can forget those unless your a licened contractor.


          For me, mowing is where the money is. Watching my overhead is the big thing. So these other jobs pay more, but are less consistent. I have to offset with mowing to keep my revenue coming in. Some guys in MD offer everything, but few are actually licensed. The state has been cracking down and actively investigating unlicensed companies.


          So when I think or hear of other projects, I forget your state doesn't suck as much as mine does.
          The permanent structure HIC license is almost everywhere. People just tell themselves that it doesnt apply to them. CT specifies that mulch is permanent, flowers, plants, etc. So theres not much you can do. A little known fact for most states is you cant enter into a contract without a license. Which translates into clients dont have to legally pay you. Going further into it DCP regulates the language of the contract. If you dont follow it(3 day opt out). The contract isnt valid.

          Hardscaping requires different skills, equipment, and manpower that a small op wouldnt have. So when he says offer other services hes not saying go dig out a foundation but to remove the brush.

          I'm with Will, I built my biz this way. I made a few grand before I had 2 mowing customers. I will drop yards who are mow only. $600-$700 is small potatoes over the year. I could trim a branch, cut down a tree, pressure wash for the same profit and do it in a day vs 20 trips. Less billing, less time, fast money.

          Back to the original post. I know one guy that only mows. Hes been at it for 20 something years. Now talking to this guy he will tell you this wont work anymore. Back then there was only a few lawn guys and it was easy to get 25 clients in your first year. Either way this guy mows in a 50 mile radius. Does it by zones. Works for him but again its a different world today.

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          • #6
            I know one guy that only mows. Hes been at it for 20 something years. Now talking to this guy he will tell you this wont work anymore. Back then there was only a few lawn guys and it was easy to get 25 clients in your first year. Either way this guy mows in a 50 mile radius. Does it by zones. Works for him but again its a different world today.
            https://www.just-mowing.com/

            This guy turned a typical landscaping business into a multimillion dollar business that only does mowing.

            Some strategies work well for some, but not others. I think we're the same age, maybe in a few years we could grab some beers and see where eachother is at.
            Last edited by LawnBoy0311; 11-01-2013, 11:50 AM.

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            • #7
              https://www.just-mowing.com/

              This guy turned a typical landscaping business into a multimillion dollar business that only does mowing.

              Some strategies work well for some, but not others. I think we're the same age, maybe in a few years we could grab some beers and see where eachother is at.
              I know all about TJ. Again thats one guy. People win the lottery too. It doesnt mean its a good investment. I wouldnt go by what one person did. Theres several factors that made it work for him thats discussed all over forums.

              The guy I know works alone and does a **** load accounts. It works for a solo guy that doesnt want employees or the jobs that require them. The simple math is I make more and did it quicker with less work. It does work for people willing to travel and takes years to do. But just take a look around you. How many landscape/asphalt/Home Improvement/ companies in your area make millions? Or damn close to it. This is a proven way. Then look at the lawn guy....

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              • #8
                So why did it work for him yet will be so hard for others to do? Remember I'm new to the mowing business and don't know about this TJ.

                Thanks for all the answers so far... keep 'em coming!

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                • #9
                  One other problem with just mowing is when a customer wants you to do something you don't and the guy they call to do that also mows. Most customers just want one call one bill.

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                  • #10
                    I'm not saying to only mow, or only do other projects, or to mix the business. What I am saying is everyone who has a desire to own a company and be successful comes up with a business plan. Some start by only mowing, then may change course and alter their plan to offer more services. But in the end, the only plan we all agree on is to be successful and make some money.

                    I can tell you this...my plan is to not be cutting grass and weeding gardens my whole life. I plan to grow as big as I can, then sell my business and move on. It may take me 5 years or it may take me 25 years, who knows.

                    TJ only does mowing, and stays to strict policies. His plan works for him because of his location and length of mowing season. There is a whole lot more to his plan, you'll have to google him and read up on him. Its a very interesting story. He took a ton of crap from members of another forum about how his plan would never work. But in the end, he got the last laugh. The best post by him was when he posted pictures of his brand new BMW. That shut a lot of people up!

                    If every business is so cut throat and dry, nothing would ever be invented or change. I'm sure the creator of a gas powered lawn mower was laughed at by investors saying the price is too expensive. But the point is, do some research and come up with a business plan that works for you. I can tell you this, my business plan will not work for 80% of you, but it works for me and makes me money.

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                    • #11
                      Where I live (in MD), you can't do hardscapes without a MHIC (Maryland Home Improvement Contractor) license. They clarify it by any permenant structure must have a MHIC license. Sod, to them, counts as permenant, so you can't even install that, the same as putting in new gardens.
                      Have you looked into the requirements to get such a license? Is it worth getting? Once you got it, then you could advertise you had it and educate consumers why they need to hire a landscape contractor who has a license.

                      It could be one more thing you could get to make your competitive barrier that much higher.
                      - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
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                      • #12
                        You lost me Steve. Requirements for what?

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                        • #13
                          Wow! I'd think TJ and I are brothers if I didn't know better. A little story... about 10 years ago as I had a very thriving residential cleaning business I needed my lawn mowed. I called... and I called... and I called and no answer after no answer and no one ever returned my phone calls. At that point in my cleaning business I always answered every call that ever came to my phone 24/7. I ended up buying a rider and mowing my damn yard myself.

                          Through the years I have always remembered how bad the NO customer service was from every lawn care I called in Omaha, Nebraska. At that time I knew that eventually I would start my own mowing service once I got tired of dealing with all the females in the cleaning business. So I made a list of everything I was going to do when I opened my mowing business... and then... I just read the ABOUT US on TJ's site It was my exact list!

                          But even though I have my business plan and I do see it can work, if anyone ever has any comments about how I'm doing something I DO want to hear from you. I brought my cleaning business up from 5 customers to 225 customers within a year and a half by listening to what others did and I put all their ideas together and pulled the good ones out of the hat so-to-speak.

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                          • #14
                            Wow! I'd think TJ and I are brothers if I didn't know better. A little story... about 10 years ago as I had a very thriving residential cleaning business I needed my lawn mowed. I called... and I called... and I called and no answer after no answer and no one ever returned my phone calls. At that point in my cleaning business I always answered every call that ever came to my phone 24/7. I ended up buying a rider and mowing my damn yard myself.

                            Through the years I have always remembered how bad the NO customer service was from every lawn care I called in Omaha, Nebraska. At that time I knew that eventually I would start my own mowing service once I got tired of dealing with all the females in the cleaning business. So I made a list of everything I was going to do when I opened my mowing business... and then... I just read the ABOUT US on TJ's site It was my exact list!

                            But even though I have my business plan and I do see it can work, if anyone ever has any comments about how I'm doing something I DO want to hear from you. I brought my cleaning business up from 5 customers to 225 customers within a year and a half by listening to what others did and I put all their ideas together and pulled the good ones out of the hat so-to-speak.
                            Wow it sounds like you had a great business going! Are you going to stick with both companies?

                            From what I have realized, there is only so much you can do with a lawn mower. But there are different twists you can do to your company to be different and more profitable.

                            This past year I changed my business around after doing the same thing as all mowing services around here. I did a ton of research on TJ's company, broke everything down as much as I could figure out, and redesigned it my own way and my own style to work with the area I live in. Our 2 companies are VERY different, but his way of doing business has helped me out a lot.

                            Keep charging ahead and stick with your plan. You'll do great!


                            Steve- at this time I'd rather stay away from the MHIC license. In the future I may look into it.
                            Last edited by LawnBoy0311; 11-02-2013, 07:51 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Nothing wrong with just doing basic lawn services but keep in mind you'll need something to carry you over through the winter.

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