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Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

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Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2010, 06:03 PM
best_business
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Default Sprinkler Blow Outs - Winterization

Sounds like a great addition to anyone's service line. Could you be so kind to tell us how you price your service (i.e. how much per job) and based upon what criteria? I would be interested in adding this to our service as about 60% of homeowners in our service area have a sprinkler system, but they are using their installer for this service. Not sure how to go about a good pricing structure to gain their business. And do you also do start-ups in the spring and summer for the same clients and if so, how do you charge for this service? How do you charge for any repairs requested?
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  #12  
Old 02-03-2010, 07:00 PM
fireeater911 fireeater911 is offline
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Newbie here, off duty fireman who has been doing lawns (commerical and residential) off and on for 16 years. Have my applicator license 3A thinking about going the SPCB route (not getting any younger). Question, what is the most dummy proof and cheaper but quality route of fertilizing? Tank sprayers, hose RTU (using my hoses and customers water), granulars, etc. Any ideas would be appreciated. Back in the biz because kids in college. Toro 21, 36, Hus 21,21, Echo back pack, Echo stick, Echo weed eater. Mostly 2500-4000 feet yard here in Dallas area of Texas. Thanks in advance for the comments gents.
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2010, 11:30 PM
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Welcome to both of you!

There are a bunch of questions here that haven't been answered yet so let me try and jump on them.

As far as the irrigation questions go, unless someone wants to jump in here further, check out my blog on different irrigation topics http://lawnchat.com/index.php?s=irrigation

As far as
Quote:
Question, what is the most dummy proof and cheaper but quality route of fertilizing? Tank sprayers, hose RTU (using my hoses and customers water), granulars, etc. Any ideas would be appreciated.
There are a bunch of discussions on here about organic fertilization. Especially posts made by Steve (ststout). He knows his stuff on this.

Do a search at the top for his screen name and for organic fertilization. There will be a lot of stuff popping up.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:09 PM
biodale biodale is offline
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Default pricing sprinkler winterization

I don't know anything about spraying. I subcontract that out.

I will comment about pricing for sprinkler winterization. It is a service that everyone in a cold climate needs. Even if they mow their own lawn, not many have an air compressor to do the job properly. It is about 6 weeks from the time the irrigation company turns the water off to the time it freezes. Here that is from Oct. 15 to to the end of of November. During that time I gross about $20,000.

I use a 185 cfm sullair compressor with a industrial 4 cylinder John Deere diesel. I have a regulator on it adjusted to 40 psi. That way I don't blow the heads off sprinklers if there is a water hammer. Unregulated air (125psi) will blow the heads off the sprinkler and send the internals into outer space.

Marketing is very easy. Remember it is a service that your customers need. It is not an optional service in a cold weather climate. Just offer it to your mowing customers as an end of season service. When starting out I walked an area (always target your areas) and handed out flyers. I charge about $36 a blowout. I charge more for larger yards. Since each valve must be blown out separately, the more valves the longer it takes. So about $36 for 6 or 7 valves. For 10 or 12 valves I charge about $50. I figure my cost is in driving to location and having the compressor sit for 11 months out of the year. There is fuel for both the pickup and the compressor. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes. I guarantee my work so if I blow out a sprinkler head or there is winter damage in the spring, I repair it for free. Most of the call outs in the spring are for customer related issues (customer made an error) and so I get the repair business. The few times it has been my error, I repair it and it is great advertising. They tell their neighbors how honest I am and how I stand behind my work and I get more business from it.

When I started out I undercut the competitions price. I know this is controversial. However I felt I had to do something to get new customers to give me a try. Then I raise prices a little bit each year. Now I am on par with most others.

To keep customers from year to year, I keep a list with phone numbers and emails. I then contact the customers each year.

Scheduling is always a headache. You need to be able to go down a street picking up the customers in order. Just take customers that will leave a gate open so you can get to the hook up. I leave a bill on the door. If you have to come back and meet the customer on his schedule you won't make money on that blowout. I will make a special trip for new customers in an area I am targeting because the will put him in my schedule the following year.

I hope this helps.
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  #15  
Old 02-04-2010, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
To keep customers from year to year, I keep a list with phone numbers and emails. I then contact the customers each year.
At what point during the year do you call them or email them to get them to sign up for next year's service?

Quote:
Most of the call outs in the spring are for customer related issues (customer made an error) and so I get the repair business.
What issues do you see occurring most that customers have caused?

Quote:
The few times it has been my error, I repair it and it is great advertising.
What kinds of problems have you run into while doing this that you are careful of now?
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