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Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation
A great way to talk about all things lawn care related. Grass, turf, shrubs, trees, aeration, fertilization, reseeding, hydro-seeding, mowing, grub control, chemicals and pesticides. Ask questions, give answers. Grow!

3 years OFF...here we come again


Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation

A great way to talk about all things lawn care related. Grass, turf, shrubs, trees, aeration, fertilization, reseeding, hydro-seeding, mowing, grub control, chemicals and pesticides. Ask questions, give answers. Grow!
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  #1  
Old 01-29-2012, 11:21 AM
TiedemanLLC TiedemanLLC is offline
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Default 3 years OFF...here we come again

Well, I have mixed feelings about this, but after selling off all of our mowing equipment, blowers, edgers, trimmers, etc. we have decided to bring back mowing in house. We have met many times this winter, and discussed it in great detail on Friday with our other business network advisors, and we feel mowing "needs" to be back.

We have subbed out our properties the last three years to two other mowing companies. The last two years it has been one company in particular, and they have done a pretty good job.

However, we have decided that it's time to bring everything back in house again, except irrigation work, which we are cutting loose all together. We are just going to finish up the remaining contracts for our irrigation clients, and then after that we are not even going to sub out the work. We are just not going to offer it (the last four years irrigation installation, and start-ups have been in the bottom three revenue producing services).

Now in regards to the mowing the reason that we are bringing it back in house are:

1) We will be on the propert on a weekly basis. This allows us to interact with the client once again on a regular schedule, while also addressing problems that we may notice on the property. Before we were lucky to be on the property once a month with the lawn spraying.

2) The lawn maintenance will open the doors to sell our more profitable services.

3) It's a service that keeps our revenue on a steady pace, without the extreme high and lows of lawn spraying. It's a constant income.

4) We gain back control of our scheduling with the lawn mowing. We don't have to worry about when it's going to get mowed or making promises that we can't keep to clients. We know when the mowing is going to take place.

5) Up front we may not reduce our costs, but long term strategy we will reduce costs because we will not have the subs

Those are just some of the main reasons we decided to bring it back in house. Should be a fun and exciting next couple of months getting everything prepared for it.
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2012, 02:27 PM
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you are definitly making a wise choice and i do everything in house and do not like the idea of others interacting with my clients.
it is not even so much so out of fear of subs taking work but more for being on the property more often as well as any information the customer gets, they get it from me.
it eliminates any misunderstandings that could arise from a client accidently being told something in particular was included or not.

one of the reasons why i push the maintenance so hard is because it is not only repeat business it also generates other work and with my contracts all i need is enough work to garauntee me and my 6 guys work every day all year.

thats the beauty of this business you don't have to be like a retail store and appeal to the masses and constantly have a flow of new people walking in the doors.

if i were a used car salesman and only had 100 customers i would be closing my doors .
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:06 PM
TiedemanLLC TiedemanLLC is offline
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you are definitly making a wise choice and i do everything in house and do not like the idea of others interacting with my clients.
it is not even so much so out of fear of subs taking work but more for being on the property more often as well as any information the customer gets, they get it from me.
it eliminates any misunderstandings that could arise from a client accidently being told something in particular was included or not.

one of the reasons why i push the maintenance so hard is because it is not only repeat business it also generates other work and with my contracts all i need is enough work to garauntee me and my 6 guys work every day all year.

thats the beauty of this business you don't have to be like a retail store and appeal to the masses and constantly have a flow of new people walking in the doors.

if i were a used car salesman and only had 100 customers i would be closing my doors .

I totally agree. I try to inform my subs of what to look for, and how to interact with the clients. If you notice something in the lawn, give me a heads up so I can do a site visit. It's not that they are not doing a good job, they are just not that educated in turf and landscape diseases and insects to spot things.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:19 PM
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Troy,

A lot of new members might not have seen your posts years ago on your thoughts of offering mowing services.

Can you tell us all a little about why you stopped offering the service and how that reason might still come into play now as you begin to offer it again? Will there be a need to battle back on that reason why you got out of mowing?
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:53 PM
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Troy,

A lot of new members might not have seen your posts years ago on your thoughts of offering mowing services.

Can you tell us all a little about why you stopped offering the service and how that reason might still come into play now as you begin to offer it again? Will there be a need to battle back on that reason why you got out of mowing?
Its funny because since we have decided to bring back mowing I keep on asking myself, are we doing it short term or long term.

There were lots of reasons that we stopped mowing years ago. The profit was horrible, scheduling could be a nightmare, the equipment maintenance was never ending, and we could do more profitable work during the same time we would be doing mowing. I am sure there were lots of other little reasons, but at this time I just can't remember them.

As I write this I am still not sold 100% on the mowing. It's very difficult of going from a very flexible schedule during the summer months, to a tighter schedule. With our current services I could take a week or more off and I was perfectly fine, but now with the mowing, I don't know, especially the first year, whether we can take that vacation time.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:19 AM
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It is fascinating as you think about this, all these issues pop up and some of them are quite compelling for both sides.

From what I remember, you were really getting to the point that you hated mowing in the past. Or maybe it was just more frustration with it, potentially brought on by the profit and scheduling issues.

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Its funny because since we have decided to bring back mowing I keep on asking myself, are we doing it short term or long term.
How does this matter to you or effect you, one way or the other?
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:44 AM
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It is fascinating as you think about this, all these issues pop up and some of them are quite compelling for both sides.

From what I remember, you were really getting to the point that you hated mowing in the past. Or maybe it was just more frustration with it, potentially brought on by the profit and scheduling issues.



How does this matter to you or effect you, one way or the other?

If this is just a short term plan to stimulate the revenue again until the economy comes around then we won't invest that much time and marketing into it. We will basically just buy used equipment, and maintain just the current clients that are subbed at this time.

However, if this is a long term plan then we will get more deeper into it. Marketing heavily for the mowing again, and perhaps think long term with the equipment purchases too
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:10 PM
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Well keep us posted on what you decide to go with.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:12 PM
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Well keep us posted on what you decide to go with.
I definitely will. This is kind of a rebuilding year for us, and bringing out a whole new image. We are reinventing ourselves again so we have had lots of meetings of the new direction, image, perhaps even rolling out new logo and uniforms.
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