Bartering lawn care service for lawn care equipment?

It’s really important to keep an open mind when you are talking to your customer base. Sometimes real interesting deals can present themselves that will help your business grow. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one entrepreneur who really struck gold with a townhouse complex he was servicing when they offered him a collection of equipment they had previously used on their property for barter in exchange for property care.

One lawn care business owner wrote “a townhouse complex that I have the lawn care contract for has a 10 - 12 year old John Deere 325 tractor/mower/trailer/snow blower/snow plow blade/25 gal liquid tank with electric pump motor/rear grass collection bags/tire chains. The unit has only 700 hours on it and was serviced at the dealership every year.

The tractor and mower are in good shape and I figure is worth about $2,000. The snow blower I think is worth about $1,000. The snow plow about $600 and the tank around $200.

To cut costs, they are willing to barter with me. They have asked me to fall/remove approximately 20 trees that I would price from $50.00 to $400.00 each depending on the size difficulty of each tree. They have also asked me to do the snow removal this year that I would bill them for.

After walking through their on site equipment storage barn, I noticed there was a lot more equipment in it than I had originally was told about. So after seeing that we agreed on barter package that includes far more stuff than I thought it was going to include.

It will include all the John Deere stuff +

  • Two Honda lawn mowers (these are top end consumer models and only a couple of years old).
  • A Stihl 420 backpack blower.
  • A Stihl 90 hedger/weed eater/edger (this is not a Kombi they swapped out the heads)
  • 2,000 psi older Honda pressure washer.
  • 2 - 50′ pressure washer hoses and a couple of wands.
  • an assortment of shovels/rakes/limbing tools etc etc

Bonus is I get to keep all of the equipment in their shed on the complex so I can send in my guys and everything is there for them to use.

For all of the above equipment, we agreed on a total of $3,000.00 and I can either work off this amount by dropping trees and/or doing gutters/pressure washing. I was planning on paying up front for everything at first but they are happy to work it off over the next year or so that will save me cash.

Then two days after that meeting happened, a possible bonus came up. The fellow in charge of the maintenance for the 46 unit townhouse complex right beside the one I have the contract for has been watching my work and he has asked me to quote them to care for their property next year.

He even told me what they are paying now which I feel is a bit steep. I can come in at least $4,000.00 - $5,000.00 less and still make money, especially if I can score the pressure washing/gutter and other exclusive contracts/job here as well. This would be for a 12 month contract.

If I can pull all of this off, this will be a very good first year in business. Bidding this second townhouse complex will be much easier this time as I can compare the size of my existing complex and amount of work to their much smaller complex.

I was really scared the first time I quoted pricing but not this time having the new contact view my work and approach me also made it easier.

I took a bit of time to get the 325 John Deere running as it had been sitting idle since last Oct. I charged the battery and afterwards it took only a few minutes for it to be purring. I feel like I got a really sweet deal. I also started the Honda lawnmowers. They have had a hard life but they were also running smoothly after only a few pulls.

This is all crazy. Only 8 months ago I started this business on a shoe string budget and it is already taking off. I wouldn’t have believed it if it wasn’t happening too me.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.

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Trencher
Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success