As a lawn care business owner, you are probably always looking for ways to make more money from your current customer base. There are many services you could offer and your customers could use, but plenty of times you just can’t think of them. In a discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum the topic of septic systems came up and it was quite eye opening. A member wrote “as home/yard/grass providers I think we sell ourselves short, there are so many chores we can do and do well that the client doesn’t want to do or can not do so why not offer it?
Take a moment and ask yourself, are you stuck in a rut thinking only lawn service??? If so, my experience is you are overlooking a lot of income. Look around the clients’ property, I know there are many things we can offer, so offer it. Then what happens is your referrals will grow an you can then forget door knocking as you won’t be able to keep up.”
Thinking a little outside the box, what about sewer line clean outs? Are there other services that can be offered maybe for septic tanks? That could fall under another type of job a home owner wouldn’t want to do and one that is needed.
“I did two septic tanks yesterday. Every home has one, sometimes two tanks that need to be pumped every few years. I go in and dig where the tanks are and lift the tops off for the pump truck. Then I go back and fill the area back in. It takes about 45 min on average and I charge $100.00. I sent letters to companies that offer pumping. Two call us on a regular basis as homeowners do not want to dig these up by hand.”
That is great! Are there times during the year when this should be done? Or is it whenever it’s full? How does that work? How cautious must you be when digging the dirt off the covers? Can these tops be easily broken?
“The rule of thumb is six years but it depends a lot on how well the homeowner follows the rules of what to flush and what not to.
The best time to do this is in the Fall. I have no idea why but I did 5 more today and the guys have six to do tomorrow as I am starting a large excavation job that will tie me up for two weeks.
Depending on how old the tank is yes one must be careful, but if you did brake a top it’s no big deal, $50.00 for a replacement and my agreement states very clear that I am not responsible for any damage and it’s signed by me, the homeowner and the pumping company before I start.
You get a feel after running a backhoe or excavator after a while, I can now tell you what kind of rock the teeth are hitting most of the time. I can tell when I hit concrete also, we go slow for two reasons, to be cautious and I don’t want the homeowner thinking my price is outrageous. I charge $100.00 and if I wanted to, I could unload, dig the tank and be loading in 20 min.
Perhaps not in a big city but I think every yard care company should have a backhoe and loader, the money they bring in is crazy, I understand the upfront cost is high but it takes gear to make serious cash, that has been clear to me this summer. I don’t think there is anything we can’t do. We have the equipment for every request. Yes it came at a very steep price but it was worth it.”