What I do to take on larger landscape jobs.

You get a call for a job that sounds very enticing. It’s a larger landscape job that you cringe when you think about taking it on alone. Instead of simply turning the job down at first glance, have you considered your options? That is what one landscaper thought about when he wrote on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum about his experience.  In the discussion, a bunch of options were brought to light that could make the difference from staying a one man operation, to being able to scale up and grow to having employees, without too much trouble.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I just turned down a mulch job today, I felt bad doing it. Like it was a lost opportunity. But it was simply too large for one man to handle.

The customer said ‘I appreciate your honesty’ in regards to my email response and stated ‘Yes, it is a job for a whole crew to take on.’

Some people would have fed them a line of BS and just did the job half a$$ed even though they knew it was more than they could handle. I find that even when I turn away work, people come back to me for other work at a later date because they recognize that I’m not out to screw them over.

A lot of my lawn mowing customers ask me when I’m going to expand and hire some people. They don’t understand the legalities/expenses of hiring a lawn care employee. I can’t afford an employee and I don’t have friends/family who can help out even if I did want to use someone illegally. That’s just the way things stand for me at the moment.

Working legally is hard, but it is what it is. I started this venture knowing I was working my way UP - I’ll get to the top eventually.”

A second lawn care business owner said “I landed a nice sized mulch job today and picked up another 5 yards to mow for a total of $820 a month, and picked up my new yard signs . Double sided two colors 12 for $100.

The thing I have learned is that you do not have to have a crew to take on bigger jobs. I’ve taken on a 37 yard mulch job with myself and another helper. Yes it did take longer but the customer was still happy with the completed job at the end of the day. Worst case, you could toss 3 of your buddies company shirts, give them a 5 minute run down on how to mulch, and oversee their work throughout the day. My opinion and everyone is entitled to one, is that you shouldn’t turn down work but instead look for ways to make it work.

If you are content with your current size then so be it, but I’d suggest you not hesitating to call or email around to your friends or local contacts if you would like to take on something a bit bigger than the norm, or even if you get behind with some things. Helping others and getting help from others gets you further.”

A third shared “I keep a few part time guys around but I have dozens of people to call if needed. I simply couldn’t do the jobs I do alone. Just getting gas and food people are always asking me, are you hiring? I take their number either way.

If you post a labor gig on craigslist you’ll get dozens of responses. Out of work people won’t care if it’s a one day job.

Recently I had a pressure washing job about 40 miles away. I thought of a guy that did some work for me but moved. I called him and he did all the work and I made $350 profit. A few days later got another call from that area and did the same thing.

Every business thrives on networking.”

A fourth shared “If you are worried about the workman’s comp, insurances , payroll, etc. there are temp labor agencies you can call that take care of all of that. There is a minimum of 2 guys, 4 hours, etc in my area but yours might be different. You might not get the best employees this way and some agencies will not bill you if you are not happy but it is worth a look.

I used one before I was set up to hire employees. It cost me $12.50 an hour per man. Since I bill over $50 a man hour, it was very affordable.”

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

If you need help estimating lawn care or snow plowing jobs, get these lawn care and snow plowing estimation calculators.

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