Wrapping up the end of the lawn care season.

Wrapping up the lawn care season is just one part of a bigger picture. Just because the grass stops growing for winter doesn’t mean you need to wait until next spring to make money with your lawn care business. Let’s check out what one entrepreneur does to keep himself busy and keep making money through the winter months from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

He wrote “I guess this season is over for us. I worked in my shop most of the week doing maintenance but decided I would do one last drain installation today, what a mistake. It was simply too cold with a wind chill of -21. I was warm inside the excavator as it has a wicked heater, however I was sliding sideways on the frozen lawn and my loader operator was freezing, so we called it quits at the request of the home owner after two hours. Nothing was going right, so I brought the equipment home. Everything is now packed away for the rest of the winter.

Tomorrow I will put the snow plow on my tractor. It takes about 5 minutes to change from bucket to plow the first time as I have to feed the hydraulics, then I will be settled into the workshop by the fire.

I have a number of jobs (inside work) for long time customers such as cleaning, painting, repairing lights, etc. I was also thinking about getting into offering holiday lighting and decoration. This seems to be a good business, however as I get older, I am finding it’s too friggin cold to be climbing a ladder. My temperature read -22 degrees this morning. If I had access to a bucket truck it would be fun, other than that, it’s a service I personally will pass on but I see ad’s in the paper from people wanting their Christmas lights put up all the time.

Winter maintenance with my snow plowing contracts is sure to pick up soon.  Snow is expected to be falling on Friday! When it does, I will be out on 2 rounds to control each day, every 4 to 6 hours, plowing and salting if needed (between 7a.m. and 8p.m.). Depending on where you live snow plowing can be a lot of fun, especially the big storms as man do they ever pay off!

Planning ahead for the down months is critical in the lawn care business as cash flow is  important and you have to plan ahead offering a variety of services to keep on making money until the grass is growing again.

Personally and based on my experience:

  • You should have 1.5 times the cash required in your bank account to carry you through the winter.
  • Contact during down months is critical, I plan to get back to the newsletter in January, send it to all people I worked for this past year just to stay in touch.
  • Lawn care may be seasonal but customer care is not, what I mean by this is clients always have projects they need help with and you won’t know what they are until you ask them.  For example, I have one new lawn care client that needs help installing a wrap around their fireplace mantle.

Keeping busy is very important for the body and the mind. I have to and I always find something to do and it could vary what I decide to do. The focus of it all is always on making a buck by trying something new.”

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