In the early start up phase of your business, you may not be thinking about how to purchase landscape materials wholesale, but after getting just a handful of customers, you might see yourself needing more supplies at a better price than you can get at a local big box store. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one entrepreneur who is curious about how to buy materials wholesale and a few veterans that tell him what to do.
One lawn care business owner wrote “I’m currently underway on starting my own lawn care business. I’m trying to start an all organic lawn care company. So far I’ve got myself a 7×16′ trailer, ZTR, walk behind, aerator, trimmers, backpack blower, and many other items. I’ve just gotten my employer ID# and I’m on to the endless list of to do’s still.
What I’d like to know so far is where does everyone purchase there seed and fertilizer from; also are there any specific brands that are preferred over others? I had a few companies give me estimates ranging from $65-98 for each application of fertilizer to my 16,000 ft^2 yard, yet I’m finding that at the stores the prices can be $60 for just the fertilizer alone. As I’m going with organic, I’m finding that prices are tending to be a bit more for them than synthetics. With this I’m wondering how they can afford those prices while still making a profit. I mean it’s like $40-$50 for a bag that will treat 16,000 ft^2 and then on top of that you have to spread it.
Now granted these places did only fertilizer and didn’t do much else so maybe they are getting a wholesale price that I don’t know about. I know that one retail store I spoke with said if I bought a pallet of product I would get it at wholesale price and would either have to pay for shipping it up to me or pick it up myself.
How do I go about asking someone for whole sale prices; also do you always have to buy large amounts such as pallets to get the whole sale price? I read some places may need a business bank accounts or an EIN or something of that nature and I have both already. I have a list of 5 companies local that have organic products and I want to drive there and check everything out in person first and speak with someone in person.
So let me know what you think and any suggestions for me would be greatly appreciated. ”
A second lawn care business owner responded “you just have to speak with the owner or General Manager. Let them know that you have a lawn care business and that you are interested in buying wholesale. In most cases you will have to buy a bulk amount, and depending on the size of the business you may be able to set up a commercial account.”
A third added “these local applicators could be buying wholesale or pallets but when we use to work with chemicals we made our own fertilizer blend. You can get all the ingredients in 50lb bags and then mix it yourself. We saved close to 70% off retail this way. Also when fertilizing, you are suppose to do a soil test and add what’s lacking. So we had the option of making custom blends too.”
A fourth said “this is my second year and I wish I could make my own compost tea to spray on properties. If you have space, it’s a great way to go. At the moment, I don’t have enough room anywhere to put such a setup. I have a huge yard but no space in a shed or garage. Next year if business goes well I plan to start trying to create my own compost as well as compost tea. Plenty of places around here will analyze it for me and tell me what it needs.
Initially I went around looking for wholesale businesses as well. One place seemed to have pretty decent prices to begin with and had organic solutions for almost everything yard related which I really liked. After speaking with the manager he told me they have a business card that I can get when I go back that gives me 10% off, plus the counter top was filled with business cards. On top of even that, they said they would even refer me to customers if I did good work, they made it a point to tell me that. So with them focused on quality, I was pretty much sold.”
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.ā€¯