Considering adding irrigation services.

There are a lot of additional services you can add to your mowing route to make extra money. Some of those jobs involve irrigation. But what jobs are the easiest to get started with? What jobs should you sub-contract out? What methods should you use to learn more about the field? That’s what this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, is about. There is plenty of money to be made offering irrigation services, but let’s look into which you might want to consider performing.

One lawn care business owner wrote “does anyone know any good irrigation books out there? I was thinking of adding irrigation services to my business in a couple years. I am considering moonlighting with someone, but not sure how I would you do this being potential competition?

Do you think anyone would be willing to work with me if I already have a landscaping company? Wouldn’t they consider me competition in the future, and be leery of offering training?”

A second lawn care business owner responded “I thought about offering irrigation services in the past along with mowing lawns but what I found out was the the irrigation installation part was more than I wanted to get into. I think it is mostly because the competition can do it way faster and cheaper than I could. So I started offering irrigation start ups and shut down services instead. The competition charges way more than I do for that easy service and it’s not hard to perform.

My suggestion is to let the irrigation companies install and you do the service part. The competition won’t like you but your customers will.”

A third shared “you would be surprised on how many irrigation guys out there would help you out on jobs, give them a percentage and pass some business their way. I got to know a hardscaper in my area and he taught me several tricks of the trade. We pass work back and forth and help each other out on jobs.

I always try my best to network with local competition. I try to keep a good working business relationship with these professionals including tree services, irrigation professionals, heavy equipment operators etc.

Last year I was on a large landscaping job for a new warehouse in my area. My job was to landscape and irrigate the site in 45 days. With my resources, it was an impossible goal if I had to go it alone! The job required 20 irrigation zones with a satellite guided timer of which I knew jack crap about.

So what I did was I called a well known irrigation provider in my area and we hit upon a deal. He would send his top irrigation man for $X dollars per day to me and we would trench, set, adjust, backfill the ground. While the borrowed employee was there, I assisted him. The knowledge this man had was unreal!!

Long story short, we met the deadline and I now know alot more than I did before. Any irrigation jobs I get now with over 4 zones I call this company. Back scratching feels good, you should try it sometime.”

A fourth added “what we have found that works is to work closely with an irrigation company. We don’t do installs, but the guy we work with is so busy he doesn’t mind that we service systems. He understands that I will send him large jobs and I will take the small stuff on my lawns. Just being able to buy a trencher is expensive. To pay for such equipment, you need the work lined up and the knowledge to do the work. So I contract out services that are beyond my scope and it keeps my mowing customers happy.

Irrigation isn’t something you just learn from reading a book in my opinion. Even though I am a self taught irrigation installer, that’s been hard at it for over 15 years, I found it has been a rough way to go. The best advise I can give you is don’t never cut corners on sprinkler repair or installs. Flooding someones basement or killing $1,000’s of dollars worth of sod isn’t worth if. Take things slow. Learn at your own pace. Get help where you need it and don’t take on jobs you know you can’t do, without the proper help.”

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