As the busy season winds down, you’ll likely start planning for next year. How can you increase your bottom line? Should you offer any new services?
Jason Creel, owner of Alabama Lawn Pros, creator of the YouTube channel “Lawn Care Life,” and a loyal Graham customer, has found a lot of success in the lawn care industry in recent years. He tells his story at conferences around the Southeast and was kind enough to share some tips with us.
Tips to Get Started in the Spray Business
- A Mentor Is a Must— “Overall, by far, number one is to have a mentor. It’s not like cutting grass. It’s too much to learn on your own. It takes years to get a grasp on the industry, so you either need to have worked for someone else in the business or have someone willing to help guide you.”
- Go Big or Go Home—”A lot of people come to my conferences and want to get into weed control, but they’re too attached to the mowing side of the business. It’s almost not worth doing unless you’re going to go all in. There’s too much continuing education and too big of a learning curve to just do it as a side gig. If you’re in love with mowing, stick with that, but there’s no doubt you make better money doing weed control, and it’s a year-round business.”
Things to Consider When Investing in Spray Equipment
- Don’t Skimp— “The only rig I’ve ever known is a Graham rig. I know they can be pricier, but I compare it to a zero-turn mower, and it’s not much more money. Pay more upfront for quality components like a Bean pump because it will last the longest and need the least maintenance. If in theory you’re making $1,000 a day and your rig is down for a day or two, that’s a big loss. Your entire business runs on your spray unit and your truck.”
- Consider a Split Tank— “Split tank systems give you versatility and flexibility that a single tank option won’t provide. You can service multiple grass types and even have two techs spay simultaneously, saving you a lot of time.”
- Customer Service Is Key— “Find a company that will treat you right. This was a big reason I chose Graham to begin with. My mentor had been a Graham customer for thirty years. His customer experience was proof. Any issues he had, Graham was there. The relationship doesn’t stop after the transaction like some companies. They’re good people.”
We asked Creel if he still stood behind his previous quote that “expanding into spraying was the best decision” he’d made for his lawn business. His answer was a resounding “yes.” Moving to a new state, he had to start over one way or another, and that’s when he chose to quit cutting altogether. “With good marketing to acquire a solid customer base, there’s a lot more potential to really build yourself a business. With a year-round income, and the ability to pay a better salary to professional employees, you’re able to scale it and have multiple trucks.” For Jason, the spray business is easier physically, and no doubt more profitable.