In this video, Jonathan gives the pros and cons of accepting lawn maintenance subcontractor jobs.
I’ve had a number of Service Autopilot clients and individuals that watch Lawn Care Millionaire email me and ask this question. It has to do with management companies that control a lot of work. Maybe not necessarily a property management company but you might imagine in this scenario a company that has foreclosed on properties and has to have or find a contractor to go out and mow the property, change the locks, wash the windows, or perform some level of service. There are a lot of these companies and basically they will give you work and they will pay you for that work. Basically they’ll give you a list of maybe 50 jobs they need you to service. You’ll do the 50 jobs and they’ll give you a check.
I’m not sure what you call those companies. I think of them as management companies and there are a lot of these. We have quite a number of Service Autopilot clients that will work with these companies. Over the years, we’ve had some Service Autopilot clients that exclusively built their entire business around getting a spreadsheet every week from a management company and doing as much of that work as they possibly could. They would then send in before and after pictures and get paid.
The question was, is this a good idea? Should I take this work? Should I accept the lawn maintenance subcontractor jobs? It comes with a contract that you have to sign. Is it a good thing for my business? My answer most recently, and I’ve given this answer before, is I don’t think that doing work with these management companies is a great long term strategy to build your business around.
Their jobs generally pay less. They don’t generate as much revenue for you as a job where you went out and sold it and found that client yourself. Also, these jobs tend to be harder on your equipment and they tend to be more difficult to perform. These are generalizations. That’s not always true but that’s been my finding and my understanding in talking with others.
The other concern that I have about jobs of this type is that if you get too much or too many of these jobs, you’re building your business around one customer. If they stopped giving you work, it could be really bad for your business. It could potentially end your business if they make up too much of your revenue. I would say that early on if you’re just getting started or you’re very small that accepting this type of work might make sense strategically. You might want to accept this type of work for some period of time while you’re learning how to sell and market and bring in your own work.
In other words, you would perform this work for a while. It would help you bring revenue to your business which would help you grow, hire employees, buy equipment, things of that sort while at the same time you’re working on marketing and getting your own clients where you eventually replace the work you’re getting from the management company with your own clients. You would slowly phase out of accepting that type of work.
My answer is, I think it makes sense strategically for a short while in your business. But, don’t let it get you distracted from doing your own marketing and getting your own clients. If you take so much work from the management company that you’re so busy and you’re doing most of the work yourself that you’re now too busy to go really build a business, all you’ve done is secured for yourself a job and you’re not building a real company. That job could all go away one day if the management company stops giving you work.
That’s my recommendation on how to think about taking lawn maintenance subcontractor jobs.