A look back: Opportunity in 1962 to add services

January 19, 2022 -  By
In this retro featured article, J.C. Redd shared ways operators could grow their business through adding services. (Graphic: LM Archives)

In this retro featured article, J.C. Redd shared ways operators could grow their business through adding services. (Graphic: LM Archives)

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Landscape Management magazine. To commemorate this anniversary, we take a look at LM’s earliest publications, first known as Weeds and Turf.

In this July 1962 issue of Weeds and Turf, J.C. Redd, president of Redd Industrial Services in Jackson, Miss., shared how operators can grow their business through adding services. While this is nothing new to the green industry, this article looks into the past to share Redd’s pricing suggestions for services in 1962.

Redd estimated that homeowners spend $50,000 to build homes, $10,000 to decorate the inside of the home and only $100 on lawn and landscapes for these new builds. Redd said pest control and turf management by professional applicators provide services the homeowner might be more reluctant to tackle.

Redd offered a suggested pricing structure for applicators looking to add outdoor services to the company’s offerings.

“Labor and goods should not exceed 40 percent of the price charged,” he wrote. “For example, if labor costs 30 percent, then materials should not run over 10 percent. Or, if materials came to 16 percent, then labor should not be more than 24 percent of the price charged.”

Commercial weed control, Redd wrote, is another opportunity for professional applicators to expand service offerings. Depending on the size of the community, Redd estimated that the potential for increased revenue is strong.

“A town of 2,000 should have at least 30 varying types of business establishments that could use some kind of weed control. Each account should be worth an average minimum of $50, or a total of $1,500 for the town,” he wrote. “On this basis, potential in weed control in an urban area should be $0.75 per capita yearly. In areas with more than 10,000 people, the potential is probably $0.50 per capita per year because the number of business establishments per person generally goes down as the population goes up. Using this formula, a town of 10,000 should bring in $5,000 in weed control accounts yearly, and a city of 50,000 would bring in $25,000.”

Redd offered advice for an operator looking to expand services. According to Redd, a lawn care pro should:

(1) Have confidence in what he is doing;
(2) Be willing to take some chances;
(3) Immediately begin to learn more about the new service; this knowledge comes from consulting experiment stations, watching others in the field and reading the periodicals;
(4) Give his customers good service; and
(5) Have his other business well under control so diversification doesn’t hurt his bread and butter until he is thoroughly established in the new field.

This article is tagged with and posted in From the Magazine, January 2022

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