Irrigation Sprinkler Repair Service Create A Profi


Irrigation Sprinkler Repair Service Create A Profi


Irrigation & Sprinkler Repair ServiceCreate a Profitable New Service to Your Lawn Care BusinessArticle by Jack StoneCopyright 2003 by ProGardenBizOne of the most profitable additions to your lawn care servicebusiness can be the repair of irrigation and sprinkler systems.Although plumbers may do this work, it is not their area ofexpertise and their hourly rates are often prohibitive for thistype of work. There are irrigation companies that doinstallation that also do repair and maintenance and this istheir speciality. As a lawn care operator you have anadvantage with your immediate contact with an establishedclient base, your own customers!Most lawn care operators include minor sprinkler repair aspart of the service. Parts should always be charged separately.Major problems should be handled as separate jobs and charged bythe hour. The repair of irrigation and sprinkler systems is notsomething that can be estimated prior to the start of the job.The problems often lie underground and cannot be seen. You maybe able, from experience, to look over the problem and give arough idea of what is involved, but always charge by the hourfor the work, plus parts.What you charge will vary from area to area. Generallyirrigation repair is charged at a slightly higher hourly ratethan lawn care service, but much less than what plumbers wouldcharge. An example would be:Lawn Care hourly man-hour rate: $25.00 per hourPlumber hourly rate: $85.00 per hourIrrigation repair hourly rate: $40.00 per hourHave a minimum charge of one hour's work and stick to it.Tell the client the minimum up front. Before you actuallystart working you never know if it will be a ten minute jobor a whole day. I could fill pages with the stories of whatwe've found underground once we started digging, but at thesame time it's been more than once that I found the problemwas the time clock was shut off or had no power.Buy your parts at a wholesale supplier that sells to thelandscape contractor market. Mark your parts up a minimum of30%. Always check the discount hardware retailers in yourarea, like Home Depot, as they will often have better prices.When you buy at the wholesale supplier you will not get thebest discount unless you have a contractor's license, sosometimes places like Home Depot will have better prices.Keep a small stock of the most often used sprinkler repairparts on your truck. Running to the supplier for everyrepair job will waste time and eat into your profits.The first question many lawn care operators ask is do theyneed a landscape contractor's license to do irrigation andsprinkler system repair work? You will need to check withyour State Contractor's license board to be sure, but in mostcases you do not. You would need a contractor's license todo installations of new systems that exceed certain dollar values(which vary from state to state in the U.S.A.).How to Get New Repair CustomersPeople who need sprinkler systems repaired generally want itdone NOW! They will often take the first bid from the firstrepair service to show up (as long as they like the person'spresentation and price). The best form of advertising I havefound for this work is a local classified ad direct mailer.In my area this is called "The Pennysaver". Most towns andcities have something similar. It will be a small magazine ortabloid format publication that consists of classified and

display advertising. It usually is direct mailed to all housesin the city or county. You can usually advertise by zip codearea which makes for very good targeted advertising. I usuallycombine several services to make the ad more useful and costeffective. An example ad for a lawn care service might be likethis:Lawn and garden service. Weekly, bi-weekly custom care.Sprinkler repair, yard clean-ups, trimming.Add your name and phone number and place the ad. Thesprinkler repair work and yard clean-up jobs will easily payfor the advertising and bring in extra profit. Meanwhile youalso benefit from building your regular maintenance route.Tip: Is your regular maintenance route full? Not planning onadding employees? Then continue advertising. Look for betteraccounts, ask for higher hourly rates on the new accounts.Always continue to improve and refine your maintenance work. Asyou add better accounts you can drop the lower-paying or highermaintenance accounts for the better work and improve yourprofits at the same time.Use the tools we have today to stay on top of your marketingefforts. Have a cell phone and use it's number in youradvertising. You can take your calls in the field and scheduleto see new clients faster (they may be just down the street).I've taken a call for sprinkler repair while doing maintenancea short distance away. I'm usually the first one there and Iget the job done the same day (sometimes within an hour of thecall). Competitors with answering services or that scheduleda meeting with the client later that day or evening lose thejob.If you have never done any work on sprinkler systems or withdrip irrigation then get some good books on the subject andlearn the basics. Your wholesale supplier is also a very goodresource for information. They will have booklets and othermaterial from manufacturers like Rain Bird, Irritrol Systems,Toro, Hunter, Rain Master, Weather-Matic, Champion, Superiorand more.Some other good websites with information on irrigation andsprinkler systems are:http://www.lawn-sprinklers.net/http://www.irrigationtutorials.com/http://www.blueskyirrigation.com/sprinkler.htmhttp://sprinklerdoc.4t.com/__________________________________________About the Author:Jack Stone is a Contributing Editor for ProGardenBiz Magazine,an online magazine for professional gardeners and landscapecontractors. Visit ProGardenBiz to find out how you can get afree subscription, start-up guidance, business ideas andinspiration at http://www.progardenbiz.com.





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