Starting a Landscaping Business - What You Should Know

Published: 03rd March 2009
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I have been in this business for over seven years. I saw it when it was small and have seen it grow exponentially! According to several sources, the landscaping industry has had an amazing 1000% increase in growth over the last 10 years! Also, residential homeowners as well as commercial and professional business owners spend over a billion dollars each season for this service and its associated products. And, with the landscaping industry being so versatile, this quite possibly will be the perfect 'add-on' service to your existing business. It is also the perfect business that can earn you enough in 8 months so you can either take the rest of the year off or run another seasonal business during the other 4 months of the year.

As a general rule, the landscaping season begins in Spring focusing mainly on commercial properties. This is when you will start to look for leads and begin your work. The season ends in mid to late fall when the grass has stopped growing at your clients' homes and businesses.

Landscaping businesses can make more than $500 per day per work crew during the season. Well-organized installation crews can make more that $1000 per day. It is also not uncommon for landscapers to earn upwards of $1500 in a single day when doing work on larger residential and commercial jobs. I recently managed to get a landscaping contract with a local church. The quote I gave was for $1300. My equipment costs were minimal and I paid my 2 employees $120 each. Do the math. At the end of the job, I had over $1000 cash profit in my back pocket and a huge smile on my face!

A smaller landscaping business can easily expect to earn more than $20,000 in their first year as long as they have a solid business plan. Try to begin with the end in mind. I know of many mid size landscaping companies that make between 100 and 150 thousand dollars each year - between Spring and Autumn! There is a ton of money to be made in this industry. You are providing an essential service that people will use month after month and year after year.

The landscaping industry is the perfect add-on for seasonal businesses like, Christmas Light Installers, construction workers, window cleaners, junk removal services, painters, roofers, and framers. The main thing that attracted me to this industry is the fact that this business is extremely low risk. I have been able to use my current client database to create leads and get contracts. In the winter, I run a Christmas Light Installation business and have been able to keep my employees during this season whereas in past years, I had to lay them off and often they never came back because they found other work! This business changed that!

The landscaping industry is one of the fastest growing service industries in the United States, Canada, and the UK! Each year, the demand for this service increases. For some reason everyone wants to have a better looking lawn than their neighbors. In a recent study, it was shown that the thing that people despised most about owning a home is the pain of lawncare. People want a beautiful looking property without the hassle of mowing their own lawn. This is where you come in and cash out!

This wonderful business opportunity is now more popular than ever and you are a part of it! The biggest benefit you have is that you are starting now. It's here and you got in on the ground floor at the beginning. That means there is a ton of room for growth. There is also room for small business owners, like you, to make a ton of money in a short period of time. It's going to be some work, but once you get rolling, you are going to look back and think that taking the first step was the best decision you could have ever made.

One reason for the growing demand of this service is the growth of two income families. The increasing number of double-income families means the number of people with no time but has money on hand is increasing. In fact, according to a nationwide survey conducted by International Communications Research for the Bayer Lawn Care Institute, "the average homeowner spends nearly eight hours each week on lawn care and landscaping tasks around their home and would consider hiring a professional service in order to acquire more free time.

The target market of the lawn care and landscaping businesses are homeowners with larger size lawns. Larger lawns, such as with 4,000 - 7,000 square feet, typically yield better margins when factors such as transportation time and costs are considered. The typical target market also include middle class suburban families with large lawns and no teenage children, as teenagers are likely to be tasked to mow and take care of the lawns. Middle-aged homemakers are also more likely to rely on a lawn service compared to younger homemakers who are more likely to do the lawn themselves.

Lawn care services can be residential or commercial. Residential lawn care services typically include lawn cutting, trimming, edging and removal of clippings. The service is typically offered once a week through the frequency can depend on the customer's requests. This side of the business is made up of many small companies. This occurs because of high labor intensity, low startup costs, and nature of the industry.

The commercial side consists of apartment complexes, business parks, and common areas of subdivisions, schools and others. The commercial side is typically serviced by larger lawn care landscaping services.

In this industry, you are simply selling a service that includes the landscaping duties on homes and businesses. Can it get any easier than that?

The difference that you make in this business is how you choose to sell your services. Many landscaping companies differ in how they sell their service. Some companies only sell the landscaping service requiring customers to provide the tools and materials while others provide the work with no warranty. Other full-service companies offer to provide the landscaping, do the gardening, and give a warranty.

I have found that the service that works best is one that combines all these variables together. I have built my business model on this principle. It is a model that that provides the landscaping service to the customer, I supply all the tools and the lawnmowers, and I offer a warranty.

---Tagg Hamilton is the Owner a highly profitable landscaping company and author of 'Lawn Cash! ' - The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Landscaping Business. LawnCash.org

He also is the author and creator of
Christmas Cash! The Ultimate Christmas Light Installation Business Kit and
Window Cash! The Ultimate Window Cleaning Business Kit.
Other great business start-up kits.


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