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View Full Version : Is opening a lawn care worth it?


starrwalker
03-20-2007, 05:36 PM
My husband & I currentlly own a small lawn care ( aprox 20 weeklly accounts)..our problem is my husband also has a well paying job at night ( well above average income) His night job is AWFULL-and is taking its toll on him. ...we would love to be able to just expand our lawncare so that he can quit - how much does the average lawncare make in a year ?

AMW Graphics
03-20-2007, 07:25 PM
Its a hard question to answer, there are so many factors.
There are plenty of companies out there that make in the millions, that is of corse not the "norm".

The "easy" answer is as much as you want.
Figure out what you need to make a year to be happy, then add 20% or so for gov, state, and local taxes.
Then add in the cost of insurance, both lib. and medical per year.
the take how much your avrg. customers bill is yearly and divide that by the amount you need per year.
This will tell you how many avrg. customers you need to have to make what you want.

After all that you need to also figure how many people you need (if any) to take care of that number of customers you figured.

I am sure other people can add to this.

PremierLand
03-20-2007, 08:07 PM
I've always said that theres NO money in lawncare unless you have 100 accounts.

My personal goal is to get 200 lawn accounts, 2 lawn crews and 1 landscape crew. Anymore than that and you run into problems, but thats just my oppinion and what im planning towards. Good Luck.

BTW: Cutting Grass Sucks!

AMW Graphics
03-20-2007, 08:31 PM
Quote[/b] (PremierLand @ Mar. 20 2007,8:07)]BTW: Cutting Grass Sucks!
lol...

Steve
03-21-2007, 11:54 AM
Hi Starrwalker,

Welcome to our site!

"The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the average yearly salary in 2005 for managers of landscaping and groundskeeping workers was $39,150."

tiedeman
03-21-2007, 12:30 PM
I agree with that figure too. It is a lot of hard work to earn money. The income is hit and miss. If you don't have a good solid group of customers to pull you through every year, then he might as stay with his current job.

My first year in business I was in the red around $3,000. I really didn't start making a good profit until the third year in business.

S.P.Martin Lawn Care
03-21-2007, 12:35 PM
Welcome to the forum!

You didn't mention where you reside as that makes a difference in the advice we can provide. Could you provide that for us?

starrwalker
03-22-2007, 02:16 PM
..we live in southern NC.. $39,000 per year? that figure sucks we would have to come up with at least 2xs that amount to just survive....

Steve
03-22-2007, 02:23 PM
Hi starrwalker,

It is very difficult to start a business when you have a fulltime job elsewhere and many expenses to cover.

Are people able to do it? Yes they are.

But it is very difficult. I don't know if I have ever seen anyone make the jump from a fulltime job to running their business and make the same amount of money. It seems like no matter what, the average person is going to take a hit and most likely a big hit over years.

Many of the lawn care operators here took years to make a profit they could live off of.

What type of industry is your husband involved with now? Maybe we could come up with more business ideas with you.

starrwalker
03-22-2007, 02:29 PM
..He's currentlly working as management in contract sanitation..- it's 3rd shift so it really takes it's toll - especially when he works all night then cuts grass all day..I'm interested more in the landscping side of lawncare - even going into pond installation , ect. - I have done this before yet he thinks the more reliable money lies in the weeklly accounts..

starrwalker
03-22-2007, 02:34 PM
..He's currentlly working as management in contract sanitation..- it's 3rd shift so it really takes it's toll - especially when he works all night then cuts grass all day..I'm interested more in the landscping side of lawncare - even going into pond installation , ect. - I have done this before yet he thinks the more reliable money lies in the weeklly accounts..

Steve
03-22-2007, 07:56 PM
Hi starrwalker,

Quote[/b] ]he thinks the more reliable money lies in the weeklly accounts..
From our experience this is the bread and butter of the industry. All other services are upsells.

I like your ideas of pond installation. I know you can do it. The thing I think about is it is tougher to find new customers to sell such services to than it is to sell to pre-existing customers.

So the more maintenance customers you have, the more you could upsell them.

Is it possible you could build more customers and potentially hire a staff that you manage?

Have you considered getting your pesticide applicators license to help break away from competitors?

Also have you thought about creating a business plan that would help you project outwards the number of customers you would need to allow your husband the ability to quit his job?

That shouldn't be too difficult to do. You have a bunch of customers now and you know your income and expenses based on them. We have a bunch of business plans here (http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=1;t=1244) that you could model yours on.

What's your thoughts on this?

NickN
03-23-2007, 08:39 AM
Weekly accounts are the norm for me.Yes,there's money in it and I have 8 month and year long accounts as well.BUT,you have to specialize in something to really make a decent profit.My accounts include weed and pesticide control,so that differentiates me from most in my area.
You also need to look into landscaping and irrigation.I make more money in one day of landscaping than a week of lawn care.Irrigation is something else I'm considering.I'm installing an acre of irrigation at the moment and I have other customers who would love to have irrigation installed.I'm going to use them,giving them a discount in irrigation price,to see if I really want to go that route.They trust me and know my work,so that's not a problem.The profit on irrigation is huge.It's something that most homeowners don't want to tackle and there is a demand for it.
My true love is landscaping though.It's like painting a canvas.I can step back and see what I've accomplished.
You mentioned pond installation and frankly,I'd stay away from that as well as putting green installation.Those are fads that come and go,but require a substantial investment to get into.You'll notice that not as many are being installed these days.At least not in my area.
However,landscaping,lawn care,and irrigation have stood the test of time.
You'll also need to find good workers.You can't do it all,and you'll need helping hands to make money off of.Use friends or family if you have to when starting.Pay them well,and they'll make money for you.Most want to help you succeed.
Also,network with other contractors.If you don't want to do grading work,find someone who will.Chances are you can help each other out by referrals and by subbing out some work.