The Better Approach Would Be To Ask This Simple Question:
Am I better off buying this piece of equipment at this stage of my business or would it serve me better to borrow it from a fellow landscape professional or rent it and pass that cost directly through to my client on that job?
It’s this kind of questioning about spending money that will help you avoid leaking all your profits out into purchases that may not be the best use of working capital at that stage of your business growth.
How Do I Calculate Lawn Care Profits
Calculating job profit is a quick way to figure out how much money youre making.
Why calculate job profit? It helps you understand if youre under-bidding jobs, if there are better ways to get the jobs done, and other strategic decisions you can make to ensure your company is more profitable.
Edward Ramsden, owner of Enviromasters Lawn Care, walks us through how he does job profit calculations below:
Qualifications And Industry Requirements
You dont need any technical qualifications or formal training to start a lawn care business or become a landscaping professional.
The only qualification you need is the basic knowledge to operate the lawn mower and the ability to lift heavy objects and work long hours in unfavorable weather conditions.
But while the formal training and certifications are completely optional, they are helpful in marketing your business to prospective customers and gaining their trust. For customers, hiring certified lawn care professionals means having trustworthy people looking after their property.
Below are three certifications that you might consider getting to boost your credibility as a lawn care entrepreneur.
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What Kind Of Services Should I Offer
Most lawn care businesses have approximately 25 customers they see each week and offers services like these:
- Adding mulch
And of course, these old standbys:
- Fertilizer application
As you can see, theres plenty of landscaping services you can offer. Just remember to always provide an superior customer service experience for everyone you do business with.
Third Steps: How Much Work Can You Do And How Much Will You Charge
The next step in your business plan is deciding how much work you can do. Do you want to go it on your own as a sole proprietor? Or do you have help from family members, friends, or future hires?
If you plan to hire additional workers, you will automatically need an organization plan and chart. Even if you’re a sole proprietor, your organization chart shouldn’t just say “Me.” You will have others helping you, including legal or accounting services. Even if it’s just one or two others you hire on a contract basis, they belong on an organizational chart.
Decide which services you will offer, establish a schedule, and put a pricing structure together. The products and services part of your business plan will feature these elements. According to Lawn and Landscape’s 2019 survey, the following services were the top categories offered by lawn care businesses:
- Lawn care/chemical application
- Tree and ornamental plant care
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Starting A Lawn Care Business In : The Ultimate Guide
This article is going to be a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to starting a lawn care business.
One of the biggest questions about starting a lawn care business is:
Is starting a lawn care business worth it?
Wrapped up in that one question is a lot of underlying questions like:
- How much could I potentially make?
- Is this a full-time job or a part-time gig?
- Is it complicated?
Spoiler Alert: Yes, itâs worth it.
This article is going to be a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to starting a lawn care business. And the first step happens to also be the easiest way to prove to you that starting a lawn care business is worth it.
In this article, we’ll cover:
Itâs important to note that this article is written from the perspective that this lawn care business is a side hustle, not a full-time job. If you want to turn your lawn care side hustle into a career, most of the numbers we mention in this article wonât apply. But it might be exactly what you need just to get started!
What Is The Growth Potential For A Lawn Care Business
Many operations start out with a single person, perhaps one helper, and a single pickup truck. The ability to expand depends on the acquisition of more equipment and being able to hire more crew members.There are very large commercial companies in this business that serve an expansive area. There are national companies as well. Realty Biz gives a list of the top 50 lawn care companies in the USA. TrueGreen is the largest lawn care company in America. They are headquartered in Memphis and serve over 1.7 million residential and commercial customers from multiple locations across the country. If you add landscaping services, ValleyCrest Landscape Companies is the biggest in the USA with international operations also. They have over 100 locations, more than 10,000 employees, and earn over US$1 billion in revenues each year.
Not sure if a lawn care business is right for you? Try our free Business Idea Generator and find your perfect idea.
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Either Stay Small Or Scale Up The Right Way
Russell keeps his service area small by design.
Most million-dollar companies only have a 10 to 14% margin because they have a lot of overhead. However, he says that companies who do less than $2,000,000 worth of business annually have a 50% to 60% profit margin.
If youre a small company and your profit margins are less than 50 to 60%, youre doing something wrong.
Thats why he doesnt want to get too big.
Although there are advantages to staying small, you can scale up if you do it right. No matter how big you get, stay lean. Heres a video weve done on that topic:
As you grow your business, you might have the desire to branch out into more directions. Thats what Russell is doing right now.
He has big ambitions, and he has plans to give his company a makeover:
You might start out with a broom and a single push mower. But, if you do fantastic work and continue to rake in the cash, theres no telling how high you can fly.
The skys the limit!
Types Of Landscaping Services
Some people often feel the need for a landscape service but are not aware as to what service they have to get. Landscaping is a lot more complex than just pulling weeds and mowing. The following services mention below are just some of the services that a landscape company can offer.
Pruning and hedging when done at the precise time of year can greatly improve plant health and flower-bloom rendition. Pruning is designed to maintain a plants shape or size and to get rid of dead plant limbs. Hedging is the art of shaping plants into geometric shapes and styles.
As a general knowledge, we know that plants acquire nutrients from the soil. To protect your plants and greenery, you must be sure that owners enroll in a plant feed protection program in your landscape plan. In line with the program and with the existing flora in your landscape, you will receive feedings and fertilizers. Pest prevention measures are also a part of this plan.
In most maintenance contracts, an irrigation start-up and shut-down are already included by most landscape business owners. As a business owner offering a seasonal display is a great addition to the services. Seasonal displays include yearly flowers for fall, summer, and spring. This service adds an extra touch of soul to landscapes and excitement as the season changes.
Leaf removal is also one of the unique services in the landscaping business. Some clients opt to avail of their service once or twice a year or as the need for it arises.
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How To Get Customers
For the first year since the opening of your business, you will need an aggressive marketing plan to get enough customers to your business.
You will need to advertise your services to as many customers as you can to make yourself discoverable to potential customers.
For instance, you can go after the following traditional low-tech ideas to market your business:
- List your business in the local Yellow Pages directory
- Post ads on bulletin boards across local grocery chains
- Print business cards and free brand merchandise to giveaway to potential clients
- Get eye-catching trailer graphics to use it as a moving billboard for your business
Leverage your personal network to spread the word about your business in their network. Referrals are powerfularound 83% Americans purchase a product or a service based on word-of-mouth recommendation.
You can also incentivize referrals as a strategy to market your business. For instance, give your new customers an attractive discount or a free service in exchange of every new referral they can send your way.
You can also volunteer to offer free lawn mowing services to your community church or houses with elderlies and differently abled members.
In addition to being a warm gesture to your community, this will help you get your name out and increase the likelihood of getting referrals from people who know you.
Here are a few brand merchandise ideas you can design to promote your lawn care business:
- Door hangers
- Business cards
Managing Your Clients And Jobs
Now that weâve got a handful of Clients, we need to work on putting basic systems in place to run our business well. In order to maximize our efficiency, weâll want to automate as much as possible.
We can use an app like Check which automates a number of time consuming tasks, completely eliminating those things from our to-do list.
- Automatically sending invoices at the completion of a job.
- Automatically scheduling jobs on a regular cadence .
- Automatically generating the shortest route for the day.
- Automatically calculating each Clientâs balance based on invoice and payment activity.
It also makes other tasks much easier, such as:
- Logging Client payments .
- Capturing and storing critical Client information.
- Rescheduling or canceling jobs due to weather or equipment malfunction.
- Keeping track of job details and special Client requests.
Step 1: Download the App
We can search for âCheck: Lawn Care Managementâ app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and download it for free.
Step 2: Sign up for an account.
We just have to add some basic information like name, phone number, email address and services. It should only take us a quick minute.
Step 3: Import our Clients.
Step 4: Set up Recurring Jobs.
- Lawn Careevery 2 weeks.
- Gutter Cleaningevery 6 months.
- Hedge Trimmingevery month.
Wrapping it Up
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Whats The Average Cost Of Lawn Care Per Acre
The average cost of lawn care per acre ranges from $60 to $2,000 and up. What youll pay depends on factors like the services you purchase, the size of your property and regional costs. For example, if you live near a large city and need to fertilize an acre, you can expect to pay significantly more than if you live in a suburban or rural area and need mowing services for your property.
How Do I Advertise A Small Lawn Mowing Business
8 Effective Ways to Advertise Your Lawn Care or Landscaping BusinessSocial networking. This kind of free advertising can have powerful outcomes. Yellow Pages ads. Looking for a maintenance-free advertising vehicle that never closes? Business cards. Fliers. Door hangers. Brochures. Direct mail. Word-of-Mouth.
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How To Start Lawn Care Business
Do you ever think about starting your own lawn care business?
Russell Jeffcoat, owner of Legends Lawn Care in Blaine, Washington, did more than just dream about owning a business someday. He took decisive action by starting the lawn care business of his dreams, and then, earned $100,000 in his very first year!
Today, he rakes in between $500 and $6000 every time he takes his machines out and works on peoples lawns. Although he started his lawn care business with only $2,000 when he was a senior in high school, its a six-figure business now.
In fact, hes so busy, he often has to turn down work!
In this article, well go through the exact steps youll need to follow to start your own highly lucrative lawn care business. Lawn care is a $102 billion a year industry, and is expected to grow phenomenally with each passing year.
Youll discover everything you need to know on how to run a successful lawn care business. This includes tips like innovative ways to craft a business plan, getting your website ranked on Google, building long-lasting relationships with your customers, and a lot more!
If youre not interested in starting the business from scratch, consider buying an already established business here on UpFlip.
You can watch our two part interview with him here and here.
Without further ado, lets jump right into it.
What Is The Difference Between Gross And Net Profit
Youve likely heard the terms before, but what exactly do they mean when it comes to your lawn care business?
Gross profit is all the money you make in sales, minus the cost of goods.
Phil Sarros explains,
the cost of goods sold is the amount of money that you spend on items that are directly related to the production of a job. The most common item here is going to be your materials. But, it could also be your subcontractors, or your equipment.
So, in a lawn care business, the cost of goods is generally made up of the materials required to complete a job.
Net profit is your gross profit minus your overhead costs. Your overhead costs are usually made up of recurring bills, like phones, vehicle leases, office space, etc.
When youre running the numbers to figure out your costs versus profitability, make sure to separate your expenses into the cost of goods and overhead. Then, when youre pricing jobs or setting goals, youll have a clear idea of your net and gross profit for each job.
This can help you to set growth goals, adjust pricing for certain services, and show you where you gain and lose the most profit.
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Experience Of The Lawn Care Provider
A service providers training, experience, and expertise can affect your total lawn care costs. If youre hiring a pro who is new to the industry, you can expect to pay much less than hiring a pro with years of experience. Keep in mind that hiring a more experienced professional is likely to provide better results.
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Landscape Business
Starting any new business can be a sleep-depriving, nail-biting experience for anyone, and starting a new landscape business is certainly no different. It takes time, money, perseverance and sometimes a lot of luck.
One of the frustrations I hear from landscape start-ups is that money always seems to be going out faster than its coming in. Freshly-minted landscape professionals complain that every time they turn around they have to buy something just to get the job done.
My response to all of the challenges and issues that can arise with starting a new landscape business is the same to every new owner: take the time to write a good business plan.
Many problems can be avoided by understanding early on where you want your new business to go and what it will cost to get there. The good news is you can start a landscape business for little money if youre willing and able to start small enough.
When I started out, I was driving a 1973 Volvo four-door sedan with its fair share of mechanical problems. My first job was working on weekends for a college buddy. My second job was working for a gifted perennial gardener who was self-employed. She was driving a 1985 Volkswagen Jetta. We didn’t have a truck between us!
With that in mind, lets take a look at a more systematic approach that can save you time, money, and headaches. Here are several key elements you need to consider as you embark on this adventure called landscaping:
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Find The Average Lawn Care Wages
In order to find the average lawn care wages in your area, a great place to start is by checking a job listing website to see what other local lawn care businesses are offering in their job listings.
For example, a quick search on Indeed for lawn care specialist in Richardson, Texas pays anywhere from $12 to $25 an hour.
Heres how the US Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks it down:
Keep in mind, these are merely the average wages for each position.
Though, how much you pay depends on the benefits you’re offering as the total compensation package.
For example, are you offering PTO time off? Is there health insurance? Are there benefits or bonuses? Please note, compensations are likely just as important to employees as the hourly rate.
In a moment, well cover how to pay lawn care employees while also guaranteeing the business stays profitable. Though, first lets take a look at lawn care wages by region.
It’s important to remember that payment varies by geographic area.
Here are the landscaper wages from a few major regions across the US:
Can A Solo Lawn Care Business Owner Make $100000 A Year
I do know for a fact that a solo lawn care business owner with the right prices, equipment, and routes could EASILY do $100k gross in 40 hour weeks, year after year. I am pretty much still considered solo because I do most of the work myself and just have a helper that runs another lawn mower on big properties, and run the trimmer + blower on small properties.
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