With the state of the economy and jobs being cut, the idea of owning your own business is becoming increasingly attractive. Many go to into business for themselves as a freelancer and others start their own companies. One of the simplest companies to start is a landscaping/lawncare company. Many people do this and you can make some good cash through it, especially when you start getting big contracts like malls and high-end condominiums. That’s where the money is at.
In fact, you may have ran your own lawn care business when you were a kid. Offering to cut the elderly’s lawn or your neighbors for some extra cash. It’s a great way to introduce a youngster to business and all you really need is a mower.
However, to start a real landscape business you will need much more than a mower. You’re going to need blowers, trimmers, ride on, push mowers, trailer and a truck to haul it all. You can’t really skimp out on any of this either. You may be able to get by without a ride-on mower but that severely limits the amount of work you can take on.
Landscape businesses can be profitable and if you already own some of these things I would highly suggest going into business, even if it’s just part-time. The extra bit of cash definitely helps and if you keep it up you can parlay your business into other avenues like window cleaning or garden maintenance.
Like most businesses though, you need clients. That will be the hardest part, getting people to pay for your services. Once you get some clients it’s relatively easy to keep them due to the nature of the business. Lawn has to be cut on average once a week, that’s residual guaranteed income. Repeat clients. Which is great for a business because then you don’t need to find a new customer after ever purchase. It’s easier to have a current customer pay more than it is to find a whole new customer.
That leads to the one major downside of landscaping, that is that the work is seasonal. Most of the time, you’re only going to be operating between Spring, Fall. Depending where you live the length of your winter will vary. What most landscape companies do is run a snow removal operation during the winter, this is great and helps supplement the loss of income. But as a beginner, there’s a very slim chance you will be able to do snow removal on top of landscaping. The equipment is expensive and unless you like shoveling snow then it would be wise to stay out of the snow business for now. Wait till you have more clientele.
Landscaping seems like a great business to start it has relatively low costs, residual income and is capable of scaling to big dollars. Even if it’s seasonal you can still make great money at it. However, there’s one thing you really need to consider before starting a landscaping business.
That is location. The success of your business will vary completely on your own location, many cities, towns and even rural areas already have a plethora of landscaping businesses. Everyone is trying to get a slice of the pie and the thing is, most of them go under after the 1-3 year mark. There’s a lot to owning and operating a successful business that will last and if the market is already heavily saturated then you’re only making your chances of survival slimmer than they already were.
The problem is, if you do go under, you’re going to have equipment that you’ve already invested into that you need to get rid of. Especially if it’s commercial grade. This makes the cost go up even more. A lot of first-time business owners don’t consider the actual costs of a business nor do they create a solid plan to go about their business. Causing them to ultimately fail. I would highly recommend you to create a business plan if you’re thinking about going into landscaping. You will save a lot of headache by doing this.
One final thing I want to touch on is repairing. When you own a business and have a piece of equipment down, that’s money you are wasting. If you plan to own a business I highly recommend learning how to repair most of your equipment yourself. Waiting for a mechanic to fix things is going to kill you, not only with cost but time as well. Bigger machines, you can get away without knowing how to fix them but the smaller engines you definitely should learn how to fix yourself. You will save a lot of time and money by doing so, which is key in business.
Remember, when you start a landscaping business you have to keep in mind that the business end of it is just as important as the actual lawn care part. Many people don’t take this important piece of information into consideration. You may love cutting lawn or lawn care but to make any sort of profit you have to remember that it is a business. You can’t expect to make cash just because you love the work. Its easy to forget this and it will be detrimental to your business if you do.
Starting a lawn care business can be a great way to earn some extra cash or if you decide to go fully into it; a living. However, before you even consider starting one you should take into account the factors I have listed here. If you do not and decide to start one anyway then you’re going to have a rough time. You might still succeed and I hope you do, but it’s best to arm yourself with knowledge before you decide on something that could impact your life as much as a business could. Starting a lawn care business can be a great idea but only if you do your homework. If you don’t you could end up like the multitudes of business that go under. Be smart, think it over and I have no doubt you will come to the right decision.