Did you know that there are currently 647,741 landscaping businesses in the U.S. today?
That’s about 21,756 more businesses added to the roster in 2022. IBISWorld also tells us that landscape and lawn care experienced a steady growth of 3.2 percent from 2018-2022. In other words, landscape and lawn care is a positively growing industry.
This begs the question: is landscaping a good business?
The quick answer is yes. With more people looking for landscaping solutions, consider joining the hype and running a landscaping business. After all, observing continuous growth amidst economic downturns demonstrate a healthy industry outlook.
Let me tell you that that’s a beautiful idea! Starting and running a landscaping business is an excellent decision in 2023.
However, running a landscaping business is challenging, like all other ventures. Every successful landscaper experienced their fair share of ups and downs before coming out on top. And you must prepare yourself and expect those same struggles should you take the plunge.
Knowing the pros and cons of operating a landscaping business first is essential to understand what the venture entails. And this will be the focus of this comprehensive article.
If you’re planning to start a lawn care business from scratch, we urge you to read along.
Is It a Good Idea To Start a Landscaping Business?
Running a landscaping or lawn care business is a good idea. However, a good idea is often relative.
If you’re up for the job and prepared to surpass the inevitable trials along the way, then it’s a good idea. However, if you blindly pursue a venture like running a landscaping business, you may believe it could be better. That leads to regrets, lost capital, shattered morale and possibly debts.
Now, what are things that make running a landscape business worthwhile?
For starters, some people are not made to be employees. They find answering to upper management or being under someone else’s authority unbearable. There’s no shame in wanting to be your boss. And if this is you, perhaps becoming a landscape business owner is your true calling.
People who like to be in touch with nature will also enjoy the landscaping career. Your job will primarily focus on maintaining the attractiveness and appeal of your client’s properties.
Running a landscaping business can be highly profitable too. According to Statista, the U.S. landscaping market in 2022 generated $130 billion in total revenue. This is roughly $15 billion greater than the 2021 U.S. market size. In other words, there’s plenty of opportunity for you to enter the market and make a profit.
That said, starting any lawn care business requires hard work and dedication. You must have patience and determination to reach success. But if you’re willing to put in the effort, running a landscaping business can yield great rewards.
How Much Profit Could You Make on a Landscaping Job?
Landscaping grants business owners the opportunity to make high-income sales. But how much exactly could an aspiring landscaper make with landscaping services?
On average, many landscaping companies charge from $50 to $100 an hour for their services. Others charge by area, which is about $4 to $12 per square foot. Landscape companies may earn from $5,000 to $50,000 during the first year of operation. But with reliable solutions and good marketing, this can grow into a powerhouse after several years.
Sometimes, what separates a good business and a great one is effective marketing practices. Landscape Marketing Hero offers tried-and-true marketing and advertising solutions to boost the exposure and profitability of landscaping businesses. We cover everything from social media management to creating high-value content and even optimizing your website.
With Landscape Marketing Hero, your business can transform from a mom-and-pop shop to a landscape industry leader. Book a call with us to discover what’s in store for you.
The Pros and Cons of Operating a Landscaping Business
Venturing into the landscaping industry has its precarious risks and desirable rewards. Profitability and affinity to nature should never be the sole reason to become a full-fledged landscaper. That said, it’s always a good idea to look at the good and bad of a project before coming up with a final decision.
Below, discover the pros and cons of running a landscaping business before determining if lawn care is the right business. Keep reading.
The Business Model is Simple
Unlike other types of ventures, the landscaping business is relatively simple. Even first-time entrepreneurs can get up to speed effortlessly, provided ample research. Remember that due diligence is required to succeed in this industry; conduct your research and feasibility study to maximize your returns.
In landscaping, you can use simple equipment to get started. You can begin your business with quality equipment, trustworthy employees and reliable transportation.
If you have the budget, you can buy a lawn care franchise instead of starting from scratch. Doing so saves you the hassle of building a customer base, especially if the franchise is widely acclaimed. Moreover, being a franchisee includes the equipment and materials required to get your business up and running. The only hurdle is the starting capital.
Landscaping Business has a Strong Demand
Most businesses deal with unpredictable and fluctuating markets depending on the economy’s state. But that reality is rarely observed when running a landscaping business.
Don’t get me wrong. Landscaping is seasonal, and that means demand declines during the winter season. That’s one trade-off of choosing a business venture at Mother Nature’s mercy. However, there are solutions to work around this like offering winter-specific landscape solutions, like:
- Snow removal services
- Winter lawn preparation, like draining sprinklers and hoses
- Deep lawn raking or dethatching the soil
- Pruning and burlap-wrapping services
- Christmas light installation services
The point is that people will always need gardening and lawn care services regardless of the economy. Why? Because plants and grass always require maintenance.
Wide Range of Services to Offer Clients
Landscaping is never limited to mowing lawns or trimming hedges. Running a landscape business allows you to provide clients with a wide range of services, especially after some time.
According to GetJobber, landscape maintenance remains one of the fastest-growing service offers. However, seven of 10 landscape companies expand their services, including tree care, design and construction services.
As you grow your business, you can choose to add more services or offers to your arsenal. This is especially true when you build a loyal customer base. At this point, adding, upselling or cross-seeling services become easier.
Here are some future services that you may add to your existing roster:
- Tree and bush care
- Landscape design and construction
- Installation of outdoor fixtures
- Aeration and dethatching services
- Spring or fall yard cleanups
- Leaf removal
- Gutter cleanup
- Holiday light installation
- Pest control services
Ability to Start With Low Budget
Starting a landscaping business requires very little in terms of startup costs. But that will depend on the size and scope of your operations.
You will only require basic tools and equipment for those who attempt to start small. This includes tools like shovels, rakes, lawnmowers, weed eaters and leaf blowers. You can find affordable deals on these pieces of equipment. Conversely, you may rent them from more prominent players to keep expenses low.
Additionally, many landscapers choose to start their businesses with just one contract job. This will give them to build enough referrals and repeat customers to sustain their own business full-time. It’s important to slowly build up your clientele and reputation before making a bigger commitment.
Competition Might be Stiff
Landscaping has a low barrier to entry. As mentioned above, all it takes is a lawnmower and other essential tools to start landscaping. If all you offer is lawnmowing, then expect stiff competition from those also trying to get into landscaping. Your competition can either be:
- High school students trying to mow lawns for a few bucks
- Small landscape companies with a crew dedicated to lawnmowing services
Moreover, running a landscaping business can be competitive, particularly with the rise of mobile applications. Software like HomeAdvisor, TaskRabbit and Angie’s List make it easy for homeowners to find landscapers in their area.
Instead of waging war on pricing, look for the unique value you bring to the table and capitalize. That’s how you dominate a competitive industry, especially at entry-level landscaping. Paired with solid marketing, you’re already ten steps ahead of your competition— Landscape Marketing Hero can help with that.
Running a landscaping business is a labor-intensive job. Serving clients will drain your energy, especially when you start as a solopreneur without a team. You will benefit from hiring employees to work for you as you continuously grow. But keep in mind this entails training costs, dealing with difficult workers and possibly high turnover rates because of seasonality.
But what makes running a landscaping business tricky is finding the right people for your company. You need reliable and trustworthy employees that do not require supervision to complete their duties. Without one, you could be losing more instead of earning wonderfully due to the expansion.
That said, ensure your workers feel valued and are well compensated for their efforts. This builds loyalty and helps you retain top talents.
Unrealistic Customer Demands
Finally, the last thing that makes running a lawn care business complicated are the customers. As clients, they could be pushing unrealistic demands that make it hard to keep up with profits.
These may include:
- Unreasonable deadlines for the completion of services
- Demanding money back following unsatisfactory reviews despite your effort to deliver the best results
- Requesting discounts on massive projects where you have to maintain quality of service.
The key to managing customer expectations is communication and setting clear boundaries, so everyone knows what to expect. Otherwise, they may take advantage of your generosity and exploit you for less.
Running a landscaping business is not exactly glamorous. But you may survive if you’re tough enough to face landscaping’s trial by fire…rain, wind or snow.
Landscape and lawn care services have their sets of challenges. But if managed well, they can be a profitable venture for years. Paired with the power of marketing, you can stay at the forefront of clients’ thoughts and ahead of your competition.
Landscape Marketing Hero can make that a reality. Book a call to learn how you’ll win with us.