View Full Version : whats more profitable: new installation or lawn mowing

01-24-2012, 12:09 AM
I had a question for people that either do both or have done both in the past. What is your input on it. What is more profitable, lawn mowing or new landscape installations.

01-24-2012, 02:47 AM
ive cleared much more at the end of the day doing landscape installs. thats all i did for 8 years at the last company i worked at. i only mow lawn now to get commercial maintenance contracts. it pays the bills and is steady work. when i line up a good install i know a nice payday is on its way. its too bad that im trying to lean more towards lining up as much mantenance work as possible and less install work though. i have my reasons, but again, installs have always paid me much more than any day mowing. just my personal experience it may be different for others.

Turf Dawg
01-24-2012, 08:57 AM
Landscape installs and pesticide apps have way more profit than cutting grass.
My steady income comes from grass cutting but my profitable money comes from the other two.

Patriot Services
01-24-2012, 09:04 AM
Landscape installs and pesticide apps have way more profit than cutting grass.
My steady income comes from grass cutting but my profitable money comes from the other two.

X2. Additionally 90% of my installs become permanent maintenance customers. The excitement a customer feels with a new landscape and the opportunity to protect that investment is a strong incentive.
Posted via Mobile Device

01-24-2012, 09:44 AM
high volume mowing/maintenance is steady...and can be quite lucrative if done correctly...installs are usually better net...just not steady enough...we get most our installs from our maintenance accts.

01-24-2012, 09:57 AM
New installs are four + times more lucrative than mowing:terribletowel:

01-24-2012, 02:03 PM
thanks for the input. We currently only do design/ build and are thinking about maintenance has steady income for the business and a way to grow but currently we don't do any maintenance.

4 seasons lawn&land
01-24-2012, 03:03 PM
Its alot different around here. Landscaping is around 33% more profitable. But theres alot more investment, alot more risk in the work as far as doing something wrong, resposibility for your work, like proper drainage or possible damage, plants surviving, lawns growing in, satisfying customers. Difficult customers are much more difficult customers when it comes to landscaping. More risk in terms of pricing too low. More unexpected things pop up. Its not as secure of a job, where mowing is steady as long as you have rain. Its also physically harder work and more dangerous. Mowing is easier. Still mowing can get boring at a point. Its nice to have the variety and you can make a little more, at least I make a little more. Sounds like alot of guys are making around double doing installs than mowing.

01-24-2012, 06:45 PM
4 Seaons i got a question for you.

I see your in NY just like me, i was wondering if you though you could do lawn maintenance and not offer snow plowing in the winter. Currently all we do is design/build but were looking to grow and has most people know its tough to grow a design/build company in a bad economy. I though about lawn lawns and maybe even chemical applications but I'm not to thrilled about plowing. You think in NY its possible to do one and not the other had professional company

4 seasons lawn&land
01-24-2012, 07:47 PM
You guys get alot more snow than us so its hard to say. Like anywhere there are alot of guys mowing here, but there are 4 times that many with a plow. I think I could get away with it. I plow for less than half of my lawn customers anyway. You might lose a little due to the plow guy getting his foot in the door. Biggest downfall would be that some plow customers will become other work customers. What else is there to do in the winter anyway? Im so bored right now Id work for free.

01-24-2012, 08:16 PM
yea thats true i just dont know if id like to work xmas eve, x-mas, or new years if i was plowing. i know some of my guys would rather be plowing than unemployment. do you do more commercial or residental

01-24-2012, 08:18 PM
full service offers good margins. Offer install and maintenance

01-24-2012, 08:26 PM
yea full service seems better but im not sure if it means more profitablity. i know a lot of people say most of their new installation work comes from existing lawn care customers but i can't see that much coming fom them.

4 seasons lawn&land
01-24-2012, 08:50 PM
95 % of my install work comes from lawn customers. I dont do much commercial. No contracts at all. I would if it came along. Ive put in bids before.

01-24-2012, 08:53 PM
4 season how many mowing crews you run, and how many install crews can keep busy off your lawn accounts new work

4 seasons lawn&land
01-24-2012, 09:59 PM
well Im flattered that Ive come across like a big shot but its just me and a part time guy. I hope to spreak in Mowing crew, install crew lingo one day though. Its about 50/50 lawn/landscape if that helps. I suspect as the customers get older (not in age but amount of time with me) that the ratio will fall on the landscaping side to about 60/40, maybe a bit less.

01-25-2012, 12:13 AM
I believe there is a better profit margin for landscape installs IF you are set up for it. For a small operator I believe it can be hard to make enough until you get set up correctly.
When we started out I had the never ending problem of things taking longer than they should, whether it be needing an extra trailer to haul rock, extra help for laying rock, or time to run back and get something we had not accounted for. Undoubtly when you get your install set up and crew to a science you can make atleast 2 to 4 times more clear money than maintenance, but from personal experience the first couple of years we did installs I never made enough when all was said and done between tight competition and mis judgement of something.
I think like anything, its trial and error as far as profit, until you get everything efficient.

01-25-2012, 12:43 PM
Cutting grass just keeps your business afloat. Landscape/Hardscape installs is what makes your company profit.

01-25-2012, 01:48 PM
IMO, mowing is the least profitable part of this industry. I say work on offering all aspects of landscaping from maintenance to new installs. Maintenance of everything on a property and installs including hardscapes. Just because you are solo doesn't mean you can't do hardscapes, you just can't quote the large ones. There are many people who want just a planter, small wall, or walk that is reasonable for a solo guy to handle. Diversification and Education is the key to long term success. Thats just me.

01-25-2012, 06:33 PM
currently were 95% new installation with our 5% maintenance being spring clean-ups. I just have been thinking about starting to mow lawns not because my installations are down but i want to grow but i want to find out if its worth it to do lawn mowing.

4 seasons lawn&land
01-25-2012, 07:16 PM
Cutting grass just keeps your business afloat. Landscape/Hardscape installs is what makes your company profit.
speak for yourself. How much profit in a day do you consider reasonable?

02-15-2012, 07:42 PM
To get more maintenance jobs you might offer a guarantee to your install customers if they sign a maintenance agreement. I find that people who pay to have someone install plants flowers etc. like having someone else maintain it. A lot of my maintenance customers signed with me because I guaranteed plant replacement if something died. Ive never had to replace a plant. My "agreement" or contract also states that I am not liable for freeze, irrigation damages, drought and so on.

Just keep mowing
02-20-2012, 05:17 PM
Landscape installs are highly profitable and sought after, however they are not steady enough and that is exactly why lawn mowing is crucial to our bottom line.