Register free!
Search
 
     

The Green Industry's Resource Center


Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-07-2011, 10:57 PM
osmann_lawn osmann_lawn is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Posts: 268
Average Income

Hello, I really enjoy lawn care/landscaping work. I am trying to get a business going. I was just wondering what you all thought on starting in this economy? Also i plan on getting it to be full time career. I have a few residential property's i mow for already. How much am i looking at making a year living in Wisconsin? I would like to get somewhere around 40-50 grand a year is that possible in this industry? (in at least 5 years time). I was thinking about going to a community college for some skilled trade (horticulture & landscaping, or something like welding, carpenter etc.. I thought at least if i had some kind of associate degree in landscaping i could try to get a job at a big local landscaping company, if things don't work out.

Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-09-2011, 03:30 PM
clc000 clc000 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: AA County, MD
Posts: 10
Osmann,

Lawn Care or Landscaping is an essential services industry-as long as there are people who are unable or do not want to take care of their own property there will be a market for LCOs. I don't know about your area, but in mine the current barrier to growth is not a lack of paying customers, but an influx of unemployed, illegal, or other small LCOs who do not pay taxes or pay for licenses or insurance and can therefore afford to scrape by charging rock-bottom prices. These oft disparaged "lowballers" have the effect of diluting prices and siphoning customers.

You can get a rough projection of your take-home profit by multiplying the average price per lawn you expect to charge by your anticipated number of customers. Multiply that by the number of service visits you expect for year. This will give you your projected gross. Divide that by three to give a rough estimation of operating profit. Subtract the cost of fixed assets to give you pre-tax net profit. Multiply that by .8 or maybe .75 to account for taxes and you have your take home profit. In other words, to bring home $50,000 you will need to gross about $180,000. In my area that means about 200-250 customers.*

I know many people who make more than that each year but many others who make far less. The key is analyzing your particular market and climate and finding a niche that can separate you from likely boundless competition and then following through by providing great customer service and doing quality work.

Good Luck

*This is a rough formula based on my own and my friends' experiences. It assumes a .3 profit margin and no income from additional services (hedges, landscaping, etc...)
__________________
Scissors
Ruler
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-09-2011, 05:40 PM
osmann_lawn osmann_lawn is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Posts: 268
Thanks. I HATE factory/warehouse work & that's what i am doing now for a full time job. I love lawn care/landscaping. Just want to hear what people make yearly & # of accounts. I am thinking about going to a 2 year tech school for Horticulture/landscaping & design at MATC. How much do you all charge per lawn residential?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-09-2011, 05:43 PM
osmann_lawn osmann_lawn is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Posts: 268
How the hell do you get that many weekly accounts?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-09-2011, 05:43 PM
RGM's Avatar
RGM RGM is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Baltimore Md
Posts: 924
Its all about how hard you want to work how much you charge an hour and how many people you have working for you.
__________________

60'' Gravely pro-turn 29 hp
60" Exmark lazar 23 hp
48" Snapper pro walk behind 14 hp kawasaki
21" Lawn boy
echo blower trimmers etc.
2005 Ford ranger v 6 4x4
Go O's
Go Raven's
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-10-2011, 07:31 AM
coolluv coolluv is online now
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 2,345
Quote:
Originally Posted by clc000 View Post
Osmann,

Lawn Care or Landscaping is an essential services industry-as long as there are people who are unable or do not want to take care of their own property there will be a market for LCOs. I don't know about your area, but in mine the current barrier to growth is not a lack of paying customers, but an influx of unemployed, illegal, or other small LCOs who do not pay taxes or pay for licenses or insurance and can therefore afford to scrape by charging rock-bottom prices. These oft disparaged "lowballers" have the effect of diluting prices and siphoning customers.

You can get a rough projection of your take-home profit by multiplying the average price per lawn you expect to charge by your anticipated number of customers. Multiply that by the number of service visits you expect for year. This will give you your projected gross. Divide that by three to give a rough estimation of operating profit. Subtract the cost of fixed assets to give you pre-tax net profit. Multiply that by .8 or maybe .75 to account for taxes and you have your take home profit. In other words, to bring home $50,000 you will need to gross about $180,000. In my area that means about 200-250 customers.*

I know many people who make more than that each year but many others who make far less. The key is analyzing your particular market and climate and finding a niche that can separate you from likely boundless competition and then following through by providing great customer service and doing quality work.

Good Luck

*This is a rough formula based on my own and my friends' experiences. It assumes a .3 profit margin and no income from additional services (hedges, landscaping, etc...)
Yep that's about right. I hope everyone who thinks about starting reads this and realizes what most really make doing this for a living.

Dave...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-10-2011, 07:33 AM
coolluv coolluv is online now
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 2,345
Quote:
Originally Posted by osmann_lawn View Post
How the hell do you get that many weekly accounts?
2 ways. Lots of money advertising and low prices.

Dave...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-10-2011, 01:37 PM
ralph02813 ralph02813 is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Charlestown, RI
Posts: 1,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by osmann_lawn View Post
Hello, I really enjoy lawn care/landscaping work. I am trying to get a business going. I was just wondering what you all thought on starting in this economy? Also i plan on getting it to be full time career. I have a few residential property's i mow for already. How much am i looking at making a year living in Wisconsin? I would like to get somewhere around 40-50 grand a year is that possible in this industry? (in at least 5 years time). I was thinking about going to a community college for some skilled trade (horticulture & landscaping, or something like welding, carpenter etc.. I thought at least if i had some kind of associate degree in landscaping i could try to get a job at a big local landscaping company, if things don't work out.

Thanks
Hmmm, Check your local university for maybe a master gardener certification, also check professional associations in your area, join and read.

It really depends on you area and how you want to focus your business as to how many clients you need and what your price point should be. You need to determine what your margins needs to be.
You say you have a few clients now ask yourself:
1.) Are these they type of clients I want and why.
2.) How much do you charge them?
3.) How much goes in your pocket, and how much pays for all your gear and supplies, insurance, permits and license, etc.
4.) divide your profit into $50k that will tell you how many customers you will need.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-12-2011, 03:57 PM
clc000 clc000 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: AA County, MD
Posts: 10
Nobody gets hundreds of customers overnight. You have to advertise to get your name out there, build a reputation by doing quality work and network with potential clients or other people who can help you get clients. Look at every job as an opportunity to sell yourself and your business.
__________________
Scissors
Ruler
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-12-2011, 10:15 PM
osmann_lawn osmann_lawn is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Posts: 268
Thanks guys for all the helpful info. I absolutely hate my temporary warehouse job. Never get time to see family & friends, witch are the most important things in life. That is one reason among many others i want to start my own lawn care business. After talking it over with my mom and dad they both thought it would be a good idea to go back to school. So i was looking around and found some community colleges that offer landscape/horticulture programs. I thought it would be a real good idea to get some type of education just in case i cant make it on my own i could work for a different company.

I have bought some postcards, flyers & door hangers. When do you think i should start handing them out? I live in South Eastern Wisconsin.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:10 PM.

Page generated in 0.08118 seconds with 7 queries