Average Income

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by osmann_lawn, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. osmann_lawn

    osmann_lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 268

    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
     
  2. clc000

    clc000 LawnSite Member
    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...)
     
  3. osmann_lawn

    osmann_lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    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?
     
  4. osmann_lawn

    osmann_lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 268

    How the hell do you get that many weekly accounts?
     
  5. RGM

    RGM LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Baltimore Md
    Posts: 976

    Its all about how hard you want to work how much you charge an hour and how many people you have working for you.
     
  6. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,624

    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...
     
  7. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,624

    2 ways. Lots of money advertising and low prices.

    Dave...
     
  8. ralph02813

    ralph02813 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Charlestown, RI
    Posts: 1,041

    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.
     
  9. clc000

    clc000 LawnSite Member
    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.
     
  10. osmann_lawn

    osmann_lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    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.
     

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