The future of lawn care

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lundslawncare, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. lundslawncare

    lundslawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Hey everyone. Im pretty new to this site and to the lawn business. This will be my first season, all of the equipment and insurance is ready and rearing to go! Just waiting for the phone to ring. Ive been busy putting out flyers, biz cards, and ads in the paper, so hopefully the customers will come soon. My main reason for this post is the future of this business. I wonder what some of your opinions are. Im currently going to community college for a degree in business. Id like to continue school and was thinking about landscaping or turf management. Michigan State has a great program. But my question is, will it be worth it? I'm just hesitant, because I am unsure as to the future of this career. In ten years will there still be the same demand? I evenutally want to have a family and definitely want to be in business for myself. I want to be able to support this family, so I need to make the decision for the type of degree to pursue. I know I will love this business and will enjoy getting up for work everyday. I know that I can make a decent living with lawn maintenance, but in the long run will it be there?? Just curious I spose, and any response will be appreciated. :D
    -John
     
  2. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,853

    I my opinion, the demand for our services will always be there, it may even increase. One possible problem could be everyone getting into the business in attempt to make some quick cash.
     
  3. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    Welcome to the site John. At present the Green industry is a billion $$ biz. Synthetic lawns dont fit the bill in most scenarios. They are hotter, unhealthier to the enviroment and still require mainenance such as cleaning (especially if u have a dog, or a neighbor that has one or two :p ). Lawncare has been around for a century or so and I feel it will be a long time before other methods of lawncare ever overtake current methods.
     
  4. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    If the economy tanks, we're all in the doogie house, but so is practically everyone else.

    Your chances of succeeding in something you really want to do are much better than in something that just bores you to tears. That counts for a lot. People who don't like what they're doing usually fail.
     
  5. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 578

    There are 4 things to worry about:

    1/ global warming---where you're cutting today might be a frozen tundra in 15 years

    2/more illegal aliens causing so much price erosion that you cant make a decent buck

    3/ someday, the big maintenance companies might actually figure it out and wipe out the smaller guys-- use Walmart as an example.

    4/ very soon, with technology advancements, an actual robotic lawn mower might take over in some areas.


    There will always be work, it might just look different then today.


    Just my $0.02! :rolleyes:
     
  6. yamadooski

    yamadooski LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 434

    They already tried the robot lawnmower a few years ago at a subdivision in Tampa.
    I saw it. It did a crappy job. I was a little concerned about how many homeowners would buy such a thing. Then my wife told me not to worry cause some will still have to trim, edge, blow and do the bushes too.
    She said then its less work for me and still charge the same... :D
     
  7. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    I dropped out of college after 2 1/2 years because I realized I can make more money doing this job than I ever could with a degree in business management.

    That was 12 years ago.

    Last year I grossed just over $130k working solo, netted @ $55k.

    I'd say there's a career here and there.

    You WILL have to work at it though, it will not come to you.

    Like I said, I dropped out of college 12 years ago, after already being in business for 4 years and thinking there wasn't any money in cutting grass.
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Well as far as I'm concerned if you're doing it just for the money, then you're in for a rude awakening, lol. As for myself, I find the physical labor helps clear out the insanity that builds up in the mind over time. That, and once you get good at it, it really doesn't feel much like work, thou I admit the aerator still is a bit like work, somedays.
    :)
     
  9. mastercare

    mastercare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 289

    You asked for opinions, so as an MSU grad, here goes:

    I would definitely continue your education. If you are questioning the future of the lawn business, it would be nice to have a backup plan!! I personally hold a degree in Finance from MSU. I think that many people on here will attest to the value of an education, and even more so in business. I have seen quotes on here that go something like:

    There are 2 types of Lco's:
    1. People who cut grass and happen to own a business
    2. People who own a business that happens to cut grass!

    I think you'll find by talking on here that the most successful companies in this industry are run by true businessmen. It just so happens that they are skilled and knowledgable in the green industry. (Almost) Anyone can cut grass. But, to be successful, you need the accounting, business, marketing, financial, and management skills. Many people cut grass, without any real business plans, without knowing their finances, and those are the companies that end up with problems or out of the business.

    To sum it up: Stay in school. Get a degree in a business....Finance, Mgt, Marketing, etc. As you mentioned MSU has a great ag program. At State you have several elective classes.....so take some ag/horticultural classes while you're there. Many lawn associations (MGIA) also provide classes on different topics, buy a book, take an MSU Extension class through the Michigan dept of AG....there are a million ways to stay educated in your field, but its all useless unless your business is profitable, and you earn a comfortable living.

    If you're considering MSU......send me a Private Message....I'd be happy to share my experiences.
     
  10. green with envy

    green with envy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 219

    In this field there is always more to learn, take turf management courses learn the science of turf. What makes it grow how it effects pollution. etc...

    The more you know about your field the more your setting yourself up to succeed.


    Good Luck.

    Mike
     

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