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Branching out

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by southside, Jun 9, 2000.

  1. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Hi, I've decided to take the plunge and do a<br>bit of landscape instal work through winter.<br>(No snow here) I was wondering what the most<br>profitable type of installation work is?<br>Turfing (sod)?<br>Ponds?<br>Irrigation instal?<br>Garden instal?<br>Any advise you could offer would be appreciated.<br>Thanks<p>Karl<br>
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Well, I guess there are all kinds of things you should consider:<p>What do you have experience in?<p>If you have no experience in any of those areas you list, what kind of liabilities are you open to if you botch a job due to inexperience?<p>How much are you willing to invest in equipment? Some take more than others.<p>Do you have licensing requirements there that would stall or slow your efforts to get going?<p><p>For me, I enjoy/am good/am willing to invest a lot in/am experienced with hardscapes, more specifically brick paving. That's our bread and butter. It's much equipment intensive than many other areas of the landscaping industry (I have almost $10K invested just in brick saws, and my company is small potatos. Many companies participating here have much more than that!). The profit is good, but there are many things that play a role in that profitablility. <p>I don't know if I've helped, but good luck!
  3. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Hello,<p>I'm with stonehenge here.<p>You ask the question of &quot;what is the most probitable type on install work&quot;?<p>My question is, is it profit you are looking for or are you looking for something to do that you enjoy?<p>If you want profit, become a doctor, lawyer, stock broker, etc. <p>If you enjoy doing landscape work, then do landscape work. <p>If you already enjoy what you do, then why change that? <p>Landscape installation and landscape maintenance are two diff't things. (this may have some varying opinions out there, but I believe they are) To say they aren't is like saying that a mechanic who works on transmissions only is exactly the same as a mechanic who only does body repair. <p>I'm sure you have done some work, so my best advice would be to look back at some of the past jobs you have completed and think about which ones you liked/disliked, which ones you were able to do with full confidence, and last but not least, which ones made you the most money. <p>This would be a good start to me.<p>steveair<p><p><p>
  4. steven Bousquet

    steven Bousquet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    the highest profit with the smallest invest ment is plantings. trees shrubs,perenails, mulching. if you know how to design and have a place to stock plants and mulch, the profits can be even better
  5. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Thanks guys.I don't do hard landscape.Over<br>here you have to be a licensed builder for<br>that.I do enjoy planting and mulching,and <br>done a fair bit of both plus turf laying.We have some space here for a stock of plants.<br>What to stock? Annuals?Shrubs?Trees? ect.<p>Karl<br>
  6. Starling Lawn

    Starling Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    karl,<br>if i were going to have a storage nursery,i would buy shrubs and trees that you are most familiar with.down here commercial growers offer discounts for larger orders.also i would keep smaller trees,say 15 gal.or so.anything bigger i have delivered.as far as annuals,some growers will deliver right to the job site so as not to tie up space.sorry to ramble,<br>dave
  7. steven Bousquet

    steven Bousquet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    what to stock? we only stock plants we use alot of, we design base on plants available you can't plant a plant you don't have. if you buy 100 plants at a time you can getter better pricing and you won't be out of stock inthe summer months when the garden centers have bought all their plants already and drained our suppliers.
  8. kermit

    kermit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Plant material has a good profit margin but I think you should find a niche nobody else has exploited and concentrate on that. In this area that is work in natural stone. Lot's of work, few people in it so you can charge as much as the market will bear. If you aren't loosing 50% of the jobs you're bidding you are not charging enough. Just my two cents and the niche may be different in your area, but try to get into something that is underserviced. Around here there are too many people in the interlocking business, which of course drives down the price, and in the design end of things. Find your niche, good luck.

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