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Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by kooter, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. kooter

    kooter LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 4

    hey everyone, im a senior in high school, i am thinking about going to ferris state michigan, or michigan state U. ferris has a ornamental horticulture program that sounds alright, it's a two year, then i was thinking of mabey going on for another two years in design or something, what i hope to eventualy do is open a commercial landscape company, not just mow lawns, but put in things like ponds, and things like that. if anyone had any advise on classes that would help, i would highly appreciate it. thanks :cool:
  2. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    I am currently a business major at Miami University (in OH). My take on the whole college is this: Anyone with enough experience can pick up on the technical instalation and maintenace aspect, but not everyone can run the business end successfully. Take my dad for example. He majored in fine arts and specialized in photography in college. When he finally decided to start his own photography studio, he emensley strugled with the "business" segment of the business.

    My advice is to learn the business end of the business, and then learn what you need from experience, or hire someone who has it. Good luck.
  3. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    to an extent mac lawn is correct, but there are also many programs that take this into account. im a turf major at UConn, and its a two year associate degree. when you are done, you can go on for a four year degree. our school makes you take some business background classes so you get an aspect of everything int he business. i am currently taking an agribusiness management class, and i love it. they teach you about taxes, budgets, costs etc... just go into a degree that you feel you will like doing. most will list out what required classes you must take, and then you get to pick the rest of classes you want in that area. have fun.
  4. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Messages: 270

    If you go that route in landscape contracting biz of todays world, you will go broke real fast, nothing eats up profits faster than learning from experience (in this trade) my two cents. With Regards... devildog
  5. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    Where in Illinois are you?? Cause my uncle is a professor of Horticulture at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Im going to be going to a 2yr school to get a degree in landscape Hort. If your interested in the field of landscaping yeah get some kind of education but also work for someone or start a biz on your own up if you can or if you already do.
    Good Luck, and do alot of searchin on this site, its a great site:cool:
  6. kooter

    kooter LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 4

    Well I have a brother that wants to help me in the business aspect of it, would that work if he were to go for a 2 year degree in general business? Then I could do the landscaping part of it and he could do the business part. I could teach him a little bout landscaping and him teach me some business
  7. T. Matthews

    T. Matthews LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    Hey there,

    From my experiece go to school and get the education,but also start a small mowing business or go work for someone who is already doing it. I started my Co before I went to school for a Hort degree. If you do you 'll have a leg up on the competiton. I notice alot of LCO in my area just don't have the education and it shows in their work.

    T. Matthews
  8. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Messages: 776

    I would have to disagree with T. When you are in school, concentrate on school. If you try to take a full course and run a business at home at the same time SOMETHING is going to slip. I know from first hand experience :(

    UTM-PIKE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    Ive been disagreeing and agreeing the entire page. I am currently a Junior at the University of Tennessee at Martin majoring in turfgrass/golf course mgmt. I think more turf/landscaping classes vs. business classes. You can always hire a secretary for minimum wage work the computers while you are overseeing that the work is actually getting done instead of staying in the office hoping that your crew gets the work done. When I get out, I think I will be one of the only people in my area with an education who owns a business, nothing against people who dont, but, you meet a lot of people and get a chance to think how you want to run your business. If I went full blown my first year, I would have failed. This way, it lets me ease into it and know how I want to do things when I get out. Now granted, I am getting ready to skip a few classes to stretch my weekend out so I can cut 30-35 yards and do a few big installs, also, my internship this summer will broaden my perspective as well. My advise to someone going to school, dont spend your college fund on equipment!
  10. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    I have to respectfully disagree with UTM-PIKE,

    I think that acording to his adivce, you can only get so large. After a point, you will have too much work, and you will want to remove yourself from the grunt work. When that time comes, i want to know exactly what is being done by my "secretary", and be able to run my own accounting and other "business" procedures on a regular basis.

    I think that to fully realize what you should study, you need to examine how large you would like to grow. If you only want to grow your business to say $300K gross, then i think the agricultural knowlege will be more of an asset to you. On the other hand, if oyu want to have multiple locations throughout numerous states, the business knowledge will be of much more value to you. I hope you realize where i am coming from, because i sure know which way i am going.;)

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