Florida advice

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by dnc19694339, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. dnc19694339

    dnc19694339 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    So here I am another winter hating the winter weather up here in NY.

    I am writing this as we are staying on the beach in Treasure Island,FL while we have had about 7 inches of snow since I left a few days ago!

    Been thinking about moving down for years and get more serious every year.

    I run 2 lawn crews and 2 landscape crews right now in NY.

    The areas I am thinking about moving to are St Pete/Pinellas area, Bradenton, or Sarasota.

    Out of those 3 what area would I have the best chance of success? Do any of those areas have higher labor rates or less competition than the others?
  2. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    I live in Valrico, sort of a middle to upper middle class suburb of Tampa. Parts of St. Pete are very wealthy, however, I would tend to think that you may have the highest possibility of sucess in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. There is a lot of money down there. I think that the Tampa are and it's suburbs have a lot to offer you as well. I think no matter where you go, you are going to have a lot of competition. The green industry in Florida is pretty saturated, however, it always seems like there is room for more. A lot of the businesses you see out and about in a daily basis probably wont be around in a year or two, and a lot do shoddy work. There are wealthy areas in all of the areas you listed, as well as pretty poor areas.

    One of the good things about South Florida, though, is the grass grows year round (for the most part). We have no state tax down here either, and the cost of living is probably lower than in NY.
  3. getdown

    getdown LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 297

    Make sure to hit up The Undertow in St Pete Beach as well as Ricky T's and Sloppy Joes (across from each other) on Treasure Island...great watering holes...that's my old stomping grounds from college!
  4. dnc19694339

    dnc19694339 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    Funny! We are staying at the Bilmar and had thanksgiving dinner at Sloppy Joes! Good Food!
  5. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    I concur. I am based in South Sarasota County. You can pretty much count on a 42 week schedule for mowing and the remaining 10 weeks is divided up by Clean up work just before Thanksgiving, Christmas, New years.
    You can get use to much lower utility bills especially this time of year when we just open the house up and enjoy the cold fronts, dryer weather.
    Property, homes are still a buyers market,but are climbing in spite of the over all national economy. PM, me if you have any other specific questions.
    easy-lift guy
  6. getdown

    getdown LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 297

    I was going to ask if you were at the Bilmar: in my eyes, the best spot on Treasure Island...
  7. dnc19694339

    dnc19694339 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    So I have been reading and doing google searches on the mowing/landscaping rates down in Florida. From what I have read it looks like anywhere from $60/mo and up for monthly maintenance? I have also seen where shrubs are included in these rates?
    Also looked up paver installation prices and they look really low? We do alot of paver work.

    What drives the prices down? Is there that much competition? Or is it that all the retirees penny pinch you guys for cut throat rates?

    Right now Im starting to wonder if i can build up a business to the point where I have several crews out mowing/spraying/landscaping? Can you guys get $40/hr for labor there?
  8. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    You will have your work cut out for you. It is possible to charge as high as $40.00 per hour, how many takers may be another story. Because Florida has a very high population of semi skilled laborers paver work is very cheap. The retirees do have some influence over pricing and frequently take advantage of the labor pool available. The prices for full service maintenance can vary widely and with a year round growing season competition may prove very challenging.
    Your obvious advantages include, no state income tax, low sales tax, good road system, plenty of suppliers for all phases of Landscape installation and maintenance. Compared to most of the rest of the mainland really decent weather, especially this time of year. You may not make your Second fortune here in the Sunshine State, however more than likely you will find your niche
    and provide what your customers want at a fair price. The rest will be up to your abilities and the over all economy. All the best.
    easy-lift guy
  9. mark11771

    mark11771 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I am also from New York and was thinking about relocating to Florida. I have 24 years of experience running someone else's company. I don't necessarily want to start my own business, but was wondering what kind of pay I could expect working for someone in Florida.
  10. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    Depending on what part of the industry you wanted to get into. A mowing crew lead is 12-15hr around here at the national companies. I wouldn't go that route. Your best bet is to get into irrigation or dragging a hose unless you're into management. I say the other two because it will lead towards getting a professional license vs just mowing grass which isn't really a trade in itself.

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