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Income Potential


LawnSite Member
Omaha, Nebraska
Hello all, I have been considering starting a lco and would like some honest opinions. I have been logging in to this site for about a month and respect the advice given. I have a background as a Business Manager and make $67k but work long hours at a job that doesn't interest me. I would like to get out from behind a desk and build a business that demands some physical activity to keep in decent health. Anyway, is it feasable to go part time for a year and if still enjoying and having some success build a buisness capable of replacing my current income FT in year two? Everyone's situation is different but with a family I need to know that $60-$70K is possible in net income? Thoughts?

turf dog

LawnSite Member
I am in the same situation as you. I own a business that keeps me inside all day and drives me crazy. I have been studying the Lawn care business for 8 months now and I will be starting in Feb. For income potential I believe a gross of $60,000 a year is very achievable with a lot of long hours and advil. I am lucky that I will have no debt and all my equipment will be payed for in full. My biggest suggestions is if you are serious read this site and make sure you go into this debt free.


LawnSite Silver Member
youngstown, ohio
it is possible to net 60-70k in your second year. BUT you will have to gross 100-120k to do it solo more if you start t have employees. get yourself good commercial equipment,insurance,a reliable truck and trailer do you have any experience in this at all? if not it may be alot more work than you think. Not to bust your balls but ive seen quite a few office type people try this thinking its easy work to make a decent buck fail because they didnt realize how hard this work really is. you have to consider that also. hot dirty hard work all summer long no more summer vacations with the family. you pay your own health insurance which gets expensive. Also see how many people in your area are doing this the more there are the lower the prices are and the harder it is to get alot of jobs to work on volume.


LawnSite Gold Member
First remember this. there are a lot of us fulltime LCO's on here but the vast magority of folks on LS are part-timers with many of them being teenagers. Now that is not a bad thing but because of that you should also take the advice you receive with that in mind because you are thinking about making a life altering change that may be good or could be horrible. So, in reality and not the BS that tons of folks on this site will shoot to you....it is very UNLIKELY that you could make $60K-$70K net salary after expenses (equipment, gas, oil, maintenance, etc) in your first fulltime year (2nd year total with the 1st PT as you said). Like Clark said to net $60-70K you'll have to gross $120-$150K probably. In all likelyhood if you work real hard and have a lot of good luck then maybe in year 5 you might.

Albemarle Lawn

LawnSite Bronze Member
I lived there and in Lincoln as a kid.

Looks like real estate is cheap there....get that commercial land/warehouse on the cheap NOW while you have verifyable income. It will be tougher when self-employed. Even if the lawn business flops, you will likely show gains on a real-eatate investment.

Get MORE warehouse than you need and rent out the rest.

Do you have benefits in addition to the $67K? If yes, stay part time in lawns.

I'm up in the 6-figures now, but my first year I grossed $6k, $20K second year, $35K third year. I was also in college at first.

Do you have a wife or someone that can help deal with advertising and phone traffic and free up your time?

In Omaha, you might be able to make some $ in snow. The growing season there is maybe 26 weeks? Even if you hustle and manage $500 a day, in 26 weeks thats only $52K GROSS working 5 days a week.

Many of us here are jealous of your compensation. Wouldn't it be nice if you could find someone to "switch roles" with.


LawnSite Fanatic
Memphis, TN
I'm no kid and I am full time in this biz. If you really work hard and have determination and self control then yes. If you think that working for yourself means you can take off anytime you want to and sleep late...then NO.


LawnSite Senior Member
Cincinnati Oh
Keep your day job and do it on the side to see if you like the work and what your earning potential is.Having a wife and kids you can't afford to quit a good job plus the benefits,call your insurance agent and find out about health care insurance for you and your family,you might be shocked at the cost.If you own your own company lawn care is more than a job, it becomes a way of life to survive.Reread what Hoss said plus a few other posts above, they are talking from experince.


LawnSite Member
I think if nothing else you would be wise to do this as your own company p/t for a couple years. It took me months of f/t work to become just efficient with equipment, after the first year of f/t I could run with the pro's.

Tell you the truth, this last summer there was several times I wished I had an office job, it was damn hot and dry! If you have benefits at your job I think it would be foolish not to go p/t until you've landed enough accounts to GUARANTEE your income. You would have to have 150 residential accounts at $35 a mow and get 26 mows out of them to make what you would need to cover all your expenses. Good luck.
I was in the opposite situation a few years back... Was a cuttin' fool for almost 9 years... part time. Had close to 85 cuts, weekend mulch and flower jobs. Truck, trailer, equipment... etc. Was totally burned out by the time I was 25-26... so I tried the "office" thing. They put me in the shoebox size cubical... walls were closing in on me... the computer made my eyes hurt. Do this, don't do that... wear this, not that. Smoke now, not then. Eat now, not later... "Yes, you gotta work xmas eve!!!!"

"The damn clock hasn't moved in two hours??? Oh, why did I get out of the business???" "What do you mean I'm gettin' layed off????"

Now, 32, startin' all over again, but the right way... Ripped jeans and Tshirt, grass stains on my boots and hands...sweatin' my b:blob1: 's off!!! And much happier!!!

bottom line??? You can make as much $$$ as you want... so long as you put your mind to it.


LawnSite Gold Member
You guys are missing the point. <b>He ask if he could NET $60K-$70K salary in his FIRST YEAR Fulltime as an LCO</b> after starting and workin 1 year part-time first and with ZERO clients and ZERO experience to start that year. To net that $60K-$70K he'll have to gross $120K-$150K depending on expenses and while I make killer money and agree with you all that yes you can make good money in the green industry if you work SMART (not just hard) still the chances of a start-up making $120K-$150K the first year out fulltime when you don't even have a customer yet is slim to none.