whats more profitable: new installation or lawn mowing

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by gscapes, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. gscapes

    gscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    yea thats true i just dont know if id like to work xmas eve, x-mas, or new years if i was plowing. i know some of my guys would rather be plowing than unemployment. do you do more commercial or residental
  2. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    full service offers good margins. Offer install and maintenance
  3. gscapes

    gscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    yea full service seems better but im not sure if it means more profitablity. i know a lot of people say most of their new installation work comes from existing lawn care customers but i can't see that much coming fom them.
  4. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,613

    95 % of my install work comes from lawn customers. I dont do much commercial. No contracts at all. I would if it came along. Ive put in bids before.
  5. gscapes

    gscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    4 season how many mowing crews you run, and how many install crews can keep busy off your lawn accounts new work
  6. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,613

    well Im flattered that Ive come across like a big shot but its just me and a part time guy. I hope to spreak in Mowing crew, install crew lingo one day though. Its about 50/50 lawn/landscape if that helps. I suspect as the customers get older (not in age but amount of time with me) that the ratio will fall on the landscaping side to about 60/40, maybe a bit less.
  7. jay12

    jay12 LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 270

    I believe there is a better profit margin for landscape installs IF you are set up for it. For a small operator I believe it can be hard to make enough until you get set up correctly.
    When we started out I had the never ending problem of things taking longer than they should, whether it be needing an extra trailer to haul rock, extra help for laying rock, or time to run back and get something we had not accounted for. Undoubtly when you get your install set up and crew to a science you can make atleast 2 to 4 times more clear money than maintenance, but from personal experience the first couple of years we did installs I never made enough when all was said and done between tight competition and mis judgement of something.
    I think like anything, its trial and error as far as profit, until you get everything efficient.
  8. JWBradleyLandscaping

    JWBradleyLandscaping LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2

    Cutting grass just keeps your business afloat. Landscape/Hardscape installs is what makes your company profit.
  9. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    IMO, mowing is the least profitable part of this industry. I say work on offering all aspects of landscaping from maintenance to new installs. Maintenance of everything on a property and installs including hardscapes. Just because you are solo doesn't mean you can't do hardscapes, you just can't quote the large ones. There are many people who want just a planter, small wall, or walk that is reasonable for a solo guy to handle. Diversification and Education is the key to long term success. Thats just me.
  10. gscapes

    gscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    currently were 95% new installation with our 5% maintenance being spring clean-ups. I just have been thinking about starting to mow lawns not because my installations are down but i want to grow but i want to find out if its worth it to do lawn mowing.

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