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Why bad profit margins are so prominent in the lawn care industry

Profit margins are low in lawn care industry, that’s just a cold, plain simple fact.

 

That doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. It just means you need to be smart and efficient.

 

So you are reading my articles in the lawn care and landscape blog, and probably getting discouraged. I write a lot about the bad profit margins that seem to be so prevalent in this industry.

 

The reason I write about it so much is the same reason I started this site; I hope I can help a few new and upcoming LCO’s avoid the pitfalls that so many of us lawn care business owners fall prey to.

 

 

When you see articles with so much negativity about the business you are thinking about starting up……well, that’s a downer!

Let me say, I’m not negative on running a lawn care business.

I’m negative about running a business that does not generate enough profit to be sustainable.

 

Many lawn care businesses do exactly that. They just do not have a good enough profit margin to cover expenses.

In fact, most of my friends in the lawn care industry have trouble covering payroll, let alone taxes, insurance, maintenance, and the other things.

 

Most of their revenue tends to go to labor because labor is one of the largest expenses.

Then they (I should say “we”, I was guilty too) would slack on maintenance, tires, equipment, etc. simply because there was not enough cash to go around.

 

Who am I to say?

I have had many, many friends in the lawn care industry over the last decade.

 

Almost all of them were in the same boat, me included.

I feel qualified at this point.

 

Most of us spent a lot of years running businesses that truly did not make enough profit to survive.

Unfortunately, that is a common thing in the lawn care industry.

 

Many of my friends gave up.The rest had to make changes to the way they ran their business.

 

 

You don’t have to be one of them!

I’m sure I will have some people get angry when they see me posting so much truth, but I truly want to help a few people avoid my mistakes, and my friends mistakes.

 

If you start your lawn care or landscape business up right in the beginning, you can avoid a world of hurt and frustration in the future.

 

There is nothing worse than spending 10 or 15 years to “figure it out”.

 

Yes, I am one of those……. 10 years and then one day it dawns on you that you aren’t really making much money for those 6 and 7 day work weeks during the summer.

 

10 years of blood, sweat, and tears trying to make ends meet, and too stubborn to give up.

 

Changing routes, changing employees, changing structure, changing processes, to finally throw your hands up, and accept that the market price for lawn care in your area does not sustain the business.

 

Why are bad profit margins so prominent in the lawn care industry?

 

  • Low barrier to entry
  • Business inexperience
  • Price lowballing
  • Poorly managed routes
  • Too much drive time between properties
  • Giving away work that should be charged for
  • Incorrect pricing
  • Labor challenges
  • Inefficient operations
  • Lack of infrastructure
  • Growing too fast
  • Growing too slow

 As you research starting a lawn care business, you will have a lot of people talk about making a LOT of money doing lawn care.

Good for them….I just haven’t personally met too many of them.

 

Yes, you can make a living, but wow, you have to be really smart to make a LOT of money doing it.

 

Maybe it’s different up north, or in other locations, but in Florida, it’s tough to make decent money doing lawns.

 

My friends in other states say the same thing.

 

The good part is, if you are smart, set it up right, pick the right type of accounts, and operate efficiently, you CAN make a decent living doing lawn and landscape work.

 

So what can I do to start out right?

We will save that for the second part of this series.

 


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