Lawn and Gardening Service Owners
There were 1.3 million grounds maintenance workers in mid-2018. Lawn and gardening service owners work primarily for private homeowners, though they may also contract work with commercial properties. Condos, hotels, apartment complexes, golf courses, sports fields, and parks all require regular lawn service.
Approximately 22 percent of landscapers, groundskeepers, and nursery workers are self-employed. Owners who choose to build their own business face challenges such as covering the costs of start-up and establishing a client base. To defray these costs and risks, many choose to purchase and operate an existing business. There are a number of franchise opportunities in lawn care that, for a fee, will assist you in promoting your business and building a clientele. Spring-Green Lawn Care, Liqui-Green Lawn Care, Weed Man, U.S. Lawns, and Lawn Doctor are just a few. NaturaLawn of America is a franchise that provides organic-based lawn care.
Most lawn and gardening service owners start out working for established services and make their way into positions of management or higher responsibility. A typical entry-level job is that of the landscape service technician. After a few years on the job, promising technicians may be promoted to supervisor positions such as regional or branch managers. According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, "once a supervisory position is reached, leadership is the key to success." Workers who are organized, show strong leadership, and can make decisions quickly and wisely will have the best chances for promotion and may choose to start up their own business.
Depending on the business, start-up costs can vary. To purchase commercial quality equipment, the initial investment can be between $3,000 and $4,000. To buy into a franchise, however, will cost thousands of dollars more.
Once lawn and gardening service owners establish their own businesses, advancement can come in the form of expanded services. Some lawn professionals offer equipment and supply sales. With extended services, owners can reach out to a larger body of clients, securing larger contracts with golf courses, cities and local communities, and sports teams. With additional education, owners can also advance into other areas of lawn care and become contractors or landscape architects.
Tips for Entry
Land a part-time job at a lawn-service company, greenhouse, or related employer to hone your skills and make industry contacts.
Talk to lawn and gardening service owners about their careers. Ask them for advice on breaking into the field.
Learn as much as you can about horticulture and operating a business so that you are well prepared to become an entrepreneur.
One great way to enter the field is by purchasing a lawncare service franchise. Visit https://www.franchise.org/franchise-opportunities for a database of franchising opportunities.