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  1. #1
    Super Member MossflowerWoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    5,988
    Location
    Ladysmith, VA
    Tractor
    Kioti DK50SE HST w/FEL, John Deere LX266 & STX38 Mowers. Stihl MS290 20" bar (For Sale), CS261, & FS190 + Echo CS400 & rusty old Ranger snowplow truck

    Default Can you actually make a living with a LandScaping Buinsess?

    Maybe this is not the right forum, but on my 4 hours per day of commuting I often ponder if there is a better way to make a living...

    I love my tractor and honest physical labor feels rewarding in my yard.

    I see all these 1-tons with trailers loaded with mowers, trimmers, etc. they are all going somewhere in a big hurry. Are they making it?

    I've got a couple mowers, a trimmer, and a trailer. Should I start on the weekends and try to become self sufficient? I could also bush-hog, cut down trees, and grind stumps.

    Can you make it and even do well owning and operating a Landscaping company?

    I'm serious btw.

    Be well & Thanks in advance.
    David
    Former Submariner & Army SGT
    2011 Kioti DK50SE HST, KL-401 FEL w/72" bucket, tooth bar, & Ratchet Rake, 2 rear remotes, canopy, WR Long RBG72 Grapple, Woods BB72X cutter & TSG-50 stump grinder, TSC PHD, & more to come. Mowers 2003 JD LX266 42" deck mower, & old JD STX-38 (12.5 hp).

    Managing 51 Acres of Virginia hills with ponds & streams, Freshly Clear Cut!, riding trails, empty pasture, long gravel drive, veggie garden, & yard.

  2. #2
    Advertiser sweettractors's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    7,407
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Tractor
    JD 6403 CHA-JD 3130 CHA

    Default Re: Can you actually make a living with a LandScaping Buinsess?

    I have a neighbor that is a retired teacher. He mows 47 yards per week, He charges $25 to $65 per yard for mowing, weed eating and blowing grass off the sidewalks and driveways. His equipment consists of a Jeep, small trailer and a Dixon ZTR, blower, weed eater. He only mows 3 days a week and usually goes fishing the other days of the week. Ken Sweet
    http://www.sweetfarms.com/

    Sweet Farm Equipment LLC (Internet Sales, Shipping All States)
    Shipping Facility
    1815 Defries Rd., Canmer, Ky 42722 Toll Free 1-866-528-3323
    Ken Sweet sweet@scrtc.com

    Shipping Example: Can ship 800 lbs from Ky. to Dallas for $165
    The Northeast shipping corridor is a little more expensive.

  3. #3
    Silver Member jonnyc1999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    177
    Location
    New Kent, VA
    Tractor
    Craftsman GT5000

    Default Re: Can you actually make a living with a LandScaping Buinsess?

    David, I've thought a lot about this too. I really enjoy outside projects and working around out in the yard. The equipment that I've gotten in the past year or two have been geared towards starting a possible future business.
    The biggest problem that I've seen is that whenever a hobby becomes a job, it becomes WAY less fun! While I love spending a few hours out in the yard, do I really want to spend 10-12 hours every day out there? Working for people that don't appreciate you? Also, I think that in order to make it work, you would need to obtain recurring work, such as maintaining commercial properties or such. Word of mouth and mowing your neighbor's yards "ain't gonna cut it".
    Another thing to think about is the winter. In the south, there is not much snow to keep landscapers busy during the off season. I don't know how landscapers make it through the winter down here, but I know that even back home in NH, they were hurting last year due to a lack of snow.

    Anyways, my thought is that you could definitely subsidize your income by working under the table doing small-time projects for others, but once you jump into full time work that requires commercial licensing and insurance, it would be much more difficult to stay afloat and much less satisfying.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member phiferpharm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    1,069
    Location
    Fort McCoy, Florida
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45se HST - Rhino 660 4X4 - Snapper Pro ZTR - Craftsmen Chipper/Vac

    Default Re: Can you actually make a living with a LandScaping Buinsess?

    I think sweettractors gives you a good insight into this David. Do you live within a reasonable distance to enough potential clients to give you the required volume? My BIL's son does this for a living in the populated south end of Florida and the key is having the volume of customers. He also does have an additional two-man crew he employs. I think the biggest problems he runs into is equipment/employee "breakdowns" can really throw things out of whack, and seasonal fluctuations (even in South Florida winter time means less mowing).

    Good luck and let us know when "Landscape Artistry by MossflowerWoods" goes public!
    Doug P

  5. #5
    Gold Member ncnurseryman's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
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    370
    Location
    In the Piedmont, NC
    Tractor
    John Deere 970

    Default Re: Can you actually make a living with a LandScaping Buinsess?

    I have a small retail/wholesale nursery and do landscaping as a service as well. Can you make a living? Yes, a few are even well off, but it is hard to get going and I would start small and grow slow. You need general liability insurance and get the best equipment you can afford. The equipment from the box stores will not cut it for long. Commercial grade is best but very expensive, so it is better to buy them used. Even then, breakdowns occur at the worst times. My dump truck left me on the side of the road just yesterday and screwed up the whole days schedule and most likely the money made is now lost to fix the truck. Also, there are lots of lowballers out there that will do a job for way too little. Don't do that. if you cant make a good profit then don't waste your time, let the lowballer have it, he won't be around long anyways. Also, go look at the forum site called lawnsite.com. It is a treasure trove of good information very much like tbn. Otherwise, it is a great business and a way to have a little more independence with your time. Good luck with it.

  6. #6
    Gold Member ncnurseryman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    370
    Location
    In the Piedmont, NC
    Tractor
    John Deere 970

    Default Re: Can you actually make a living with a LandScaping Buinsess?

    Also, the guys that I know that do it full time have their customers on an annual contract, be it residential or commercial and they provide pre-emergent treatment in the sprint, fertilizing, mowing, trimming, blowing. Annual contracts is the only way to have income during the winter other than little side jobs. That's something that I don't have but I don't do just landscaping full time.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    2,088
    Location
    Casey County, Kentucky

    Default Re: Can you actually make a living with a LandScaping Buinsess?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyc1999 View Post
    David, I've thought a lot about this too. I really enjoy outside projects and working around out in the yard. The equipment that I've gotten in the past year or two have been geared towards starting a possible future business.
    The biggest problem that I've seen is that whenever a hobby becomes a job, it becomes WAY less fun! While I love spending a few hours out in the yard, do I really want to spend 10-12 hours every day out there? Working for people that don't appreciate you? Also, I think that in order to make it work, you would need to obtain recurring work, such as maintaining commercial properties or such. Word of mouth and mowing your neighbor's yards "ain't gonna cut it".
    Another thing to think about is the winter. In the south, there is not much snow to keep landscapers busy during the off season. I don't know how landscapers make it through the winter down here, but I know that even back home in NH, they were hurting last year due to a lack of snow.

    Anyways, my thought is that you could definitely subsidize your income by working under the table doing small-time projects for others, but once you jump into full time work that requires commercial licensing and insurance, it would be much more difficult to stay afloat and much less satisfying.
    Around my neck of the woods, right now we have a lack of grass. I have a coworker who cuts part time to make ends meet. He is at a standstill with no end in sight due to a severe lack of rain.

    Go figure now that gas has broke the 3.00/gal mark here.

    What about "niche markets"? I saw this Dew-Eze mower in a weekly sale magazine the other day. Curious, I did some searching and found these specialized slope mowers. Probably pricey but in the right market place, you could do what others could not.

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    269

    Default Re: Can you actually make a living with a LandScaping Buinsess?

    Quote Originally Posted by sweettractors View Post
    I have a neighbor that is a retired teacher. He mows 47 yards per week, He charges $25 to $65 per yard for mowing, weed eating and blowing grass off the sidewalks and driveways. His equipment consists of a Jeep, small trailer and a Dixon ZTR, blower, weed eater. He only mows 3 days a week and usually goes fishing the other days of the week. Ken Sweet
    I am a math teacher/tutor.... 47 yards to mow in 3 days is more than 15 yards a day. Must be really small yards all lined up in a row...Nice gig.

  9. #9
    Elite Member Bob77064's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    3,972
    Location
    KY @ TN line
    Tractor
    2011 LS R3039

    Default Re: Can you actually make a living with a LandScaping Buinsess?

    The drought has killed the lawn care business here now and there is no telling how long that will last. The people that do this kind of work tell me that when business is good, anyone with a truck , trailer and some equipment can become your competition.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Jan 2012
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    933
    Tractor
    2012 John Deere 3520 Deluxe Cab

    Default Re: Can you actually make a living with a LandScaping Buinsess?

    not around here. every kid out of high school has one. and there is too much competetion. all of them struggle to make ends meet

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