Can a solo lawn care business owner make $100,000 a year?

How much can you make as a solo lawn care business owner? That’s a very good question and one that many new lawn care business owners want to know. Knowing such a number can help you figure out if you are doing well or maybe you need to charge more. One of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum Members asked “Do you think that a solo operation could pull in $100,000 per year? If not, then what?”

There was a great many responses to this question that I want to share with you in order to give you a well rounded answer. Here are some of them.

Can a solo lawn care business owner make $100,000 a year?

Can a solo lawn care business owner make $100,000 a year?

- “Yes that can be reached. But what is your cost going to be? Not only money, but time with your family and friends. You’ll never get to 100K by working Mon-Fri 8 hours a day (solo that is). It is not just a J-O-B it is a different kind of life.

You need to sit down and budget, budget, budget.”

- “You would have to be working at least 6 days a week, 10 hours a day. The only area that I can think that it could be reached more easily would be in installations, compared to maintenance.”

- “During my last ten years in business, I worked mostly alone, running a ztr tractor on (mostly) big lawns. I spent a lot of time experimenting, trying to maximize effiecincy and profits. The result is an operation I have come to call “High Efficiency Lawn Mowing.”

Briefly, at 1990’s prices, I found no problem in grossing $400-plus per day and netting $300-plus. In peak conditions — hot and dry — I did considerably better.

Since I was getting on to retirement age, I only worked about three days a week. Remember you still have to have time to fish. But you can extrapolate from these figures what you could do full time.”

- “I have never seen a solo lawn care business operator make less than 35-40% of gross unless he is one that has to have the newest, best equipment and brand new trucks every two years, and also has cheap prices.

To answer the original question, a healthy gross for a solo lawn care business owner would be around $150k gross, which should give him over $90k net (then he would take his salary out of that).

I do know for a fact that a solo lawn care business owner with the right prices, equipment, and routes could EASILY do $100k gross in 40 hour weeks, year after year.

I am pretty much still considered solo because I do most of the work myself and just have a helper that runs another lawn mower on big properties, and run the trimmer + blower on small properties. Although I am not near $100k gross YET, it is because I have other priorities that hinder the business.”

- “I think it depends a lot on your competition, and the prices in your area. I do work in a city about 45 minutes away from here and 2 guys in 9 hours gross $1,000 that day… Another end of town on another day of the week the same 2 guys in 6 hours only gross $450. I have realized that the smaller paying days are necessary, until the routes fill up in that area… so I am patient. We work about 40 man hours per week in the summer, and plow in the winter and we will gross about $100,000. I bet we only pulled $30,000 out together in earnings though. But we choose to buy equipment as needed. So we bought a trailer, blower, trimmer this year, that we will not need to buy again next year. We also paid off our ZTR this year, so next year will be more net and hopefully more pay!!”

- “In my area I could net around $50k out of $100k. All area’s are so much different though.”

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The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
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