How to turn my low profit lawn care business around?

Do you find yourself in a situation where you are running your lawn care business yet you feel after paying bills, you have no money left for a salary? That is the subject of a question asked on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. A new business owner wrote “I started my biz 2 years ago. Initially I did $6,500 and still worked another full time job. I quit my job to pour all of my energy into the biz. I had 350% growth, but all of the biz money goes to pay my personal bills. How do I change this to where I am drawing a salary, so that I can continue to grow? Does everyone go through this, or was I an idiot to quit my job so soon?”

A forum member shared “I can relate to your situation. There is no doubt that most everyone must go through a difficult stage as they try to start their lawn care company. How long or how serious that awkward stage is will depend on you and your circumstances.

Turn your lawn care business around

Turn your lawn care business around


So no, you’re not an idiot for quitting. This can be turned around! The first step is to develop a business plan, complete with current and projected financial statements.

Unfortunately, it is dificult to give you any pointed advice without knowing your situation. That is, what your financial statements look like, what your revenue is and how much time are you currently putting into your company.

If you want to better understand your situation you need:

  • A breakdown of all your monthly bills.
  • Your monthly revenue for the past several months (or since you started full time).
  • An idea of how many hours you currently work in the field each week.
  • If you have staff, what are you paying them and how much are they working.

Look at your figures and see where you want to be compared to where you are.”

Another suggested “It seems clear to me that you did not have a business plan, it would have shown you among other things the profitability of the company and what it could afford to pay you and at the same time have retained earnings to grow the business.

I would have thought you’d realize this while working a full time job and running the side business.

In any event there is a lot more information required to give an absolute answer, in short however it seems clear to me you are living beyond the means of what the company can support.

I personally do not see lawn mowing as a high profit area for a small company (at least in my area), however there are areas within lawn and yard care that are.

Where I live for example you would starve offering sprinklers or sprinkler repair as less than 1% of the population has or is interested in these systems, at the same time offer mini excavation which I have and the results have been amazing and the profitability is quite high, same as spraying and a few other services I have zero’d in on.

Marketing is very important, word of mouth and your network of people you know would be #1, I would put newspaper ad’s as number 2, in the city I live ad mail has not worked at all, newspaper ad’s have been a hit. Having a website is critical, it’s a cheap way for you to market yourself and your services using words and pictures, I would not personally spend a lot of $$$ or a tremendous amount of time making sure I was number 1 in search engine results, remember the average age of Internet users is something like 28, personally that is not my target market, keep in mind also many areas are still dial up and older folks (my target market) will hit the newspaper first followed by the yellow pages, I base this on customer feedback and experience.

So there is a lot to think about, research and try.”

To me this isn’t so much about turning your lawn care business around as it is controlling your current expenses and bringing in more profits. It is next to impossible to make the jump from working a full time job and then quitting to run your lawn care business full time and expecting the same amount of income. You are much better off, saving up some money first and then using that savings to make up the difference until your business catches up. But all in all no matter what you are doing, you always have to watch your expenses. There are probably things you can cut back on until your business gets bigger and healthier. Look through your monthly bills and get rid of things you don’t need.

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The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
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