If there is one industry in South Florida that is both recession proof and a great example of how to start and grow small business, it’s lawn care and landscaping. Grass here needs to be cut every two weeks and sometimes more often depending on the amount of rain. Shrubbery gets out of control before you know it. Everything, to include weeds, grows like crazy. Some people of course take care of their own places, but lawncare is a great entry-level business and provides a wonderful example of free market application. Here’s the way it works. The market demand is large, consistent, and it is a low overhead business to get started.
You can begin with a lawnmower, weedeater, and pickup truck (or other vehicle) and only yourself for labor. Next up is when someone adds an extra person to help. Next is when you can add a riding lawnmower and a trailer to pull behind the truck. As business increases, you can go to the nicer, enclosed trailer emblazoned with the name of your business. Somewhere in this mix, you add extra services for landscaping rather than just mowing and trimming. Perhaps it’s full service yard maintenance with pest control and landscaping. As you grow, maybe you go into landscape design as well as the physical planting part of landscaping. Maybe you can move up into commercial properties in addition to individual homes. This often also means you add laborers, be they family and friends or new hires.
There are major landscaping companies here that handle large-scale properties, but that’s not the subject of the post. Now, let’s talk about the effort that it requires. Lawn care and landscaping in South Florida is hot, sweaty, messy, labor-intensive work. There are plenty of landscapers available so keeping prices competitive is important. Providing a good service is paramount and while there is nothing easy about it, many people grow a thriving business from a very modest beginning. When I left the neighborhood this morning, I passed three different lawn care sets, ranging from the single mower with the pickup, all the way to the biggest landscaper in the region. It’s a good lesson to observe for someone who is considering starting their own business.