The Lawn Care and Landscaping Services Industry

April 25, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More

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lawn service business

Landscape and Lawn Care Services

The lawn care and landscape business is a $75 billion industry, according to the research company IBIS World. The industry primarily provides lawn care maintenance, landscape installation services including planting and maintaining shrubs, flowers, lawns and gardens.

The industry has been growing at an average of 3.4% since 2010.  One reason for the growing demand of this service is the growth of two income families. The increasing number of double-income families means the number of people with no time but has money on hand is increasing. In fact, according to a nationwide survey conducted by International Communications Research for the Bayer Lawn Care Institute, “the average homeowner spends nearly eight hours each week on lawn care and landscaping tasks around their home and would consider hiring a professional service in order to acquire more free time.”

Market of Lawn Care and Landscaping Services

The lawn care and landscaping businesses can be residential or commercial. According to Landscape Management magazine, the customer mix of this business:

lawn care and landscape business

The two main target markets of this business are:

1. Homeowners with larger size lawns.

Residential lawn care services typically include lawn cutting, trimming, edging and removal of clippings. The service is typically offered once a week through the frequency can depend on the customer’s requests. This side of the business is made up of many small companies. This occurs because of high labor intensity, low startup costs, and nature of the industry.

The typical target market also include middle class suburban families with large lawns and no teenage children, as teenagers are likely to be tasked to mow and take care of the lawns. Middle-aged homemakers are also more likely to rely on a lawn service compared to younger homemakers who are more likely to do the lawn themselves. Larger lawns, such as with 4,000 – 7,000 square feet, typically yield better margins when factors such as transportation time and costs are considered.

According to a study by the Lawn and Landscape magazine, the three main factors that propel homeowners to buy landscaping and lawn care services are:

  • 86% – the ability to enjoy the outside space
  • 77% – a sense of personal pride
  • 69% – having an outdoor entertainment area

Table 1. Target Market of Lawn Care and Landscape Businesses

Gross SalesSingle family residentialMulti-family structuresCommercial/ IndustrialGovernment/ Institutional
Less than $50,00079.8%3.4%13.7%1.0%
$50,000-$99,00072.2% 6.2%18.7%2.6%
$1 million or more45.9%10.7%30.7%11.2%
Average (sales from)66%7.0%22.0%4.0%

Source: “2007 State of the Industry Report: Luck of the Draw”, Lawn and Landscape Magazine, October 2007, pp. 4-5

2. Commercial property managers

The commercial side consists of apartment complexes, business parks, and common areas of subdivisions, schools and others. The commercial side is typically serviced by larger lawn care landscaping services, and services could include the design of large-scale landscaped areas.

Larger companies tend to offer more services, while smaller businesses tend to be more specialized. Table 2 above shows that smaller companies (those with gross sales less than $50,000) tend to focus on lawn mowing and maintenance services while the big companies (those with $1 million or more) tend to be diversified offering wider varieties of services, but with particular emphasis on construction and design/build projects.

Services Provided

There are many types of services you can offer with a lawn care and landscaping business. You can do landscape design, plant selection, creation of water features, and planting of the plants and trees. In terms of lawn care services, you can offer mowing services and weed control, landscape maintenance, lawn care analysis, tree and bush trimming, putting in fertilizers, tree and shrub care. Some also offer services to control fire ants and to maintain and correct the soil’s Ph levels.

According to the Landscape Magazine, the most common services offered are:

lawn care and landscape service mix

If you are starting a lawn care and landscaping business, you can offer the any or all of the services below:

  • Landscape Design
  • Landscape Installation
  • Seeding or Sodding
  • Turf & Ornamental Installation
  • Bedding Plants & Color Installation
  • Irrigation Installation
  • Landscape Lighting
  • Hardscape Installation
  • Water Features
  • Landscape Maintenance
  • Landscape Renovation
  • Turf Fertilization
  • Turf Aeration
  • Tree & Ornamental Care
  • Tree & Stump Removal
  • Irrigation Maintenance
  • Erosion Control
  • Pesticide Application
  • Turf Disease Control
  • Turf Insect Control
  • Turf Weed Control
  • Tree & Ornamental Pesticide Application

According to a study conducted by the Landscape Management magazine, the services provided are as follows:

landscape services provided

The downside of the lawn care and landscaping business is that it is highly seasonal. Your location can spell a huge difference in the potential success of your business. The demand in Florida is higher than the demand in Maine or Michigan or in other states that remain buried in snow for a longer period of time.


Next: Tools and Equipment Used for a Lawn Care and Landscaping Business

Recommended Books on How to Succeed in Lawn care and Landscaping Business:


Jenny Fulbright

Jenny Fulbright

Jenny Fulbright is a writer for

The Lawn Care and Landscaping Services Industry
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The Lawn Care and Landscaping Services Industry
The lawn care and landscape business is a $75 billion industry. If you are thinking of starting a lawn care and landscaping service business, learn about the industry
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