A Landscaper’s Costs and Profits

by | Oct 15, 2018 | Accounting, Workflow | 0 comments

profit first bookkeeping for landscapersSome landscapers feel they have a knack for estimating any kind of job. Whether it includes extra bricklaying, trimming shrubs, driveway repairs or simple flower plantings—they usually have a good idea of what it will cost and what the profits will be. In short, they are confident in their industry and how it works. That’s a good thing. It also means, unfortunately, that it can be easy to become more passive or inattentive to job profitability.

There are numerous variables that will eventually decide what a business owner’s future will look like, from 3 months down the road to 1 year and on. Overbidding can lose you good work and underbidding can be worse. Now is the time to take a good hard look at every possible request a client may ask of you. Know what you are willing to do first, then block out some serious time for creating an itemized list (+ taxes) for those costs.

After you’ve created your list of hard costs, you’ll want to check out the topography of a project first. For instance:

  • Make note of previously planted trees/shrubs
  • Consider the dimensions of pre-installed structures
  • Take accurate measurements of areas to be worked
  • Determine any pre-existing labor needed before you begin
  • Take note of extra materials needed

Taking out the guesswork for costs not only streamlines your work and makes it easier, but it will also save you lots of time and frustration in your bookkeeping.

Sometimes, landscapers make the fun part (Profiting) the hardest. It’s up to you to determine what your time and labor is worth, and that can feel a little different for everyone. A “good rule of thumb” is asking yourself what YOU’D pay for the same services. Choosing an hourly rate for yourself and your employees is a common practice in the industry. How you choose varies.


You can:

Research your competition for an average rate, then decide
Choose what your yearly income will be, then decide on monthly income/weekly hours
Research specific jobs, including labor/materials, then divide by hours worked.

A solid frame of reference when it comes to pricing is determining whether or not you’re able to pay all the bills every month while still succeeding at having something left over for your daily living and a few unexpected costs along the way.

If you’re struggling with the fun part of landscaping, making a profit, please contact us!



Lori Peterson


Lori Petersen

Lori Petersen has seen the frustration and loss that business owners experience when they don’t have command of their finances. Growing up, she watched her father work incredibly hard as a contractor. He’d come home late, eat the dinner kept warm in the oven, and do it all over again the next day. But it all came crashing down when he had to close the business and Lori’s family applied for food stamps. The business had failed and all of his hard work was for nothing. 

Today, Lori views every one of her clients as an opportunity to make this right. She firmly believes no one should work as hard as her dad did and not have a profitable business. No family should suffer because business finances were poorly managed. 

Lori has helped hundreds of business owners make sense of their finances, implement proven money management systems and create unimagined profitability for their business. She ensures they experience the return they deserve for their hard labor.

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