How to Structure Profit First Bank Accounts for Your Landscaping Business

by | Jun 12, 2021 | Cash Management, Profit First, Workflow | 0 comments

Maybe you’re a landscape business owner and you’ve heard about Profit First but haven’t committed. You’re curious and interested but not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge. You understand the gist of Profit First – creating a separate bank account for each specific purpose – but you’re still not sure it’s the right plan for you.

Maybe you’re unsure because you have some goals that don’t fit neatly into the five accounts outlined in Profit First. You’re afraid to muddy up the system.

Or, maybe restructuring your entire banking setup sounds overwhelming. 

I get it. Taking the time and energy to reconfigure your bank accounts doesn’t sound like a profitable use of your time – you like billable tasks. However, you know the adage that you have to spend money to make money? It applies here too. Investing time (which is money) establishing your accounts will actually inform you of your financial landscape (see what I did there?), which will equip you to make better decisions for your business. It’s a win-win.

Standard Profit First Accounts
So, let’s start with the basics. The five accounts Mike Michalowicz recommends in Profit First are:

  • Income
  • Owner’s Compensation
  • Operating Expenses
  • Profit
  • Tax

However, the good news is that you can add more accounts. In fact, many clients do. Like most tools, Profit First is a customizable template. There’s really no such thing as one-size-fits-all. Profit First can be categorized more accurately as one-size-fits most. And that’s how it should be. The structure of your bank accounts needs to work for you.

Accounts to Add

Assessing where you are now and where you’d like to be in five years will inform you how to structure your Profit First accounts. Our process with most new clients includes a full assessment of their business’ finances, and the first step is completing a questionnaire. The questions are about your one-year vision and your long-term goals. This information gives us an idea of what bank accounts could serve you well.

Perhaps you can already think of an account you’d like to add in addition to the five standard ones. If you have a specific goal in mind, adding an account for that purpose is a wise way to set yourself up for success. If you’d like to hire a new team member in the near future, create a labor fund. Or, if you dream of owning your own shop one day instead of renting, open a real estate account to begin saving. 


In our work assisting landscape business owners with Profit First, we’ve created all kinds of additional accounts to help clients get where they’d like to be. Here are several examples of accounts we established for specific clients’ needs. 

  • A payroll account to set aside the funds for their biggest expense
  • An “employee fun” account for team celebrations
  • A vault account to save for three months of expenses, like an emergency fund
  • A sales tax account for clients that collect and pay sales tax for their services (This way the money is taken right off the top for taxes to be paid the following month.)
  • A contract labor account to compensate subs and contractors 
  • An equipment account for clients that want to plan for replacing or purchasing new equipment

Let’s Go

As for the anxiety over the work involved in changing your accounts? Let us help. We’ll talk through your goals and make a blueprint outlining the accounts that will take you to success. Then, we’ll build a step-by-step implementation plan so you’ll know exactly what to do. Let’s schedule a call so that one of our experienced Profit First pros can help you assess your needs and establish the accounts. 

As Plato says, “A good start is half the battle.” When you’re ready to get started, we’re standing by to help you take control of your finances again.

Schedule a call today.



Lori Peterson


Lori Petersen

Lori Petersen has seen the frustration and loss that landscape 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 landscape 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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