Three Reasons You’re Struggling in Your Landscaping Business

by | Jul 30, 2020 | Accounting, Culture, Landscaping, Process | 0 comments

Landscaping businesses can struggle for so many reasons. 

Many times the struggles are more closely related to money than to the actual landscaping work that is being completed. After all, you know how to do all types of landscaping and lawn care, because you love it and that is why you started that type of business instead of some other kind of business.

But what can you do about all of those things in your business that do not pertain to landscaping? Are you willing to overcome those challenges and finally prevent your business from struggling any longer? 

Three Reasons You’re Struggling in Your Landscaping Business

  1. You Haven’t Implemented Profit First Yet

If you haven’t implemented Profit First into your landscaping business yet, then you must do it immediately! This system is the one that will help you gain control of the cash-eating monster in your business. Profit First is one of the best ways to stop many of the financial struggles you’re experiencing. 

  1. Waiting to Get Paid by Your Customers

As a landscaper, you probably allow your customers to pay you via credit card. You might also allow your customers to pay by cash or check.  And, you might think that doing so is saving you money in the way of credit card fees.  But you would be wrong.

Consider a few things: 

  • How long do you wait for that check?
  • Who has to open all of the envelopes and start the process of marking accounts paid?
  • How much time does it take to do all of that, and deposit those checks?
  • How many days are lost in that entire process? 

Now consider this – what if your customers paid you automatically via credit card? Yes, you’d have the fees; however, what did you just save by eliminating the antiquated process of shuffling all that paper?

Another struggle solved! 

  1. Never Reading Financial Reports

Yep, I know, it can be tedious and it can be confusing. But here’s the thing – hiding your head in the sand because you don’t like this part of the business is one of the fastest ways that will limit success.

If you look at only one thing – look at your margins.  Profit margins are a critical part of profitability.  If you don’t have healthy profit margins, profitability is severely hampered.

  1. On the Profit and Loss Statement (P&L), make sure direct costs are tracked as COGs (cost of goods sold). Direct costs include things like: field labor, subs, materials, etc. Basically, all the things you need to pay for in order to complete the job.
  2. At this point, your P&L should show revenue at the top, then COGs, and then gross profit.  The Gross Profit number will appear before all of the overhead categories. 
  3. Take Gross Profit and divide it by Revenue.  You will arrive at a percentage.

Now that you have that percentage, what does it mean? The higher the percentage, the less you have to run your business or pay yourself.  The lower that percentage, the more you have and more financially healthier you can get.  Depending on your business model, the percentage will likely fall between 30% to 45%.  And if it’s less than 30%, give yourself a gold star!  Whatever the starting point, find ways to make it better and better over time.

And here’s a related tip – get your bookkeeping up to date so that you can constantly measure gross profit! It is so critical to your success, and too many business owners believe the only benefit is for their tax preparer. 

These are three reasons you could be struggling in your landscaping business. Thankfully, it is easy to change how you run your business, so you won’t need to struggle again. 



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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