U.S. Lawns Franchise logo

The Economics of Landscape and Lawn Care - 
Semi-Absentee Investment Business Ownership

Table of Contents

Is Semi-Absentee Investment in a Commercial Lawn Care Franchise a Good Idea?

If you’re an experienced investor with a portfolio of brands, or a corporate professional who wants to break into an exciting industry without giving up a regular paycheck, a commercial lawn care franchise could be the answer, especially if you partner with the right brand. The lawn care and landscaping industry is a robust one, with millions of property owners relying on it every year to keep their lawns and landscaping looking their best. Investing in a commercial landscape franchise brand with deep industry knowledge and a flexible business model can mean owner-investors enjoy the perks of landscaping and lawn business ownership without many of the day-to-day responsibilities. By using your time wisely, developing a management team, and following proven systems and processes, you’ll have the potential to build a thriving landscaping business in just a few short years.

Keep reading to learn more about the landscape and lawn care industry — its worth, its sectors, its leaders, and more — and why becoming a successful investor-owner of a landscape business for sale can be a very smart move.

The Green Industry Is Thriving

The landscaping and lawn care industry is a robust one, with the commercial sphere being especially resilient, given the importance that most businesses place on keeping their properties safe and attractive. Take a look at some numbers:

  • 46.2%: market share of the commercial sector
  • $24B: its estimated annual revenue
  • 43.9%: market share of the residential sector
  • $22.7B: its estimated annual revenue
  • $128.8B: industry-wide estimated 2022 US market size
  • 5.3%: 2017-2022 annualized growth rate

While these statistics are impressive, it’s worth noting that the industry is a fractured one, with thousands of small mom-and-pop enterprises competing with each other, and multiple larger brands offering expansive services. This means it’s important to weigh investment options carefully, particularly if your goal is to limit your personal involvement.

The good news is that consumer interest in and demand for lawn care and landscape maintenance has steadily increased over the years. This is especially true among the Millennial and Gen Z demographic, as more of them become homeowners who want to improve their properties through purposeful and sustainable planting and conservation.


What Are Some Lawn Care Business Industry Drivers?

As we’ve just discussed, the residential landscape industry is thriving thanks to a growing demographic of young, new homeowners who’ve placed an emphasis on sustainable lawn care. The residential market is a good one for first-time landscape business owners to break into, particularly if they plan to limit their services and keep a smaller staff. But it also requires owners to be more hands-on and interactive as they meet with new clients, tend to ongoing customer relations and unique needs, and grow their businesses.

There are numerous factors that are driving the commercial industry, too, creating new and exciting opportunities for semi-absentee investors. These include:

  • An increase in commercial property construction, with the complementary development of the surrounding landscape
  • An increase in outsourcing by institutions and municipalities due to labor shortages and in-house landscapers who are of retirement age
  • Water restrictions that are likely to result in bigger budgets for irrigation installation and related services (maintenance and repairs) in certain markets
  • An increase in the planting of urban trees that require specialized and ongoing professional care
  • An emphasis on energy efficiency and sustainability that requires the planting of and care for plants and trees that fit the criteria

No matter which industry you’d like to become part of as an owner-investor, it’s essential that you factor in the time and energy that will be required to scale your business — because without scaling, there’s little chance for growth.

Ready to start your own lawn care business with U.S. Lawns?Learn More

What Does It Mean to Scale Your Business?

A smart investment in a landscape business for sale will mean you recognize the importance of scale and how it determines your chances for success. So, what do we mean by scaling a business?

Scaling your business means you or someone else has put systems and procedures in place at the start that will prepare you for lasting development and growth. Ideally, these processes will reiterate your core values and build on your brand identity as you focus on the customer experience and refine your business model. It's important to remember that scaling your business is not the same as growing it. Scaling means you're able to handle an increase in sales, work, or output cost-effectively over time without other areas of business suffering. In short, scaling prepares you for growth. Below are some important considerations to keep in mind as you scale a commercial landscape business as a semi-absentee investor:

  • Establish Your Why: businesses that can articulate and share their purpose for being and doing stand a much better chance of attracting loyal employees and customers.
  • Refine Your Products or Services: working out the kinks ahead of time, listening to feedback, and making improvements to your goods or services will go a long way toward addressing any growth issues you may have moving forward.
  • Develop Flexible and Responsive Processes: scaling your business means making sure you have the internal processes in place to deliver an exceptional customer experience and that those processes can adapt as your business grows.
  • Nurture Relationships: developing a management team and hiring qualified employees that care for your business is essential to scaling your business. Nurturing external relationships with suppliers, partners, and other entities is also critical to growth.
  • Build Your Brand: establishing your brand is a function of sharing your message, identifying the competition, capitalizing on your strengths, and setting the tone for your company’s culture, among other considerations.
  • Never Stop Innovating: true growth can only come if you’re willing and able to invest in research and development, which is key to staying competitive.

Because a model has been established, processes have been refined, and relationships have been identified and grown, partnering with an industry leader to open a commercial lawn care franchise can take a lot of the guesswork out of scaling your business. This allows an investor to focus on other aspects of ownership or to invest energy in other businesses they may have in their portfolio.

USL vehicle

Franchising vs. Starting from Scratch

Whether it’s the residential or commercial industry you’d like to break into, there are essentially two ways to go about it: you can start your business from scratch, or you can partner with a franchisor. Both have their advantages, but if your goal is to be more hands off and less actively involved, the latter method is an especially smart way to start a landscape business. That’s because a franchise investment with a brand leader is designed to be scaled and comes with important perks and resources that allow for semi-absentee involvement. Some of them include:

  • Built-in revenue streams that allow for growth and resilience
  • Comprehensive training that prepares your team to deliver expert services
  • Marketing resources that put you in front of your best customer
  • Proprietary software that lets your team bid on and manage multiple jobs at a time
  • Vendor relationships for access to and discounts on inventory and supplies
  • Research and development that keeps your team in the know
  • Brand name recognition to help you establish your business more quickly

Revenue streams are an especially important consideration of semi-absentee business ownership because they allow you to better withstand economic challenges, respond to consumer demands, and keep your team busy and engaged with the industry. Establishing revenue streams can take a lot of time and energy, not to mention resources, but a brand partnership can facilitate things. Strong commercial landscape franchise opportunities have developed revenue streams that address a host of landscape and lawn care needs that may include:

  • Landscape maintenance like mowing and pruning
  • Improvements like seasonal planting and mulching
  • Lawn care like fertilization and weed control
  • Irrigation installation, maintenance, and repair
  • Snow and ice removal
  • Tree installation, care, and maintenance
  • Hardscaping like stone walls, walkways, and patios

Potential owner-investor franchisees should always perform due diligence before investing in a commercial franchise brand, paying special attention to its value propositions which should include revenue streams like the ones we’ve just outlined.

Ready to start your own lawn care business with U.S. Lawns?Learn More

The Potential for Success

The residential and commercial landscape industries are both thriving and full of potential for growth. But the commercial sector, in particular, is a resilient one. Businesses depend on commercial landscapers to keep properties attractive and safe for visitors and employees and know the value and importance of first impressions. They can’t afford to put off regular lawn care and often schedule it years in advance — reliable income the investor can look forward to.

The fact is businesses, complexes, and facilities of all kinds rely on commercial lawn care franchises like U.S. Lawns to maintain their properties. As an example, a recent industry survey of 568 Community Association managers found that:

  • 96% use professional landscape maintenance services
  • 86% engage contractors for tree work and removal
  • 73% use water management and irrigation services
  • 71% use landscape contractors for landscape design and installation

Furthermore, when hiring a landscape contractor, the three most important qualities managers look for are that they’re licensed, they’re safety-minded, and they present a professional image. It’s safe to say that these considerations are foremost on the mind of any landscaping client, and the right commercial landscaping brand pays close attention to them.

USL Staff

A Day in the Life of the Lawn Care Franchise Owner-Investor

As an owner-investor in a landscape franchise, you’ll benefit from a framework that’s been put in place to make establishing your business easier. That said, success will depend on your initial involvement, as you undergo training to learn about the industry, processes, and procedures and grow your team. They’ll be looking to you to establish the tone and culture of your brand as you set an example of how you’d like business to be conducted.

Once you have a trusted management team in place, you’ll meet with them regularly to set growth goals and determine key performance indicators, hire any new staff that may be needed, and troubleshoot any issues that may come up. During the first 12 to 18 months of your new franchise, you’ll be very involved in its establishment. But after that, you’ll rely on your management team to handle daily responsibilities, leaving you the freedom to decide how involved you’d like to be going forward.

An Industry Leader

Partnering with an industry leader like U.S. Lawns will make it much easier for you to strike a satisfying work/life balance. This is partly because you’ll be managing things at a very high level and also because you’ll have the benefit of the ongoing corporate support franchises should expect. Our expert marketing efforts on your behalf, for example, will enable you to reach your best customers, and our industry expertise will help you stay on top of important lawn care business trends.

The bottom line is, as an investor in a U.S. Lawns franchise, you’ll enjoy the strength of our time-tested business model to help you operate and grow your franchise. You’ll have access to unparalleled brand recognition and purchasing power, and you’ll enjoy the Power of the Network — like-minded and supportive franchisee peers who are an invaluable resource. In short, you’ll be in business for yourself, never by yourself!

Get In Touch With Us

 All Rights Reserved. | Powered by U.S. Lawns © 2022 | Sitemap | Disclaimer


Request More Info

Request More Info

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram