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Residential or Commercial Lawn Care Company? Which Industry Should You Break Into?

If you’re thinking about starting a landscaping business, you’re probably researching your options. Do you want to work independently or as part of a team? Should you start your business from scratch and develop a new business model or partner with a franchise brand and tap into existing processes and procedures?

Perhaps the most important question is, which industry do you want to become part of? Do you tap into the residential market or open a commercial lawn care company? Both have their advantages, for sure. But what are they?

Here, we’ll discuss what distinguishes these two markets and take a quick look at their basic similarities. Professionals in both industries have the same objective: to beautify (and often make safe) an outdoor space.

That means successful lawn care providers in either industry must have a solid understanding of not just planting, trimming, and watering lawns, shrubs, trees, and flowers. They should also have a solid knowledge of horticulture or the technology, art, and science of growing plants.

Furthermore, a good landscaper will also have some familiarity with ecology, architecture, and geography, and how they interact with each other.

In short, no matter which market you choose, as a successful landscaper, you’ll need to be a well-rounded professional with a broad knowledge base if you want to stay competitive.
landscaping professionals

Is Landscaping the Right Fit for Me?

Residential landscaping professionals work with homeowners to keep the outside spaces associated with their properties looking their best. Typical residential landscaping services include basic lawn care and maintenance. This could include mowing, trimming, edging, weeding, and leaf removal, as well as fertilizing, weed and pest control, seeding, aeration, and sod replacement as needed.

All these services focus on an existing lawn without making changes to its structure or layout. Landscaping, on the other hand, involves the transformation of an outdoor space through planting, rearranging, restructuring, or construction. Lighting, irrigation, walkways, patios, walls, and more are also often integrated into a landscape plan.

Residential property owners typically engage the services of lawn care and landscape professionals to keep their outdoor spaces looking good as a matter of pride and to protect their investment. Contracts are often limited to a handful of basic services, like mulching and mowing, and encompass shorter time periods — often only certain seasons (mowing in summer and leaf blowing in the fall, for instance).

These contracts are also often viewed as expendable and are frequently halted or discontinued altogether during challenging economic times.

Commercial accounts, however, tend to be viewed differently by business owners and for some very important reasons that can make them more lucrative.

commercial landscaping care

The Commercial Landscaping Industry is Recession-Resistant

Single businesses and industrial parks, schools and universities, shopping centers and apartment complexes — all these entities have very good reasons to keep their outdoor spaces looking good, independent of pride of ownership.

They need to attract and keep customers and/or tenants and ensure their grounds are safe to navigate all year long, season after season.

Furthermore, they’ll likely need a reliable team of individuals to make that happen, and that team must be up to date on best practices and local regulations.

A lot more is at stake for commercial property owners, so it’s important they not only partner with the right commercial lawn care company but to sign on for uninterrupted service that is secured years ahead of time.

Long-term contracts are not unusual in the commercial landscaping sphere, offering more potential financial stability to those in the industry.

Additionally, these partnerships are viewed by owners as a necessity, not a luxury, which means the commercial landscaping industry is far more recession-resistant than its residential counterpart.

A Fragmented Industry

Because the commercial landscaping industry can be such a lucrative one, it is quite competitive and very fragmented, with thousands of small and large companies vying for the same business.

But savvy commercial property owners and managers know how much is riding on the right partnership, so they look for providers who have experience, a stellar reputation, and a suite of useful services.

U.S. Lawns is just such a provider, a brand that has been in the commercial landscaping industry since 1986, and one that tens of thousands of commercial property managers trust every year.

Deciding on a career in the commercial landscaping sphere over the residential market is a smart move on many levels, especially when you partner with a brand like U.S. Lawns to establish yourself.

Ready to find out more about opening a U.S. Lawns commercial lawn care company? Reach out today!

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