Operating a Solo (One Person) Landscaping Business in 2022

The pros and cons of going at it alone.

By
George Leon | Updated September 23, 2022

There are many decisions you need to make when starting a landscaping business. For instance, you need to decide whether you want employees or subcontractors or if you intend to do all of the landscaping work yourself.

Each option has advantages, but one might better fit your business goals.

Knowing the pros and cons of owning a solo landscaping business will allow you to navigate it more effectively.

We’ve broken down the advantages and disadvantages of starting a landscaping business on your own to help you get started.

One-Man Landscaping Business: The Benefits

A one-man landscaping company can offer many benefits, especially if you are just starting out. There are many things to think about, from managing your own time to protecting your bottom line to maximizing your profits.

A one-man landscaping business is a sole proprietor who single-handedly manages all aspects of his landscaping business.

Here are some of the many benefits of being your sole employee in your landscaping business.

  • Higher profit margins – Being a business owner, profit is one of your top priorities. You can run your entire business independently without requiring employees to cut into the earned profits.
  • Your prices can be kept more competitive. If your landscaping team grows, your prices need to go up to cover their salaries. As a sole proprietor landscaping company, you can keep your prices more competitive in your market. Customers are likely to get estimates from several companies. Having a competitive price will win you more business.
  • A simple marketing strategy like landscaping Facebook ads can help you get all the leads you need.
  • You won’t have to manage a group. Although rewarding at times, management can also prove frustrating. You might find yourself in the office dealing with employees who aren’t performing well.
  • You can keep a better eye on the business. When you are the only person involved in day-to-day operations, you can see the whole picture, from customer relations to equipment stock and revenue growth.

There are many benefits to starting your own HVAC company as a Solo operation.

Disadvantages of a One-Man Painting Company

It’s possible to run a landscaping business as a solo operator, but you will not be able to grow your business fast. You can only handle so many jobs alone and soon exceed that limit as you grow your business.

If you receive more leads than you can handle on your own, you might consider hiring an employee or subcontractor.

Hiring will enable you to increase your monthly job completions, leading to higher profits for your landscaping business.

But you shouldn’t hire more people than you need if you decide to expand your team with subcontractors or employees. You won’t notice a drop in profits by building your team cost-effectively. Hiring strategically is key to maintaining profits.

Do You Need to Hire Employees?

When you reach a point in your business where there are more leads than you can manage, it’s time to consider expanding your team. There are many ways to increase your team’s size.

You can hire an administrative assistant to manage your backend operations. This includes appointment scheduling, quoting and invoicing, payroll, and other tasks. 

You can eliminate these tasks from your plate and spend more time on the field.

You can also hire a landscaper to handle all the jobs you have.

Find out where you spend most of your time and where you should or would like to be. Are you more interested in the backend? Do you prefer to be out in the field all day?

By evaluating your situation, you can make the best decision for yourself and your goals.

When you hire employees, consider these points:

  • You can hire (and fire) team members to help you reach your growth goals.
  • You have to equip your employees with all the tools and supplies needed to complete their jobs.
  • You may need to provide health benefits, paid leave, and family leave.
  • You will have to process payroll and deal with payroll taxes.

Are there any benefits to hiring subcontractors?

Sometimes, you may need extra help but don’t want to hire your own staff of landscaper employees.

Another option is to hire a landscaping subcontractor who can handle a few jobs during busy periods. This will give you the support you need without hiring an employee.

With subcontractors, you are not responsible for providing them with equipment, benefits, or time off. Subcontonctracots work for multiple companies simultaneously.

These can be great options if you notice a rise in leads during one season but not throughout the year.

It is important to remember that your reputation as a businessperson can be at stake whenever you, an employee, or a subcontractor enter a customer’s house.

The Key Takeaway: Subcontractors are an excellent option. But you need to be able to trust the person you hire to provide quality service and act professionally.

The verdict: A one-man landscaping company is possible

Is it possible to own a landscaping business as a sole proprietor? Yes. However, you need to be aware of the limitations.

You’ll keep all the profits because they won’t have to be divided among a team. However, being a solo operator can impact the number of jobs you do in a given year. Your business will be more profitable if you have more jobs.

You will ultimately need to weigh all the benefits and decide which aspects of the landscaping trade you value most.

Written by

George Leon is a Managing Partner at Scalebloom (Parent company of BusinessHue). He used to be a partner at a painting company in Charlotte NC. George loves to help business owners scale their business with modern marketing strategies and branding.