The smell of firewood fills the air as the fresh, crisp, breeze dances around you.
The carolers walk from door-to-door singing Christmas songs.
Car after car passes by as they make their way to celebrations and shopping.
Ahhh… winter is here.
Only… your crew is ready to move on, because there’s little work to be had. And your cash flow is rather low, on a count of all the grass you haven't been able to mow.
Don’t worry - If all of this is a little too close to home, that’s okay!
Most lawn and landscape owners believe the ONLY way to make money during the winter is by selling snow removal services.
This common misconception couldn’t be further from the truth.
Actually, there is quite a bit of money you can make during the winter, even if you don’t have snow to remove or tons of lawns to cut.
… If you know what you’re doing. And that’s exactly what you’re about to discover.
Here’s how to make money selling lawn and landscape services in the winter (with no snow):
1. Leaf Removal
Contrary to popular belief, leaf removal isn’t just a fall service. It’s also a winter service as well.
Leaf removal is a tedious task for homeowners who don’t have the proper equipment. However, since you have the right tools, this is a quick and easy task where you can make some profit.
Another thing to note is that you don’t necessarily have to just sell lawn leaf removal, you can also remove leaves from:
- Flower beds
- Parking lots
Don’t underestimate the potential profitability of leaf removal. On average, it’s $181 a visit (or $400 an acre)!
2. Gutter Cleaning
As leaves pile up throughout the fall and winter, it’s only natural for them to begin clogging the gutters.
Most homeowners recognize the importance of maintaining clean gutters, so they’d be more than happy to hire you for the job.
Gutter cleaning is pretty profitable with the national average being $150 a visit. Since not much equipment is necessary, this means you can potentially take home a lucrative profit.
When it comes to mulching, the cost of mulch is rather inexpensive. However, mulching is incredibly laborious and time-consuming.
But you do have the potential to earn substantial profits from it.
Most clients with a landscaped yard care about their plants, because they’ve invested a considerable amount of time and money into them. As a result, during the winter, they’ll want to protect them from the harsh, cold winter weather conditions.
Depending on your area and type of mulch, the average cost of mulch and its delivery is approximately $15-65 per yard. In addition to that, installation and labor are billed between $20-45 per yard. The average total price billed to the client is between $35-110 per yard.
Since the majority of the mulch installation cost is labor, you could stand to gain significant profits from mulch jobs.
4. Winter Lawn Prep
Winter lawn preparations can mean many things for a lot of different clients.
Essentially, winter prep can include:
- Removing the dead plants from flower or garden beds and planters
- Dethatching and aerating the lawn
- Fertilizing the lawn (protects it from harsh winter conditions)
- Wrapping trees in burlap (only for harsh winter conditions)
- Staking trees (protects it from winter winds - only for harsh winter conditions)
- Moving patio furniture, planters, and lawn/garden items into safe storage
- Draining sprinklers
The best part about winter lawn prep is that it’s 100% customizable and you can create your own packages surrounding it.
As long as you price correctly, there’s a lot of potential with this package/service.
5. Pruning & Landscape Maintenance
As any plant-lover knows, pruning your plants during the winter is extremely important.
A large number of plants need to be pruned in the winter, while they’re dormant. However, you should always be sure you know about proper pruning for your different types of plants before you start.
For instance, if you prune a Blue Spruce (an evergreen) before winter, it’ll probably dry out and die during the first freeze of the season… but it’s the perfect time to prune a Bearded Iris or Daylily (perennials) since they’re dormant.
Pruning plants during the winter allows for the plants to bud and bloom properly in the spring.
Additionally, it’s also easier to prune most plants during the winter because they’re dormant and it’s easier to see the branches.
Fortunately for you, most homeowners don’t know how to prune their plants, so they’d be more than happy to pay you to do it for them.
Depending on what you’re pruning, you may or may not need equipment.
For example, if you’re pruning a tree, you might need a pole saw for thicker branches.
Additionally, you’ll likely need shears and PPE (proper protection equipment, i.e. gloves, etc… ).
6. Winter Landscape Installation
Installing mulch about a month before your first big freeze ensures they’ll make it through the winter.
The mulch protects the roots and keeps them warm. Whereas, planting deciduous plants, while they’re dormant during the winter, makes them less susceptible to growth disruptions.
Furthermore, the main plants you should avoid planting in the winter are evergreens. The evergreens’ roots will be susceptible to growth disruptions because of the cold.
Both mulching and winter landscape installation are nice upsells that can complement each other and provide you with another job.
7. Pressure Washing
During the summer, mud and dirt get baked onto the sides of the house, driveway, sidewalks, patio, patio furniture, and deck. As a result, they need to be cleaned before the winter rolls in and freezes the gunk up.
The majority of homeowners either don’t own a pressure washer or they don’t want to take the time to use it.
Consequently, this is a great opportunity for you to sweep into their lives and save their day.
If you’re on a property for leaf removal, you should try to upsell your clients into pressure washing. Since you have to remove leaves anyway for pressure washing, part of the job is already done (and vice versa).
8. Weed Removal
During the beginning of spring, weeds germinate like crazy - making it almost impossible to stop them. And that’s where you come in.
In order to win the job, it’s important for you to inform your clients that as soon as the temperatures warm up, weeds begin to germinate.
9. Christmas Light Installation and Removal
This is one of those winter jobs that you either love… or you hate.
A huge part of profiting on Christmas light installation is combined
In addition, most lawn care companies take about one year to truly profit from Christmas light installation and deinstallation. This is because if you do it right, christmas light installations have a lot of upfront costs.
However, if you stick it out, you could make anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to THOUSANDS of dollars depending on the size of the property and decorations needed.
Before you begin installing/uninstalling christmas lights, you should consider:
- What lights you’ll buy to rent out to your clients for installation (using theirs is too unpredictable)
- How you’ll price your services
- If you have your own lights, you’ll provide packages
- If you don’t use your own lights, you’ll charge by the hour
With Christmas light installations, you should note that even though it takes time to build your profits, it’s extremely lucrative.
Plus, Christmas lights are a literal sparkling advertisement of your business, and word can get around fast if you’re good at what you do.
Grow Your Lawn Care Business... Faster (and with Less Stress)
Even if there’s no snow during the fall or winter, there are still plenty of ways for lawn and landscape companies to make money.
Just because there isn’t snow doesn’t mean you’re lawn and landscape business is doomed for the winter (or that you have to shut down for a few months).
With a little planning, your business has the potential to make substantial profits year round.
Originally published Oct 1, 2019 2:33 PM