You finally decided to start a business this 2023, and you want to choose something that fits your personality. You’re the outdoorsy type, and you get antsy when you’re cooped up inside an office or stuck in an assembly line.
You’re also a natural-born salesman who can counter any objections prospects might have and turn things around at the drop of a hat. Naturally, you’re drawn to businesses that match your personality, such as asphalt maintenance and lawn maintenance.
The question you’ve been mulling over for several months now is whether you should start an asphalt maintenance business or maintain lawns instead. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each business so you can choose what’s best for you.
Asphalt Maintenance Business
You don’t need long and rigorous training to become a pavement asset management specialist
One of the barriers to entry for many would-be entrepreneurs in other sectors is the steep cost and the sheer length of the training.
Planning to offer asphalt maintenance services? You can breathe easy because you don’t need to spend many years in training just to become a sealcoating specialist.
Official asphalt maintenance schools are few and far between. But the good news is Asphalt Kingdom offers short yet comprehensive online courses for aspiring asphalt business owners.
Our goal is to provide aspiring sealcoaters with information on the proper sealcoating, crack filling, line striping, and pothole patching techniques.
These asphalt driveway maintenance courses also contain information on different asphalt equipment and supplies.
Watch this video on how to sealcoat an asphalt pavement
You don’t need to spend so much on equipment and supplies right off the bat
Worried that starting an asphalt maintenance company could wipe out your savings? Or don't have a lot of money saved up right now to purchase the sealcoating equipment you want?
The good thing about asphalt maintenance is that you don't need thousands of dollars to start offering this service. Of course, you can always purchase the AirBoss 300 Air-Operated Sealcoat Spray System if you wish to splurge.
But you can also buy a more affordable Sealer Sprayer for Drums and a few drums of asphalt sealer to get started. If you're not ready to invest in a sealcoating machine just yet, there's still a way to apply asphalt sealer using a squeegee and a drum of liquid. This budget-friendly option allows you to start your asphalt maintenance business without breaking the bank.
So how much does it really cost to start an asphalt maintenance business? Let's use sealcoating as an example. Check out the cost below.
Option A: Parking Lot and Driveway Sealing Using the AK55 Sealer Sprayer for Drums and Sealcoating Package
- AK55 Sealer Sprayer for Drums - $1,519
- A Drum of 55-Gallon Drum of Asphalt Emulsion Sealer - $559
- Sealcoating Straight Blade Squeegees - $81
- Total Cost - $2159
Option B: Driveway Sealcoating Package
- Driveway Sealcoating Package
- Total Cost - $750
Note: Keep in mind that prices are subject to change. Visit the Asphalt Kingdom store to verify the price of the products mentioned above.
It’s the ideal job for people who love the outdoors
Hate being cooped up indoors working in an office? Then it's time to start an asphalt maintenance business!
Repairing and maintaining driveways allow you to get your dose of vitamin D every day. Just make sure to start early and stay under the shade when the temperature gets dangerously high during the middle of the day.
Read this Asphalt Kingdom blog to learn more about how you can stay safe while working outside this summer.
It offers high profit margins
Asphalt maintenance offers higher profit margins compared to lawn maintenance. Let's take a look at how much you can earn with different pavement maintenance services.
- Crack Filling - $1 to $1.50 per ft
- Seal Coating - $0.50 to $1.64 per sq ft
- Line Striping - $2 per ft
- Pothole Patching - $25 per sq ft
You can hibernate during the winter months (or not)
Asphalt sealing, crack filling, and line striping are done in the summer months. You can also conduct pavement maintenance for a few weeks during spring and fall. But you have to wait for the right conditions to ensure the sealer and crack filler adhere to the asphalt.
But the moment winter arrives, you'll need to put away all your equipment and hibernate. You can take a much-needed break after a busy season, or you can patch potholes in the fall and winter (as long as it's not raining or snowing).
Pothole patching with the RY2X2 2' Infrared Asphalt Heater during the winter months
You can also offer LED light installation, window cleaning, gutter cleaning, and other similar services if you can't or don't want to take a winter break.
It offers greater flexibility
When you think about flexibility at work, the first thing that comes to mind is the schedule. People who hate the rigidity of the usual 9 to 5 will love the greater flexibility running an asphalt maintenance business offers.
With asphalt maintenance, you can take on as many or as few jobs as you want. If you wish to work from 8 AM to noon and call it a day, you can do so. But if you want to work all day long so you can earn more, you're also free to do that.
Asphalt maintenance offers greater flexibility in dress codes, too. In many cases, a clean company shirt and a pair of jeans/work shorts will do for the job. You're also free to focus on residential properties if you want. Or if you want to make more money, you can focus on commercial properties instead.
Asphalt maintenance business is easy to scale
An asphalt maintenance business is easy to scale. Asphalt pavement can be found everywhere, so sealcoating and crack filling are always in demand. This is also true for patching potholes and line striping.
Pro Tips To Scale Your Asphalt Business Faster
Asphalt maintenance is seasonal
Unfortunately, driveway and parking lot maintenance can only be conducted during the summer months, and that can affect you financially.
But you can turn lemons into lemonade by adding other property maintenance services into the services you offer. This includes HVAC maintenance, snow removal, gutter cleaning, and more.
Higher employee turnover rate
You may not be thinking about hiring employees at the moment. But growth is inevitable if you play your cards right, so you have to think about it eventually.
However, asphalt maintenance's seasonal nature attracts workers who are most likely seeking short-term employment. This results in higher employee turnover rate.
The solution? Create opportunities for yourself and your workers during the winter months.
Focus on pothole patching and add snow removal to your list of services. This allows you not just to keep your workers but also to make money during the winter.
Lawn Maintenance Business
You can start with just a simple lawn mower, trimmer, and blower
There are pieces of equipment that you need to invest in if you want to start a lawn maintenance business. These are a lawn mower, a trimmer, and a gas-powered blower. So how much do these pieces of equipment cost?
Starting a lawn maintenance business with just a few equipment
Lawnmowers, for the most part, are affordable. You can purchase a good one from a reputable brand for less than $1,000. But if you want something more comfortable, then choose a riding lawn mower instead. It’s more expensive than a walk-behind mower, but you don’t have to deal with sore hamstrings and calves after a day spent mowing lawns.
Ordinary lawn edgers/trimmers are available for less than $100. Meanwhile, gas-powered blowers can be purchased for less than $1,000. Purchase a hedge trimmer if you’re also planning to offer plant trimming services.
You can work whenever you want
Like asphalt maintenance, lawn maintenance offers flexible working hours. In a lawn maintenance business, you can set your own hours. This flexibility is beneficial if you have other responsibilities, such as family or schooling.
You also decide how many clients you want to take on and manage your workload accordingly. This gives you the freedom to work at your own pace.
Lawn maintenance also offers seasonal flexibility. While the demand for lawn care services is seasonal, you have the option of taking on different types of projects during off-peak seasons or taking a break if you prefer.
Adding other services is easy
Lawn maintenance business owners can easily diversify their services, including landscaping, snow removal, tree trimming, pest control, and asphalt maintenance. This helps in expanding the client base and increasing revenue.
Selling lawn care products such as fertilizers, grass seeds, or garden tools can provide additional income for lawn maintenance business owners. Your customers may appreciate the convenience of buying products directly from you, enhancing their overall service experience.
Selling products gives you a chance to deepen your knowledge of lawn care, making you a more valuable resource to your clients.
The potential for recurring revenue
Lawns need regular maintenance. Grass grows fast, and lawn care is a service that is often needed regularly. This provides business owners with a steady income stream.
The ongoing nature of lawn maintenance services can lead to long-term relationships with clients, providing a sense of business stability. Plus, you can offer subscription models for regular services, ensuring a predictable revenue flow.
Lawn maintenance is seasonal
Since lawn care is primarily a seasonal business, your income may fluctuate widely throughout the year. This inconsistency can make financial planning challenging. During colder months or dry periods, the demand for lawn care services can drop significantly, leaving you with little to no work.
Your ability to work and earn income can also be significantly affected by weather conditions, such as heavy rain, drought, or extreme temperatures.
You're going to face a lot of competition
With many lawn care businesses in the market, you may need to lower your prices to compete, which can reduce your profit margins. The competition can also drive up marketing costs, as you'll need to spend more on advertising and promotions to stand out.
And with so many players in the field, it may be challenging to build a unique brand and secure customer loyalty.
The sector is plagued with labor shortage
Lawn care is often seen as hard physical labor, making it difficult to find willing and able workers. With labor shortages, there can be issues in meeting client deadlines, which can damage your business's reputation and customer satisfaction.
Offer Asphalt Maintenance and Lawn Maintenance Together?
But you don’t have to choose between starting an asphalt maintenance business or a lawn maintenance company. You can actually combine both services to acquire more customers and make more money.
Why not integrate lawn maintenance services into your asphalt maintenance business?
Combining an asphalt maintenance business with a lawn maintenance business can bring a lot of benefits and opportunities. While seemingly different, these two industries share certain synergies that can enhance your overall business operations and profitability.
By combining both asphalt and lawn maintenance services, you expand your range of offerings. This allows you to cater to a broader client base and attract customers who require multiple services.
Customers seeking asphalt repairs or maintenance may also have lawn care needs and vice versa. Offering both services gives you an edge over competitors who specialize in only one area.
Use the Same Equipment
Both industries require equipment, such as trucks, trailers, and surface prep tools. By combining the two businesses, you can maximize the utilization of your equipment and minimize idle time.
For example, during the off-season for lawn maintenance, some surface prep equipment can be used for asphalt maintenance. This allows you to optimize your investment and reduce overhead costs.
A combined business allows for cross-marketing between asphalt maintenance and lawn maintenance services. You can promote asphalt services to your existing lawn care customers and vice versa, encouraging them to take advantage of comprehensive range of services you offer. This cross-promotion can lead to increased customer retention, referrals, and overall business growth.
Consolidating Admin Functions
Combining businesses enables you to streamline administrative tasks and overhead expenses. Instead of managing separate accounting, marketing, and operational systems, you can consolidate these functions, resulting in increased efficiency and cost savings. It also allows you to have a unified brand identity, enhancing brand recognition and market positioning.
By offering integrated asphalt and lawn maintenance services, you position your business as a one-stop solution for clients' outdoor maintenance needs. This distinct advantage sets you apart from competitors who only specialize in one area, attracting customers looking for convenience and comprehensive service providers. This can result in a larger customer base and increased market share.
Depending on the size of your operation, merging the two businesses can optimize employee utilization and skill sets. Skilled workers who specialize in asphalt maintenance can be cross-trained to handle lawn care tasks, ensuring continuity of employment and reducing downtime. This flexibility benefits both your business and your employees.
Greater Cost Savings
Combining asphalt maintenance and lawn maintenance businesses can lead to cost savings in various aspects, such as marketing, procurement, and overhead expenses. Bulk purchasing of supplies and materials can result in better pricing and discounts. Additionally, operational efficiencies gained through consolidation can lead to cost reductions and improved profitability.
Now that you know the pros and cons of lawn and asphalt maintenance (and that they can be combined), it's time to start your own property maintenance business. Summer is coming soon, so you still have time to prepare. Check out the Asphalt Kingdom YouTube channel and blog to get started.