What Are The Startup Costs For A Lawn Care Business
The cost of starting a lawn care business can be as little as the combined cost of buying a mower and printing some flyers in your neighborhood. However, as you grow your business by increasing the number of jobs and the complexity of the work that needs to be done, additional costs may come into play in order to keep you sane and profitable! The key costs of running a legitimate lawn care business include:
How Many Lawns To Make A Living
craftsmanracer said:I started working for another lawn company when I was 14, started driving the trucks and ztrs when I was 16.Now I am 21, and in my 3rd year of college and I am just now starting a business.I would work with another company for a couple of years before going out on my own, helps you learn the tips and tricks to make sure you do a safe, quality job everytime.Even working for another company, I was making $12/hr, and always had waaay more money than my other friends who were getting $9/hr at whatever crappy restaurant they worked at. It aint that bad being able to be the kid in highschool with a truck, 2 motorcycles and a boat.
Haake said:Ok so here is my idea. I am starting a small lawn business at the moment, and I think its a good time to start getting a couple customers and grow over the years. I am a freshman and high school and was wondering around how many lawns would I need a week to make a decent living. I was thinking if I could start getting jobs in high school that would make a better way to get into the business and wouldn’t have to worry about making ends meet.
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Use The Cuttings To Make Hay
RHS Chief Horticulturalist Guy Barter says that allowing our cuttings to turn into hay is great for seed-eating birds. He explains: “Leave the summer mown grass in place for a few sunny days to become ‘hay’ and release seeds to refresh the lawn for next year and also provide food for seed-eating birds and other wildlife. The ‘hay’ can then be removed and composted.”
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Step : Create Your Business Website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that its out of their reach because they dont have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldnt delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites – full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You dont need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldnt take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
How Much Do Lawn Care Businesses Make
According to Phil, 40% is the ideal profit margin.
He continues to explain:
Theres a whole lot of different ratios and numbers that indicate a warning or if you should move forward. Some of those numbers are your labor to revenue percentage.
Whats your labor cost relative to your revenue cost? What is your material to revenue percentage? How much are your materials running relative to your job?
The best way to know if you are hitting your profit margin goals is to track each job and all the costs related to it.
For example, for a residential mowing job, figure out exactly what labor, materials, taxes, and overhead come to. Then, compare it to what you charged to complete the job.
According to Phil,
ideally, materials should be 30%. As your materials approach 40%, I would be cautious. Your labor to your total revenue should be at about 25%.
Phil explains, Im not saying that every job you do is going to be 40% profit margin. But, once you understand the bidding and estimating part, targeting specific clientele, and putting out your proposals at 40% margins, youre going to have the flexibility and the freedom to be able to negotiate with new clients.
Check your cash flow at least once a week to make sure that youre staying on track. Phil checks his even more often, cash flow is something I measure probably twice a week.
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Step : Get Business Insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your companys financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If youre unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so its a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, its a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers’ Compensation Coverage.
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How To Stripe Your Lawn In Circles
Consider mastering straight stripes before you attempt a circular striping pattern. Making your lawn look as if its had professional care may take a little time and practice.;
- First, mow around the perimeter of your lawn two times.
- Next, turn off your mower and move it to the center of where you want to make the first circle.
- Re-start the mower and make the smallest first circle you can.
- Mow the next circle in the opposite direction, overlapping very slightly. Continue alternating circles around your yard.;
- When you’re finished making circles, mow a final stripe around the edges of your yard.
- If you dont like the result, you can always mow back over it or let it grow out.
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How And When To Build A Team
Many start out as single workers and owner/operators and then add one assistant when the workload increases. You can hire additional crew if the jobs can be found and the necessary equipment is available. Expansion requires capturing more jobs, having available workers, sufficient equipment, and open work-time slots for scheduling.Make sure to hire documented workers because it is dangerous to use undocumented workers and there are hefty fines .
Check out our How to Start a Business page.
Sign up at the Business Center to access useful tools for your business.
What Is The Growth Potential For A Lawn Care Business
Many operations start out with a single person, perhaps one helper, and a single pickup truck. The ability to expand depends on the acquisition of more equipment and being able to hire more crew members.There are very large commercial companies in this business that serve an expansive area. There are national companies as well. Realty Biz gives a list of the top 50 lawn care companies in the USA. TrueGreen is the largest lawn care company in America. They are headquartered in Memphis and serve over 1.7 million residential and commercial customers from multiple locations across the country. If you add landscaping services, ValleyCrest Landscape Companies is the biggest in the USA with international operations also. They have over 100 locations, more than 10,000 employees, and earn over US$1 billion in revenues each year.
Not sure if a lawn care business is right for you? Try our free Business Idea Generator and find your perfect idea.
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How Much Money Can A Solo Lawn Care Business Owner Make
A lot of times a new lawn care business owner will be working solo and wondering what kind of income can they potentially make? How many lawns can the average solo lawn care business owner service? To get some insight we asked our friend on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum to share with us some of what they have found as a solo lawn care business operators.Chuck:I work by myself. I can get most of my average $25 per cut lawns done in 20-25 minutes. Once I have done it a few times & have the lawn under control &trained the way I cut it, meaning the grass isnt too long, the trimming never gets out of hand & the edging has been done before so I dont have to dig out the edges of a driveway that have been covered over 2 seasons ago!
I have a few I can mow in about 17 minutes. Here is my lawn care routine. When I arrive on scene I check the time, get out of the truck, mow, weed eat, edge & blow off. Trailer closed ready to roll, back in the truck. I hustle like heck though. I kinda get in a mode like a machine & keep going all day until my mowing list is done. I should say though, Ive gotten very used to using a line trimmer to do edging. Its kind of an art form to do it right but it saves lots of time, the machine is in your hand & running already!
Steve:What kind of mower are you using to do this?
Steve:How do you suggest coming up with a pricing strategy?
Heres an example:
The Factors Of Determining A Fair Lawn Care Rate
It’s crazy because it’s not as straightforward a question as you might think
First of all should you try to negotiate an hourly rate with your lawn care service provider?
Should you worry about effectively how much youre paying them per hour?
And what is a fair hourly rate to pay for lawn mowing services?
After all. You don’t want to come off like this person. Do you?
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How Much Money Can You Make From Mowing Lawns
If you only mow one lawn per month, you may only make $20-$50. But with that being said in the example above, that guy was mowing five or six lawns in a single day! Even if you only had this many lawns to mow every weekend, you are still looking at $800 or so extra per month!
Beside above, how many lawns can you mow in a day? There are too many variables for a 1-size-fits-all answer, but Honda55 is right on target. Unless you‘re using a 21″ push mower you should be averaging 2 lawns/hr solo.
Also to know, how do you start cutting grass for money?
17 ways to make more money in your lawn mowing business
What is a good price to charge for mowing lawns?
Average lawn mowing prices range from about $30 to $80 per visit, depending on square footage, and large cutting projects can cost more as a result. Most lawn care services charge a flat rate per visit for lawn cutting and additional fees for extra services like edging, leaf-blowing or seasonal cleanup visits.
Step : Register For Taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It’s really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation .
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
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What Happens During A Typical Day At A Lawn Care Business
The days start very early. Before going to the customers job sites, the equipment needs to be inspected and to make sure it is in proper working order. Typical activities of this type are cleaning the mowers and sharpening the cutting blades. Additionally, all equipment that uses gasoline needs to be filled with a mixture of gasoline and the appropriate amount of oil required. After all the equipment has been checked, the trucks are loaded and the crews are assembled and given the days job orders that have been prepared in advance.The rest of the day is spent working at customers job sites. Naturally, any problems that come up, like truck breakdowns or equipment troubles, need to be dealt with. When the crew return to the office, they should fill out a report of the work completed, making note of any special conditions or requests by the customers. This information is added to the system for billing purposes, and to help in the preparation of future job orders for those customers.At the end of the day, equipment should be cleaned and checked for damage to see if it needs repairs. For some owner/operators, these can be very long work days, until they can hire enough crew to reduce their workload.
Rates Vary A Little By Location
Much of this depends on what part of the country you live in.;
For example, pricing for lawn maintenance services in warmer climates such as Florida or California are more competitive than they are as compares to cooler climates.
You might be wondering why this is?;
Well, think about it. The lawn care business is more stable in climates where the grass needs cutting year-round. Naturally, in an area where grass grows for shorter seasons, lawn care services have to figure out how to make ends meet, during the wintertime.
Put another way, lawn mowing services are treated more as a commodity in warmer climates.
And more as a luxury service in Northern climates.
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Nailing Your Pricing Strategy For High Margins With Less Mistakes
Youre just about ready to go out there and start growing a thriving new business!
However, this chapter is a critical key to making sure that you succeed. In fact, I can safely say that this is the most important chapter of this blueprint.
Whats that? Ive already said that a few times?
Youre right and thats because all of these chapters are the most important. I called this a blueprint for a reason. When a construction crew puts up a building, they base everything they do off of an engineers blueprint. Every single piece of that plan is required to make sure the building is solid.
Leave out an important support pylon on the ground floor and that 23rd floor will come crashing down.
Thats what these chapters are the support structures that go into making your lawn care company a solid structure thatll last for years to come.
The way that you price your services is absolutely critical to your success.
Price yourself too high and you wont be able to close enough new customer to sustain yourself. Price yourself too low and youll find that youre working your Mean Green off and not making any more than any old dead end job.
The bad news is that there really is no exact formula to figure this out. Even more bad news is that you will make some mistakes. The good news, though, is that this isnt a big deal. Youre going to get good at pricing your services by doing it.
Maybe youll go over or under but with a little experience, youll very quickly develop a feel for it.
Lawn Care By The Numbers
How to make $40,000.00+ dollars in your first year mowing is a break down of the numbers to reach an income of $40,000 for the owner of the business. We look at customer count, the average price per service and the number of services per season to get our revenue number.
Once we know our projected revenue, we will go in-depth looking at the expenses to operate your business including variable, overhead, and 1-time expenses.
Once all of the income and expenses are known, the calculator will break show the results and you will have a better understanding of what it will take to make money in the lawn care industry.
If you would prefer, please feel free to watch the video I made on this topic.; I would highly recommend that as this blog post is a condensed version and there is much more in the video!; I also wrote the book on how to start and grow a profitable lawn care business if you are interested in that.; I am confident you will find great value in it if you are not currently making $100,000 or more as the owner of your lawn care business.; Visit our products and services to see what we have to offer to help grow your business.; We are forming partnerships with the companies that we found valuable;in our business to get you the best of the best for lessa perfect example is the Proslide XT.; We have the lowest price anywhere in the world on the best velke
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