Create Your Business Plan
Suppose youre ready to transform your nebulous idea for a lawn care business into a glorious reality. In that case, youre going to need a business plan.
Youll use your plan as a detailed outline to get you where you are right now to where you want to be. Its a must for all business owners who want their company to thrive.
Having a business plan means youll accomplish your entrepreneurial objectives sooner rather than later. Itll help organize every detail of getting your business off the ground, exponentially increasing the chances that your lawn care business will be a smashing success.
If you dont need a bank loan, your business plan can be short, sweet, and to the point.
Your lawn care business plan should accommodate your needs, and not the other way around.
Have it be a reflection of you in all your wonderful uniqueness.
According to the Small Business Administration website, there are two categories of business plans:
- Lean startup
Traditional business plans are what most entrepreneurs use, and they require a ton of detail and work. They can get so convoluted and complicated, that they can be dozens of pages long.
Lean startup business plans are far less structured because they focus like a laser-guided missile on only the most essential facts.
They can be completed in sixty minutes or less, and are usually no longer than a single page. Heres an example of one.
Here are some of the sections you might want to include:
What Barriers To Entry Are There
Barriers to entry for a lawn care company are relatively moderate and depend on the season and economic reality. Significant challenges for new entrants include:
- High costs All that expensive equipment adds up fast
- High competition Lawn care is highly competitive youll need to stand out
- Seasonality In some regions youll struggle to find year-round work
- Economy-reliant Some homeowners opt to cut their own lawn in tough times
Pesticide Control Certification Or License
A certification in pesticide applicator is great for you if you want to earn a specialization in using chemical fertilizers and government-approved pesticides.
Your local state, territorial, or tribal authority issues the pesticide applicator license. Once you are licensed, you can supervise pesticide operations or register yourself as a pest control dealer in your region.
The duration and nature of the course varies from one state to another. Some states grant you the certification once you score 70 or above on the tests. In most cases, the license lasts for 34 years, after which you have to pay a small fee and appear for a re-test to get yourself recertified.
A few states like Delaware might require you to have at least two-years of experience working under a certified applicator in the past three years.
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A Lawn Mowing Business Startup Costs
Even at its most basic level, a lawn mowing business is going to require equipment and a means of transporting it. Depending on the size and scope of your business, this will require an initial expenditure and/or borrowing, and youll need to factor in the amount of time it will take for you to source your equipment.
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.
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Hire And Train Employees
Quality is key when building a business. Since lawn care is built on manual labor, your first few employees will be the ones who help you perfect your service and model for training going forward.
While there isnt a ton of experience required for lawn care, there are a few qualities to look for when hiring for your business:
- Hard worker: You need to build a team of hard workers that are willing to get their hands dirty and break a sweat.
- Reliable: Punctuality is key since the team will likely meet at your designated headquarters and ride to the job site together.
- Trustworthy: Since your employees will be at your customers homes, you need to make sure they are very respectful and trustworthy. They represent your brand, so it is important that every interaction they have with customers is a pleasant one.
Unless you plan on driving the truck with the equipment yourself, you will need to hire at least one person who has a valid drivers license and a clean driving record. Having the best, most reliable people on your team will help set up your business for success.
How To Start A Lawn Mowing Company
Starting a lawn mowing company can be daunting, but it doesnt have to be. There are several things you should consider before embarking on the journey of your own business.
So, what is the best way to start a lawn mowing company? The best way to start a lawn mowing company is to know your
Whether youre considering starting your own company or working for another one, there is a lot to learn and get done before jumping in with both feet. In this post, we will discuss what steps to take when starting a lawn care company and how it compares to working for another company.
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The Basics Of Landscaping
Landscapers come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds, but they all share one thing in common: a genuine love of the outdoors and growing things. It’s what drives them to spend most of every day on the job covered in dirt. It induces them to learn the Latin names of plants, shrubs and trees-on purpose. And it makes them gleefully haul around 45-gallon containers like it’s child’s play rather than actual work. Sound like fun? Then you’ve come to the right place.
There are numerous ways you can forge a business in either residential or commercial landscaping-or both. Some of the fields require more than just a love of gardening to succeed-they also require experience and formal education. The major career paths for landscapers include:
Gardener/groundskeeper: This type of green industry professional is usually in charge of keeping up appearances-he or she may care for plants and other greenery, and may perform that work in a garden, greenhouse or work shed. What sets gardeners and groundskeepers apart from other landscape professionals is that they normally don’t do any design work rather, they tend existing landscapes, although they may render other services like applying pesticides and herbicides, mowing lawns, doing spring and fall cleanups, composting, etc. They need a good working knowledge of horticulture and plant varieties.
Can You Make Living Mowing Lawns
Yes. It is possible to earn a livelihood by mowing lawns. According to IBIS World, the gardening services business generated $93 billion in sales the year before, up 5.9% over the previous five years. These loans are suitable for entrepreneurs since they have low interest rates and extended payback schedules. Theyre also backed by the feds, which means banks will get up to 85 % of their money back if the lending fails.
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This Still Holds True: Plan Your Work And Work Your Plan
When I started my business over thirty years ago, my expenses were low. I bought a pickup truck for $5,000 and some tools for around $1,500. I had a computer from college and that was it. So I mean it when I say, you can start a landscape company on a shoestring.
What you cant do is grow a landscape company that way. I know because I did it that way for about 10 years. It was a hand-to-mouth existence, professionally and personally. I woke up one day and realized that was no way to live and I wanted something different.
So, I dove into the work needed to really build a business that would pay me more than an hourly rate. That takes effort and commitment and you dont do that work alone. You do it with professionals at your side — lawyer, accountant, bookkeeper, financial planner and maybe even a and a business coach . And you do it by putting your dreams and aspirations on paper and then building an action plan to get it done.
Yes, it costs a lot to run and build a landscape company. The overhead is high, the time investment is high, and the mental investment is high. Its a labor intensive profession. But if youre up for all that, just make the commitment to put together a solid plan, to get to know your costs, to be responsible and accountable, and then go for it. Itll be an adventure that has the potential to make you good money while you create slices of paradise for others, I promise.
Business License And Fees
Most states will require you to obtain a business license before operating a lawn care company. Generally, a business license costs between $50 and $100 to incorporate as a limited liability company or create a DBA . If you plan to be a one-person lawn care service, a DBA is the easiest way to get started.
If you plan to hire employees, youll have to pay for workers compensation insurance, which is calculated as a percentage of total payroll.
Some states require additional certifications to begin operating a landscaping service. These may include courses in the proper use of safety equipment, first aid training, and environmentally responsible handling of pesticides and herbicides.
Check with your local state Department of Agriculture to learn what the local requirements are for starting a lawn care or landscaping business.
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What Are The Costs Of Starting A Lawn Care Business
At a base level, most landscaping and lawn care companies start out as low cost enterprises. Startup costs could be as low as the cost of a mower, whipper snipper, leaf blower and a trailer to cart everything around.
Alternatively, if youre looking to buy into an existing lawn care or landscaping business, the cost could be as much as $100,000.
Should You Put Your Lawn Care Business On Facebook
Only put your lawn care business on Facebook if you want a lot of clients
and I mean, A LOT of clients.
Just to give you an idea, Facebook is used by 69% of Americans.
Start by creating a business page for your Facebook. Not a personal profile.
Ask your initial clients to write a review, get some pictures posted. Carve out a small digital presence for yourself, add posts a few times a week so that potential clients who look you up to know that youre active.
Facebook is one of the best ways to get some word-of-mouth going for your business.
When youre ready to start advertising for new clients, Facebook is an amazing place to get your feet wet in digital advertising.
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Organise Your Schedule And Prepare Your Equipment For The Next Day
After a full day mowing, the last thing youll probably want to do is prepare your equipment for the next day. But think again, this is an important step in ensuring youre ready to hit the ground running in the morning. If you’re not ready to go in the morning and end up late to your first mow – it will throw off the rest of your day and irritate your customers. This is especially important in those first few encounters with a client – make them unhappy at the beginning and they’ll be lost forever.
How To Start And Execute A Gardening Business
Your business plan is the core of your whole endeavor. In order to have a successful start and execution of your gardening business, you have to look at a few basic points. Here is an example: 1. Objective: Create an independent service provider for gardening and landscaping offers. 2.
Missing just one session can cause chaos in your clients yard. The startup cost for opening a lawn care business is relatively low. You only need equipment and a way to arrive at clients homes, and thats it!
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A Sense Of Passion And Drive
Do you love finding unique items in vintage shops and trade shows? Do you spend time coordinating your shoes with your outfits?
If so, this passion for fashion will help you succeed.
Running a small business is not an easy task. When it comes to sourcing or doing taxes, you might give up without the motivation to keep going! Make sure that before committing any time or money on anything related to running a small business , make sure that what drives you is pure passion and self-motivation.
Learn How To Mow Lawns And Do Basic Yard Work
Anyone can mow a lawn. Not everyone can do it well.
Before you can offer your services, you need to be an expert at what you do.
Experience and practice are your best teachers. Try asking friends, family, and neighbors if you can do their yard work at a discounted rate.
Think of this time as an internship. You arent experienced in your field yet, so you wont be paid the same rate as a seasoned professional while youre developing those hands-on skills.
Youll also want to hear from experts on the best ways to take care of a lawn. Bookmark these online resources and get advice from pros in the industry:
Your list of services might change over time, depending on what youre equipped to provide. Once you start working in the field, pay attention to what services your clients are asking for most often.
Justin Pitre, Owner and Operator of Just in Time Yard Services
Justin Pitre says to avoid taking on any work that you cant handle. If youre underqualified or overworked, your quality of service will suffer for it.
Always ask yourself if youre equipped to offer the top-notch service that your clients need. The answers to these questions will help you make good buying and hiring decisions down the line.
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How Much Is My Lawn Care Business Worth
My average lawn price which includes sales tax is $25.44. So every week the business gross is $2742. I estimate the business will net $45000 after taxes and everything. It takes two guys 25 hrs to mow the lawns each week. that doesnt include dump trips or maintenance time or paper work time. I also have 30 snow throwing accounts.
Pick A Trainer And Coach
So you think you can mow a lawn, but can you run a lawn mowing business?
My start-up hack is to give away 2-3 weeks with a couple of very capable lawn mowing men.
Yep work for them, for free. The truth is that you will probably be slowing them down in the first week at least. Dont do 8 hours mowing a day in your first week. Start with 5-6 hours a day for the first week, then only ever a maximum of 6 while you train. Then by the last few days you should be able to do 8 hours fairly comfortably.
Training with someone competent is essential. You just have to look at their rig and listen to their advice to work this out. Most people will need at least 3 weeks to build knowledge, but not many will want to work for free that long. I KNOW this will be one of the best investments you will ever make. You should learn the following in 3 weeks: pricing work, scheduling, equipment operation, quality of work standards, customer service and maybe even some admin and peer work if your trainers are generous. This is just the start. Keep in touch with your trainer .
Tip: keep in touch with your advisor even after you finish. Who knows, they may be able to share or sell their clients to you for a reduced fee. Who ever said that its who you know not what you know – really knew what they were talking about.
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How Does An App For Lawn Care Business Work
If you plan to create an app for a lawn care business, you need to know the functionality principle and understand how it works. Usually, lawn mowing apps perform three simple steps as follows:
Post lawn information. Lawn owners need to post the info about their lawn, indicate the address and photo. It will take a few minutes, and then they can proceed to the next step.
List and find a lawnmower. There is a list of lawnmowers, and users can check their ratings, read reviews about them, and even check their equipment. Also, some apps allow users to compare prices to find the best quote.
Schedule and pay. Once you chose a lawnmower, you schedule a mowing time, make a booking, and then pay. Funds will be reserved, and service providers will get them only when the work is completed.