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.
Set Up Your Lawn Care Business
Once youve secured startup money to purchase any necessary equipment, you can begin setting up your business. Even if lawn care is a part time, seasonal job, organizing your business can help it succeed in the years to come.
Consider taking the following steps:
Check on business licensing requirements You may not need a license to offer mowing services. However, if you apply pesticides and herbicides, theres a chance your city or county will require a permit.
Network through word of mouth Many small lawn care businesses start with only a single customer. Consider offering discounted services to family, friends, and neighbors as you start out. You can even run a promotion: if someone refers a friend, offer them a one-time discount.
Set up your social media presence Make it easy for people to find you on Yelp, Google Businesses, and Facebook. Consider adding photographs of any landscaping jobs, as well as positive customer testimonials.
Set up a legal business If you need a federal tax ID to pay employees or independent contractors, you will need to create a legal business entity like a Limited Liability Company , S corp, or partnership. If youre an independent contractor, you dont have to take this step, legally speaking. Still, separating your business assets from your personal assets provides you some legal protection in the case that something goes wrong.
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.
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How To Start A Lawn Care Or Landscaping Business
Cutting the grass isn’t for teenagers anymore. Put your landscaping and lawn-care skills to work by starting a lucrative business.
Editor’s note: This article was excerpted from our Lawn Care/Landscaping start-up guide, available from the Entrepreneur Bookstore.
When you think back to the long, lazy summers of your youth, chances are some time was spent trudging along behind a lawn mower, pushing with all your might and sweating profusely, just so you could make a few bucks to buy some baseball cards or a really cool bike. You may have occasionally mowed down a few pansies or zebra-striped a lawn, but you sure were proud when the homeowner came to the door, surveyed your handiwork, and forked over the agreed-upon fee.
Mowing lawns or landscaping residential or commercial properties for a living will give you that same sense of pride-while earning you some pretty serious cash.
The ProsThere are many advantages to running a homebased lawn care or landscaping service. You’re master of your own destiny, and you can devote as much or as little time to the business as you want. You have a short commute to work if you’re based in your own community. You can work at your own pace and at virtually any time during regular daylight hours. You also can enjoy the fresh air, get a good cardiovascular workout, and bulk up your muscles.
- Lawn mowing/maintenance
- Landscape architecture services
Create A Business Plan For Your Lawn Care Business
Lawn care businesses have a low start-up cost but they have to fight high competition. If you want to build a successful lawn care business, you should start with a solid business plan in place.
- Set clear goals about what you want to achieve, by when, and how.
- Identify your target market and location.
- Understand the needs of your potential customers.
- Keep a check on your competitors.
- Create a marketing plan to get customers and long-term work opportunities.
- Buy business insurance to protect your business from financial losses due to property damage or injuries.
- Set standards to provide high-quality services and good customer experiences.
- Streamline customer service operations to satisfy and retain your clients.
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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.
Find An Investor For Your Lawn Care Business
An investor is someone or a group of people who lends you money for a percentage of equity in your lawn care business. People look for investors so that they dont have to assume debt. Additionally, if the business were to fail, you typically wouldnt owe an investor any money whereas you would for a bank loan.
It can be a challenge to find an investor in your community. The best way to discover an investor is to create a business plan with clear financial projections and network within the business community like joining your local chamber of commerce.
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Schedule Some Office Time
Your first few months will involve a lot of administrative work. Its an important step in starting your own business and if you spend a little more time on these tasks in the beginning, it can mean a lot less stress later on.
Your first step is to register as a lawn care business. Visit the Small Business Administration website for information about how to do this, or check the online resources for your town office or city hall.
Make time to sort out taxes, invoicing, and a few other items. To be a first-rate lawn care professional, youll need to do most of the following:
- Register as a business
- Set up a bookkeeping system
- Organize and file receipts for business purchases
Financing A Lawn Care Business
Getting the necessary tools and training to start a lawn care business can be an investment. Since the majority of individuals dont have such large sums of money readily available, many choose to apply for small business financing. Good funding options for lawn care or landscaping companies include:
- Equipment leasing. With so much high-value equipment needed to start a lawn care business, equipment leasing can be a great solution. Rather than buying equipment outright and paying a large sum upfront, this option gives you access to the equipment you need by paying a monthly fee thats a fraction of the cost.
- Small business loans. The most common type of business loans is offered by the Small Business Administration. These loans boast low interest rates and long repayment terms, making them ideal for business owners, and theyre also guaranteed by the federal government, meaning banks will be repaid up to 85 percent of the loan even if it defaults.
- 401 business financing. Once a little-known method of business financing, this method is becoming more popular. It allows business owners to use funds from their 401, IRA, or other pre-tax retirement plan to start or buy a business without incurring tax penalties.
- Unsecured loans. Similar to a credit card, this option allows business owners to borrow money and repay at will, without needing to put up any personal property as collateral.
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Benefits Of Lawn Mowing Apps
Although you already know that apps for the lawn care business are beneficial for both parties, we would like to list the primary advantages substantively.
Dont have time to read the article? Then contact us directly and share the info about your upcoming project.
Easy scheduling. Users can schedule time for lawn care using their mobile devices. Moreover, the time can be changed or canceled if necessary, with a few clicks.
Status tracking. Most lawn care apps make it possible to monitor work progress and even track it in real-time mode.
Convenient communication. Users may chat with service providers via an integrated chat system or use a phone to call them directly.
Processes automation. Once users fill out the required forms, they can schedule and book lawn care faster with a few clicks. Also, it is possible to create a template and make automated bookings monthly/yearly.
Contribution to customer satisfaction and fruitful cooperation. Customers can write down all crucial information concerning lawn care and related processes, so service providers can check it and keep up with it. The better the work is done, the more chances the customer will contact the same specialist again.
Taking It Slow If You Want To
I understand what a jump it can be to quit your job in favor of your side hustle. So if you want to take it slow, you totally can. Consider going part-time at your job if that is possible, or taking a week or two off if possible and testing things out. It is smart to be cautious about your financial stability, but you have to be confident in yourself. If you know you do good work and you are determined to make it work, then you will have no problem succeeding. The important thing is that you stay on good terms with your employer. That way if you do quit and then fail, you can always go back.
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S To Starting A Lawn Care Business With No Money
1. Understand the Industry
In a recent publication released by a Professional Land-care Network , an international association serving landscaping professionals, lawn care professionals, exterior maintenance contractors, installation/design/building professionals, and interior scapers, there are an estimated 10,000 individual lawn care service providers and approximately 12,000 landscapers in the united states of America.
This statistics covers independent operators, franchises and large corporate chains. They also stated that the number of professional gardeners could actually be considerably higher because there are so many people doing lawn and landscape maintenance on part time and on a pay as you go basis.
Lastly, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published in 2006-2007 , is that almost 1 out of every 4 landscaping, grounds keeping, nursery, greenhouse and lawn service workers is self-employed and provides maintenance services directly to customers on a contract basis. Of these, about 1 out of every 6 works part time.
Even though lawn care business might not be amongst the money spinning businesses in the US, but they have a very large market that is readily available for them. All they need to do is to convince property owners, corporate organizations and the government to patronize their services.
Interesting Statistics About the Industry
Building Your Lawn Care Business Website
Once you have got your business name, business license, zeroed down on the services, and found your USP, its time to start building an online presence for your lawn care business.
A professional looking website is a must for you to start booking new services and generating revenue but you dont need to spend too much at the beginning. Otherwise, it can suck up a good part of your budget.
When youre starting out, your primary focus should be on getting the essentials locked down:
- Website domain for your lawn care company.
- Basic branding assets.
- Your company logo.
- If you dont know how and where to get a logo for your lawn care business, check out 99 Designs.
- Media assets pictures of team members, customers, and services to showcase on your website.
- A legit business email address.
- Having a professional email id as adds a lot of trust and credibility over a general Gmail or Yahoo email.
- A business phone number.
- You can use your personal phone number for your business. However, if you decide to get a dedicated phone, here is a detailed article on how to get a business phone number.
- A business address.
- If you dont have a place to start your lawn care business, its ok to start at home and use your home address as your business address. However, if you decide to get an address, we recommend you get it in the 5-8 miles radius from the city center in your main service area.
It helps rank your business faster in Google My Business. .
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Marketing Your Lawn Care Business
When it comes to marketing the lawn care business and acquiring the first few customers, most of the business owners underplay themselves.
Yes, when you are just starting, its ok to start small. But this, by no way, means you should overlook the following low-hanging opportunities:
A) Your network family, friends, and beyond!
A quick and easy way to find your first few customers is by putting yourself out there and letting people in and around your network know what you are doing.
B) Google Local Service Ads
Google Local Service Ads are a dream come true for small lawn care and local service businesses.
Googles Local Service Ads helps you connect with the people looking for your services in your service area. It prevents the searcher and the service mismatch that often happens when a user searches:
- For broad terms like lawn care tools, or
- From outside your service area.
The good part about these ads is that you pay only for the legit leads, and it costs you between $6-30 per lead depending on your service and location. Use this lead cost calculator to get a more precise idea about how much you will have to pay for each new lead in your area.
To be eligible for Googles Local Service Ads, you first need to confirm your eligibility by providing your business license and insurance documents. Once youre eligible, you can get started with Google Local Service Ads in three simple steps:
- Sign up as a service provider
- Set your budget
C) Google My Business Listing
Diversify Categories Of Lawn Care
If you want to stand out among competitors, your app should provide additional services apart from lawn mowing. At least, gardening and snow shoveling as well. The more services your app offers, the more users and services providers it has. And it directly impacts profit and accessibility.
Besides, add a rewards-based payment system with gamification. That is, users may be rewarded for cashless payments, for example. Or the gamified payment process may be an additional source of bonuses and discounts. Dont be afraid to experiment with your app.
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Get Lawn Care Insurance Asap
Business insurance might not seem like something that should be at the top of your to-do list.
But as soon as you walk onto your first customers lawn, youre putting yourself – and your business – at risk. You could end up accidentally causing property damage, or you could have a customer who sues you for something that you didnt even do .
Or you could have some of your lawn care equipment stolen from your truck while youre working on a job site.
Whatever the scenario, its likely that business insurance – especially general liability insurance with tools & equipment coverage – can keep you protected.
Heres how it works: Business insurance can be tailored with specific policies that cover the common risks youre exposed to on a day-to-day basis. For example, as a lawn care specialist, youre probably exposed to property damage risks .
Based on what those risks are, you can get policies to offer protection, so you dont have to pay out claims from your own personal bank account.
Additionally, if you have employees, getting workers compensation isnt just important for protecting your business – it may also be a legal requirement where you live.
Fortunately, you dont have to hunt around to find the right insurance coverage. Here at Simply Business, we specialize in helping you find lawn care insurance policy options that fit their needs and their budget.
For example, we can help you find a general liability insurance policy for as low as $25.95 per month.*