Cons For A Lawn Business
There are a few issues that you’ll need to consider while planning your business.
- Seasonal: Unless you live in an area where winters arent bad, your customer accounts go into hibernation by mid-October. If you are looking for a year-round business, you will need to find something to diversify your product offering to keep business up and running through the winter.
- Start-Up Expenses: Depending on the type of lawn care business you decide to build out, you will need equipment and something to transport this equipment with. This may require upfront cash and in some cases, a sizable amount.
- Competitive: Open your phone book and you will find a number of lawn care businesses in your area. If the market is too oversaturated, you will find the need to compete on price and this will cut into your;gross margins. Research your area and if possible speak to existing lawn care companies about what they are experiencing in your area.
- Some Economic Risk: When economic times get tough, existing residential customers may find the need to cut non-essential expenses, and for many, outsourced lawn care is one of those.
Calculate Your Rate When You Have Employees
Employees can speed up your operation tenfold. But, theres an art to pricing out their labor.
Jason explains that when including labor in your price, you should consider how much effort is required per person.
When I say $60 per hour, Im talking about the rate per person. So if you have a two-man crew, youre looking at $120 per hour. If you have a three-man crew, $180 per hour. If Ive got a two-man crew and were cutting grass and it took us 30 minutes to cut, thats a $60 lawn. Although it took half the time to mow this lawn, it required two times the effort for labor for Jasons team.
Or, you can take Edwards approach:
We bid per hour. I like to walk the site, get the job requirements, and decide how long and how much labor it will take. For example, a job might take an hour and a half with three people. So Ill bill three people on the site at $45 an hour, $45 per employee, so that $135 for labor alone.
Notice that this price doesnt include overhead, equipment, and materials costs yet.
Ideas To Get Customers For A Lawn Mowing Business
by Andrea Martins | Apr 28, 2015
Now that youve got your paperwork sorted and youre ready to make money mowing lawns, you might be asking, But how can I get customers for a lawn mowing business?
The short answer is that to spread the word of your amazing lawn mowing prowess, you either you have get out there yourself to tell people, get someone else to get out there for you. Or, as most lawn mowers do, you could rely on a combination of the two options. Otherwise the phone will never ring and you will never have a successful mowing business.
To kickstart your thinking, here are 20 ideas to get customers for a lawn mowing business:
Read Also: What Is The Smallest Riding Lawn Mower
How To Start A Landscaping Business In 5 Steps
Considering the range and depth of landscaping from residential to commercial, maintenance to removal and designing to tree care the economics of starting your own landscaping business are remarkably simple. It can be as easy as renting a lawnmower and knocking on doors.
My previous company was a lawn care business that I grew from myself and a push mower to over 125 employees, says Bryan Clayton, the founder of GreenPal, an online lawn care ordering service that is a bit like the Uber of landscaping.
Most customers have to deal with shoddy and unprofessional competitors, says Clayton. Creating a successful landscaping business is almost easy if you simply answer the phone when your customer calls, return their voicemails promptly, and do the work that you agree to with your clientele.
Sounds simple enough, right? But what else can a landscaping business owner do to move beyond the basics? Here are some tricks of the trade as you start your landscaping business.
How To Test Out The Viability Of A Business
If someone is selling a lawn care business, they may have a legitimate;concern driving around and showing every possible buyer ten of their lawns. There are a couple of issues with this.
The seller is in a bit of a catch 22. You want to see the lawns but the seller doesnt want to show everyone, and they have a good reason for this.
Also, think about how it felt when you went out.
- Did it feel natural or did it feel a bit phony?
- What was his gear like?
- Did it look like it had been serviced recently or did the gear look rough?
- Check the truck window, is there a current oil change sticker?
- Have they ever sold lawn care accounts before?
- If so can they put you in touch with a previous buyer?
- What is the reason for selling the lawn care accounts?
Recommended Reading: How To Advertise My Lawn Mowing Business
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.
Why Is Landscape Edging Important To Install
Landscape edging is a key element to a well-maintained lawn.
Edging creates a clear and attractive line separating the grass from garden beds.
There are many different types of lawn edging materials, and if youre having edging professionally installed the cost will depend upon the linear feet of edging installed, and the material youll use.
Popular types include stone, wood, plastic, concrete, or brick.
Landscape edging usually costs between $700 and $1,700, installed. Again, the size of your property and the type of edging youll use will impact how much youll pay.
Recommended Reading: When Should Lawn Aeration Be Done
Create A Professional Online Presence
Lawn care is an old-school industry but it should be marketed on the internet like any other business in our high-tech world.;
These days, consumers want to hire home maintenance contractors from their smart phone, says Zach Hendrix, co-founder of GreenPal, an Uber-like lawn care marketplace. If youre stuck in the past, youre leaving money on the table.;
So, heres your checklist for marketing your landscaping services online:
Invest most of your time into your website and social media accounts, where you can build your companys story and showcase your services through quality photography.;
Your 1st Goal: Meet With The Decision Maker
Right now, your 1st goal is to simply get your foot in the door.
For small and medium lawn or landscaping companies, networking is the only reliable way to get a commercial lawn care contract.;
In other words, you have to approach them.
One solid strategy is to craft an email or a letter for each business you want to bid.
When you start sending these emails, try hanging them up in HOAs to get your name into the right hands and get them to respond to you.
Another option is to head over to the right local networking events:
- Local businesses: You’ll get to talk directly to the owner , which makes sales and upsells easier.
- HOAs: Talk to HOAs and other Real Estate groups. You can find these by searching HOA or Real Estate Groups in .
- BOMA: Set up a meeting with your citys Building Owners and Managers Association.
- Chamber of Commerce Meetings, CEO Forums, and other networking events will help you meet potential clients, especially if your town has a commercial district or sector with above average commercial density.
When all else fails
it’s time for some cold, hard knocks.
Drive around and look for properties that need fixing. When you see a business that could use your services, go knock on their door and introduce yourself. This one works very well if you are good at in-person sales.
Read Also: How To Do Overseed Your Lawn
Offer Package Discounts For Scheduled Lawn Maintenance
Fertilization, aeration, dethatching, mulching and tree trimming, rather than mowing, tend to be your money makers in the lawn care industry. The trouble is, many homeowners want a nice lawn, but not if it costs a lot. Paying to have your lawn mowed is one thing it removes a strenuous, time-consuming and often unpleasant chore from the homeowners honey-do list but many homeowners will simply fertilize their own grass, or skip fertilization and other less regular maintenance chores altogether.
Take some of the sticker shock out of lawn fertilization. Offer package discounts for homeowners who sign up for lawn fertilization, aeration and dethatching package. Youll get more customers willing to shell out for the extra service, and thatll be more money in your pocket.
Get Your Business Financials In Order
When you’re starting a landscaping business, it’s crucial that you keep your finances on track. And we’re probably past the days of using a pen and paper to keep track of all your business expenses, schedules, and accounts. Even spreadsheet applications, though capable of handling large quantities of information, are a bit outdated.
Luckily, there are plenty of business apps out there that can help your landscaping business operate more smoothly. There are apps and software to help with everything from;inventory management and;payroll;to employee timesheets so you can focus on the important things like actual landscaping work.
Clayton also recommends;accounting software for new landscape contractors. You’ll be able to manage invoices and, depending on the program, even automate fixed asset management.
Read Also: How To Estimate Lawn Mowing Jobs
How To Get Commercial Snow Plow Accounts
If you live in an area where you get a lot of snow and are looking to expand your lawn care business into snow removal, you may be thinking how to land commercial snow plow accounts. That was a question brought up on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum when a;member asked as part of our lawn care business, we want to get some snow removal customers preferably commercial accounts. Any ideas who to target and how? We thought about churches or apartment buildings. Are there free lists out there? Any other thoughts?
How to get commercial snow plow accounts.
One of the things you could do is drive through your area and make a list of the different commercial location that you would like to service. We have a letter in the free letter section that you can send to these properties to request to be put on their bid list.
But the best thing to do is to knock on the door and ask who is in charge of the property and who you should send such a letter too. You improve your chances of landing these jobs when you meet the people who make such decisions.
What do you suggest a lawn care business owner send to a potential customer to get them to sign up for snow plow services?
Should they send them a bid? Or what kind of wording would you suggest in a letter?
Do you suggest doing any follow up calls at all or going into the commercial establishments to find out who is the contact person for property maintenance?
How Much Should I Pay For A Lawn Care Business
Buying a lawn care business is like buying a boat. I bet you have never heard that before but it is true. Nobody wants to buy a boat in mid-winter so they are cheaper. Everybody wants them in the summer so they are more expensive. Im not suggesting that you buy a lawn care business in the middle of the winter but do take note of how far along in the growing season you are. Buying a lawn care business at the tail end of the season is a lot riskier than buying one in Spring.
You are of course going to have a conflict of interest on the price with the seller. You want it as cheap as possible and they want as much money as possible. In a lot of cases, their business is their baby and they will be overvaluing it for emotional reasons. They will genuinely feel it is worth more.
When they go to list their business for sale the current price of lawn care business around them can be a reality check for them. They will realize that they cannot list their business at their ideal price, they will never get a buyer. Therefore a lot of sellers will feel that they have had to compromise once already. This can make negotiations difficult.
There are a lot of schools of thought on how to value a lawn care business. The biggest variation is the goodwill which is an intangible asset so it can be difficult to value. These are a few of the more common methods of putting a price on these businesses.
- Total yearly income
- Amount paid to owners as drawings
- Selling price
Also Check: How To Kill Weeds In Your Lawn Naturally
Develop A Marketing Plan And Decide On Prices
When it comes to marketing your landscaping business, you already know where to start: Facebook and other social media, as well as SEO tactics, will increase your search visibility on Google and other search engines.
Of course, word-of-mouth marketing is always the best, especially in hyper-local markets, but that comes with doing good work overtime. So while you wait for the glowing reviews to be passed around town, consider setting up your social accounts first as you start your landscaping business.
Clayton says that mastering all of the typical marketing channels, and putting a starting budget of $500 to $2,000 in place to acquire your first 10 to 100 customers, is the best way to start. A digital marketing expert may be necessary to bring your game to the next level once you expand your landscaping business.
When you’re first starting your landscaping business, you should also decide on the prices of your services so you can include those in your marketing efforts. Any potential customers will want to know what they’ll be charged for the various landscaping services your business will offer.
When you’re deciding on your rates, it’s a good idea to check out the competition and see what prices similar businesses are offering, then go from there. But remember, you can always adjust rates as you go.
Start A Lawn Care Business By Following These 10 Steps:
You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your lawn care business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Check out our How to Start a Business page.
Also Check: How Do You Kill Weeds In Your Lawn
How To Start A Landscaping Or Lawn Care Business
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Anyone with a yard knows that maintaining it is a lot of work. So it’s no surprise that there are so many landscaping businesses out there to help eliminate the need for mowing, weeding, treating and doing more lawn maintenance yourself.
If you, however, are someone who loves to do yard work and the smell of freshly cut grass or a newly mulched garden is your favorite, you may have wondered how to start a landscaping business of your own.
The landscaping business is booming; and if you live somewhere with a warm climate, you may be able to work nearly year-round. The landscape services industry makes $93 billion in revenue each year and employs more than 1 million people, according to the National Association of Landscape Professionals.
If this sounds like the right move for you, keep reading to find out how to start a landscaping business of your own.