What Is Your Plan
Now you have done your research, its time to formulate your own plan. In order to compete you will need to be as good as if not better than the best landscaping company in your area.
Remember, you will not have the years of reviews and word of mouth referrals that established companies have so you might want to consider offering promos and offers to attract new customers.
Try Setting Up A Side Business
While lawn care may be your bread and butter, it doesnt mean that you cant offer different services in the winter. Here are some solutions from our community members:
1. Christmas light set up and takedown
While holiday lights are pretty, no one really likes putting them up, let alone taking them down.
Kirk Brown, owner of Kirks Lawn Care, launched a holiday lighting services business to take advantage of this lucrative winter business opportunity. Dynamic Celebration Lighting offers all-inclusive holiday lighting installation, maintenance, take down and storage and it has a stunning website complete with aquote request form and a high-quality photo gallery to attract both commercial and residential clients.
Jake Johnson, Owner of Spray Tech Solutions, found a way to use the holidays to bring in cash for his lawn care business:
I own a lawn and pest control company in Idaho. I only do fertilizer and weed control on lawns. Once it starts to slow down I have another company for Christmas lights. This was our first year offering Christmas lights and it went well. Its a good side business.
Jake did some marketing to promote his Christmas light gig but plans to reach expand on it next season:
We did mailers and a few Facebook ads. It went well and this upcoming year we will reach out to our current lawn clients of about 400 people.
2. Snow plowing and ice maintenance
One of the go-to side gigs of many lawn care service providers is snow and ice maintenance.
Indoor Services For Hotels Business Complexes & More
Not all plant care and landscaping are done outside. Greenhouses, indoor botanical garden centers, plant nurseries, and businesses like hotels with a multitude of indoor greenery all need maintenance. Finding sites that require gardening year-round is tough in small rural areas, but in large cities, there are plenty of opportunities.
A great place to look for winter business is social media. Whether on the Facebook Marketplace or through posts from your followers, youre sure to find some need during the winter. You can also use social media to post your latest winter services and offer promotional prices to the first ten clients who respond.
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First Set A Price For Lawn Mowing Services
Wondering how much lawn care costs, including mowing? Short answer, it depends. Here are a few factors that can influence what you charge:
Your experience: Seasoned lawn care professionals can charge more for their services. But when youre building your customer base, you may need to start with a lower price point. Then, once you get a few customers under your belt, you can raise them incrementally.
The location of your business: Theres an amount that people in your area are willing to pay for lawn care services. Do some research to find out that amount. Higher-end neighborhoods and businesses will often pay more. Meanwhile, lower-income neighborhoods usually want lower pricesor they might not need your services at all. Call a few lawn care companies in your area. Ask their prices. Then use those numbers as a starting point on how to price your lawn care services.
If you work with businesses or residents: Most commercial businesses who value quality are willing to pay top dollar. Homeowners, on the other hand, may be more budget conscious. Caveatall of this depends on your area, of course. Poke around. Do some research. Find out which clients are willing to pay more in your area.
Commercial Contracts For Next Year
If you havent yet, creating a longer sales cycle for next year will extend your income through the cold season. Commercial contracts, which include winter work or increased prices, will ease the burden that cold weather has on the lawn care industry. While youre waiting for spring to come, work on creating some commercial contracts for the new year.
Commercial contracts are a great source of year-round revenue because you can agree on a lump sum or payment plan. That can be customized to suit your current financial needs while still giving the client what they ask for. Upfront payments for future work will keep your business thriving until more work becomes available. Remember, as soon as spring hits, your clients will need lawns rejuvenated, plants unwrapped, and gardens tended.
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Write A Business Plan
As a matter of fact, there is hardly business that does not require a business plan. If you are severe about starting a business with the aim of competing and making profits, then you should ensure that you prepare a lawn care business plan document before investing your hard earned money and time into the business.
You might not need a comprehensive business plan for a landscape and lawn care company, but it is important to at least have a business document a business plan that will guide you and give you a clearer picture of what you intend achieving by starting the business.
A Business plan is like a blue print that is needed to successfully run a business it is the document that will influence all your business decisions and actions.
The whole idea of writing a business plan is not just for the sake of having a business document in place but to draft strategies that will help you effectively administer and manage your landscape and lawn care business. Your business plan should cover strategies on how you intend to generate your start up capital, attract clients and also to expand the scope of your business. These are some of the key components that must not be missing in your business plan.
Other key components that should be included in your business plan are as follow
How Do I Sign Up To Work For Lawn Love
You start by completing a 10-minute application form on Lawn Loves website to sign up as a service provider. Your information, including work experience and skills, is evaluated to determine if you are eligible. The platform determines the kinds of jobs you will be able to handle based on your application and the equipment you have.
You can begin to find jobs using the Lawn Love app after you are approved.
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Calculate Your Hourly Labor Rate
How much are you going to charge per person, per hour for the average job? This number should be based on things like the going rate in your area, how much money you want to earn per hour, and how much youre paying your employees.
If youre just starting off, look at the work and estimate the time it will take you to complete the job. Then consider how much you want to make per hour.
Pricing by the hour makes sense because lot size isnt always an accurate pricing metric. For example, garden homes might take you half an hour to complete, even if they are the same size as a quarter-acre lot, which could take you 45 minutes to complete.
Jason Creel explains that your hourly rate is important, but you shouldnt communicate it to your clients.
Lets just say that your hourly rate is $60 per hour. Now, youre not going to speak to the customer and say, hey, I charge $60 an hour, so Im going to time myself when I cut your grass, and then multiply that by 60. Youll quickly learn how to estimate and then multiply that in your mind.
Pro tip: if youre just starting out and not sure about how long a lawn will take, keep track of the time it takes you to complete the job using time tracking software or a stopwatch. From there, find the average of your labor hours over time before figuring out exactly what speed you work at.
Prefer watching a video? Jason Creel talks about pricing out lawn care services below:
What Are Some Of The Biggest Costs
If you stay small, say around 50 customers a week, you will be able to control costs to a manageable and predicable level. However, as you scale your business and begin hiring workers to help you with the work load, costs will escalate. You will need to consider factors such as rising minimum wage issues, payroll taxes, healthcare taxes, and workmans comp insurance. You will also need to spend on administration and bookkeeping of all of these costs because they can add up to more than most people realize. Probably the most burdensome aspect of running a labor intensive landscaping or lawn care company is the rising cost of labor and everything that goes with it.
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Work Out A Reasonable Pricing For Your Services & Products
The factors that will enable you get the right price quotation for your services prices that will be pocket friendly to household is to ensure that you cut your operational cost to the barest minimum.
You can achieve it by operating the business from your home especially if you choose to start the business on a small scale and also purchasing fairly used tools and equipment will help you cut cost and get the right pricing that will be a win win for both you and your customers.
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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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
How Much Money Can You Make On Lawn Love
The on-demand lawn care platform claims some of the professionals on its network make up to $1,000 in a week. It is hard to tell the range of what you can expect to earn, though.
Lawn Love indicates that booking starts at $29. We also read that the company takes a cut of between 15 and 20 percent. The implication is that you can expect to earn at least about $24 for the smallest job.
Indeed reports average weekly earnings of a lawn care specialist as $712, based on six reported salaries.
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What Systems Do You Need
Think of the different aspects of your company and the roles within and make a list.
In our experience, its best to have a system in place for every part of your company.Dont just consider how the pieces fit together but also how theyre built.
Ask yourself these questions:
Keep The Lawns Looking Pretty With Fall Cleanups And Leaf Removal
Fall Cleanups are the first thing that come to most Landscapers’ minds. Here, youre mostly interested in freshening up your clients property.
- Trimming and removing dead plants
- And, of course, removing all the fallen leaves.
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Get Your Lawn Care Website Ranked On Google
You need robust SEO, so youre not steamrolled by your competitors. Ensure youre sending the right SEO signals by prominently displaying your branding and logo on your site.
Your site also needs to be mobile-friendly. Thats because more than half of all local searches are mobile searches.
Choose the right targeted keywords for your business. These are the ones that are going to be the most profitable. Its better to focus on long-tailed keywords because theyre easier to rank for.
You need to understand the intent behind using the keyword. This is why a user is searching for that particular term.
For example, if a searcher types lawns into the search box, he could be looking for all kinds of things. Several that come to mind include the history of lawns, how to take care of a yard, or why my lawn is better than my neighbors.
But if he typed in best lawn care near me, you know hes looking to hire somebody to do his lawn.
This will be a potentially lucrative keyword for you to use.
Business listings such as Google My Business are essential. A GMB listing can help you rank on Google and snag new customers for your lawn care business.
Thats why you need to optimize your GMB profile and keep it updated.
Local backlinks are important too. Ask business partners, local business directories, and local news outlets to link to your business.
One of the most fantastic things about it is the ultra-specific microtargeting you can do.
Consider Offering Additional Services
Outside of winterization, make sure that you explore all possible avenues for offseason revenue. This can include services such as leaf removal, snow clearing, or even hanging Christmas lights for clients. As a lawn care provider, you already have the tools needed for these services. Let your clients know youll be there for whatever they need. This can also mean taking the time to learn new skills or improve office workflow. If youre looking for options on what your team can do in wintertime, check out our article on the subject.
This article was written by the field service industry experts at Smart Service. Smart Service is a mobile scheduling, work order, and customer management software system for QuickBooks. Thousands of field service businesses rely on Smart Service to streamline their workflow, eliminate waste and boost revenue
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Systems In Use At Clip Lawn Care Tn:
CLIPitc: CLIPitc turns our customer management, routing, scheduling, and job costing into seamless systems that any of our employees can efficiently use. We use the CLIPitc system to figure out everything customer related from routing to job costing to which customers make us the most per man hour.
QuickBooks: CLIPitc links right to Quickbooks so we always know what your customers owe and can make sure we arent cutting without being paid. It also helps us track all of our accounts receivable.
KnowItAll: KnowItAll links keywords to our documents, spreadsheets, questions/answers, passwords, and much more so that we dont need a company Know-It-All and can just let our employees quickly search for the answers on their own . Before KnowItAll, our CEO could barely go on a few days vacation without checking in regularly. Since KnowItAll, he has gone on month vacations without having to contact the office!
We also have a lot of our building block systems stored in KnowItAll such as training manuals, a company handbook, marketing documents, email lists, customer databases, and more.
Systems are what make your company run, whether you intentionally build them or not. Take some time and design the systems that work for you and you will be well on your way to extreme profit.
Register License And Insure Your Lawn Care Business
If youve decided to start a lawn care business, youll want to make sure that youre doing it legally.
Before you take on any jobs, you should determine which business structure you want to use. The most popular structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, and corporation.
Pro Tip: If youre starting a lawn care company in Canada, we recommend using Ownr for an easy way to register or incorporate your business.
The structure you pick affects how your business is registered. However, for most small lawn care businesses, you simply need to register your business name with your local and state government.
Once its registered, you should consider insurance. Ed Ramsden advises, you should get insurance because if you damage someones property, you dont want to pay for it.
Brian Boase, Owner of MIL-SPEC Landscaping, explains the importance of insurance in a bit more detail.
He recommends that you get yourself commercial insurance and establish a LLC. He says, this helps you separate your business assets from your personal assets.
In addition to that, commercial insurance is extremely important.
Accidents happen, so dont be that person without commercial insurance. Youd be surprised at how much damage a ZT can do to a HVAC unit, Brian says.
Since youll be servicing private properties, you will have to take on some liability for any damages or injuries that occur while on a job.
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