Starting a lawn care and landscaping business can be an excellent money-making venture. If you are interested in starting this type of gardening business, here are the things that you need to know for your successful launch.
First, determine your market location because it is a key factor in success. Your headquarters needs to be near your customers so you don’t overspend on traveling fuel or waste time commuting. As such, the ideal location for a landscaping business is in an industrial area for storage of your mowers and tools, with easy access to highways.
Of course, lawn mowing and gardening are outdoor activities which involves sometimes being under the hot sun or cold rain. If you love being outdoors, no matter what the weather, then this could be the right new business for you.
The Nature of Lawn Care Business
Lawn care business revolves around taking care of people’s’ lawns and gardens, on a regular basis and for seasonal cleanups. As a customer-centric business owner, you will have to interact with your customers and will need good communication and negotiations skills to both sell and manage potential customers.
As I said before, you also have to adapt to the outdoors. The temperature varies during different seasons, and you should be able to work in any of these environments. You should also be ready to show up when a customer calls you during different times of the day.
Typically, you will be offering lawn mowing services on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis depending on the agreement you will have with your customers. Most of your customers will be homeowners, retail and commercial buildings.
Your day will start very early, and you will need to prepare your equipment before going to the job site. Once on the job site, gardening work should be carried out efficiently and carefully. When the day is over, you will have to prepare a report on the completed work for billing and payment collection.
Ideal Lawn Care Customers
It is correct to say that lawn care is a recurring process and you want to aim for the customers that love to keep their lawns kept. Long-term customers should be your primary target because they generate the most profit with the least costs.
Local businesses can also be great customers because they typically pay more than homeowners for landscaping services. Prospect large operations with lots of lawns and gardens such as hospitals, retail centers, medical villages, office building, and schools.
At the beginning of your business, you won’t be able to know who is going to be your recurring client. The best way to find out is work and give your best to every customer.
Soon you will find that your best customers are those who appreciate your hard work, not those penny pinchers who will hire the lowest bidder.
You should also be ready to do a follow-up and establish a relationship with all the clients you will work with. This way, you will get clients that will love your work and employ you for the long-term.
How will you be making money?
You will be making money from one-time lawn mowing gigs and recurring monthly payments from clients that will want necessary landscape maintenance.
Growth Potential for Lawn Care Businesses
Landscaping concerns often start with a single owner and a truck, then grow with additional workers into a multi-vehicle fleet. Your ability to expand your firm will be dependent upon your ability to obtain additional equipment and competent workers. Many large commercial property management firms began just this way.
National firms such as TrueGreen, the largest US lawn company, is headquartered in Memphis and serves almost 2 million customers from multiple locations.
What are the required skills to start a lawn care business?
The best way to keep your customers coming back is doing an excellent job. There is a lot of information out there that you can learn at any given time to sharpen your mowing and gardening skills.
What are the costs of starting and running a lawn care business?
To start a lawn care business, you will need to obtain a business license, buy mowing equipment, the necessary supplies, and have marketing materials produced.
You will also need to get a liability insurance for your business. If you are going to employ some workers, you will also need to acquire a workers’ compensation insurance.
For a one-person lawn business, you can get started with $3,000 or less. If you plan to hire several employees and buy your trucks, the budget can go upwards of $100,000. As a beginner, you can always lease the equipment and the truck needed.
The Steps of Running a Successful Lawn Care Business
Now that you have decided to start your lawn care business, you need to implement a strategy to get started and ensure that you are legally compliant with the law to avoid future setbacks.
- Make a plan. For you to succeed, you will need to come up with a plan. Some important things to keep in mind are costs, the market to target, and the time required to break even.
- Form a legal identity. Establishing a legal identity will protect you from being liable just in case your business is sued. I recommend Legalzoom for your LLC, DBA and EIN licenses – save 10% with promo code BEST4B18
- Register for taxes. You will have to register for several state and federal taxes before you can start a business.
- Open a business bank account. Setting up a dedicated account to receive checks for your lawn care business will come in handy. Your financial records will be well organized, and also your business will appear as a professional lawn care to your potential customers.
- Set up an accounting system for your business to manage and track your financial progress. Choose one that offers a mobile credit card processor integration such as Quickbooks Gopayment.
- Get insurance coverage for your business. Insurance will cover your business from any unforeseen circumstances.
- Brand your business. Having a brand for your business will set you apart from all your competitors. It is also through the logo brand that customers will perceive your business.
- Build a website. Building a website is essential for any business. Your potential customers will be able to know more about you and your business.
How to Promote Your Lawn Business
To promote your business, you will need to determine how to spread the word about your business. Customers need to know who you are, what you do, and how you can help them.
The best way to get the word out there is by placing stickers on your truck. Whenever you park your truck, people will see your business and contact info. Be sure to list your web address and social accounts such as Instagram so potential customers can view your landscaping work.
You can also employ people to pass flyers to all the residents in your town. If you can convince your clients to put a promotional sign of your business on all the lawns you maintain, you would get some customers too. Perhaps they will say yes if you offer a free mowing or two to sweeten the deal.
Lastly, treat all your customers with the utmost respect. Be on time and do an excellent job for each customer you get. These customers will recommend your services to other people thus bringing you free referrals.
Armed with this information, you can start a successful lawn care business.
Business operation is different from state to state, and you will need to do proper research to ensure that your business runs legally without conflicting with the government.
Lawn Care Business Startup Resources: