If you are someone looking to act on your entrepreneurial zeal, you've parked in the right spot!
A beautiful house with an eye-catching elevation and lush green outdoors is the quintessential part of the American dream. Unfortunately, people with that dream don't have much to maintain it.
That's where a lawn mowing or lawn care business comes into play. If you've decided to rise to the challenge and help people live their dreams, you'll appreciate our step-by-step guide to starting a lawn mowing business.
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Think of a Business Plan
The success of your lawn mowing business depends on a nuanced and efficient business plan. Nothing screams amateur more than a business without direction. If you want your business to take off, you need to meet your customers' expectations.
That starts with conducting preliminary market research to understand the buying habits of your audience.
What kinds of services do they often use?
Do they care about eco-friendly solutions to traditional lawn care problems?
What kind of insecticide and herbicide do they prefer?
The answers to these and similar questions will help you decide on your list of services. You can offer year-round services, seasonal specials, and even consultancy to purchase the right lawn care products and equipment for their lawn.
Determining the prices of your services, limitations, and hours of operation are the basics of a business plan and should be taken care of in the initial planning.
Most lawn mowing businesses use the following pricing models:
Flat Rate: This provides exact or ranging estimates for specific jobs. (E.g., $120 for mulching)
Hourly Rate: This works for jobs that are extensive and time-bound. (E.g., $40 plus overhead for each worker)
Price/Square Footage: This is the most commonly used pricing model by lawn care services and is quite beneficial for everyone involved. (E.g., $0.05 - $0.08/ square foot)
Additionally, it's always better to aim for growth and leave room for scalability in your business plan.
Buy Lawn Mowing Equipment
A lot goes into a lawn mowing business than just cutting grass and trimming hedges. You are responsible for keeping people's picket fence dreams in good shape, and that requires an eye for detail and hands-on experience.
Depending on the kind of services you are offering to your customers, you will need appropriate lawn mowing equipment to assist you.
For example, the tools used in garden work are different from tools you might use for lawn installation. If your seasonal services include snow and leaf removal, you will need a leaf blower, a rake, an ice scraper, and even a bucket of ice melt liquid.
Take Care of the Legalities
A business launch comes with a lot of legalities, and skipping one or two of them can cost you your lifetime earnings and not just hefty penalties. You cannot go live with your lawn mowing business until you have registered your business under your state's federal law.
Small businesses are usually registered as Limited Liability Company (LLC), partnerships, or sole proprietorships.
You also need to take care of all the licensing requirements and ensure your lawn mowing business is a recognized and legal business protected by U.S. law.
Protect Your Lawn Mowing Business
Life is uncertain, and our economy even more so. There is a lot that can go wrong with a new venture and can overturn your whole life. This is why you need to prepare for the worst from the beginning and have no shame in acknowledging the possibility of failure.
Set up a separate bank account for your business, and never let the funds from your business bleed into your personal accounts. It will also help you acquire a Federal Tax ID to pay your employees or process other business-related transitions.
You should also buy insurance for your business to protect your assets. If something is to go awry, you will always have a safety net to fall back on. There is a thin line between a bad experience and a lifetime of debt; small decisions like these can prevent you from tipping to the wrong side.
Build a Lawn Mowing Business Team
While you might start your lawn mowing business with a job or two, things can always escalate. If you don't want to pass on opportunities just because you are short on employees, keep adding to your team as your business grows.
You should actively hire people that bring value to your business model. If most of your jobs require the expertise of a certain kind of technician, use your resources to rope in the necessary talent. You cannot be everywhere and anywhere at once; allow yourself to breathe and let the experts handle the grunt work.
With a little extra time on your hands, you can focus on other aspects of your business, like marketing and sales.
Market Your Lawn Mowing Business
Once your lawn mowing is up and running, it's time to bring in the customers. Start with door-to-door advertising, distribute flyers and leave leaflets on the porches of houses you think need your help.
When you start a new job, put your business sign on the front gate to attract the attention of potential clients.
After the initial phase, broaden your horizon and take your business online. You will need a website to help you appear credible and become more accessible to your customers. You can sign up with a website building service for a quick, affordable solution. A website building service that uses cloud-based infrastructure and employs SaaS deployment is ideal for small businesses hoping to grow.
A lawn mowing business is synonymous with a lawn care business and has a lot of room for growth and scalability. There is always a possibility for your small neighborhood venture to snowball into a commercial success which is why you must plan ahead and take care of all the legalities.