When it comes to our image of the ideal home, a perfectly maintained lawn is right up there with a white picket fence. There’s nothing like the smell of freshly cut grass or the pride that comes with an even, bright green lawn for homeowners. If you’re considering starting your own lawn care business and don’t have all the time or resources you need to get started (like a mower and fertilizers), proper preparation can help your business grow.
Lawn care businesses are overgrowing in the United States. As of 2022, there are 636,249 active lawn care businesses! This number will surely grow in the coming years. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps an updated report available for public use so you can track your state’s needs when starting your own lawn care business. A lawn care business needs to have a standardized process so that tasks can be done smoothly.
This business includes equipment maintenance, scheduling needs, sending invoices, tracking revenue and spending, and more. Customer service must be the essential part of your business – ensuring everyone gets what they need from you! This step-by-step guide about how to start a lawn care business will help you get started.
Why start a Lawn Care Business?
When it comes to lawn care, there are various reasons why people might start businesses. Some see the demand for trustworthy providers as an opportunity, and they hop on the bandwagon; others have spent years working in this field or landscaping, so they are ready to open up their own business. People are motivated by an appreciation for a job that requires some effort – even if it’s about taking a little bit of time!
No matter your driving force, passion is vital when starting your own lawn care business. You should be passionate about serving others in your community, too – you could make quite a buck doing that! To know more about how to start a lawn care business? Read this article carefully.
What Types of Services Do Lawn Care Businesses Offer?
Reference services for lawn care are a great way to improve your customer service. Responding to customer requests is easier when you have a list of services to refer to; you can present the list to your customers. You’ll also have line items you can quickly add to your estimates and quotes. No need to write anything from scratch! Your list of services might change over time, depending on what you’re equipped to provide. When you start working in the field, please pay attention to what services your clients often ask for or want you to do for them. Attention to customer requests will help you develop a repertoire of services that best suits their needs.
Here’s a list of standard services to help you decide what to offer:
- Lawn mowing
- Leaf removal
- Yard cleanup
- Sod installation
- Lawn pest control
- Weed control
- Lawn returfing
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Lawn Care Business?
How to start a lawn care business and the cost of creating it are two essential questions. A lawn care business startup costs a lot of money. It all depends on the equipment and services you choose to offer, as well as your resources and abilities. Many businesses start with enough space and towing capacity to transport their equipment. If you don’t already have a reliable truck or trailer, it’ll cost you more to start getting started. However, new business owners who need extra funding usually apply for small personal loans or rely on credit cards. Here’s a list of equipment you will need to start a lawn care business:
- Vehicle($20,000 – $36,000): A vehicle is a necessary part of your equipment transport to various locations. You’ll need a flatbed truck with a locking toolbox and dumping mechanism so you can unload topsoil without shovels.
- Utility Trailer($1,200 – $3,000): A trailer is an excellent tool for hauling heavy equipment you don’t want to lift into a flatbed. A steel-mesh trailer can cost up to $1,200, but you can get by with a simple, single-axle Trailer for about $800.
- Commercial/Home Lawn Mower($600 – $2,600): A commercial lawn mower is a powerful tool used on a wide variety of lawns. It is essential to start with one type of lawnmower and invest in others as you grow!
- Landscaping Tools($4,000 – $6,000): These tools can be helpful if you plan to operate only a lawn care service business. However, a full-service landscaping company will likely require at least one set of them.
- Trimmers, Edgers, Blowers ($200 – $500 each)
- Spreaders and Sprayers ($35 – $70)
What Type of Training Do You Need to Start a Lawn Care Business?
If you want to start a lawn care company, it’s essential to have appropriate certification. You won’t compete if you don’t have this level of experience. Getting experience isn’t always necessary- many landscape professionals obtain their certification without any industry-specific requirements- but it can reassure potential clients that you’re knowledgeable in best practices for landscaping and will help them with their project.
Philanthropic organizations, such as The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), offer a list of available landscaping certifications. These qualifications can be obtained through apprenticeship programs open to professionals in the landscape industry. You’ll learn not only to get hands-on experience using the tools, but you’ll also gain knowledge about business practices and dealing with customers.
Who are the Customers?
Many of the 77 million aging baby boomers, affluent homeowners, turn to professional landscapers and lawn care services online or through their phone book. This is because they recognize the value of a well-kept lawn and beautifully designed and landscaped yard, but they often don’t have the time or inclination to do the maintenance themselves. In understanding how to start a lawn care business, It is essential to research the target market. These homeowners are the potential customers for a lawn care business. Other potential customers include:
- Professionals who are regularly out of town on business
- Retirees who don’t have time to do their maintenance anymore
- People living in warmer climates (snowbirds)
- Golf course managers who may need help with care
- Facilities managers for botanical gardens, historical buildings, and municipalities/government entities that have green spaces
Pros & Cons of Starting a Lawn Care Business
To know how to start a lawn care business, you must also know the pros and cons of the lawn care business.
Steps To Starting A Lawn Care Business
To know how to start a lawn care business, follow these essential steps:
Step 1: Decide What Lawn Care Services to Offer
When starting a lawn care business, you will need to find the right equipment. It may be helpful, to begin with, a lawnmower and transport it yourself. Similarly, if your service specializes in green or eco-friendly practices, you’ll need to find specialized tools like hoes, wheelbarrows, etc. When starting, there is no guarantee that your services will be famous, so it’s essential to decide what kind of business you want- one that offers speciality services or one that mows the lawns for others.
Step 2: Plan and Strategize
Setting up your lawn care business is a great start, but you will need to have a strategy in place from the beginning. This means knowing your target market and developing marketing strategies that connect with them. You can also focus on expanding into new markets or creating an empire by targeting specific groups of customers. Having a plan makes staying focused on your goals easier and ensures that you don’t get too far ahead- this will be learned along the way!.
Step 3: Choose Your Location
Many business owners choose to serve their local area out of convenience when it comes to lawn care services. Others are more strategic when it comes to the extent they do. Often, this depends on where you would find viable (and high-paying) customers. You need to keep this in mind when setting your service area – select a region and find a location for your headquarters that is centrally located and close to highways! Locating in the centre will help you get where you need to go quickly and have all the space you need for your equipment and office.
Step 4: Set Up a Legal Lawn Care Business
Setting up a lawn care business can be an arduous task, but it can also succeed if done correctly. Before starting your business, it is essential to check on the legal requirements in your specific area.
- Check on business licensing requirements: You don’t need a license to offer lawn care services in most cases, but if you do, it’s essential to be sure you meet all licensing requirements. Some cities or counties may require a permit for certain activities such as pesticide and herbicide sales.
- Set up a legal lawn care business: You will need to set up a legal business entity to start your lawn care business legally. This includes setting up a company name, such as an LLC or Sole Proprietorship, and separating the business assets from your assets- like with a sole proprietorship or LLC. If something does go wrong while running your lawn care business using these methods, you have some legal protection in case of disputes.
Once you have complied with all of the necessary paperwork and are operating under the correct laws, you will be able to succeed in this field.
Step 5: Purchase Your Lawn Care Equipment
When starting a business, an essential step is to find the right vehicle. This vehicle will be used for work, and it doesn’t have to look pretty! You can buy a used truck for your business if you are looking for something with some years and miles on it- even if it has some wear and tear. Look at larger lawn care companies that have recently upgraded their equipment to scale their operations – this could be an option. Remember that old machines may be worth looking into as long as they are functional or easily fixed without much investment. You can refer to the equipment list mentioned earlier in this article to know about their prices.
Step 6: Hire and Train Employees
When you’re looking for a quality lawn care service, you need to look for qualities that will make the team reliable and trustworthy. You also want plenty of experience since this is not an easy task.
Hard worker: They should meet your deadlines and work long hours.
Reliable: Make sure they always know where they are going and when they will be back home (since it can take a while for them to get there).
Trustworthy: Employees must have high levels of respect, mainly if their job depends on their interactions with customers.
You will need a driver who has a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record to help run your business. Having the best and the most reliable people on your team is essential to reaching your goals!
Step 7: Price Your Lawn Care Services
After understanding how to start a lawn care business, setting your pricing structure becomes crucial for running a successful business. When it comes to pricing for lawn care services, it is essential to consider what you are selling. You should figure out what price point will cover all your needs and how much each service will cost. By figuring out how much it would cost you to do the job and then dividing that number by the hours it would take you to complete it, you can determine your rate.
Additionally, enlisted help or friends in your target market could be an excellent resource for finding similar-sized homes and lots as well as services similar to what you plan to offer. When you’re estimating your rate, it’s essential to consider the materials and labor costs. You can also use several other factors, such as how much work needs to be done and how many hours it will take you to complete the job.
Another way to determine your rate is to compare it to your competition. Use the help of friends and family and a calculator or other simple tool to contact companies that offer similar services. Once you have got these businesses and obtained additional information, such as quotes for installing sod (materials plus labor), you can use this information to calculate what it would cost you per hour worked on the job.
Once you know your monthly rate, it’s essential to consider how much money you need to pay your bills and cover your expenses. When spending all of these bills and still having some extra cash leftover can be diverted into the business or saved in a bank account, correctly pricing yourself has placed you in an advantageous position.
Step 8: Grow Your Client Base with Keen Marketing
After completing all the above steps and securing excellent knowledge about how to start a lawn care business, it’s time to market your business to attract more customers. Marketing your business is just like watering and fertilizing your lawn: it needs to be done regularly to stay green. The same goes for bringing in new clients- you need to do marketing to bring them in with these tips!
Design a logo: Creating a logo is essential for any business. Not only does it look professional, but also it can be used as an important promotional tool. You can use your logo to print on t-shirts or hats you and your employees wear or even print a decal for your truck or trailer!
Check on your competitors: It’s essential to understand how your competitors are marketing their products and services. What channels do they use, what is the focus of their marketing, and what are some of the mistakes they make?
Networking: Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. It can be helpful to start small lawn care businesses and offer discounted services to family, friends, and neighbours. You can also run a promotion: if someone refers a friend, offer them a one-time discount!
Build your website: Building a website is easy with the help of some popular web building tools like Wix and Squarespace. All you need to do is create a simple one-page website describing your services, post your contact information, and share happy client testimonials.
Ask for referrals: Once you have a few customers, offer incentives for referrals. Referrals are another excellent way to build a loyal clientele. Make sure that your team does their best work by always appearing busy and doing their best work. Then, ask your customers to give reviews on social media and online review sites!
Hopefully, this guide on “how to start a lawn care business” has taught you everything you need to start and manage a successful lawn care business. Running a lawn care business can be rewarding. People love sitting in their gardens and outside; kids playing in the garden, BBQ’s with friends and family. When your customers sit outside, and their lawn is freshly cut, they enjoy their outdoor space – this is because of you! Lawn care is an important job that can change the way people feel about their homes – it takes a lot of work and hustle to get this business off the ground. But once you get this business up and running on your schedule, you’ll have all the time in the world to do what you love- bring life to your community! After every job is done, individuals know why they started this type of business: because they are passionate about making a difference in somebody else’s life by keeping things looking great inside and out.