Starting Your Own Lawn Care Business
Everyone appreciates a well-kept front lawn with neatly trimmed hedges and freshly mowed grass. If you want to start your own lawn care business, you have a lot of options. There were 632,895 active lawn care businesses in 2022, and we're confident that number will only grow. From 2009 to 2017, the average household spent $503 on lawn care services.
Starting this type of business necessitates meticulous planning, legal arrangements, financial management, service selection, recruitment, and even marketing. But, before you make any big decisions, weigh the pros and cons of starting your lawn care business to see if you're truly prepared.
Everything you need to know about starting your own lawn care or landscaping business is provided below.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Starting a Lawn Care Business
- Ensured repeat business: Because your clients are indefinite, you will always have ongoing, consistent work. Clients typically require weekly lawn maintenance, so you have a steady source of income or extra cash.
- It is necessary to provide additional treatment. Your customers will require more than just lawn mowing; they will also require lawn maintenance. Their lawn requires specialized fertilizer, weeds, and bug control every four to six weeks. Even missing one "session" can cause havoc in their yard.
- You don't need much at first. The cost of starting a lawn care business is relatively low. You only need equipment and a vehicle to transport you to clients' homes, such as a cargo van or pickup truck.
- Lawn care companies are scalable: To begin, offer one service, such as lawn mowing. You can then gradually add on tasks like gardening, weeding, tree trimming, landscaping, and so on.
- Seasonal work: If you want to run a year-round business, you must diversify your offerings, such as offering snow removal services in the winter.
- There will most likely be more lawn care businesses in your area.
- Before you begin, you should conduct market research. If there are many businesses, you might consider lowering your prices a lot to attract customers. However, ensure that this will not have an impact on your revenue.
- Seasonal work: If you live in an area with harsh winters, you may discover that your customers do not require your services during that time.
- Cutbacks: You may have lost clients as a result of the economic situation. People, for example, cut non-essential expenses like their gardener when times are tough.
What licenses do I need to start a lawn care business?
Fortunately, in most municipalities, you will not need a permit to establish your lawn care business. However, you will almost certainly require a business license. In most cities, this is a simple process that costs between $25 and $50.
As your business grows, you may want to offer herbicide applications such as RoundUp to spray weeds in your customers' landscaping beds. Most states will require an additional license for this.
How much capital is required to start a lawn care business?
One of the primary benefits of starting a gardening, lawn care, or landscaping business is the relatively low startup costs for purchasing the necessary equipment. Ideally, you should have enough to purchase:
A commercial-grade lawn mower (costing around $8,000)
A truck (costing $5,000 or more)
A $1,000 trailer
Extra equipment ($1,000)
And licensing, insurance, and so on (approximately $100).
The total cost of starting up could be in the $15,000 range. But don't let that deter you. Many people can start a lawn care business for much less money.
There are options for almost every budget. However, you will be restricted until you obtain all of the necessary tools. Don't be intimidated; raising funds for a lawn care company is a simple process.
Finding Clients: Who Is Your Ideal Client?
It's simple; the ideal lawn care client appreciates the extra effort you put in. In contrast to the unfavorable price shopper, who will always opt for the lowest price available.
However, before you begin looking for clients, you should consider the location of your business as well as your clientele.
Client and Business Location
When it comes to lawn care, location is everything, and there are two locations you should think about when starting your lawn care business: your company's location and your client's location.
It's true that you can run a lawn care business from almost anywhere, including your own home. Location is critical if you want to go big. Not only is the location of your clients important, but so is the location of your company.
A landscaping or lawn care company would thrive in a warehouse/industrial area of town with easy access to the interstate. Because you will be marketing the business as a local service, location is also important.
How do I market my lawn care business and gain new customers?
Here's the deal: getting and keeping customers is difficult. We recommend handing out as many flyers as possible in the early stages. For every 1,000 flyers distributed, you should be able to gain at least one new customer. That may appear to be a lot, but it is a cheap and effective way to grind it out and gain new customers.
Concentrate on density with your flyers, and distribute them in a small geographical area. That way, when you start getting clients, you won't have to drive all over town.
Once you have your first customers, we recommend treating them like gold because referrals will be your most valuable source of new business. We recommend investing in essential online marketing and developing a website as your business grows.
Get lawn care insurance as soon as possible.
Business insurance may not appear to be something that should be at the top of your priority list. However, the moment you step onto your first customer's lawn, you put yourself - and your business - at risk. You could end up causing property damage by accident, or you could have a customer sue you for something you didn't even do. Or your lawn care equipment could be stolen from your truck while you're working on a job site.
Whatever the scenario, business insurance, particularly general liability insurance with tools and equipment coverage, is likely to keep you safe.
This is how it works: Business insurance can be customized with specific policies that cover the common risks you face on a daily basis. As a lawn care specialist, for example, you're likely exposed to property damage risks (such as accidentally killing a customer's prized bush or backing into a stone wall, causing some of it to collapse). You can get policies that offer protection based on the risks you face, so you don't have to pay out claims from your own personal bank account.
Furthermore, if you have employees, obtaining worker's compensation is not only important for protecting your business; it may also be a legal requirement in your area.
How many hours do I have to work each week?
When you first start out, you will be working long hours. You should work at least 70 hours per week. This is primarily due to the fact that you must work hard to acquire new clients while also serving existing ones. Once your client portfolio has grown, you can reduce your workload to a manageable 50 hours per week. And, as you hire employees, you will be able to step back from the business and gradually reduce your hours. However, this will most likely take several years.
Hiring employees for your lawn care or landscaping business is the most difficult barrier to overcome. You will be able to keep costs low if you stay small, say with 50 customers per week. However, as you grow your business and hire employees to help you with the workload, your costs will rise. Hiring employees is one of the most costly aspects of running a lawn care business.
You will also need to spend money on administration and bookkeeping because these costs can add up faster than most people realize. The most difficult aspect of running a labor-intensive landscaping or lawn care business is the rising cost of labor and all that it entails.
Should I keep track of my lawn care company's inventory?
One of the most appealing aspects of a landscaping or gardening business is that there is very little inventory to manage. You are not selling a product, but rather a service. While you will need supplies such as gas and trimmer line, inventory management on a large scale can be handled without any bookkeeping. It became increasingly difficult to keep track of your stock levels as your company grew.
Learn how to charge for your services.
There is no magic formula for pricing lawn care services. Of course, larger lawns cost more than smaller ones, but in general, aim for $30 to $80 per visit, which includes edging and blowing grass cuttings off sidewalks and driveways. You can also charge a flat rate of $50 per hour for other tasks, such as raking leaves in the fall. This corresponds to national averages, so be prepared to adjust up or down depending on your location. And if you tap on Blinksale's services, you can easily send out invoice to your customers with ease and it will also look professional.
It may appear to be a lot, but if you take it step by step, you'll be fine! If it feels a little overwhelming, we recommend finding experts who can assist you. Purchasing insurance, for example, does not sound like fun, but it is a necessary part of running a successful lawn care business. A liability policy covers costs in the event of an accident and demonstrates to prospective clients that you are a serious professional.
Most importantly, insurance provides you with peace of mind, allowing you to focus on what is most important: your new lawn care business! We wish you the best of luck as you launch your lawn care company.