Starting your own Lawn care business can be a daunting task. Questions of where to start, what tools are needed, and prices are just a few that must be answered. Check out the tips below to head in the right direction for your own successful lawn care business.
Make a Business Plan
Do not start by just getting to physical labor. Simply start with a single sheet of paper and a pen. Questions to consider include pricing, the days and hours of operation, and the radius the business will work in. As time goes on, adjustments can be made, but by starting with a solid, basic plan, it allows for direction and a starting point.
Starting a business is one thing, but having an image and brand is also extremely important. When sitting at the table forming a business plan, also decide on a logo. Work with a friend with design expertise or use a design app to create a unique yet clear logo and design. From day one, any person working for the business should wear apparel with the new business logo. It is professional and tells clients the business is serious and ready to work.
Use Business Software Tailored to Lawn Care
Working from a simple spreadsheet may seem like an easy task, but can the spreadsheet also handle the more challenging business tasks that business software can? Tax information, payroll, client information, and invoices, as well as business expenses, are all items that business software is created to run. It is important to invest in the new company, so taking some extra money to place it into purchasing and using a reliable business software program can help with the success of one’s new business.
Choose the Tools Right for the Job and Budget
There are a variety of tools that one can start with when starting a new lawn care business; starting small in numbers and working one’s way up to more tools is a smart move. Start with one reliable lawn mower or two depending on the location of the business and starting clientele. The business will also need a leaf blower tool to remove grass clippings, safety items for anyone working including goggles and gloves, as well as a truck or a trailer are all important. More specific items may need to be purchased depending on the area’s climate.
Start Small Not Large
By starting small, that means the business can manage the workload. A common mistake of new businesses is to take on too much, too fast. New businesses want to make an impression quickly and gain a solid customer base. However, with taking on too much, there is a risk of sloppy and rushed work, a lack of organization, and biting off more than one can chew can be a fatal mistake for the business.
The majority of customers in this industry are baby-boomers, as they tend to recognize a well-kept lawn, but they do not wish to or have the ability to complete the task themselves. Think of how this customer base would react when a new business is failing to make it to appointments, or the work is subpar. The business will fail before it even takes off.
Ask for Help
There is nothing wrong with asking for help in starting a new business. Bringing on someone who can provide expertise in an area the new business owner is lacking is a smart idea. If someone can bring knowledge and understanding in successful business techniques, money management, or other business strategies can help immensely. This allows the new owner to entrust someone else with an area of weakness while also allowing the new business owner to learn successful strategies at a later time.
Gather information from a variety of similar businesses in the general area of the new business. Call for quotes from other companies, and also have friends call for quotes. Prices are typically determined based on a price per square foot. Designating a price-per-foot formula that is both competitive with other area lawn businesses is another important aspect of the business that must be determined ahead of time.
Use Bad Weather as an Advantage
Simply put, there will be days where the weather will not allow a lawn care business to be outdoors working. This is a perfect opportunity to use the time to catch up on other chores for the business. This can include updating invoices, equipment checks or repairs, following up on phone calls with clients or prospective customers, and any additional paperwork that needs to be taken care of.
Living in an area with snow can also be a huge benefit. Consider adding slow plowing and removal to the business. During the winter, lawn care jobs can grind to a halt, but by having a winter weather element to the business can help revenue to continue to enter the business.
Customer Service Can Make or Break It
Customer service should be at the top of any business owner’s list. Having excellent customer service will help bring in excellent reviews, new clients, and additional revenue. Customer service does not mean the business is meeting the basic client needs. It means the business is going above and beyond the expectations of the customers. Putting in extra work now means extra revenue later.
As the business starts to pick up and customers are pleased with the work being done, do not be afraid to ask for referrals. People will talk to their friends about the job done, so getting a referral out of it, is an added and inexpensive bonus. Considering a referral reward program is also something that can be considered for the business as well.
Reflect, Plan and Prepare
Starting a business is not an easy task. However, taking time to plan and prepare, doing research, and investing in the software and tools to have a business run smoothly can be extremely valuable to the business. Take time to reflect, examine, and modify things as the business takes off!