If you enjoy working outdoors, working for yourself, working hard and providing great customer service than owning your own lawn care business might be right for you. Starting your own lawn care business gives you the ability to be your own boss, the flexibility to set your own work hours, work in an industry that’s always in demand and begin to build your own business from the ground up.
Lawn care and maintenance is more than just a warm weather seasonal operation but one that is needed year round. The beauty of operating your own business is that you get to decide what services and when you will provide them, and so if you wish to only work in the Spring and Summer months you can do so but you have the option of working year round.
You may elect to provide a year round service where you may provide some of the following services:
Winter months: Sow new grass seed, apply fertilizer and herbicide applications for new and existing lawns, aerate existing lawns, collect and dispose of fallen leaves and other tree and plant debris, apply nutrients and soil amendments to lawns and gardens, install watering systems in lawns.
Spring Months: Continue sowing new grass seed, begin spraying lawns for weeds and insect pests, begin cutting, trimming and weed eating yards, begin spraying and manually removing weeds from natural, garden and cracked or broken concrete and asphalt areas, remove unwanted bushes, trees and stumps, provide landscaping to new yards and gardens, begin planting new shrubs, flowers, plants and trees.
Summer Months: Continue cutting and trimming lawns and weed eating, begin more aggressive herbicide spraying programs, manually remove and dispose of weeds and remaining dead plant tree material, trim and cut back hedges, bushes and trees, apply fertilizers and pesticides to lawns, gardens and specialty plants and trees, trench and landscape natural areas, apply mulch to natural and garden areas, install water ponds and specialty lawn decorations.
Fall Months: Begin to finish out lawn cutting and trimming, trim and cut back shrubs and trees, begin to collect and dispose of fallen leaves, acorns and dead plant and tree material, begin to apply fertilizer for lawns, begin to apply grass seed for lawns, begin to aerate lawns, provide tilling services for gardens, and some lawn care services will even decorate homes with Christmas lights.
As you can see there are many services you can provide year round to customers through your lawn care business. Now all you have to do is get started and doing so is not as difficult as you might think. Do a little research on the going rates in your area and begin to decide what you will charge for what services. Decide what type of business structure is right for you and think about how you want your service to grow for the future. Many lawn care services are operated as sole proprietorships or limited liability corporations and as your service grows and you begin to take in more money, hire new help and buy new equipment, you will want to make sure your business is most appropriately structured for tax and accounting purposes.
You can start advertising by using word of mouth in your neighborhood and by distributing fliers and cards in your region. You may want to begin by offering discount prices to new customers and offer ongoing referral discounts to customers that refer new customers. You can even create small metal yard signs that feature your business and contact information to place in your customer’s yards, with their permission of course after a job well done. As you begin providing a great service at a great price, your customer base will begin to grow.
Another great benefit of starting your own lawn care business is that you can do so with little upfront costs. Depending upon what services you want to specialize in determines what equipment you will need but starting out basic equipment you should have includes: a shovel, rake, plastic tarps, weed eater, an edger, leaf blower, a push mower, gasoline and tools for performing equipment repairs. While not absolutely necessary, it would be ideal to have a work truck (nothing too extravagant of course) or at least a small trailer pulled by a car to haul your equipment from site to site. With this little upfront cost you can immediately begin working and as your business grows you can cash flow making new purchases and equipment upgrades.
Work hard, be honest and provide a great service for a fair price and you will be successful at starting and operating your own lawn care service.