In certain economies job hunting is difficult and it might be a good idea to consider starting your own business.
Instead of pounding the pavement for days, weeks and even months and putting out your resume hundreds of times can be discouraging every time you get your hopes up and are turned down for a position you wanted. This might set the climate for you to think about starting your own business. Making that decision will depend on a lot of different factors but should be one that you give serious consideration. There are many different businesses that you could do but in almost every neighborhood in every community you will find homeowners that needs to hire someone to take care of their lawn and yard.
Starting your own lawn mowing business might be a great idea if you enjoy setting your own hours, being your own boss, and enjoy doing physical work especially outdoors. This is a good business for a younger person who has a lot of drive and ambition and doesn’t require a formal education. Having a successful lawn mowing business takes more than just hard work. It takes careful planning and good organizational skills. Here are a few tips that might help you build a success lawn mowing business.
Establish your business: Your first step is to decide on a name that suits your business. It’s important to remember that the higher up in the alphabet you are the better exposure in phone and internet directories. If your business name is “Absolute Lawn Mowing” instead of “Wonderful Lawn Mowing” you will be listed first and when someone makes a search yours will get the most attention. You will find that most people when searching for a new company will start and the top and work down. If they like what they hear in the first couple of phone calls they won’t go any further.
Start your own company website or even a business blog. It is very easy to set up a small website just for advertising your business and it doesn’t cost much at all to do. You can easily set up a professional-looking website within just a couple of hours for just a few dollars for the whole year. Another item you need to do immediately is get some business cards made. They are easy to do at home and can look very professional. You can also order them at a very reasonable cost.
Check with your local governments and make sure you comply with all business regulations. File immediately for a tax id number and any other license's and permits that might be needed. Open a checking account in the name of the business.
Having the right equipment: You must be prepared for all types of yards and yard work. This will require an investment of several different lawn mowers, weed-whackers, and other implements required for doing a professional job. If you are just planning on starting small you can use what you already have to do your own yard work until you can afford better equipment but this might limit the jobs you can do. All of your equipment must be in good working order. Buy the best quality equipment you can afford to limit breakdowns and repairs.
Marketing your business: It's important to get the word out so that you can build your business. It's expensive to advertise a new business but you can do many things to cut your advertising costs. One of the best ideas is to have magnetic signs made for your vehicle. Keep them simple, your business name and phone number in large print. Use Craigslist and other free internet resources. Make simple flyers to distribute in neighborhoods. Knock on doors (with your lawn mower ready to go). Give out coupons to customers who refer your business. Word of mouth with good references is the best business tool you can have.
Be competitive: You need to find out what other lawn services charge in your area. You might need to give a little better deal to new customers until your business is more established and you have built a good reputation.
Know your business: Make sure you know how to properly cut lawns, trim hedges, etc. Just because you have mowed your own lawn doesn't mean you know how to do it correctly. Study and learn the techniques needed to do a professional job. The better job you do, the more work you will have.
Be dependable: Use and keep a schedule for all jobs. Work with your customers to find out what works best for them. If you hire others, make sure they understand the importance of being on time for each job. Get each job started and finished without interruptions. Breaks and meals should be scheduled in-between jobs if possible.
Offer other services: Lawn mowing opens the door to other services such as hedge and tree trimming, garden weeding, fertilizing, etc. Take advantage of these opportunities.
Look and act professional: Develop a standard for yourself and employees. Have a "uniform" of some type, which includes a clean t-shirt with your logo on it. Make sure that jeans and or shorts are in good repair. Never go "bare-chested" or in unclean or shabby clothing. Behavior and attitude should always be professional. No smoking or foul-language on the job.
Hire good help: Remember that your employees are representing YOU. Home or business owners don't care who is doing the job as long as it's done right and in a professional manner. Insist that your employees follow your standards.
Maintain good records: Having good bookkeeping habits will pay off with big rewards. Keep in mind that you will need to pay taxes on your earnings so you need to keep records and receipts for all expenses. Keep your mileage on all vehicles used for business purposes. Pay all bills on time to avoid costly service charges. Track all expenses and profits closely.
Keep your customers: Go the extra mile with your service. Offer good customer discounts. Ask customers to fill out a "satisfaction survey" every year to find your strengths and weaknesses. Contact them personally to see if they have any complaints. Always resolve complaints immediately and do more than is actually expected. Send a Christmas card and keep your company at the forefront of their minds when they need lawn care. Offer lawn care checklists. It's the little things that will help you keep their business. Show them year around that you appreciate their loyalty as customers.