Start a Lawn Care Business

Contrary to popular belief, starting a lawn care business is not that hard with a bit of direction and some basic business acumen. Even young teenagers have managed to set up their own business using the proper lawn equipment, business strategy, and a bit of tenacity.

And although it’s not rocket science, you will sill need proper knowledge on how to start a lawn care business in order to increase your chance of success and to legally protect you or your business assets. Below are a few helpful tips to get you started.

Plan your work, work your plan.

Vince Lombardi

Lawn Care Business Plan

First things first, create a business plan. Putting a specific lawn care business plan together will not only help identify possible problems you might face, but will also help you uncover financial opportunities in your business venture.

Your business plan will also serve as a roadmap when you start your lawn care business and keep you focused in achieving your lawn care business goals. It should not only encompass the objectives and goals of your business, but should include the financial resources needed to acquire the lawn equipment (eg, commercial zero turn mowers, gas powered string trimmers, gas powered blowers, trailers, etc.) to be used in your lawn and landscaping operation.

An effective lawn care business plan must have information on accounting, marketing, legal issues, taxation, and lawn care insurance. Additionally, if you plan to go to your bank to apply for a small business loan they will more than likely want to see if you have a business plan put together as part of their approval process.

Lawn Care Business Names

Creating your lawn care business name is among the first and most important requirement to start a lawn care business and should be an exciting process as this is your first step in becoming a business owner or entrepreneurs.

A good business name will not only help your marketing efforts from a branding perspective, but will be required if you plan on creating a DBA (“doing business as”) or incorporating (eg, LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, etc.). Moreover, having a legal business name allows you to open a bank account and apply for a credit card under the assumed business name.

Lawn care, just like any other industry, is a very competitive business. A great business name is one of those things that helps your business stand out from the rest of the competition.

Considerations you should think about when choosing a business name.

    • Is the name is already in use by another local business or a national company in your area?
    • Is the name is catchy and easy to remember?
    • Is the name easy to spell? (This is especially important for your website domain name)
    • Is the name broad enough to be used by another owner if you decided to sell your business. (eg, Green Lawn Pro Landscaping vs Steve’s Lawn Mowing Service)

 

One of the simplest and fastest ways of getting your business name search done and filed correctly and legally with your state is to use an online business registration service such as LegalZoom.

Lawn Care Business Name Ideas

Get a piece of paper and write down relevant, descriptive, and powerful words that would describe your business and your service offerings like: lawn, care, service, quality care, excellent service, organic, landscaping, etc. You should use a thesaurus to come up with as many relevant words as possible. Combine these words and choose the combination that you think is best for your business. Presto…you created your unique business name.

Once you’ve finalized your new business name make sure your legally register it before someone else does. Once you get back your legal documents go to your bank and open up a business bank account and apply for a business credit card so you can track all your business expenses conveniently.

Lawn Care Branding: Logo, Business Cards and Flyers

Now that you have a great and catchy business name you should considering creating great logo for your lawn care business. Your logo, along with your business name and contact details (i.e., phone number, website URL) should be on your business cards, signs,  flyers, website, and any other marketing swag.

Lawn Care Service Offering

Now let’s not forget the most important part of your business which is the ability to provide professional lawn care services (i.e., lawn care, tree trimming, and landscaping). As a lawn care professional you need to understand exactly how to produce a great looking lawn. You need to know how to operate the lawn care equipments properly, understand proper lawn care techniques, and be able to perform the services in an efficient yet effective manner to run a successful business. Put together a list of lawn services you can suggest to your future customers.

Equipments for Your Lawn Care Business

In order to offer your customers a wide range of lawn care services, you’ll need to own or have access to the proper lawn care equipment. With the right equipments and tools you be able to maximize the productivity of your business while increasing your overall profit per customer.

Here’s a list of business equipments to consider:

    • Zero Turn Mowers – Sometimes referred to as zero turn radius lawn mowers (or ZTR mowers). These mowers are preferred by most professional lawn care companies because they move at speeds much faster than conventional riding lawn mowers or push mowers and have suburb turning agility; therefore, decreasing mow times up to 50%. Because of the ZTR mower efficiency they are often used in cutting and trimming grass in large lawns or grounds such as stadiums and golf courses.
    • Other Lawn Mowing Business Equipment - Other necessary lawn mowing business equipments include gas powered string trimmers (aka Weed Eater) or an edger for a clean finishing look along the lawn edges. Hedge trimmers, a mulching bag, a wheelbarrow, and a blower  to round out your lawn equipment.
    • Safety Equipment  – As a general precaution, it would be ideal to purchase safety glasses, sun block, ear protection, and a pair of steel-toed boots for you and your employees. Gloves also come in handy to increase your grip while handling mowing equipment and protect your hands from the natural elements.
    • Truck Trailer – This will be used to hall all of your lawn equipment and carry away grass clippings, brush, tree limbs and any other lawn debris.
    • Safety Equipment  – As a general precaution, it would be ideal to purchase safety glasses, sun block, ear protection, and a pair of steel-toed boots for you and your employees. Gloves also come in handy to increase your grip while handling mowing equipment and protect your hands from the natural elements.
    • Uniforms – In order to portray a clean and professional, it is recommended that you and your employees have uniforms. A polo shirt or t-shirt and cap with your business logo would work perfect.
    • Home Office – You will need a place to office out of. Majority of lawn care companies starting out office out of their home to take care of the administration work (i.e., invoices, bills, and payroll). Your home office should include standard office equipment like a computer, printer, a telephone with answering machine (a mobile phone will probably work best), a fax machine (although emailed scanned documents work better), and a photocopier/scanner.
     

Getting Customers

You would agree, without customers you really don’t have a lawn business so it’s time to go out and get some. Here are some business tips that will help you snag your first clients and get your business going.

Friends and family – Ask your friends, family, and neighbors if they would like to be one of your first customers during the launch of your new business.

Referrals – Whether or not your friends or family turn your down, ask them if they know any one who could use your lawn services.

Business Owners – Talk to business owners who you do business with already and let them know you are just starting out and would like to offer your services to them. Every business owner started out with no customers at one time so they relate to your situation and tend to want to help out.

Your Church – Talk to your fellow parishioners or put an ad in the church handout to promote your services.

Knock on Doors – Drive around neighborhoods and find yards that need some lawn care attention (aka “TLC”) and knock on the door to see if you can help.

Web Presence – Leverage the Internet to showcase your business online. Go to a domain registrar like “Go Daddy” and register your business domain. You can get a website domain and a hosting account to host your business online for around $20 bucks so this is a “no brainer”.

    • Lawn Care Business Tip! : For every new client you service, try to get them on a regular schedule and work out your  payment methods. Even consider offering a discount if they are willing to commit to a weekly or monthly schedule. This way you can build up a clientele of routine customers without having to constantly be chasing new business.

You wanted to start a lawn care business, so go land your first paying customer!

Good luck!