Research & Refine your Business Idea
It’s always wise to make sure you do plenty of research before leaping into a business idea. That way, you can be well prepared for any pitfalls or obstacles. Armed with knowledge, you can truly decide if lawn care is really the business that you want to go into, or if there might be something better.
Assuming you stick with lawn care, it will be a good idea to understand the benefits and downfalls of this type of business, what you’ll need to get started, and how to go about building the company. We’re going to take a look at all of those things to ensure you’re set up for success.
There are many benefits to owning a lawn care business. These include the ability to customize a great deal, and scale what you have to offer. What that means is that you may start out offering just a few basic services, but as the business grows you can easily add more to provide to customers.
Furthermore, hiring is often very easy in this kind of business because it’s typically very entry-level work. In addition to that, customers will often need service regularly because grass and weeds continue to grow, and things like fertilizer need to be provided more than once in the lifetime of a lawn.
No type of business is perfect, and knowing the downfalls can give you an idea of what the low points might be. For a lawn care business, the lawn care business can be pretty competitive, which means you’ll need to be prepared to work hard for your customers.
On top of that, business can increase and decrease depending on the time of year. In the spring and summer, it may be more likely that a lot of lawn care is needed, while in fall and winter you may find that your services aren’t needed as much.
It’s also worth noting that while you’re starting out, the hours are likely to be quite long, sometimes exceeding 70 hours a week.
What Will You Need?
One of the upsides of a lawn care business is that the start-up cost can really vary. It may be as simple as the cost of a few simple tools like a lawn mower, leaf blower and perhaps a trimmer, or some other basic tools. In other cases, it can be quite expensive. It really depends on what you expect to need.
It’s also worth considering the cost of some marketing as you’re getting started. That way, you can start to attract the eyes of potential customers and begin to earn back the money you’ve put into the business. We’ll discuss marketing in more detail further into the article.
Creating your Business Website
Having a website for your business is extremely important, and it can allow customers a very easy way to pick up information about what you have to offer. It’s also a simple way for them to get your business phone number, or send an email or form with questions or requests for services.
These days, most people like to do a little research about companies on the internet before they leap in. A website can help customers to see the benefits of using your lawn care services through reviews and testimonials of others who have used and appreciated the work you’ve done.
While the idea of creating a website might seem somewhat intimidating, it’s actually very easy these days. Wix, Squarespace and similar websites allow you to create a website in an intuitive, click-and-place way. You won’t need to worry about any of the numbers or codes in the background making the process too confusing.
Setting up a website isn’t as hard as it may sound, in-fact, many hosting providers have tailored their service around small businesses who may not be tech savvy. We suggest going with BlueHost to host your website, they’re service is simple and easy to use/setup and they’re currently offering 60% off hosting, including free domain registration.
Additionally, creating a blog on your website is also a great way to attract organic traffic and expand your business. Checkout our full guide on the best and easiest way to setup a WordPress blog here.
Marketing Your Business
As you’re just getting started, great marketing skills are going to be highly useful in making sure you get some business coming in. Naturally, you want to get eyes on your services, convince people to try them out, and maintain a regular customer base. This is how a business becomes successful.
Advertisements are one of the top ways to get eyes on your products. This can include digital marketing as well as things like mailers, brochures, billboards and other physical methods.
Online, using pay-per-click advertisements, maintaining a social media presence and making your website easy to get to and navigate are key ways to get people interested.
Getting People To Try It Out
Once you have the eyes of potential customers, it’s time to work on turning them into actual customers. A great way to do this is to provide a discount of freebie for those who try out your services.
That might mean that those who got a referral for the company from someone else can receive a special discount, or credit on their bill. You can also try out doing a giveaway, where you offer some kind of free service for the first visit, or a free bonus service when they hire you for something basic like mowing the lawn.
There are really many options! Some can mean that profit is minimal at first, but it will help to gain regular customers who then boost your profits later on.
This is largely going to be based on doing a quality job, and providing a friendly demeanor in the process. Fair prices are important as well, but there are many who will happily pay a little more if they feel they are getting good value for the money.
Consequently, it’s key to take pride in your work, provide solutions to problems or accidents that pop up and make customers feel appreciated. This can be a bit more work, but it’s something that will really pay off in the long run. Especially when customers start talking to their friends and family about the great job you did for them!
Setting Goals and KPI’s
A Key Performance Indicator, or KPI, is something you can track that will provide you an idea for how your business is doing. You can choose to track several KPI’s, or just a couple. It’s entirely up to you.
Some examples that might be helpful to keep a record of are how many clients you have, how many sales you’re making, and how much profit is coming in. On top of those things, you can also opt to track things like safety, which ensure that employees and customers are in a safe environment while they work.
As you track these things, it can help to make new monthly or quarterly goals to aim for. At the end of that period, you can then take a look at the numbers and decide whether to try again for the same goal or set a new goal that is either higher or lower, depending on the needs of the company.
Remember, setting realistic goals is going to be beneficial to you as well as the growth of the company!
Plan your Finances
The way finances are handled can make or break a business, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of how to go about it before you get started. Make sure to create a clear plan that depicts how much you think you’ll need to get started.
One of your early steps should also be opening up a business bank account. This makes it a lot easy to track funds related to the business, without getting them mixed up with your personal funds.
Depending on how much equipment you need, and whether you’re starting your own business or building a franchise, the start-up cost may vary pretty wildly. Once you calculate that, you can consider whether or not you have all the money you need to get going.
If you need to, you can choose to save money until you have enough, or you can select an option that might work a little more quickly. Crowd funding is an option that people are turning to more and more, using sites such as GoFundMe and Kickstarter.
You can also turn to those close to you for contributions to your business plan, seek out a bank loan. Just make sure to consider the options carefully, and select one that will work the best for you.
Adopt an Entrepreneurial Mindset
Perfection simply isn’t going to happen right out of the gate. There are going to be situations where mistakes are made, or where business just isn’t what you thought it would be. These are normal aspects of starting a business, and the way you respond to them will determine whether the company succeeds or fails overall.
That’s why it’s so important to see it as a process of continuous learning. Customers are going to change, and so will their needs. Because of that, staying flexible and learning how to solve problems as they pop up with be very useful abilities.
Other things to consider when starting your lawn care business
When it comes to starting a business, there’s a lot of paperwork that needs to be done and guidelines that need to be followed. The rules involved can also differ depending on where you’re located, so it’s a great idea to make sure you learn about the legal requirements in your area.
Furthermore, you’ll likely need to choose what kind of business you’re starting. Options can include an LLC, corporation, sole proprietorship and more. Each of these options can change how you handle taxes, and offers their own benefits and downfalls.
To put a finishing touch on your paperwork, it’s also worth making sure that no one else is using the name you want for your company.
Accounting & Bookkeeping:
Keeping tabs on the flow of money within the business is a key part of ensuring that it is a successful venture. However, not everyone is comfortable with taking on the task themselves. Luckily, there are option for those who aren’t!
Xero and Quickbooks are programs that can make tracking the business funds much easier. On top of that, you can also opt to hire a regular employee or freelancer from a site like Upwork to handle the task. Each option can come with unique benefits.
For example, an experienced freelancer can provide advice as well as getting the job done. Meanwhile, a regular employee is someone who is nearby, and who you know is fully focused on your business alone. Make sure to weigh your options to figure out which will help you the most!
As mentioned earlier, hiring can be quite easy for a lawn care business because the skills are pretty easy to teach. Except for some of the more complicated tasks like bookkeeping, most of the time people can learn on the job perfectly well.
That said, it’s important to have a full understanding of what is expected of you as an employer. Employees need to be paid decently, handled well and given a certain amount of breaks throughout their shifts.
To learn the exact guidelines for hiring in your area, make sure to do some research. As a result, you’ll be able to provide a happy, safe environment for your employees.