If you enjoy the outdoors and have a knack for landscaping, starting a lawn care business could be a great way to turn your passion into a profit. But it can be difficult to know how to set up your business and ensure a successful outcome.
With our step-by-step guide, you can start your lawn care business on the right foot.
Read on to find out how to start your own lawn care business and learn what it takes to thrive in this lucrative industry.
What Is Lawn Care and Is It the Right Business for You?
Before we begin, let’s go over what a lawn care business consists of and see if this business is a good fit for you. The lawn care business includes a range of services that help maintain and improve lawns, such as mowing, fertilizing, aerifying, and pest control.
However, successfully running a lawn care business requires an exceptional level of attention to detail, excellent customer service skills, and a strong work ethic.
So if you have the qualities mentioned above and enjoy working with nature, then starting a lawn care business could be the ideal choice for you.
Later in the article, we will cover the advantages and disadvantages of this business venture.
8 Steps to Start a Lawn Care Business
To help you get started, we’ve compiled eight essential steps to follow when starting a lawn care business. By following these steps, you can create a solid foundation for your business and set yourself up for long-term success in the future.
1. Choose the Lawn Care Services to Offer
When starting a lawn care business, it’s important to determine which services you’ll offer. Some of the most common services include:
- Mowing: Regularly cutting the lawn to maintain an optimal length
- Fertilization: Applying fertilizer to help the grass grow healthy and strong
- Aeration: Making small holes in the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the roots
- Weed control: Removing weeds that can damage the lawn and make it look unsightly
- Pest control: Eliminating insects and other pests that can harm the lawn and surrounding vegetation
- Seeding: Planting grass seeds to fill in bare spots and promote a thicker, healthier lawn
- Mulching: Applying a layer of organic material on top of the soil to help retain moisture and suppress weed growth
- Landscape design: Creating a customized plan for planting trees, shrubs, and flowers that complement the lawn and surrounding area
- Snow removal: Clearing snow from driveways and walkways during the winter months
- Leaf removal: Raking and removing fallen leaves from the lawn during the fall season
By offering a range of services, you can attract more customers and expand your revenue. However, it’s important that you focus on the services that you are best at and can deliver with flying colors.
2. Write a Plan
When you start a lawn care business, a plan will help guide you through the process of achieving your goals. Your plan should include your goals, the customers you want to serve, the services you offer, pricing, and how you will market your business.
You also need to learn about your competition and prepare for potential challenges. Your plan should address staffing and equipment needs, as well as required insurance and licensing. With a solid business plan, you will be able to make informed decisions as you build and grow your lawn care business.
3. Price Your Services
Pricing your lawn care services can be a tricky task. You’ll want to offer competitive rates while also ensuring that your services are profitable. One common approach is to charge an hourly rate for your services.
Alternatively, you may choose to charge on a daily, monthly, or per-project basis.
It’s essential to research typical rates for similar services in your area and base your pricing on your experience, credentials, and costs associated with the job.
Ultimately, the goal is to offer reasonable prices that will attract customers while still allowing you to make a profit.
4. Decide on the Business Structure
Choosing the right business structure is a crucial step when starting a lawn care business. It determines the legal and financial responsibilities, the amount of paperwork, and the taxes you’ll be responsible for paying.
The most common business structures include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation. Each structure has pros and cons and choosing which one will depend on your business needs and circumstances.
It’s essential to research and consult with legal and financial experts to determine which business structure is best for your lawn care business.
You can read more about business structures and their functions here.
5. Legalize Your Business
Legalizing your lawn care business involves obtaining the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance required to operate legally. The requirements vary depending on your state and locality, but most businesses will need to register their business name and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
You’ll also need to obtain any required business licenses and permits from your local government, as well as liability insurance to protect your business in case of accidents or damages. It’s essential to research and comply with all legal requirements to avoid legal issues and financial penalties down the road.
6. Buy Lawn Care Equipment Supplies
Investing in quality lawn care equipment and supplies steps you up to provide quality service and shows that you are serious about providing professional results.
Essential tools include a lawn mower, edger, string trimmer, leaf blower, and gardening gloves. Safety equipment such as mowing goggles and hearing protection should also be purchased.
It’s also important to buy high-quality gas cans and lawn bags to safely transport and dispose of fuels and debris. Opting for quality equipment will ensure efficient and effective work as well as prevent the need for frequent repairs or replacements.
Ultimately, purchasing quality lawn care equipment and supplies is a smart investment that will pay off in the long run.
7. Invest in Lawn Insurance
There’s a lot that can go wrong when you’re operating machinery outdoors. So investing in lawn care insurance is a critical step in protecting your business from potential legal and financial risks.
Lawn care insurance typically includes general liability coverage, which protects against property damage, personal injury, and advertising injury claims.
It also includes workers’ compensation insurance to cover medical costs and lost wages in case an employee is injured on the job. Without insurance, a single incident could jeopardize your entire business, leading to costly lawsuits and damages.
8. Market Your Services
Lastly, marketing your lawn care services is important to attract and retain customers.
You can market your services online and offline through a variety of channels.
Online marketing includes building a professional website, creating social media profiles, and running targeted advertising campaigns to reach your audience.
You can also use offline marketing efforts such as direct mail, flyers, and posters.
Networking events such as community events, trade shows, and local expos can also be a great way to connect with potential customers and build valuable partnerships.
Investing in online marketing is especially important as more and more customers use the internet to find service providers.
Advantages of a Lawn Care Business
In addition to the 8 steps listed above, we’ll now go over some of the pros and cons of owning a lawn care business. Understanding the nature of this industry will help you make informed decisions for your business.
Below are some of the key advantages of owning a lawn care business.
- Be your own boss
- Repeat business
- Small initial investment
- Easy to up-sell and cross-sell services
- Potential high income
- Working outdoors
Be Your own Boss
The flexibility of having your own business has several advantages. You can set your hours and determine how much work you want to take on. No boss is telling you what to do. Plus, you have full autonomy over how your business is run and who you will work with.
Like a barber shop, regulars will come in to get their hair cut consistently. Lawn care is identical in this way. If you provide your customers with a quality cut, there will be a demand for repeat business.
Small Initial Investment
The cost of starting a lawn care business can be very low. When starting, it’s a great advantage to be able to work on a project straight away without a lot of equipment and investment.
Easy to Up-Sell and Cross-Sell Services
Since lawn care falls under the umbrella of several types of services. It’s easy to suggest additional services to a client if they need extra care for something else they may need tending to. This is a great way to expand your business and diversify your offerings.
Lawn care and landscaping are thriving and are in-demand services. The opportunities to build your business are limitless and have the potential to generate a very generous income.
If you’re the type of person who dreads a desk job and working indoors, the lawn care business is a great way to be exposed to nature, get physical exercise, and work with your hands.
Disadvantages of a Lawn Care Business
In this section, let’s go over the disadvantages of owning a lawn care business to help you best prepare for any stressful situations or drawbacks.
Here are the main disadvantages of a lawn care business.
- Seasonal business
- Tight competition
- Physically demanding
- Harsh conditions
- Long hours
Depending on where you live, a lawn care company may have erratic workflow due to weather. Harsh winters or forest fires can easily disrupt your workflow and bring your business to a halt. Climate change is also a concern, as the seasons around the globe have been acting irregularly as of late.
As lucrative as the lawn care business can be, many people have the same idea about making a living with lawn care. Without a strong marketing plan and a steady stream of customers, it can be difficult to keep your head above water in this competitive industry.
As mentioned above, the uncertainty of workload and stiff competition may force your business to make cutbacks. Whether it’s letting someone go or compromising some financial expenses — the lawn care business can be precarious.
Working outdoors can take a toll on your physical health, and under harsh conditions, it can even compromise your overall well-being. Also, as you age, it becomes harder to sustain the physical labor needed to execute your work.
In extreme cases, the weather can be so unforgiving that it begins to harm your mental and physical well-being. For example, working in blistering heat can cause heat exhaustion or severe dehydration if not careful.
Some clients may have strong demands and pressing deadlines, so you may need to work long hours to get the job done to meet the standards of your clients and meet any deadlines.
Your Ultimate Guide to Starting a Lawn Care Business
Now you know what you can expect when it comes to the ups and downs of a lawn care business. Plus, you now have a strong understanding of what it takes to start a successful business venture.
From writing a business plan to marketing your services, you’re now ready to start your lawn care business.
If you still have questions or need help with the legal aspects of starting a business.
Here at doola, we offer affordable bookkeeping services to keep your finances organized, compliant, and up to date.
Explore those options here and get started today!
What do you need to start a lawn care business?
You will need a number of things when starting a lawn care business — such as funding your business, getting customers, managing your employees, and filling out the necessary paperwork.
How to start a lawn care business legally?
To be compliant with the regulations of a lawn care business, you must apply for the necessary licenses and permits in adherence to your location. Always check with your local government for legal requirements in your area.
Is owning a lawn care business profitable?
A lawn care business can be a lucrative venture if done correctly. It can lead to bigger, high-end landscaping work and potentially produce abundant income.
How big is the market for lawn care?
The lawn care market in the United States is worth approximately $105 billion, with an estimated 100 million households owning lawns. This makes it a substantial industry with plenty of potential for growth and profitability.
Is lawn care a good side business?
If you are looking to earn extra income, a lawn care business can prove to be a profitable business that you can turn into a full-time venture. Plus, there are many benefits in this industry such as being your own boss, high potential income, and working in nature.