Lawn care services are one of the most needed and in demand services in our busy world today. If you enjoy working in the yard, landscaping, and you take pride in a nicely cut lawn then you may consider starting your own lawn care and landscaping business. Starting this type of home based business is not difficult and start-up cost is low.
However, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind. You are going to need a business plan that would cover what you need as far as any expenses such as equipment, legal licensing, and insurance. I would also suggest in this business plan that you include short term and long term goals you want to meet as the business owner.
One of the most important steps you can take in insuring that you have a successful business is to have good equipment. You are going to need commercial grade equipment in order for not only a great and professional look, but also to be able to up hold the wear and tear your equipment is going to endure. For starters you will need a good push mower and riding lawn mower. If it is in your budget a zero-turn radius turn riding lawn mower would be appropriate and save you on time. You will also need a good weed eater, electric hedge clippers, and blowers.
As stated earlier you will want to go with good name brands such as Husqvarna, John Deere, Exmark, or Cub Cadet. All the way down to even shovels, I would suggest purchasing ones with fiberglass handles. Not only are they lighter but they will last longer than wooden handles and are more durable.
You will also want to purchase at a minimum an 8 foot trailer. I would suggest a 12-16 foot trailer for necessary tool boxes, locations for gas cans, shovels, rakes, etc., along with your push or riding mowers and tillers.
You will need to go to your local city hall and apply for a business license. Usually these types of licenses are around $100 fee and a $50 annual renewal fee. If you plan on soliciting your business door-to-door, you may also want to check with your local authorities to see if you are required to have a solicitor’s license. These types of licenses typically run around $75.
You will also want to get insurance for your business. Not only will this give a great professional look to your business and insure people that they can trust you, but more importantly it will protect you as a business owner.
There are many ways to go about advertising your services. You could start by running ads in your local newspapers. Another great way is to get business cards made up that you could hand out at local convenient stores. You could also give some to friends and family to hand out as well. This is a great way to get your name out quick!
You can also make fliers very easily and hang them at many different areas where they are sure to be seen. One of the best ways of getting your business out in the open is by going door-to-door introducing yourself and business to potential clients.
Craigslist is another great way to advertise your services locally and to get a quick response. Before you know it you will have to hire a helper to help keep up with all of your customers. It would also be wise to start a portfolio of before and after pictures to show your work. This is a great way to entice new customers to your database. Also you will want to start a list of reputable references. This is another great way to help seal a deal and gain the respect as a reliable lawn care service.
In today’s lawn care services it is common to see charges of around $1 per minute. This would give you a $60 an hour average on pay. Depending on where you live and the rates of your competitor’s this price may average from $0.50 to $1.25 an hour.
Never tell your customers that you charge by the hour. If you leave after being on the job for only 35 minutes customers will start to complain for a 50% cut in pay rate.
Make sure to do a quick but professional job and always show initiative in your work and you will not only profit but keep your customers happy at the same time. Even if it takes five extra minutes out of your day to stake and tie back a small tree that is leaning in one of your customers’ yards, it is well worth the time to invest for a great relationship with your customers and keeping them feeling that they are getting what they pay for.
Go into each job with the best of your ability and always keep your word to your customers. Your reputation and integrity means everything to the business. Work hard and keep a positive attitude and you will have a lucrative lawn care and landscaping business! Start yours today!