10 Steps To Start A Successful Lawn Care Business

Here are the key things you need to know about starting a lawn care business:

  • There are multiple ways to structure your business
  • You need to do your homework before buying equipment
  • Having high-quality employee software is vital if you plan to build a lawn care team
  • Focus on delivering quality services, not simply offering the lowest prices
  • Set clear, transparent pricing 

Did you know that four out of ten Americans use a lawn care business to take care of their yards? This means that there are plenty of potential customers out there for your future business to serve. 

If you have dreams of launching your own lawn care business, here’s everything you need to know.

What services do lawn care businesses typically offer?

A lawn care business is a company that provides a variety of yard care and landscaping services. The scope of services you provide will vary depending on where you live, how big you want to grow your company, the size of your team, and your skill level.

At a minimum, lawn care businesses cut grass and edge/trim the perimeter of customers’ yards. If you live in a warm environment like Florida, you’ll have plenty of work year-round. 

If you live in a cooler climate, you’ll need to offer some winter services to stay busy in the colder months. For instance, you can offer services like:

  • Cleaning gutters
  • Shoveling snow
  • Bagging/protecting plants before cold fronts

Regardless of where you live, there are other services you can add to build your business. You can offer light tree trimming, landscaping, and leaf collection. 

However, when you first start a lawn business, you should stick with the basics like mowing, edging, and trimming. 

How to start a lawn care business

Every business is unique, including yours! With that in mind, it’s important to remember that these steps aren’t exhaustive. Most of them will apply to your lawn care business, but feel free to adjust the list based on your needs.

Here are 10 steps to start a lawn care business:

1. Research lawn care business models

Figure out the basics of your business model. Are you going to charge on a weekly, monthly, or per-cut basis? Identify the area you want to serve.

You should also consider your value proposition. Why should people choose you to care for their yard? Are you going to offer better pricing, higher quality service, or a combination of the two? You’ve got to bring something to the table, especially if you hope to snag customers from existing lawn companies. 

2. Determine which lawn care services you’d like to provide

Next, decide which services you want to provide. Remember, you can always add new services later. Every specialized service you add makes pricing more complex. It will also require additional equipment. 

In most cases, you should start with the basics and build out from there. That means offering mowing, weed trimming, and edging services. You can do all that with a few pieces of equipment. 

3. Register your business and get proper insurance

Now, you need to register your business with the state. You’ll also need to obtain an EIN number from the federal government. This number is used for income tax purposes. 

Once you’ve got your EIN and registered your business with your state, you can apply for insurance. Make sure you have enough coverage. Hopefully, you’ll never need it, but you can never be too safe. 

4. Figure out how you’ll handle banking and bookkeeping

Once the money starts coming in, you’ll need a way to manage and account for it. You need to track every transaction and keep up with expenses. You should know who has paid, what you owe, what your expenses are, and any other financial obligations you have. 

There are several small business apps out there that can help. If you don’t have the time to manage your bookkeeping yourself, you can also outsource it. 

5. Research lawn care equipment based on the services you chose

Compare options and look for all of the essential equipment you’ll need to perform the services you want to offer. Don’t go overboard here, but don’t purchase the absolute cheapest thing on the market, either.

You can go with used options to save some money. However, you won’t have any warranty protections. That means you could find yourself facing lots of out-of-pocket repair expenses. 

6. Purchase lawn care equipment and other materials

Now you are ready to buy equipment. Make sure that you purchase equipment that is rated for commercial use. Residential equipment can’t hold up against hours of daily use. 

Many brands sell lawn care equipment packages. These packages will save you money and make getting started a bit easier. The typical package includes a zero-turn mower, leaf blower, and edger/trimmer. Some brands also offer a trailer combo, which will be great for hauling all your new gear. 

7. Set your prices

Determine how much you want to charge. Set standardized pricing based on the size of the yard. For instance, you could charge by the quarter of an acre. Also include payment frequency in your pricing (e.g., weekly or monthly). 

You’ll also need to set prices for add-on services like gutter cleaning, bagging leaves, or tree trimming. Don’t overcomplicate things, but make sure your prices are transparent. You don’t want customers to have to call you for a quote every time they need a routine service. 

8. Find your first customers

Finding customers requires a multifaceted approach. Send out mailers, post signs in neighborhoods, and run online ads. Make sure to post on social media, too. 

Create a business page and begin building your following. Publish photos of your work and pricing. Also, make sure to ask customers for reviews so that you can use their positive feedback to attract new clients. 

9. Hire more employees

Once you start hiring more staff, you’ll have to be mindful of human resources issues like payrolling and, potentially, benefits management. Keeping up with payroll can be especially tricky for new business owners, as you’ve got to address everything from tax withholding to ensuring everyone gets their checks on time. 

The good news is that you can take the hassle out of payrolling by investing in a full-service payroll solution. A full-service app handles everything, ensuring your team gets paid on time every time. 

10. Invest in lawn care business software

Lawn care business software is designed to help you manage your endeavor. Top solutions like When I Work include tools for employee scheduling, time tracking, and more. It even includes secure, in-app messaging to keep everyone on the same page.

With When I Work, managing your growing team becomes a breeze. You can assign jobs, keep everyone in the loop, and better serve your customers.

When I Work for lawn care businesses

When starting a lawn care business, having the right tools is a must. Buying great lawn equipment is a good start, but you’ll also need software to keep you and your team organized.

Choose When I Work, a tool that can grow with your lawn care business. Sign up for a free trial to learn more.

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