Do you feel proud after seeing a job well done? Perhaps you have never imagined yourself sitting behind a computer in a flashy office? If you’re looking for a career where you can see results immediately, consider starting a lawn care business. A lawn care business can be a lucrative and rewarding venture for those who enjoy working outdoors and take pride in keeping lawns and gardens in top shape.
Every property owner desires to have their outside space looking fresh and neat. Keeping this up requires enlisting lawn care services.
What kinds of people need lawn care services
If you’re thinking about how to start a lawn care business, it pays to understand your ideal clients from the beginning. It determines whether you have the potential to get consistent work. Here are the types of potential customers for your lawn care business
When thinking of how to start a lawn mowing business, homeowners are likely to be your first clients. Everyone desires to keep their home looking well kept. So, they periodically request lawn care service providers to do the task.
The demand is higher if your area has a lot of people owning high-end homes. Owners of such properties usually have enough to spend on lawn care. And, they always want to make their properties stand out from others in the neighborhood.
Apart from homeowners, apartment complexes are potential sources of income. Apartment complexes need something that attracts tenants. Managers of those properties have to keep their tenants happy by always having to keep the lawns well maintained. This requires enlisting the services of a lawn care company.
Hotels and Resorts
Managers of hotels and resorts pay close attention to detail to attract customers who come to stay for some periods and spend money. So, they regularly seek lawn care professionals to keep the surroundings looking neat and appealing to clients and potential customers.
Shopping Malls, Restaurants, and Entertainment Centers
Places that have customers outdoors usually have lawns that need someone to care and maintain for them. This is very important since no customer can go to a place that looks run down with a poorly maintained lawn.
Even tenants in a mall would prefer a location where the property managers put in the effort to make the place look nice. When starting your lawn care business, property managers of malls, entertainment centers, and restaurants should be among your first clients.
Commercial Office Buildings
Property managers of commercial office buildings are tasked with making their property attractive to clients. Keeping the lawns attractive and well-maintained is usually one of the things they focus on. So, they always need a reliable lawn care professional to do the job.
Now that you’ve understood the types of potential clients for your lawn care business, you have to select the services to offer.
Determine What Lawn Care Services To Provide
When thinking of how start a mowing business, knowing the services that will make you the most money is important. Each service may require different techniques, tools, products, and schedules. A good idea is to offer customers tailored packages.
Kinds of lawn care services to offer
The most common service for lawn care services is mowing. However, you shouldn’t trim the grass to become too short. The ideal cut should be from 2.5 to 3 inches. Avoid cutting more than ⅓ of the blade at a time. Keep the mower’s blade sharp so it doesn’t just tear away the grass leaves. This will make the leaves brown and prone to pests.
Property owners hire lawn care services to water the grass when the leaves are about to wilt. People who usually leave footprints on their lawns from walking need watering services more regularly. In summer, watering is necessary to keep the grass green. About an inch of water is necessary every week.
Lawns need core aeration at least once in three years. The procedure requires rolling a one-inch diameter device all over the lawn. This penetrates various inches into the ground, removing soil and turf and depositing them on the surface.
The holes allow air, water, and fertilizer to reach the root system. Additionally, these holes loosen the loam soil to allow easier root growth and better circulation of air and water throughout the turf. People usually hire lawn care services to do this task because it is labor-intensive.
Lawns need seeding every fall. Putting new seeds fills areas that thinned out to create denser lawns that discourage weeds and pests. Seeding also allows adding new grass varieties that may be more resistant to insects and disease. Additionally, the new seeds may introduce a better grass variety. You may offer this service to complement the aeration of the lawns.
Lawns need the application of fertilizers about 3 to 6 times annually to stay healthy. Fertilizers fall into three different categories. Fast-release fertilizer allows rapid leaf growth and greening. Property owners may seek lawn care professionals to apply fast-release fertilizer about 5 to 6 times annually.
The second type of fertilizer is slow-release synthetic fertilizer to give lawns a steady and gradual supply of minerals. Additionally, lawns need an application of organic fertilizers by lawn care companies.
Maintaining Soil Acidity
Lawns need balanced pH for fertilizer to work. Soils that are too acidic or alkaline may limit the grass’s ability to use nutrients. Grass varieties thrive in slightly acidic soil with pH from 6.5 to 7.0. Soil acidity prevents weeds.
Most undesirable plants grow at higher or lower pH, unlike turf grass. Property owners always seek lawn care services to keep the soil at ideal pH levels. The process requires testing the pH level of the soil and applying lime to reduce acidity.
Lawn care companies also control weeds. These are usually wildflowers and grasses that sprouted up in the wrong places. Controlling weeds may be through allowing them to compete with turfgrasses. Alternatively, weed control may be through the application of herbicides to kill seed sprouts of poa annua and crabgrass.
You may also use post-emergent herbicides to kill visible plants and non-apparent plants. Some weeds may be eliminated by physical removal. This may include cutting asparagus using a knife, although they are labor-intensive which makes them less desirable.
Lawns harbor some harmful insects that may cause considerable damage. Weather and other factors create favorable conditions for these creatures to thrive. Most pests prefer sunny areas. Maintaining a thick and well-manicured lawn makes the places less appealing to these pesky creatures.
Lawn care services are on-demand to treat yards with insecticides to prevent damage. A targeted control approach is necessary when applying insecticides to prevent potential side effects on useful organisms and the environment. Using green methods will set you apart from other companies and win you more customers.
Fungi is the leading cause of turf disease. It usually results from over-fertilizing, poor watering, and excess cutting. Weather conditions may also escalate the problem. Lawn care professionals are always in demand to treat lawns and limit the chances of disease. Better still, use green methods to stand out from the competition.
Register Your Lawn Care Business
After realizing some of the potential customers for a lawn care business and the services you may offer, it is time to understand how to start a lawn care business legally. You have to register your business as a separate legal entity from your assets. This protects you just in case your business faces a lawsuit or business debts.
To legalize your business, you need to choose a business structure with options including sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company. Your choice of business structure should depend on preference or taxation needs. You have to register your business name with your regional government. This may include trademarking your company name and registering your domain name.
You first have to be sure that there’s no business with a similar name in the state. Check the Small Business Administration or your local chamber of commerce to find out how to get a license for your business.
Purchase The Necessary Equipment
After legalizing your lawn care business, the next step is to how much does it cost to start a lawn care business. This includes knowing the equipment you need so you may include them in your budget. Here are some of the essential equipment you shouldn’t miss in your lawn care tool kit.
There are various commercial lawnmowers on the market, including self-propelling. Choose mowers that come with handy attachments and features. These may include side catchers and mulchers to make your job easier.
Handling bigger jobs requires a riding mower and a walk-behind mower for hills and small jobs. A mower with a floating deck is very useful when mowing hills. The floating decks hug turf contours to create a beautifully finished cut.
Snow removal equipment.
Property owners usually suffer from snow on their lawns in winter. So, they hire lawn care companies to remove the snow. You should invest in a snow plow attachment for your truck to tap into this market. Alternatively, you may invest in a snow blade to add to your lawnmower.
Spreaders and sprayers
Property owners usually seek lawn care professionals to add fertilizers to their yards. You need to invest in appropriate equipment to offer fertilizing services. A broadcast granular spreader is essential for dispersing the fertilizer in an arc.
Additionally, a pressurized sprayer is another good investment for attacking weeds that may grow in the driveway or sidewalk cracks. A four-gallon backpack sprayer is necessary for spraying weeds on larger properties.
You need a reliable vehicle to haul your equipment. Fortunately, you may use your truck if you have one already. The ideal vehicle for a lawn care business should be a heavy-duty flatbed truck with a locking toolbox. It should have a dumping mechanism to ease the unloading of materials without shoveling.
You need a utility trailer when having equipment that doesn’t need hoisting onto your truck. A steel mesh landscape trailer or single-axle light-duty trailer is a good option. Consider investing in locking tie-downs for keeping your equipment safe when on the move.
Lawn equipment usually operates at about 95 decibels. According to OSHA, there’s a possibility of hearing damage when exposed to sound levels from 85 to 90 decibels. To avoid this, invest in earmuffs and sturdy safety glasses. Work gloves are also important for a firmer grip while handling equipment. Steel-toed boots are also necessary while working.
Other kinds of lawn care equipment include:
Trimmer – for reaching grass growing in places like mailbox posts and around trees where the mower can’t reach
Blower – for directing stray clippings back onto the lawn.
Hedge trimmer – for putting final touches to the stately borders
Edger – for removing grass growing over the edges of sidewalks, driveways, and other borders.
Building a solid team is among the essential aspects of how to start a lawn business. You need an amazing lawn care team for your business to grow and thrive. Building your team shouldn’t be a daunting task.
How to tell your business is ready to hire new employees
The chances are high that you started your lawn care business as a sole employee. You’ve been relying on yourself to handle customers’ jobs. It is understandable to be reluctant to hire a team to work with.
However, you don’t have to wait until you’re swamped with work to hire other people to help you. Hiring now while your business is growing is a wonderful idea. It takes money and time to train new employees. So, expect a minor hit on overall efficiency as the new hires get used to your business operations.
How to search for lawn care professionals
The internet is your best stop when searching for lawn care professionals. About 79% of job seekers are online even when the position is not internet-related. Post your job offer on social media. Keep the offer simple and direct and share it with the people who might be interested.
You can also rely on referrals to find lawn care professionals. If you’re already working with some people, ask them to recommend people they know who might suit the available position. Alternatively, you may reach out to local vendors for recommendations. You should also check local training and apprenticeship schools for recommendations for people who need an internship.
How to Interview Potential Lawn Care Employees
When you let people know that you’re hiring, you’re likely to begin getting responses. The next step is to schedule interviews. However, you need ideas on how to interview potential lawn care employees.
Here are a few things to consider throughout the interview
- Does the applicant arrive on time?
- Are they friendly and look professional?
- Do they have relevant industry experience?
- Can they use specialized tools?
Besides having excellent customer care skills, ideal lawn care professionals should have other skills, including being friendly and personable, upselling services, and handling problems with minimal supervision.
Training and On-boarding new hires
New employees, regardless of their experience, crave direction. So, you need a thorough onboarding process to allow new hires to have a smooth transition into the new company. Introduce the new guys to others to make them feel welcome.
Create an employee handbook with details about the company hierarchy, scheduling, payroll, and field management software. This makes it easier for everyone in the business to have a source of reference when needed.
How to Build a Positive Company Culture
After finding employees, you need a strategy to let them stick with your company. You wouldn’t want to spend time, money, and effort to train people and then they quit after a short while. Here are a few ideas to promote positive company culture.
Pay them well
Employees who are paid well are always happy. Research the average wage in your area. Use your competitors as a source of reference. You don’t have to spend a lot on wages as long as it is competitive. According to Land and Landscape magazine, the average salary is about 12% of your total sales.
Giving incentives in the form of bonuses is a wonderful idea for your lawn care staff. Jobs for lawn care services are sometimes seasonal. You might have more orders in summer than in winter. Give your employees something to make them happy so they may stick with you throughout the year.
Offer a satisfying work environment.
Employees need more than money to stick to a company. A satisfying work environment is very important for your team. Treat them with respect while allowing them to implement some of their ideas. Additionally, try to listen to their scheduling requests as much as possible.
Equip them for the job
Handling lawn care jobs require some hard work. So, you have to equip your team appropriately to do tasks as comfortably as possible. Equally important is to let your team have fun sometimes. An easy-going work environment makes work easier and the day passes faster.
Hiring the right people will ensure that your business thrives and grows. These will help handle the increasing workload so you can widen your income sources. Take time to choose the best people since they are to become one of the most valuable resources for your business.
Manage operations & finances with a dedicated app
When learning how to start your own lawn care business, knowledge about how to manage finances is crucial. The right tool can make a big difference whether you’re scheduling or dispatching, or sending invoices. Field Complete is a must-have tool that makes managing finances very efficient and less stressful.
Using this tool is one of the secret ingredients of how to run a lawn care business today. You may enjoy it for free before switching to the paid version.
Launch an advertisement for your lawn care business
Congratulations on reaching the first stage of how to start a grass-cutting business. You’re obviously feeling exhilarated and a bit scared at finding your first client. But, advertising is easier than you think.
Keep reading to discover how
Network in Your Local Market
Networking is the easiest way to get clients when thinking of how to start a lawn service. Do this by joining local business associations. A good idea is to first talk to local homeowners and property managers. Walk the surrounding areas to let them know about your new lawn care service.
Use Social Media
Many business owners discovered the secret of using social media to find clients. Homeowners tend to use Twitter and Facebook to look for service providers like lawn care specialists. Focus on these to find clients. You may use Facebook ads to reach your target market without spending a fortune.
Collaborate with an influencer
Another smart way to market your lawn care business is to use an influencer. This is a person who has the power to influence the purchase decisions of other people because of his authority. Get an influential person and agree on collaboration to mention your brand on their social media pages.
Google is the largest search engine and allows business owners to advertise their business. Using Google Ads allows focusing on people searching for any of the services you may be offering. You’ll have the flexibility to match your searches to your target audience to generate leads to your website.
Flyers are very effective marketing solutions, especially for startups. When planning how to start a lawn service, the cost of printing and distributing flyers is less significant. People usually hand out flyers to their friends or keep them in the drawer for future reference. So, there’s a chance that more people will check your flier out when the need arises.
Build a website
A website is a must-have for all businesses today. It gives potential clients access to your contact details and services. The website gives potential customers insight into the quality of your work in the gallery and portfolio section. The website may also have a feature that allows clients to book your services.