Spring is here again! Now is the time for replanting, preparing and beautifying the lawn, and doing outdoor gardening. But many people simply do not have the time, the inclination or knowledge to take care of their lawns that they turn to professional lawncare specialists to help them.
If you love grass and lawns, lawncare services is a perfect business for you.
What does a lawcare services do? You can offer mowing services and weed control, lawn care analysis, tree and bush trimming, putting in fertilizers, tree and shrub care. Some offer services to control fire ants and maintenance of the soil’s Ph levels, among other services.
The lawncare business is one business that you can start slow and even do on a part time basis. The best thing about it is the flexibility it offers — after all, for the most part, you will dictate the schedule of the lawn care for your clients. You can work as much or as little as you want. And when you land a customer, you can service that customer even for life!
It is also a business that you can start even on a low budget especially if you are starting out. You don’t have to buy top notch equipment at the start. Basic equipment that you may already have will do, and then buy more equipment as you grow your business. At your startup phase, you only need a mower and weed-eater, or make it the riding mower if you expect to service big yards. You can also hire helpers as you start getting more accounts to service.
To get started on this business, the first thing to do is to research everything there is to know about lawncare. Go to your library and check out books on lawncare. Go to your local Home Depot or other tool stores and ask about the best tools and equipment for the job. If you know of any lawncare specialists in your area, talk to them and ask them about the business (some will not entertain you especially if they see you as competitors while others will be more willing to talk).
How do you get customers for your lawncare business? Here are some ways:
- Offer free services that would help you land their account such as free lawn analysis, or free tree and shrub analysis. Others offer discounted first lawn applications. The key is to entice the customers to use your service.
- Always ask for referrals. This business thrives on referrals, so make sure that you talk to your existing customers and ask them if there’s anyone that may benefit your service. Sweeten the deal by offering your customers a discount if they refer you to somebody else.
- Send/Drop off postcards outlining your services to homes with lawns in your area.
- Network with other lawncare services in your area. Yes they are your competitors, but sometimes they will have requests for their services that they can no longer do – and they may instead give those accounts to you.
- Dress neatly! Customers don’t want slobs to take care of their lawns. Always give your best appearance, even in the most casual of clothes. Look professional. If you can order polo shirts with your company’s name and logo, that would even be better.
So what do you need in this business:
- Check with your local county for the licenses (if any) and other regulatory requirements you need to operate this type of business in your area
- Check with insurance – it helps if you are licensed and bonded
- A system for scheduling and rescheduling jobs, which should also include arranging for fertilizer treatments and other big jobs
Here are some resources and books to help you learn more about the lawncare business:
- Start Your Own Lawn Care Business (Entrepreneur Magazine’s Start Up) by Eileen Sandlin
- How to Make Big Money Mowing Small Lawns by Robert A. Welcome
- The Lawn Bible: How to Keep It Green, Groomed, and Growing Every Season of the Year by David R. Mellor