How To Start A Lawn Care Business

By Adam Boyd

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If you have a passion for working outdoors, love meeting interesting people, and serving others by helping them create beauty in their environment, you may have what it takes to be a lawn care professional.

You also get the additional perk of setting your own hours and schedule. You’ll be able to save up for your own retirement, according to Jim Cameron, owner of Chautauqua Lawn Service.

Can you handle the administrative details of owning your own business while delivering high-quality professional services with unfailing courtesy to your customers? If so, you may soon find your business comes to you rather than requiring you to spend dozens of hours trying to drum up leads and entice clients through other means.

How Big Is The Lawn Care Industry?

IBIS World reports revenue from the lawn care industry at about $76 billion per year with a 3.7% growth rate. Close to half a million businesses employ nearly one million people.

Why Starting A Lawn Care Business Now Is A Good Idea

In the last five years, landscaping services have grown tremendously, IBIS World advises. As per capita disposable income and commercial expansion continue its upward spike, lawn care and landscaping services are expected to be in great demand for both home outdoor maintenance and upkeep at corporate headquarters and resorts. Most households in the US have private lawns.

Lawn Care Business Facts

Here are some facts and figures about the lawn care business you should consider:

Lawn care business startup costs

BPlans estimates startup costs around $20K.

How much do lawn care professionals make?

$9.28 to $33.98 an hour or $21K to $63K per year

How much do lawn care services charge?

Lawn care services offer a variety of projects which can vary from as little as $80 to several thousand dollars for landscaping or laying turf. Home Advisor provides a detailed list of the national averages for various lawn care projects.

How do lawn care services find customers?

Direct mail is a minuscule part of the pie when it comes to finding lawn care customers in the 21st century. Email marketing and hosting a blog to share expert tips are much more effective marketing strategies, according to Landscape Leadership. Establishing an active social media presence and taking out online ad space also generates lawn care business. Pay-per-click advertising can really pay off in leads, according to Chris Noon, president of Noon Turf Care. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and listed on as many online search directories as you can find because many people look for lawn care services on their smartphones. After all the advertising, however, the personal touch of the person who answers the phone when the potential customer calls can make the difference between the sale and the “thanks, but no thanks” hang up as they call the next service on the list. Doing quality work will generate word-of-mouth to simplify your job as well.

What skills are required?

Mechanical know-how and a penchant for outdoor work in all types of weather, knowledge of engines and engine maintenance, a good relationship with the local lawn mower repair shop, being polite under any circumstance, the ability to prepare a realistic estimate for any job inquiry and a head for the business and legal aspects of running your own company.

What do I need to operate a lawn care business?

Trucks and trailers for hauling equipment and supplies, an excellent quality mower with extra blades on hand, an edger, a chainsaw, some gas cans, a case of oil, a leaf rake and broom, trash cans and heavy duty plastic garbage bags, hand clippers, tools for equipment maintenance and repair, air filters and a bench grinder for sharpening your blades regularly.  Sprays and fertilizers will also be needed for some jobs. As your business grows, you may want to add a gas-powered hedge trimmer, a cord-type trimmer, a vacuum sweeper and a versatile riding mower. For tree work, you will need extension ladders, a pole saw, a heavy-duty chain saw, long-handled lopper and safety harnesses. Eye and ear protection are also critical to keeping yourself and any crew safe as you work. On the admin end of the business, you will need a business phone, business cards, brochures and fliers, a bookkeeping and scheduling system, a business license and tax structure, insurance, a professional website, and email.

Lawn Care Business Ideas

Investing in equipment is a great idea!

Deliver good results

Struggling with what to name your lawn care business, here are a few ideas:

Lawn Genie Lawn Masters
Mow ‘n Go Four Seasons Landscaping
Evergreen Lawn and Landscape Services Year-Round Lawn Care
Grass Monkeys Green Works Landscaping
Yard Smart Green Design Services
Ground Control Outdoor Beauty Landscaping
Emerald City Landscaping Turf Pros
Grass Master Yard Maintenance Lawn & Order

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IBIS World: Landscaping Services in the US: Market Research Report

Lawn & Landscape: By the Numbers

BPlans: Lawn Landscaping Business Plans

Bureau of Labor Statistics: First-Line Supervisors of Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Workers First-Line Supervisor / Manager of Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Workers Salary Hourly Rate for Industry: Lawn and Garden Services

Home Advisor: Lawn & Garden Price Guides: How Much Does Lawn Care Cost?

Entrepreneur: How to Start a Lawn Care or Landscaping Business

The Hindsite Solution: 7 Tips for Starting (and Growing) Your Lawn Maintenance Business

Mother Earth News: Start a Lawn Care Business

Landscape Leadership: Lawn Care Marketing: 3 Experts on Growing a Lawn Care Business Today

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