Do’s & Don’ts: Running A Successful Lawn Care Business in 2020

I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t love the smell of freshly cut grass, but that doesn’t mean they’re keen on running their own lawn care business. But, hey, let’s say you are interested in the prospect of running your own lawn care business, for whatever reason, the opportunity for success is there.

Whether you offer residential (private homes or apartments) or commercial (businesses) services, there is a demand for your services. As of 2016, there were 474,237 active lawn care business and that number, we’re sure has only grown over the last few years. And in the United States alone, households spent almost “$15.9 billion on lawn care and gardening services in 2015,” reports LawnStarter. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps an updated report available for public use so you can track your state’s need when you are thinking of starting your own lawn care business. 

Landscaping and Groundskeeping Statistics

https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes373011.htm

With all that in mind, there are numerous daily operations that need to be managed when you’re running your own lawn care business. You must have concrete processes in place so that you can run your business as smoothly as possible. Plus, you need to provide the best customer service, easily communicate with customers, and need to keep your team on the same page. Not to mention all the equipment maintenance, scheduling needs, sending invoices, tracking revenue and spending, and so much more. 

If you are sure that you still want to run your own  lawn care business, we have collected all the pros and cons you are faced with. And we highlight the do’s and don’ts when your business is up and running. Let’s get to it then, shall we? 

Pros of running a lawn care business:

  • Repeat business is in the bag. 

The clients you have are perpetual so you will always have ongoing, consistent work. Usually, clients want or need their lawn maintained weekly so you have a stable means of income or extra cash. 

New Research Finds Majority of Americans Lack Lawn Care Knowledge - Infographic

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160328005521/en/New-Research-Finds-Majority-Americans-Lack-Lawn

Based on the findings above, your clients need your expertise more than you thought. So by being the leading expert, you can provide them with the best service to ensure their yards are properly maintained and cared for. 

  • Additional treatments are necessary. 

Your clients aren’t just going to need their lawn mowed, they need it maintained. Every four to six weeks, their lawn needs special fertilizer and weed and bug treatment. Missing just one “session” can cause chaos in your client’s yard. 

  • You don’t need much in the beginning. 

The startup cost when you first begin your lawn care business is relatively low. You need equipment and transportation, that’s it. Equipment can be bought, rented or you can use your own if you already have your own equipment. You need a pickup truck or a proper trailer in order to properly and safely haul your lawn mower.

  • The lawn care business is scalable. 

At first, you start out by offering one service, like mowing lawns. And then you can gradually add on from there, like gardening, weeding, tree trimming, landscaping, and so on. There are numerous options available as you scale your lawn care business to match customer demand. 

  • Seasonal work. 

If you have a job that revolves around winter, then this is perfect as you have spring and summer to focus on your lawn care business.

  • Employees don’t need experience. 

As your lawn care business gains momentum and the demand for your services grows, you may need to hire a few more hands. If that’s the case, you don’t need to hire anyone who has a formal education or training. Pretty much everything they need to know can be done on the job. So you aren’t faced with high recruitment or training costs. 

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Cons of running a lawn care business:

  • Plenty of competition. 

There are most likely many lawn care businesses in your area so be sure to research the demand before starting one. If there are one too many businesses then you would have to cut prices to get customers and that means your revenue would be strongly affected. 

  • Seasonal work. 

If you live in an area where the winters are virtually non-existent, then you may find that your customers just aren’t in need of your services. So, if you want to have a business that runs year-round, you need to diversify your offerings, such as snow removal. 

  • Cut backs.

Depending on the economic situation, you have find yourself losing clients. For example, when times are tough, people cut out non-essential expenses and that may include paying someone to take care of the lawn. 

At this point, you should have a pretty good idea if starting your own lawn care business is the right move. Weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. If you believe that you can do this and it’s the right choice, then carry on reading. There are a few things you should and shouldn’t do in regards to your lawn care business. 

Meme on lawn care business

https://www.memecenter.com/fun/3383943/who-said-mowing-your-lawn-is-boring

Our tips on how to run a successful lawn care business: 

DO: 

  • Use a lawn care business software. 

Using a software will help you automate and grow your lawn care business. How so? It makes it easier to schedule recurring shifts or dispatch jobs, track working hours, enhance communication, make reports digital and more. 

You need to work as efficiently as possible while delivering amazing customer service, using a lawn care business software keeps you on track. 

  • Your homework. 

Before you launch your lawn care business, make sure you’ve done your homework. Be sure to check with city government or local Chamber of Commerce about the business licensing and insurance requirements.

  • Find clients & advertise. 

Use mail, cold calls, flyers, door-to-door visits, text messages, etc. to gain customers. You can even have a booth at a community event or outside a store to help bring in customers. 

  • Ask for referrals. 

Whenever you have a satisfied customer, ask them to write a review on your website or social media account(s). And be sure to ask them to recommend your lawn care business to friends, family and other businesses in the area. Word of mouth is a free and incredibly useful way to bring in more work! 

  • Maintain amazing customer service. 

The only way a customer will refer your lawn care business or will write a review is if you provide amazing customer service. It isn’t just that you did a good job, it’s that YOU and your team went above and beyond. You were kind, patient and attentive. You didn’t leave a giant mess behind, you were on time and responsive. It’s all about presentation. 

Running a lawn care business allows you to up-sell so you can keep the work going

Photo by Neslihan Gunaydin on Unsplash

  • Look to up-sell. 

If you offer additional services then look for any opportunity to up-sell. Sometimes your clients aren’t aware that they need additional work. For instance, a client of yours runs a daycare so they probably need kid friendly fertilizer and weed treatment or maybe they could use a fun garden that the kids can enjoy. 

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DON’T: 

  • Buy equipment without researching. 

If you haven’t done the research to make sure there is a demand for your business and if you don’t have any viable clients, do not buy any equipment! The required equipment should be one of the last things you buy. 

If you do buy equipment, make sure to look into the guarantee or warranty that is included in the equipment and if it’s easy to find replacement parts.

  • Forget or neglect to communicate with your clients. 

Ensure your customer service stands out, because it isn’t enough for them to know just hear from you when they sign you on for the job and when they need to pay. Make sure you talk to them before and after the job – clue them in so they know what’s going on, what the timetable is, who is working on their lawn and so on. 

  • Forget appointment reminders. 

Whether it’s through email, text or a phone call, make sure you remind your clients about their upcoming appointment. This can serve as a perfect way to avoid last minute cancellations but your clients will appreciate your effort! 

  • Forget to follow up.

Don’t disappear after a job and the payment hits your bank. Send a follow up email, text or call. This is an easy way to better your customer service, to ensure repeat customers and makes it easier for the customer to want to refer your business. 

  • Ignore the weather. 

Track the weather channel and prepare for days when the sun isn’t shining. You may have to postpone or reschedule jobs if the wind or rain makes it impossible to do your job. By being proactive, you make sure that your business isn’t hurt by bad weather. 

If you aren’t able to physically work because of the weather, use this time to advertise or market your business. Check in with your employees. Make sure all equipment is working properly. 

Now that you understand all the pros and cons of running your own lawn care business and some do’s and don’ts once it’s up and running, you are able to go into this venture with both eyes open. 

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