Some people plan for years to get their lawn care business started while others simply come across an opportunity and jump on it. Either way is fine as long as you don’t keep putting off the things you really would like to do today. Tomorrow may never come, but you have today to get your lawn care business started, so why not jump on the opportunity. Here is some great start up insight shared with us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum that will surely inspire you.
“Necessity is the mother of invention, no doubt about it, and so it went after my husband experienced a layoff in lastÂ May. With no prospects in an economy that was starting to go down. With no decent job prospects on the horizon, things were iffy. What sparked the fire was a little interesting, frustrating and inadvertent ‘market research’ that had occurred while helping my grandfather secure a reliable lawn service to give estimates on his property. The old company simply stopped showing up and there seemed to be few truly professional lawn care businesses to choose from. With the job loss circumstance at hand, we took a chance as we thought we could do better.
We gathered up the 5×10 open-air, wooden trailer that was gifted to us by a family member, our used John Deere PUSH mower, trimmer, edger and hand-held blower, got 250 business cards to start and designed some 1-color, neon green door hanger brochures. Voila, our lawn care company was in business! A couple of months later we finally got a new self-propelled $300 Cub Cadet from Home Depot and then a used $575 Craftsman riding mower off of Craigslist. That is what’s being used now.
In the very beginning, my husband did A LOT of labor and haul jobs with his pick up truck to bring money into the household and build the business. He still does those types of jobs on occasion to supplement our current income, along with some pricier one-time cuts. I have to add that utilizing the products and services offered by Craiglist, and internet printing companies have helped a GREAT deal to keep our start-up and operating costs LOW.
We now have 30 active lawn care accounts signed up on lawn care agreements and my husband basically services them by himself within 3-4 days during the week. We deal strictly with residential customers. Even with the slow economy, the business is steadily growing. My husband is the ‘face’ and salesman of the business and I am the behind the scenes ‘roadie’. We’ve tried a lot of different things to see what would stick with advertising, specials, billing, agreements, etc. and believe we’ve finally narrowed down what seems to work best for us.
There were some hard knocks and lessons learned along the way, most definitely. Heck, we’re STILL learning in a lot of aspects. Most of our customers have been pretty good, although there have been some deadbeat ones as well. That’s a factor we expect will happen here and there no matter what. It’s good to realize that EARLY on. Once things are rolling though, it sure feels great when the payments start to ‘magically’ appear in the mailbox and in the PayPal account!
We’ve found that it’s really not that hard to stand out and do well in our neck of the woods if, for starters, you are simply clean cut, well spoken, show up when you say you will and always aim do right by the customer (even if the customer may not do right by you…karma, people…you certainly can’t win them all).
Our business goals for this year is to continue to keep our operating costs as low as possible, upgrade our mower to a Z-turn and backpack blower. Get an open/metal or closed trailer. Create a You Tube video(s) to add to the website and acquire AT LEAST 20 more lawn care accounts. Our current IMMEDIATE goal is to get through this tax season unscathed. *Shiver* Having and meeting really specific goals is really helpful.
Well, thanks for reading this longwinded post and it’s great to be a new member here! This is one of the best comprehensive websites out there, hands down. To anyone looking to get into the business…DON’T GIVE UP, WORK WITH WHAT YOU’VE GOT AND GIVE IT YOUR ALL!”