5 things I would do different after two years in the lawn care business.

Once you get your business started, your list of things you would do differently begins to grow. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what that list is though before you got started? Or maybe know what is on someone else’s list so you could compare it with your own and see what you might be missing? Well here is a great discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum that shares with you some interesting points for you to consider.

One lawn care business owner wrote “here is a list of the top 5 things I would do different with my lawn care business now after having two full years of experience.

1) Don’t have too large of a service area – A large service area size may seem like an easy way to get more customers, but all your doing is creating more travel time from house to house or job to job. It will also make it much more difficult to get to new customers quickly. (See more details below on new customers)

2) Purchase the right lawn care equipment the first time – There are few things you will purchase that you will not need to repurchase if you get this right. Cheap lawn mowers will just rattle apart. Keep in mind that even when you’re small, mowing 30-40 yards a week, you will use your lawn mower more in one week then the average home owner does all year. Get equipment that is stronger and you will only have to make the purchase once. This does not only apply to the mowers but also to all your tools. You’re going to be using them day in and day out and with any luck, for hours and hours every day.

3) Limit or focus on the type of work you do – Pick what you are good at and stick to it. I added a lot of services when I first started that I was not very good at or did not have much or any experience. Doing this will cost you a lot in bad estimates, wrong tools, bad customer service, and even a lot of extra product replacing or redoing things that you did not realize you needed when you started.

4) Payments on credit cards or prepaid – Getting paid is the biggest problem that I created. I thought that it would be easier to just bill my customers on a monthly bases. Well for the ones that pay that works awesome. I am just this week changing this to requiring credit card numbers on file for day of service billing. Customer must prepay or there must be payment on site when the job is started. I have $11,000 in accounts receivable and yes the contract for a $30 mow is nice to have when they are $120 behind is payment, but the $80 is legal paper work is just not worth it.

5) New customers get one day service – The best way to get new customers is to do the new job TODAY. When someone calls and tells me they would like to start service, I make time in the next few hours to go start the process. Get them cut the first time and stop them from calling anyone else. As soon as you say ‘Yes, I can come over and do that work now’ they stop calling your competitors. They are now your customer and only you can lose them with bad service.”

A second lawn care business owner responded “if I could add something to this list, the one thing I would change is that I would have started 20 years ago. I can only imagine where I’d be now, had I started right out of high school. It’s just not worth it to put off starting your business if you have any interest in all in getting one started.”

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