Are we in a rough patch now with our economy? I would say so and it’s most likely going to get worse before it gets better. But you don’t have to be a puppet in someone else’s show. Now is a great time to start your own lawn care business. It’s something you can do on the side, in the evenings or on weekends to get started. Why not prepare yourself now to take control of your own destiny if the job you work at starts to sputter? This is exactly what we were talking about in a post at the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
Jack wrote us and said “Hello to all. I am a new member and I live in the great state of Florida. I have been checking out the Gopherhaul shows on you tube and that is how I found the Gopher Forum. I do not have my own business but have spent the last three days reading and learning from all the members I just had to join and get in on some of the discussions.
I do have a couple of questions. We are in the beginning of November is it to late to start up a lawn care business? What advice would any one give to someone who wants to start up but has very little money. I am a home owner. I own a 2 in one weed eater/edger, push lawn mower, blower (electric). Is it to late in the season or should I just wait till spring to start up? Also how much should I charge for mowing and edging yards. The economy is bad for everyone so I do not want to overprice and get no business but do not want to under price and make no money. I just need some good advice on how to go about getting things rolling.”
Steve: “I would say it is never too late to start because ultimately the later you start the earlier you are getting a jump on next year. There are many services you can offer in the slow months.
I would also start only with what you have and experiment. See if anyone on your block or in your local neighborhood is looking for lawn care. Get some business cards made and start handing them out.
If you are stuck coming up with basic prices on what the going rate in your area is for lawn mowing and edging, why not call up a handful of local lawn care businesses and ask them for an estimate to cut your lawn, since you are a home owner? This way you can figure a range and then get started either in the low, middle or higher end of that spectrum. If you find yourself landing a lot of estimates, you might want to raise your prices. If you find you are not winning many lawn care bids, you should then lower your prices.
Are you a member of any local social organizations that you can harness to help get the word out too for you? What got you interested in starting your own lawn care business?”
Jack: “I have thought about doing lawn care but never serious like I am now. The economy is what got me into starting this business. I have a full time night shift truck driving job and like so many companies things are just getting slower and slower so I am seeking independence for myself and my family because left and right big name companies and banks are closing or downsizing. So I am not gonna sit around and let my employer try to dictate me and my family life.”
Steve: “Excellent! Are you handy? Can you do light construction projects around the house? Would you consider offering handyman services to your local area? Also have you thought about how you are going to promote your business?”
Jack: “I can do a little bit here and there but I am a very fast learner and to market the idea I was considering using the free flyers that I see posted on your site.”
Steve: “Good! Being able to do a lot of odd jobs for homeowners can really help you make it through the slower winter months and then you can potentially bring these customers along for lawn care in the next year.
Go through the free flyer section and see which really get you thinking. There are many many marketing ideas in there.
Also why not really decorate up your home for the holidays and put a small sign out front that you offer outdoor holiday decoration services as well? Then hand out flyers in your area that you offer this service. Make sure all your friends and family know you are going into business. Give them all business cards and ask them to hand out some business cards for you.”
Remember, it’s never too late or too early to start your lawn care business. The right time is always now. If you would like to join in on this discussion further, visit the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.