Am I stupid trying to get my lawn care business started with just this?

As important as having a business plan is early on, it’s even more important to get started. As we will see in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, you can over think things. Over analyze. Start to question your abilities or the abilities of your equipment and then fail to act. Doing so becomes counter productive as it is very easy to find yourself in a loop where you keep thinking next year will be a better time to start. Or next year I will finally have that piece of equipment I need to start.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I am trying to start a landscaping business but I don’t have much. I have a push mower, backpack blower, and a trimmer. I pull a small 5′x8′ trailer with my car and I charge $20 per mow. If I need a bigger mower for a larger property I guess I can rent one. The thing I wonder is am I stupid to try and get started this way?

Larger lawns do get me worried because I don’t have the proper equipment. If the yard is big enough where it would take me more than an hour with a push mower either I will have to turn the job down or rent a mower. I hate not having money.”

A second lawn care business owner said “you are not stupid. Many entrepreneurs have started successful businesses with less than what you already have. From here forwards it is not the equipment that is the issue, it is more that you pay attention to your costs and charge a reasonably profitable rate for your services.

Everybody starts somewhere. These are  the top three points most focus on when getting started, to get a toehold in the market.

  1. Do work cheaper than competitors.
  2. Do work that no one else wants to do.
  3. Market and sell to your immediate circle of friends, family, and neighbors. People that know you should be easier to sell to.

It’s important you promote yourself to people who own yards that are within the capabilities of the equipment you have. Don’t look for yards that are too big and don’t go renting a larger mower because that is not where you will make good profits at the moment.

Make flyers and hit areas/subdivisions with smaller lots or lots of obstacles. Consider experimenting with your marketing message. Offer ‘Senior discount’ and see if that gets you a lot of responses. I would think with your price point it will be pretty easy to find work.

As you get the work, keep extra blades for your mower and keep them sharp. Put nice looking signs on the trailer if you can. This is a word of mouth business. Do high quality work and people will happily refer you to others.

The main thing that new entrepreneurs seem to underestimate is the amount of effort and marketing it takes to get customers. They don’t come to you easily to start with, you have to go find them.

If you decide to gain customers by being cheaply priced, you need to be mindful that you are not losing money on the jobs you take. Experiment with your pricing and try to raise your prices as your schedule fills up. Drop the cheaper customers and replace them with higher paying customers when you feel you can.

Doing work that no one else wants to do or is doing is always a part of the business. It’s easier to get jobs that no one wants and typically you can charge more for such jobs because there is less competition. If few others are willing to do a particular task or are ill-equipped to do it, you can charge a premium for it.

Get away from pricing jobs cheap as soon as possible. This business is just like others in that it is all supply and demand. The first guy I get to hire me to mow his lawn is probably going to get a better price than the 20th guy.

The group of people you market to should constantly expand. Start by getting work from people you know. Eventually you get referred to people through the work you have done and your network will expand.”

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Trencher
Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success