There are a lot of mistakes new lawn care business owners make regardless of their age. But there are some mistakes that are more unique to younger lawn care business owners that need to be pointed out and addressed if they are to be overcome. Here is a collection of some of the top mistakes younger lawn care business owners make, from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
- Failing to do enough networking.
- Not being ready for the workload.
- Lacking confidence.
- Being afraid to ask for help.
- Not legally structuring your business.
- Over spending.
One lawn care business owner wrote “I got my lawn care business started when I was 17 years old. I can understand the feeling of lacking confidence but I think the bigger issue that effected my ability to win bids was my potential customers lacked confidence in my ability to perform anything other than the most simplest of jobs. People think that if they hire a 17 year old, that they are not going to do as good of a job as someone who is older. I totally disagree with them for thinking that, in fact, I think I did a better job than most larger companies. I was not just some kid out behind the mower, I was the business OWNER.
Early on, many of my customers were surprised by my quality and professionalism. Although I did lose several residential lawn care bids not because of my price but because of my age. When it came to landing commercial lawn care jobs, it seemed like any prospect of that was dead in the water. One of the main reasons I heard why the commercial properties would not hire me was due to the fact that I was not insured nor could I get insurance being under 18 years old.
When I got started, I really tried not to get family or friends involved with my business. I thought it was better off that way. But I have since learned to ask for help when I need it. If I had asked for more help in the past, my lawn care business would have been a lot further along now than it is.
Waiting to become legal is something I see many young lawn care business owners do and I feel many fail because of this. I know because I put off doing all the legal stuff like registering a business name, getting licensed, and insuring until I absolutely had to.
I also see a lot of younger entrepreneurs spending way too much money on equipment they don’t need, on ineffective marketing , and becoming too obsessed with minute business aspect that don’t really matter. When you first start out, you don’t yet need the top of the line everything. You need to remember the old saying K.I.S.S.- Keep It Simple Stupid.”
A second lawn care business owner shared “age does have a lot to do with not getting jobs on the commercial side of your business. But to me, it’s not about you are untrustworthy nor that you don’t perform quality work.
The problem is in the fact that you are under 18 (or 21). As such you may be legally unable to enter into a contract with a commercial client. Also, they take on quite a bit of liability hiring someone under the legal age to operate machinery on their properties.
This is just a fact of law and isn’t anything against you personally as a young lawn care business owner.
With this in mind, my advice is to keep nurturing those contacts and keep at your networking with people. Hand out lawn care business cards to everyone you know and meet. The day you turn 18 and can get liability insurance, show up on their doorsteps and let them know you are ‘legal’ and ready to talk about lawn care contracts for the upcoming season.”