In the beginning, trying to pull everything you need to do together to get your lawn care business launched can feel overwhelming. Which services should you offer, which should you pass on? Which services are best to start with and which are better to add on later? All these questions can make you feel a bit crazy. Here is a discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum that should help you focus your energies on what really matters to succeed.
One entrepreneur wrote “I’m not gonna lie, I don’t know how to do all this lawn care business stuff, and haven’t done as many things as the professionals have, so I’m kinda lacking on the experience and confidence part. Today though, I did drop off a two sentence ad to the community newspaper saying I’m open for business.
My background is in residential construction. I do have experience with taking care of the family property (1.5 acres) with orchard and a small vineyard. To perform that job I had to mow, trim, fix broken pvc pipes, some electrical & carpentry, and vineyard stuff, etc. So my question is how do I get more experience in things like paving, sod, installing irrigation systems/pipes, etc without wrecking a customers property? Should I rent dvd’s? Volunteer with another guy for a day or so, or just lower the price and tell the customer I’m new and this will take a while?
I am kinda feeling overwhelmed at the moment. If anyone has recommendations on what steps I should do first to get my lawn care business going, that would be awesome. Currently I have a pickup truck, commercial walk behind mower, leaf blower, and edger.
A friend of mine said I should look for residential management companies instead of working directly with home owners… any thoughts on this route?”
A second lawn care business owner said “to be honest, what is most likely overwhelming you is the fact you are jumping into all of this too quickly!
You have the perfect set up for residential mowing so I’d stick with that and then build yourself up to offering more services later.
Early on, you want to be steady and safe with the services you offer and your business. If you jump into commercial mowing too quickly, it can destroy your business. With such customers, if your equipment breaks down, you will be screwed and will lose the accounts. Relying on a commercial account is the worst thing you could possibly do. I’d rather have 5 residential customers than 1 commercial customer. Residential lawn care customers are easy to replace!
Start offering services that don’t eat up too much of your time. You need to get the most bang for your buck as a one man operation. Do your lawn maintenance, do your gutter cleaning, and garden weeding. Those services are quick and easy money. Other services like irrigation work takes a lot more time, and it may interfere with your other plans.
Then later on, you can add more to your services… for example:
- Removal of Withered Plants
- Mulch/Rock Spreading
- Weed Stop Fabric Installation
- Removal of Debris
- Caulking of Rooftop Fixtures
- Gutter Guard Installation
- Trimming of Hedges & Other Plants
- Pruning of Branches & Other Plants
Spring & Fall Cleanups
- Removal of Leaves
- Removal of Withered Plants
- Driveway & Walkway
- Salting of Driveway & Walkway
But remember to start with the basic services first. As you feel more comfortable, upsell these services to your current customer base and then market them to others as well.”
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