Helpful tips for teens running a lawn care business.

Teens have a different group of issues they will have to face as business owners. Some people may not take them seriously. It’s also difficult to get from customer to customer without a driver’s license. If you are a teen and want to create and grow a business, you can do it. Just follow some of these suggestions from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and you should find yourself in a good spot.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I am going on my second year of cutting grass. I only do residential lawns. I am 15 so I can’t drive yet but I want to expand and make more cash. My problem is I don’t know how I should go about expanding without being able to drive. Any help on how i should do this would be great.”

A second landscaper said “I was in the same boat when I was your age. I started my own lawn care business with a buddy of mine. He used his mower and I used mine. We split the profits down the middle. I used to use my little red radio flyer wagon to transport 200 feet of electric cord, a trimmer, a blower and hedge trimmer. I also rigged a skateboard to support a mower to allow me to haul the mower on it so I could save the mower wheels from excess wear from pushing it around from client to client. The skateboard has a piece of wood nailed to it that was the length and width of the mower minus the wheels which hung over the sides.

After the first year, my friend did not continue since he moved to another state. Then I ran the business alone for the next 5 years. All told I think I had 12 customers from year to year. I never tried to expand due to being under 16.

After I got my license I still didn’t drive since most of my customer’s properties were within walking distance of each other and my mom wouldn’t let me use the car because she always said she might need it. I think I was making like $180 a week. Most lawns I now I charge double than what I did then.

I currently have about 20 clients now and am looking to triple my customer base through massive door to door flyer distribution. But without a car or truck, it makes it very difficult to expand.”

A third shared “you can expand without increasing your customer count by offering additional services to your existing customers.

Travel time is one of the most draining activities of your lawn care business, especially since you are not yet driving. Since you are already visiting your existing customers, offering additional services will be pure profit without additional travel time.

Here’s an example: We’re getting close to springtime. Start asking your customers if they need their flowerbeds weeded and remulched. If they agree to mulching, next time your mom is at a retail store, ask her to pickup a few bags of mulch that you can sell to your customers with a remulching service. Additional services to existing customers is a great way to expand without the need to add customers to your roster.”

A fourth said “I started out just like you. I’m 16 now and have been mowing for 4 years. I started mowing for my handicapped neighbor when I was 12, mainly for the money. Over the next two years I picked up a couple more accounts. I also found that not only was I doing it for the money, but I also enjoyed mowing to some degree. I like working for myself and in some ways, having my own business.

Since I wasn’t 16 yet, I was stuck with just the lawns that were close enough to get too. What I did, was created a good relationship with the people and now that my business has grown, I can go to them for advice on where I need to improve, ask them what I should do differently, get their opinion on a flyer to hand out and so on. I feel that is the biggest advantage to having clients close to home.

I don’t know how many times I have made a flyer, asked the clients that I have created a good relationship with about what they thought about the flyer. They have helped a ton. One of the biggest things you can do when making a flyer is to get as many opinions on it as possible. Even if you think it is perfect, you will find someone that has a suggestion. Anyway, do a good job on your clients yards that you have now, develop a good relationship with them, and I’m sure you will be mowing for them for a long time.

If you live in an area that gets snow here is an easy way to pick up more business. Find home owners out shoveling. Approach the house with your snowblower and tell them you’ll finish it for $(how ever much you charge). I used to use an ATV with a plow to do snow and would drive it around the neighborhood to pick up customers.

As for growing your business, you’re kinda stuck right now. When you turn 16 and get your license, doors open up dramatically. I went from about 5 accounts when I was 15, to 14 accounts when I was 16 and picked up two more that year, for a total of 16 lawns a week to mow.”

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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