Is my lawn care business plan practical?

Having goals to shoot for in your first year of business can really be helpful. In fact, the more preparation and planning you do, the better your chances are for success. Without goals to strive for, we all have a tendency not to push ourselves to get to where we want to be. Here is a great discussion on start up goals from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. In it, we hear from a new entrepreneur and what he plans to achieve in his first year and if others think it is practical.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I’m considering starting up a lawn care business next Spring. I’m working on getting all my ducks in a row with getting insurance quotes, talking with marketing companies, researching mowing equipment, etc. In a perfect scenario, I’d like to have a lot of the ground work done this fall and winter so that I can have enough clients (small commercial and residential) early next spring to quit my current full time job and still support my family. My wife doesn’t work as she is a stay at home mom. I think with some good marketing, diligent work on obtaining new customers, I could have enough clients, but I’m concerned about physically being able to work enough hours to earn the income I need. My rough math works out this way:

  • Average 6 hours of mowing/machine time per day.
  • Multiplied by 6 days/week for 28 weeks equals roughly $60k worth of income before expenses.
  • If I quote at $60/hr. That would be enough to get me by, barely, and maintain our current lifestyle.

I’m still very concerned about physically being able to do that much work. On the flip side, what if I am extremely fortunate and get more work than I could handle myself? I could hire some help and nearly double my capacity (with some added expenses).

Am I crazy for thinking this could work? Other than the physically tough part of working that much time every week, I currently sit at a desk most of my days, I know that getting the customers will be toughest part.

With all that said, the biggest immediate obstacle I have to not getting started is that I don’t have a vehicle to haul any equipment around in, just a car.”

A second lawn care business owner said “I don’t think your plan is crazy at all. It might  possibly be overly optimistic. But, then again now is the best would time to start securing bids for next season.

When I got my start at 16 with, I had a small Chevy two door car with a 20″ inch push mower, a hand edger, a broom, and a string trimmer. I made almost $2,000 after all costs that year and I was super excited. Now 12 years later, I have a 52″ ztr mower, a 16′ foot landscape trailer, 48″ inch walk behind mower, and all the other toys you need.

To be successful, you need to remember, when you sell lawn care service you are selling yourself. Start small and grow each year. When you are comfortable quit your 9-5 job and go full time with your business.

As I have been in the lawn care business for some time, I would definitely recommend starting a small business on the side. Keeping your current job can help you bridge the financial gap until you build the lawn business up to the point where you can’t do both any longer. You are not going to build a lawn service overnight that will support your current life style, so don’t sweat it if it takes some time.

You may also find out after a short time that sitting behind that desk wasn’t so bad after all. So don’t spend a lot on equipment until you find you are enjoying this and want to continue.

In my experience, word of mouth has been the best by far advertising method. Save your money and start out small and grow it from there. This method will allow you to get your feet wet and help you make sound decisions on which way to go down the road with it all.

Even staring out on the side and being a fairly small business, don’t be afraid to hire help if needed. Chances are you have 2-3 days a week for your side business. With help you can get so much more done in that time and make a lot more even after paying your helper. It would also help with the transition being you have a family.”

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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