Lawn care business success tips.

As you get your lawn care business started, do you ever just feel like winging it and seeing where things go? Or do you feel that you should be planning things out more? From this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we will see how having a lawn care business plan can really help you get to where you want to be. A veteran lawn care business owner shared with us his experiences and steps he took to make it through his rough first years of operation.

He wrote “I have been in the lawn care business for over 4 years now and through my experiences, I’ve noticed successful businesses tend to grow in similar ways. By sharing my story, I hope to help the new entrepreneurs. After all, there is plenty of grass growing and yards to be mowed for everyone.

After considering a bunch of different business options, it was my passion for the outdoors and for helping people that brought me to landscaping. I consider myself somewhat unemployable in the sense that I have a very strong entrepreneurial spirit, and the corporate life wasn’t working for me personally. So here I am, living the dream so to speak.

Here are some tips that I have learned so far that should help you.

Build as you grow - Don’t get ahead of yourself or your growth, and maximize the utility of what you have (equipment, labor, and marketing capacity).

Have a lawn care business plan - This is the most important exercise for any business owner, and it isn’t just for financing. I live by a very simple saying, and it is ‘perfect results, requires perfect execution of a well thought out plan.’ A lot of people expect perfect results without a plan, and without perfect execution of anything. Don’t get me wrong, there is always a little bit of winging it in anything, because of Murphy’s Law but you really need to plan. Using S.M.A.R.T. goals is a must. That is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Your plan must also account for a margin of error because no plan is ever perfect. So you need to account for this by saving as much money as you can. Money in the bank will give you breathing room when dealing with problems that pop up from time to time. The more money in the bank, the better, so have some.

Business development and marketing - This is a very very big subject and is the one that gets all the attention. The art of getting and keeping lawn care customers is not as easy as mowing grass, but you have to do it like mowing the grass. I mean all the time! There isn’t a down time for this activity. To get started, we hung our own doorhangers, flyers, and self promoted everywhere we were.

I couldn’t give any better advice than that. What I also would add is find what lawn care marketing methods works in your area, and build on them. Doorhangers and a website are the two biggest bangs for the buck that I know of, other than building your referral team (friends, family, people you know, customers, neighbors, church community, people you meet while walking the dog or going to the store, and so on).

Debt - We operate a completely debt free lawn care business. This is very important to do as using too much credit can get you into problems quickly. We pay for everything as we go, and we always budget for growth. Our vision is bigger than our first years profits and it is bigger than our fifth years profits. So knowing where we want to be, we reinvest to grow the company and continue to do so. This doesn’t mean that we don’t take some profits, but we utilize our margins to grow our business.

Lawn Care Equipment - Start small and scale up. We got started with one 48″ walk-behing mower, a short landscape trailer, a combination system (weed eater, hedge trimmer), and a backpack blower. We utilized a 6 cylinder mini van with a hitch to pull the trailer.

Our initial start up costs were financed with a small amount cash we had saved. To bring in more money for start up costs, we focused on getting as many of our first lawn care customers to pre pay for the season and that really helped keep us going. This cash flow enabled us to buy what we needed, and kept us in the black. Cash is still king, and it always buys more than credit.

To get pre-pay customers, we gave a 10% discount, which this equates to about 2 free mows for the season. Doing things this way saves us on overhead (billing, collections, and interest on credit). Another way to look at is they are receiving a bulk discount, just like any consumer would expect. So it is a win-win situation for everyone.

Thanks to all of these lawn care business lessons, we are still here today and you can do it too! Stay lean, stay focused, and keep growing.”

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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