Lessons from my first year of running a lawn care business.

Do you find yourself wondering where all the lawn care customers are? How can you find them? Do you think there is one magic trick you are missing? Well, there is a method to attracting customers and it is fairly easy to follow. If you are interested in growing your lawn care business, consider these tips from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. They were shared with us by a first year lawn care business owner who learned a few important lessons.

He wrote “I have always enjoyed working outside. When I was younger I worked for a landscaping company and that helped me get my feet wet in the business.¬† After that I went to college, got a full time job, and ever since had been trying to get out from working behind a desk. This spring I took a stand and made the leap into lawn care and landscaping by starting my own business.

The spring and summer was not bad for my first year. So far heading into the winter, snow removal is going very well. I have over 17 commercial snow removal contracts.

I have had a couple good and bad learning experiences that I would like to pass on to others just getting started.

The first lesson I learned was never under bid. I know it is easy to say but it is important to keep in mind. At first it seems we all get way too desperate for work that we sell ourselves short and end up working for nothing or little to nothing. Underbidding is a quick way to drive your business under.

I have had a couple large landscaping jobs that I really wanted and had bid low on them. Sure I got paid for the jobs but after I worked out how many hours the job took me and what all my expenses were, I was lucky to break even on it! To correct my underbidding habit, I have learned that when pricing out a lawn care or landscaping job, I need to always add 10 - 15% on top of what I have worked out. That seems to help cover all the issues I try to look past and I make myself think, I can be in and out of the job in 15 minutes. Or all those leaves won’t take very long at all to rake.

A second lesson I learned is that when it comes to landscaping and lawn care, I find that it helps to take the extra time to make sure that the job is completed to the best of my ability.

Because of my attention to detail I have been very lucky gaining more clients. Word of mouth was my best advertising. Other then that I only have my truck and business card.

I have had a couple good and bad learning experiences.

One thing is never under bid. It doesn’t go over well with the local landscaping companies and I also can drive your own business under. I have had a couple large landscaping jobs that I was lucky to break even on. I have learned that when pricing out a job to always add 10 - 15% on top of what you have worked out.

When it comes to lawn care, I find that it helps to take the extra time to make sure each job is the best you can do. I have been very lucky when doing this. I found that word of mouth was my best advertising, which I feel is attributed to my customers being happy. Next up was getting out there and pounding the pavement. Meeting people and handing out business cards, flyers, door hangers, etc was next best. Then I also have my truck & trailer lettered to continue with my goal of putting forth a professional looking business. Early this spring I had an ad in the paper that worked fairly well. Next spring I am planning on running another ad in the paper for an early boost of customer.

I hope these tips help you with your lawn care business. Whether you are a start up or have been around for a while. It pays to work hard and do your best at each job.”

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The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
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