The easy and tough parts to starting a lawn care business.

Sometimes it’s the easy things that are the most difficult to do and the things you are thinking will be difficult become the easiest. I don’t know how many people end up never getting their lawn care business started because they spend to much time contemplating how to do things and never take any concrete steps to get things done, but I venture to say it’s a lot. Here are some great insight from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, one new business owner shared about his experiences getting things going.

One lawn care business owner wrote “after working for 33 years in the corporate world I have finally decided to retire. A year into retirement though I found myself wanting to do something and be my own boss, I couldn’t stand sitting at home and doing nothing. After reading the Gopher Forum for about a year I decided to take a lot of the ideas concerning marketing, appearance, image and first impressions to start my lawn cutting business. It has been a little nerve racking trying to get business, but after my first 3 weeks I have been able to secure 7 residential accounts and bidding on 2 commercial lawn care  accounts.

The commercial accounts came to me almost word for word from one of the earlier post I read. Here is how it happened to me. While I was getting my commercial liability insurance, I asked my Insurance Agent about doing his home lawn and with that he gave me a bid on his home owner’s association properties and a private club that he is the treasurer of. It just goes to show you, you never know until you ask.

lawn-care-business-trailer-11The toughest part of the setting up the business and which I thought would be the easiest was deciding on the logo and what to name my company. I knew it had to be something that people could remember me by. With that being the said, between myself and my wife we decided to go with the more traditional classical look because of the clientele we are targeting.

The easier part of setting up the business, was really what I thought was going to be the hardest, and that was getting the license, setting up the DBA and getting the insurance. I thought it was going to be a real issue, but it was complete in 2 days.

As far as what a new start up lawn care business should be looking for, I would say the most important think is to take your time to set it up. Don’t rush into it. I took 10 months to get everything together. That included reading lawn care business books, the Gopher Forum, asking questions of lawn service business owners, etc. Taking your time also lets you look for almost new lawn care equipment in the off season when you will be able to get good deals. I bought all my used equipment between Oct and Jan which saved me a considerable amount of money. Nothing I bought is older than a year though. The only thing I purchased new was my enclosed landscape trailer. I ordered it because none of the used ones I looked at had the things I wanted in the trailer.

Lawn care business trailer 2

Lawn care business trailer 2

When it comes to starting a new lawn care business, as it has been stated many times in the past, image is everything, which goes along with what my my parents taught me, ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression.’ Make sure you have everything as professional looking as possible before you make the first contact with a potential customer. You want them to be thinking good things right off the bat.

One last point I want to talk about is how I feel about quoting residential vs commercial mowing clients. Residential customers have been a lot easier. I have asked around on what the market rate is in my target neighborhoods for mowing and have gotten a wide variety of prices. So I have come to the realization I need to charge MY price based on what MY costs are. The ones that I bid on successfully, I used the lawn care calculator that you have here and it has worked out well. The commercial clients are another issue altogether. I have a little more of a difficult time with them because I am not yet fully confident in my estimating methods. I figure it will improve as I bid more but with larger properties comes the potential of making larger bidding mistakes and losing a lot more money. So one must be careful with it. If you are unsure, bid higher to be safe. Start putting in bids when you are ready and see what happens.

As far as carrying my image forward I have taken the logo, colors, and fonts that are on the side of my trailer and for lack of better words, made it my trade mark. Everything from, invoices, estimates, (from your Gopher Software), stationary, envelopes, rubber stamps, etc all have the same logo, color scheme, and wording that is on my trailer. That way everything stays with the same familiar identification mark.

My uniforms and business cards carry the same black color as my trailer with the same color logo and writing. This way the same professional image is carried through out my operation.

My idea of how I want my image to look is, ‘first class mowing equipment and a first class job done. As crazy as it sounds, I wash my mowers everyday after I finish work. That way the next day I start out as professional looking as possible. The quality of your job is the main objective for your customer, but having a clean professional image does not hurt either.

I do not really look at other lawn care companies for comparison. We are all trying to do a job and we have different out looks on things. I know from the company I worked for these last 33 years their trade mark and image was the most important thing to them and those beliefs have made that company into one of the leading Fortune 500 companies in the world. I am applying those lessons to my business as well.”

Order the lawn care business book - “The Pro Lawn Care Business Playbook.” today.

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Chain Saw

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Trencher
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