Lawn care business planning, how much can you do?

If you ever thought about starting your own lawn care business or pondered the idea of expanding your current business into new areas you’d be wise to do some research on the topic you are interested in. Which brings me to a discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum when I asked “how much planning can and should an entrepreneur do before starting a business? Is it even possible to know what you need to know, before you get started? Should you go out and knock on doors and ask the home owners if they need lawn service and how much would they pay? Would they tell you? If you had done this would it change your plan?

Is this something others should be doing too before they even consider starting up?

Lawn care business planning

Lawn care business planning

Why does it seem with all of us, we do things on a gut level feeling. We think this or that can work and then we jump in and only then, when we are on the field and ready to play do we realize the field is not solid but in fact quick sand!”

Another business owner shared “I think my method of research was wrong or I was looking and thinking wrong. I spoke with friends about mowing their lawn, mainly the rich areas. Everything was positive until I looked at the rates. My mistake was once I had the green light I went over the top on mowing equipment.

My focus should have been and now is a bedroom community, average age around 46, average home age around 14 years. I now see 90 percent of my work is there, no traffic, all highway, no parking issues, lots of small places for staff to eat. This demographic age group is ideal. Home owner age is perfect for me, as they can afford to get things fixed. I can leave my gear in this area at safe spots. I have clients I consider friends, it’s working perfect.

Knowing what I do now, I wasn’t looking at all the angles from sitting in traffic to do city jobs to not being able to park.

What saved this company is I had access to my own capital and was able to use it to take the company in a totally different direction, excavation, pressure washing, tree cutting and chipping etc. and do it fast.

I don’t have an exact answer to your question as it’s probably different for many of the readers, it took a lot of tweaking to get things rolling and then once I did it was like starting a snowball at the top of a hill then giving it a push. At one point the snowball was so big I could not manage it and had to learn to say no, we can’t take on any further jobs. This really tore at me but thank god I did or I may have fallen apart.

I am going into year two with a lot of knowledge, I have learned more of what clients need and to grow next year I will take the company further into excavation, bigger equipment, bigger jobs and septic fields. I now know a lot of developers. I told them for this year I didn’t have the equipment, that was not totally true, I wanted to get the engine firing on all cylinders before I took on these big contracts.

There is a lot of work to do before you open the doors and this should all be done in the off season months, so that when the season to be on the road comes, we hit the ground running. Personally I will work at my planning more this Jan to March.

One thing I have learned is advertising a service without the equipment may make some frown but for me it works. If enough prospects contact me, I get the equipment and start the jobs. Doing this I have not made one mistake buying equipment. I have advertised services a few people asked about and it was a flop but it didn’t cost me a dime. I suppose if one was still unsure you could rent the equipment for a few jobs.”

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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