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Start a Profitable Lawn Care Business: Here's What You Need to Know

September 15, 2022
Time to Read: 
8 minutes

When starting a lawn care business, there’s a lot to consider if you want to be successful. And what business owner doesn’t want to be successful? So, it’s important to understand that there’s more to starting a lawn care business than just sending out flyers and powering up an old lawnmower. At the very least, you’ll need to register your business, purchase the right equipment, and find customers. However, for your lawn care business startup to be a lucrative success, there is more you can do at the very start.

What essential facts should you know when starting a lawn care business? This article has some handy tips and advice from professional lawn care experts. 

Why Start a Lawn Care Business?

Most homeowners take pride in their property. They want to look out their window and admire neatly trimmed, lush green grass with tidy edges around the lawn. However, mowing the grass and maintaining a healthy yard is hard work. It also takes some skill and knowledge of plant health.

Therefore, there’s a massive opportunity for anyone wanting to start a lawn mowing business. According to statistics, the average expenditure for lawn care services is just under $200 per customer unit annually. So a typical household could pay around $500 yearly for lawn maintenance. 

There’s also tremendous growth in the lawn industry. For example, studies show that in the five years prior to 2022, the landscaping service sector grew by 5.4 percent. 

Starting a Lawn Care Business: Essential Steps for Success

There are several critical considerations when starting a lawn maintenance business. First, you must register the business to pay taxes and obtain any necessary licenses. Additionally, you need a good-quality lawnmower and other essential equipment. Lastly, it’s a good idea to have the right tools at your disposal to streamline and organize your business. 

Let’s look in more detail at what you must do to start and become a profitable business owner of a lawn care company. 

Step #1. Decide which lawn care services you will offer

One of the great things about starting a lawn care business is that it’s highly scalable. You can start your business only offering basic lawn maintenance services. However, your loyal lawn care customers will soon start asking you to do other gardening services. Lawn care businesses in your area probably provide multiple types of services.

What are the essential services to offer when starting out in the lawn care industry? Here are some essential lawn care services that most homeowners want:

  • Basic lawn care and maintenance — In addition to mowing grass, you should have tools for edging lawns, trimming, weeding, and lawn fertilization. In most cases, it’s good to have a basic knowledge of safe pesticides.
  • Additional gardening services — Your clients will probably want you to care for other areas of their front or backyards. Therefore, hedge and shrub trimming, mulching, tree pruning, weeding, and planting native species are all services you could offer in addition to lawn care. 
  • Seasonal services — As your new lawn care or landscaping business grows, customers may ask for seasonal services. These can include spring cleaning, clearing leaves in the fall, snow removal, and planting, 
  • Specialist services — As you get more hands-on experience, you could offer specialized services in your local area. For example, offering pest and disease control, lawn restoration, pressure washing driveways, and landscaping services could help you expand your new lawn care business. 

From the start, you could set yourself up as an eco-friendly lawn care technician. This way, you appeal to customers concerned about the environment and want green solutions for their lawn care requirements. 

Of course, offering extra services will impact your startup costs. But they may pay lucrative dividends if you target a niche area of lawn care. 

Step #2. Obtain the necessary lawn care equipment

Starting a lawn care business will require some upfront capital. But it’s a good idea to avoid the mistake of buying too much equipment or overly expensive equipment. At the very least, you’ll need a lawnmower, safety equipment, and a trailer or truck to get from job to job. 

When buying lawn care equipment, it’s best to stick to known brands with a good reputation. While branded gardening equipment may cost more, you’ll likely save money in the long run in terms of repairs and replacing broken parts. 

Consider renting equipment you only use occasionally at the start of your lawn care business. This will help you save money on start-up costs while also enabling you to use the best equipment you can source. As your lawn business grows, you’ll know which essential pieces of landscaping equipment are worth investing in. 

Depending on the additional services you plan on offering, you could consider the following gardening tools to get started: 

  • Weed whacker
  • Leaf blower
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Spades and hand tilling tools
  • Mulcher
  • Lawn aerator
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Pruning shears

How much does it cost to get started in a lawn care business? 

Depending on the type of equipment, creating a lawn mowing business can cost between $700 and $1,500. 

Get the necessary legal documents before starting a lawn care business

Before you begin charging customers for lawn care services, you’ll need to register with the IRS. In addition, you should check if your state or municipality requires you to have a license to work as a professional landscaper. Also, you’ll need personal liability insurance and commercial vehicle insurance.

What if you also decide to offer pest control or use herbicides in your lawn care business?

If you offer pest control services, you may need to register with the local authorities and obtain a license. Some states also require professional landscapers to have training to use pesticides. In most cases, it’s best to wait until you’re an established business before applying for a pesticide charter.  

Decide how much to charge for lawn care services

One of the biggest mistakes lawn care startups make is undercharging for their services. So, it’s crucial to do market research to discover how much you can charge. Additionally, it would be best to consider the cost of maintaining equipment and saving funds for a rainy day when you can’t work.

How can you calculate how much to charge for lawn care? 

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Know your target market — Do some research on what your competitors are charging. If you charge too much, you’ll struggle to get customers. However, charge too low, and you may scare potential customers away because they’re suspicious. 
  • How to charge for lawn care — You can decide in your business plan how to charge. For example, most professional gardeners charge a flat rate for mowing a lawn based on square footage. However, sometimes, an hourly rate may work better for some lawn care jobs.
  • Budget appropriately — Remember that you have ongoing expenses to pay. These include taxes, health insurance, business insurance, fuel, marketing materials, maintenance, and an accountant. 

Top tip for lawn care startups: When giving a potential client a cost estimate for multiple services, it’s best to itemize the cost for each service. Then, if the client thinks it’s too much, they can choose their must-haves as a la carte services. 

Market your lawn care business to get more customers

A solid marketing strategy is essential for growing your lawn care business. And marketing isn’t only for lawn care startups. Promoting your business through social media, referrals, and testimonials is crucial for established companies.

Because you’re busy starting your lawn care business, you probably don’t have time to run marketing campaigns. In that case, it’s best to use a local digital marketing company to get started. And there are several free or cost-effective tools you can use to get the word out there and attract more prospective clients. 

  • Print and distribute flyers to grow a customer base.
  • Set up social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Google for Business. 
  • Ask satisfied customers to leave reviews on social media.
  • Focus on excellent customer service to boost word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Have a professional-looking website.

Use digital tools to organize your lawn care business

Establishing a lawn care business requires using the right tools to streamline operations, increase profits, and manage your work. Think of all the tasks you must do that don’t include mowing lawns. You have invoices, work orders, sending estimates, billing, and customer history to keep track of. 

So, what can you do?

VIIZR is a specialized app that helps  lawn care business owners work more efficiently and smoothly. The easy-to-use tool keeps everything in one place. For example, job dashboards let you see your lawn care tasks and status immediately. But there’s more.

For example, VIIZR lets you create professional-looking work orders, estimates, and invoices. These features help keep you organized and give your time to grow your new business. Also, helpful tools like tech scheduling, maps and routing, and customer history can save you valuable time and resources.

You can try VIIZR for free to see how the tool provides seamless business management, engage employees, and keep your customers happy. And if you decide VIIZR is for you, the easy, transparent pricing plan is affordable for small businesses and startups.

Starting a Lawn Care Business: Takeaway 

Getting started in the lawn care industry is an excellent career choice. Not only can you enjoy working in the fresh air outdoors, but you can also provide valuable services to the community. The good news is that starting a lawn care business isn’t as hard as it may seem. 

And with efficient trade tools like VIIZR, you’ll soon discover how easy it is to run a successful lawn care business.

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