A new year means a fresh start. Are you thinking of starting a lawn or landscaping business in 2019? Then, you know that there’s more to starting a green industry business than mowing and blowing. Indeed, you’ll need a plan, equipment and customers.
The Basics of How to Start a Lawn Care Business
Before putting your shingle out that you’re open for business, you need to write down some ideas—both to get organized as well as considering what you need to do before you start marketing.
First, you need to jot down your mission statement. Here are some questions to ask yourself regarding a mission statement:
- Why am I going into business?
- What part of the green industry will I specialize in—lawn mowing and blowing, lawn care (fertilization, pest and weed controls, aeration and overseeding), landscape maintenance, tree work?
- What is my goal for my customers, community, etc.?
- How long do I want to be in business?
- Where will I be in 5-10 years?
- Where will my business be located at?
- How will I accomplish my goals?
Second, picture in your mind who your customers will be:
- What stages of life will my customers be in—retirees, new homeowners, a couple with young children, empty-nesters or couples with older children, snowbirds (if you live in an area where it’s warm)? What is their income level?
- Consider the types of homes and yards they have— How many acres do these residential prospects own?
- What are these homeowners’ most significant pain points or goals for their lawn? Do they want the perfect lawn with no weeds? What about pets or little kids playing in the yard? Do they want a yard that transforms into a staycation?
- Do your customers live in HOAs? What rules must you follow to service HOAs in your region/state?
- Other pain points may include regular lawn problems, such as insects, grubs, ticks and mosquitoes, lawn diseases and depleted soil from construction.
Getting Clarity on Your Business Goals
Next, you need to clarify what your business goals are throughout the year. For example, what are you going to do in the off-season? Will you plow snow?
Here are some other considerations to think about:
- What’s your level of knowledge and expertise? For instance, you may want to add sprinkler system design/build to your services. But if you don’t have any mechanical understanding of how to design and build a sprinkler system—how can you specialize in it?
- How much capital do you have to start your business? If mowing and blowing are the services you provide, you’ll need a truck and a trailer to haul your lawn mowers. If you want to be a lawn care company, you’ll need spreaders, mowers, aerators, fertilizers and pest control.
- Do you plan on focusing solely on residential or commercial—or do you plan to mix both types of properties? You’ll need to market to both groups. Do you have the funds for a basic marketing plan and practice?
- Speaking of advertising and marketing, do you have enough capital for a website and to advertise on social media? There’s no doubt about it—you need at least a social media account to start spreading the word that you’re in business. And yet, you also need to set up a website. Yes, there are free website creation options out there—but they should be temporary at best. Eventually, you’ll need a web developer to design a website for you.
Drawing Up a Business Plan
You need a business plan to succeed in business. Think of a business plan like a road map—you write down what you’re planning to do to reach your goals.
But a business plan doesn’t have to be elaborate unless you’re going to the bank for a loan or meeting with investors. At that point, you need a professional-looking business plan.
Here are four types of business plans for you:
- The mini-plan: The mini business plan incorporates your company’s mission statement and other key Specifically, you want to include your financials, such as cash flow and financing needs, as well as a marketing plan. You can take this plan with you when talking to a minor investor.
- The working business plan: This is a laid-back plan. You don’t need to include any graphics such as grids and graphs, and it doesn’t have to be spiral-bound.
This plan includes your company’s mission statement, income projection, balance sheets, and ideas to test your company’s viability. Hard facts, such as numbers and financials, need to be accurate and consistent.
The working business plan is for your company’s use only. It’s a rough draft for a presentation plan if you ever need to write one for major investors.
- The presentation plan: This plan needs to be professionally printed and bound. You also need to include graphs and tables. And finally, you need to be entirely truthful when it comes to the cash flow and other financial considerations.
Here are some other pointers to keep in mind:
- Remember that your presentation plan is going to investors and others outside of your company. So they won’t understand the nuances of your company. You need to be specific when explaining lawn and landscaping terms.
- Don’t use lawn and landscape jargon, slang, shorthand or swear words. Your presentation plan is an introduction to your company. So, you want to make sure that the language you use is simple to understand.
- Use regular business terms, if they’re not unique to the green industry, so your readers see your professionalism.
- Keep it professional from the presentation to how you dress when presenting your business plan.
- The electronic plan: This is your presentation plan, but it’s online on Google Drive or another cloud-based program. You can also save your electronic plan onto your hard drive.
How Spyker Spreaders Give You a Leg Up on Your Lawn Care Business
There are many questions to answer when thinking about how to start a lawn care business, and equipment is definitely an important one. At Spyker, we can’t write your business plan for you… But we can get you set up with the professional lawn and landscaping spreaders that will keep you in business season after season.
We design and manufacture lawn and landscape spreaders for professional use:
- Accuway™ that comes with accurate calibration and up to a 12-foot fan-accuracy.
- Fully enclosed metal gears that come with a lifetime warranty
- Large pneumatic tires that minimize fatigue, increase traction, and reduce the impact on turf at the same time.
- NEW Spyker Ergo-Pro™ Spreaders – The broadcast spreader for professional landscapers and lawn care owner/operators.
You can purchase your Spyker spreader at your local dealer or at any of these online retailers.
Our customer service is here to answer any of your questions when you call us at (877) 728–8224, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. You can also fill out our contact form.
Entrepreneur.com, “Introduction to Business Plans.”
LawnandLandscape.com, “How to Write a Business Plan Outline.”