When starting a lawn care business, knowing some hacks and tricks of the trade will give you a leg up as well as prepare you to grow your company. This article helps you prioritize what you need now versus what can wait until your business starts to grow.
Tips to Get Your Company Off to a Great Start
There are specific systems and equipment you need to have in place to ensure your green industry company gets off to a good start this spring. Any Lawn Care start-up can benefit from these eight tips when getting started:
- Make sure you own this type of truck: You may not be able to afford an entire fleet of vehicles for all of your crews, but start with at least one heavy-duty flatbed truck. You want to be able to mount a toolbox on the flatbed as well as have a dumping mechanism to unload topsoil or mulch.
- Don’t forget about investing in a trailer: Next, you need to haul your tools as well as your mowers, spreaders and trimmers to your customers’ yards. A trailer will allow you to pack up your equipment to take from one job site to another.
- Build a storage shed: You need to store your equipment and tools in a dry, secure place. You can put your supplies in your garage, but when you start to expand to include more equipment, you should invest in a storage shed dedicated to your lawn care business.
- Dress for success: You and your crews will need uniforms. It can be tee shirts with your company’s name on them, or it could be button-down shirts and khaki pants. But you and your crews need to look “alike” in a professional sense. Don’t forget to put your name on your truck, letterhead, email signature and any other areas the public will see. You’re also investing in advertising when you have your brand (company name and logo) placed on your uniforms, trucks, trailers and email signatures.
- Consider subcontracting your services: When you’re first starting, you won’t have many customers in your database. One way to grow your business includes subcontracting with larger landscaping companies. There’s a lot to know when you choose to subcontract. Read this article to learn more about subcontracting your services.
- Have a social presence online: One of the most effective ways to get the word out about your business is through social media. Many residential clients typically go to Facebook, HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List to find their local lawn and landscape maintenance companies. Invest in these low-cost advertisements. Also, you should plan on a low-cost website until you have enough money in your budget to invest in a web developer or digital marketing company.
- Make sure you have the appropriate licenses and certifications: In most states, you don’t need a license to own a lawn care or landscape maintenance business. However, you need to find out what certifications you need to work legally in your state.
All states require lawn care and landscape maintenance workers to have pesticide and herbicide certifications before you advertise that you provide these services. Plus, some states require licensing for fertilizer applications and other applications that go into the ground.
The Small Business Administration and the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) can help you learn what your state requires regarding certifications and licensing.
- What’s in your toolbox? As you know, you need to have special tools and equipment to do your job. Depending on your green industry specialty, you’ll need front loaders, mowers, trimmers, spreaders, aerators and other tools. Make a list of what materials you need now and what can wait until your business starts growing.
Since you’re going to need to provide transportation and equipment to your crews, you may want to consider renting or leasing your trucks, trailers and other heavy equipment of the trade.
Bonus tip: Invest in Spyker Spreaders!
When starting a lawn care business, don’t forget the right spreader; you’ll need them for applying fertilizer, pest and weed controls. Want to provide snow management services? Then you will also need spreaders that can ground down ice melt for adding to sidewalks, walkways and building entrances.
At Spyker, we have two types of spreaders to meet your needs:
- Our Pro-series spreaders
- Our Ergo-Pro™ spreaders
- Be sure to check out the New ERGO-PRO™ Ice Winter Spreader for Snow & Ice removal!