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Maintaining a bright green lawn is a hope that every homeowner has for their curb appeal. Properly cutting grass and lawn care is a time-consuming process. You have to have the right lawn equipment, energy, and time to spend on lawn maintenance.
That is why many homeowners look for lawn care professionals for help. Starting a lawn care business requires more than just purchasing some equipment and free time. Other things you must consider are whether you plan to offer just mowing lawns or offering other services.
In this guide we’ll cover all aspects of how to start a lawn mowing business successfully.
What other jobs does a lawn mowing business do?
Besides mowing lawns, a lawn mowing business can offer many other services. Deciding what lawn care service offerings your business will include will also determine the equipment you need, pricing, and what to market.
To start small, your lawn care service may offer the basics like mowing and trimming. If you have the know-how and want to offer a full range of lawn services and landscaping.
Here are a few services to consider:
- Lawn installation
- Gardening work such as weeding and mulching
- Planting native lawns
- Fertilization and weed control
- Selling law care products like fertilizer and insecticide directly to customers
- Snow removal during winter, raking leaves in the fall, and other seasonal services
The services you offer will affect your startup costs. That’s because you’ll need more equipment as your lawn care service list grows.
Why start a lawn mowing business?
Starting a small business is a lot of work. A lawn care business is not an exception to this. But it is well worth it if you’ve always dreamed of being a business owner.
If it sounds appealing to have a business where you literally can feel the grass under your feet and enjoy working outside, a mowing business is a great option.
The lawn care industry is expected to grow over the next several years. According to a report from Research and Markets, the U.S. landscaping market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% over 2022-2027. That means it is a good time to start a mowing business.
Pros and cons of a lawn mowing business
Get Started with Little
A mowing business can start with as little as a push mower. Your lawn service can begin with only you and mowing grass. It’s also not necessary to go all in with your lawn business at the beginning.
You could start by mowing lawns on weekends or after your regular job. Then you can transition it into a full-time business.
Once you’ve built up your customer base, you can purchase more lawn care equipment. Then you can even move into hiring lawn care employees to help take on more jobs.
Can build a Customer base
By offering great lawn mowing service, it’s more likely that you’ll build loyal customers who will want to work with you. That repeat business is the key to having a successful lawn mowing business.
These happy customers are going to tell their friends and neighbors about your landscaping business. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the best ways to bring in new business.
Easily add more Services
When it comes to lawn maintenance, there is a lot more to it than just cutting grass. Your lawn care business may start out by only offering mowing. But you can expand on your lawn mowing service. These services can easily be cross-sold to your existing customers and help attract new ones.
Work is Seasonal
The mowing business is seasonal in nature, going from spring to fall in many parts of the U.S. You’ll be packing away the mower in the winter time. However, you’ll still have food to put on the table and heating bills to pay.
A lawn care business can offer snow blowing in the winter to make some sort of income. That won’t work as well if you live somewhere that’s cold, but rarely snows. So if you live in a place that lawn mowing services slow down in the winter, you’ll have to budget your money.
There is a lot of competition in the lawn mowing business. Just think about all the high school kids making money who pick up a few lawns on the weekends or summers. Then there are the local lawn care companies that have been around for while.
Your small business will need to stand out in the crowded lawn care industry. You’ll need to research your area to understand what you can offer to make your lawn mowing business unique. For example, you can try offering services that few do or offer lower prices.
Weather Impacts your Work
Mother nature is the boss of your small business. Whether its extreme heat, flash flooding, or pouring rain, you’ll need to deal with it all.
If there are days of heavy rain where you can mow, you must adjust your schedule accordingly. Having flexibility is essential to dealing with rain and other weather-related delays.
Equipment you’ll need for a lawn mowing business
To start your small business, you’ll a lawn mower and transportation at a minimum. There are different types of lawn mowers to consider including:
- Push mower – Inexpensive and easy to use, these mowers work well for smaller yards. It’s a good option for those who are starting their lawn care business.
- Self-propelled mower – This type of mower moves by itself and is powerful enough to cut thicker grass. You’ll also save time since they can cover more ground. The drawback is that they’re quite a bit more expensive than a push mower.
- Riding lawn mower – These heavy duty machines allow you to sit and steer to mow. For big jobs, riding lawn mowers are ideal. A lawn tractor might be necessary if you take on larger areas.
Other lawn care equipment to consider include:
- Leaf blower
- Power rake
- Pruning shears
- Lawn Aerator
Startup Costs of a Lawn Mowing Business
There is lawn equipment you’ll need when you initially start your business. Here ‘s some general costs you could pay for these tools:
- Mower – $500
- Trimmer – $200
- Leaf blower – $200
- Hand tools – $100
- Oil and gasoline – $25 per tank
- Gasoline can – $25
- Spreaders and sprayers – $50
These startup costs can easily get into the $5,000-$10,000 range. If you don’t have truck or vehicle capable to moving these tools, you’ll also need one of those. An alternative to purchasing these tools is to lease them instead. That minimizes your up-front costs and you don’t have to worry about maintaining them in the off-season.
Ongoing Costs of a Lawn Mowing Business
To legally set up your small business , you’ll have to find out if you need to get a business license. This cost varies from $15 to $200 per year. Depending on your state, there could be other licenses or permits you need to start your lawn mowing business.
You need customers to have a successful landscaping business. Word-of-mouth advertising takes too long to grow your business. So you’ll need to advertise your lawn business. If you’re planning to start small, you might advertise with flyers that are posted around neighborhoods. Using social media or services like LawnStarter that helps you reach customers are also good marketing tools. Expect these costs of range from $50 to several hundred dollars.
Fuel and maintenance on your equipment is another ongoing cost to consider. Depending on gas prices and the size of your business, you could spend around $5,000 on fuel alone.
How to Start a Lawn Mowing Business
Determine your name and register your business
A fun part of running your own small business is that you get to come up with a name. You can choose a fun, catchy name that’s easy to remember.
With your business name, it’s time to get it registered. There are four choices for registering your business: Sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, and limited liability company (LLC). Do some homework to figure out which structure is best for your lawn care business.
Get a Business License
You typically must have business license before most states will allow you to operate a lawn care business. There might be other certificates required so check your local state Department of Agriculture to find out the requirements.
Research Competition in your Area
Before starting your lawn care business, you should get a sense of your competitors. A few Google searches will return the key business in your area. Find out what type of services they offer and at what price. This research will help shape what lawn care options you should offer and keep your prices competitive.
Determine your Ideal Clients
Do you want to target people who live in a certain area of town or go after certain businesses? How about potential customers that need pest control as well as regular lawn care? These are questions to ask yourself as decide what type of customers you want to cater to.
Create Services and Pricing
Based on your market research and ideal customer, you can start determining what services to offer. Price them accordingly based on what you’ve seen from local competitors to ensure you’re not charging too much or too little.
Promote your Lawn Mowing Business
You need customers for your new lawn care business. Among the best ways these days to get your business out there is using social media.
Facebook is a good place to start. Yelp, Nextdoor, and Craigslist are also good places to spread the word. Create listings on these platforms or contact potential customers who are looking for lawn care service.
Taking cash and checks these days aren’t going to take you very far when running a small business. People want to purchase goods and services through convenient, digital methods. Look into peer to peer payment platforms like Venmo that are growing in popularity. It’s recommended that you also take credit cards so a vendor like Square might be a good choice.
Lawn Mowing Business FAQs
Do I need any training or certificates to start a lawn mowing business?
There are no technical qualifications or formal training that’s necessary to run a lawn care business. As long as you know how to operate a lawn mower, can lift heavy objects, and work potentially long hours in different weather conditions, you have the skill set for your business.
Some optional certifications that might help boost your credibility include the following:
- Landscape Industry Certified Lawn Care Technician
- Pesticide control certification or license
- Certified snow professional
How much can a lawn mowing business make?
The amount you make depends on the size of your team, services offered, and profit margins. If the lawn mowing service is just a side-hustle versus full-time job, that will also make a difference. A business owner could make anywhere from $10,000-$100,000.
How hard is it to start a lawn mowing business?
You can make it relatively simple to start a lawn care business. If all you offer is cutting grass, than starting a mowing business is easy. The more services, employees, etc. that you want to start your lawn service with, the more complex it gets.
Is insurance required for lawn mowing businesses?
Insurance protects you and your business when the unexpected happens. It’s recommended that you insure your business from losses caused by injury, property damage, and other accidents. You may need different types of insurance, depending on what coverage you need. Some to consider include general liability insurance, health insurance, vehicle insurance, and business owner policy.
How can you find more lawn mowing clients?
By doing great work and building relationships, you can grow your client base. Ask for referrals from your current customers and offer an incentive program. Offering free estimates could help get people interested in your services. Consider adding other services that might appeal to new or recurring clients.
Build your brand by setting up an online presence so people can easily find you on the internet. Showing up on directories, social media, and Google will increase the likelyhood of booking new clients.
Building a lawn mowing business requires careful planning and work. Making the effort to do this legwork will help increase the chances that it’s successful. Other option is buying into a lawn mowing franchise that offers some upfront advice. Regardless of the path you take, the information here will help get you started on your path to your own lawn care company.