People who want to start a lawn care business often ask the question – Can I make $100,000 profit per year? This article looks at the profits that you can expect during your first few years in the lawn care business and sets out ten points that you must be aware of if you want to get you business started the right way and take it to the $100,000 level.
How much is Possible?
If you start out right and work hard during your first year and are able to obtain at least 30 clients that you regularly service then you can expect to be earning the equivalent of $20,000 to $50,000 per year. Once you have experience and become established you can easily scale up to earning $100,000 after a few years and some savvy lawn care players make more than this, much more!
So how do you Start a ‘Six Figure’ Lawn Care Business?
1) Before and during the startup phase of your lawn business you should strive to have a great knowledge of lawn care, to understand the equipment involved and to become the best at mowing, edging and blowing. This ensures that customers will be satisfied, productivity will be maximized and that you can pass on your knowledge to future employees. Plan on starting out with second hand or leased equipment and scale up as your cashflow allows.
2) Understand the importance of establishing a brand or company identity as a platform that you can build upon. This is more than just thinking up a great name and getting a nice looking logo and business cards. Think about how you want customers to perceive your business and what you can do differently from your competitors that will allow you to stand out in the marketplace and to command a premium price for your services. You don’t want to have to change your branding further down the road so start your lawn care business off with a well thought out branding strategy.
3) Get organized! You should also start off right with a lawn care software package to help you with daily business administration. To scale up to the six-figure level within a few years you need to have systems in place for all aspects of your business.
4) Realise the importance of marketing and sales. Test advertising methods to find out what works best, learn how to price lawn jobs accurately and how to close the deal with prospective customers.
5) Highly profitable operators realize that while basic lawn maintenance services are their ‘bread and butter’ there are many additional services that they can up-sell to their clients with much higher profit margins than lawn mowing.
6) Make a commitment to reading and learning as much as you can about the industry, marketing and small business management. Look for books and reports by industry players who have started highly successful lawn care businesses so that you can learn from their mistakes and gain access to their insider tips and insights.
7) Understand that lawn care is a service industry and that referrals or ‘word of mouth’ marketing are how you can acquire a good percentage of your new accounts for no ad spend. Satisfying the customer with great service is the key here but there are also other ways to get other people to do the selling for you.
8) Never give up! Understand that you will have a tough time starting out and during your first six months in business but every problem can be overcome if you stay motivated, learn from your failures and adjust your strategies accordingly.
9) Starting and developing a ‘six figure’ lawn mowing business is tough as a sole operator, though not impossible. More realistically you will have to learn how to hire and manage staff in small crews.
10) Lawn care is seasonal in many areas so you have to go all out while the sun is shining and then offer other services or take a break during the two to three month off-season. Successful operators learn how to take advantage of this seasonal nature of the business.
Before you start up your lawn service business you should get everything down in a business plan that sets out all the details from your research clearly so that you don’t forget anything. Set goals and targets for your first few years such as when you should reach break even point or when you will hire your first employee.