If you've been thinking about starting a small business or just picking up some side jobs, consider lawn care. As long as you don't mind some physical activity, sweat and a little dirt, there's an opportunity to make some money. The bonus is you get to pick your work schedule, fitting it around your life. It's really not even that hard to get started. Below are outlined some suggestions in starting a lawn care business.
Things You'll Need
- Weed Eater
- Business Cards
- Invoice Book
If you mow your own lawn, you've probably got all the equipment you're going to need to get started. You're going to need a mower, weed eater, edger and blower. These are the basics. If you don't have a riding lawnmower, don't run out and buy one. As long as the mower you have is self propelled, you'll be just fine. Save those big purchases for when you start making some real money. Right now your object should be to get jobs and make money.
Depending on what size vehicle you drive and the size of your mower, you may or may not need a trailer. It's possible to load smaller equipment into the back of an SUV, station wagon and truck. If you need a trailer, check the classified ads for used ones. Sometimes you can run across some really good deals on decent used trailers. Once again, don't spend a fortune on purchasing a new one at first.
Make yourself some business cards and hand them out to everyone. Making your own business cards on your home computer is relatively cheap and easy. You'll want to get your name and service out to as many people as you can. The more people that know about you, the better you're chances are of getting jobs.
It's also a good idea to get an invoice book and calendar. This way you'll be able to track any monies and scheduled appointments. Keeping all your written business transactions in one place, makes it easier on you come tax time.
Starting off any business is the hardest part. Promote yourself to all types of businesses that might need your services. Stop in local Realtor offices and banks. These two businesses deal with a large amount of properties that are either in foreclosure or waiting to be sold. As long as they sit vacant, they're going to need the lawns maintained. This could open up an opportunity to score a monthly or long term contract maintaining their homes. Every monthly or long term contract you have, means steady money flowing into your pocket.
Let your neighbors, friends and relatives know what you're doing. No one is better at promoting you than someone who likes you. You'll probably be surprised at how many jobs you might be able to find through them. Make sure to hand out your business cards to them too. You can never advertise too much.
Advertise your services in senior communities. Most of the residents probably can no longer do the work themselves, so they'll be needing you. Once you generally get into one of these tight nit communities and do a good job, the word will spread and more jobs will come.
Most communities have small local papers which are relatively cheap to advertise in. You can always list your business in these. Putting your business card on the bulletin boards at hardware stores and garden centers, might also drive some business your way.
When setting a price for your services, check the average rates in your area. You don't want to over charge yourself out of a job, but then you also want to get paid a fair wage. Call lawn services and ask for a quote or talk with some of your neighbors who hire out their lawn work.
Starting a lawn service is not that difficult, but will take patience and perseverance like any new business would. It's also quite possible to make a pretty good living doing it. People will always have lawns that need maintaining, so they'll always be a need for a lawn service.