Starting a lawn care business can be a very lucrative business opportunity with no shortage of demands. After all, most people love the look and smell of freshly-cared lawn and freshly-cut grass, but at the same time, no one likes taking care of their lawn.
You can offer your lawn care service for both residential customers (i.e. private houses) or commercial businesses (restaurants, hotels, etc. ). So, if there are a lot of lawns near your area, then starting a lawn care business is definitely a good idea.
With that in mind, the lawn care business might seem simple and easy to execute at first, but in truth, there are numerous daily operations that need to be managed when running the lawn care business. Without a solid foundation in place, you won’t be able to run the business at its optimal performance. Also, it’s going to be extremely difficult to run a lawn care business without a solid team, and you’ll also need the right infrastructure to keep your team on the same page.
However, a lawn care business can be extremely profitable even in your first year, and here we will show you how to start your lawn care business with the right foundation.
Your Type Of Service – Lawn Care Vs Landscaping vs Gardening
A lawn care business can offer a wide variety of services, but first, we have to discuss lawn care, gardening, and landscaping: three businesses that are actually distinct although they have their similarities. Before anything else, you’d want to decide whether you are actually starting a lawn care, landscaping, or gardening business.
All three tend to the lawn, which can be described as the property surrounding a home or commercial building. However, there are also key differences:
- Lawn care focuses on keeping the lawn looking good. The basic service a lawn care business offers is cutting grass and brush with the help of a lawnmower.
- Landscaping is more focused on designing and laying out a lawn. This involves laying down bark, strategically planting plants to maintain aesthetics, and building accessories like fountains and waterfalls. In short, landscaping determines what kind of landscape the lawn will look like.
- Gardening, we can think of gardening as smaller-scale landscaping, dealing with designing and building the garden, tending to plants, etc.
With that being said, the most common services offered in a lawn care business include, but not limited to:
- Cutting grass/lawn mowing
- Trimming hedges
- Cleaning and killing weeds
- Fertilizing plants
- Leaf removal
- Clearing brush
- Conditioning driveways and sidewalks
Starting A Lawn Care Business – Legal Requirements
Do you need any certifications/licenses and insurance to start a lawn care business?
Each state in the U.S. has different requirements before you can start any business, not just a lawn care business. In fact, there are states that require you to be certified before you can apply fertilization in any lawns.
If you are not located in the US, then you’ll need to check with your country’s local jurisdictions to check whether there are any certification requirements for registering your lawn care business.
Keep in mind, however, that even when you are not legally required to be certified to start the lawn care business in your location, it’s always a good idea to be certified since there are many clients that would prefer a certified and insured business.
With that being said, there are three basic certifications you should look for when starting a lawn care business:
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification for herbicide and pesticide applicators. So, if your service involves applying pesticide and herbicide, this is a federal-standard certification. You’d need to pass a written exam and a performance-based exam.
- Fertilizer application certification. This would depend on your area. In Texas, for example, you don’t need any license or certification to apply fertilizer on residential lawns.
- Standard business license or permit. Certain states require a local permit and/or a business license before you can open a lawn service.
Regarding insurance, again, you might or might not be legally required to be insured, but it’s always a good idea to get the relevant insurance policies to protect your business from unfortunate accidents.
Standard insurance policies you should consider include:
- General liability insurance
- Business owner’s policy
- Commercial property insurance
- Worker’s compensation insurance
- Commercial auto insurance (if you have vehicles)
- Umbrella insurance to back up your commercial auto and general liability coverage when a claim exceeds the policies’ limits
In starting a lawn care business, your lawnmower, trailer, and vehicles will be your biggest purchases. Commercial-grade lawn mowers will cost you around $3,000, and a trailer would cost more or less the same. Regarding a vehicle, a truck would cost between $10,000 and upwards of $20,000 depending on the condition.
You might or might not want to get/rent a physical location depending on your situation. For example, if you can store your truck and equipment at home, then you can simply make it a home-based business.
Nevertheless, you could probably start the lawn care business with around $20,000.
Deliver Your Promises
This is a very important tip for any field service business: deliver on your promises and finish your project on time. This is how you can impress new clients, encourage them to leave good reviews for your business, and preferably, recommend your business to their friends, peers, or family members, effectively converting them into advocates that will bring you referrals.
For example, if you promise to always show up on time, do so. This is where a field service software like fieldd can help to create a unique competitive advantage. So, you can not only advertise a unique advantage only your business has over your competitors but actually deliver on these promises.
Now you have a solid foundation to finally start a profitable lawn care business. While starting a business from scratch isn’t always the easiest path to take, by using the tips we have shared above, you can take a more strategic approach to start and grow your plumbing business.
Define your target audience and tailor your lawn care business and marketing approach to target this audience to effectively grow your business.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.