Starting a business can be such a fantastic experience….it can also be nerve wracking, time-consuming, and it can truly challenge you and shake you to your core.
Everyone needs lawn care, that is a simple fact. There will always be people that look for someone to mow their lawn after a hard day of work. Others will look for someone that can trim their landscaping or for someone to be able to take care of their lawn when they don’t have the time. If you are thinking of starting a lawn care business, it’s a great job and a great avenue to go down, but knowing which challenges you can expect can help you get your business off the ground and growing.
It Will Be Difficult to Gain Customers When You Start
When you first open up your lawn care business, it might be hard to build up your customer list. As with any business, new customers don’t know you, they don’t know your work, and they don’t know if you’ll be a good option or fit for them. Starting out with a lawn care business, it will be necessary to build your customer base, to build your reputation, and to also help the people that you’re trying to get business from to know what you’re capable of.
A great place to start if you are looking to gain customers is to offer discounts or specials. Work hard to put yourself out there. Take the time to help your customers (and potential customers) feel comfortable hiring you and with taking you on as their lawn care specialist. More customers will come from word of mouth and as you are able to prove that you are capable of doing the job and doing it well. It can be hard to get your business off the ground, but pushing forward is the only way to go.
Finding Good Help is Tough
Another challenge you may come up against is employees. One person running a mower isn’t usually going to make you enough money to be successful in the lawn care business. Sure, when you’re just starting out, and you only have a few customers, you can get them done and you can handle them on your own. But as your business grows, you will need to find reliable employees that aren’t going to let you down and that are going to show up everyday, work hard, and care about your business and your customers.
Some employers say that running a business with multiple employees is like running a daycare. It’s your job to find employees that are going to pull their weight, that are going to show up and do their best each and every day, not just to make their paycheck, but also to make your business look better and to help please your customers.
Many people don’t think through the amount of financial outlay that will come with starting a lawn care business. It’s just a mower and leaf blower, right? Wrong. Starting a lawn care business does take some cold hard cash in order to be successful.
You might think that buying the cheapest mower will save you some money. Well, that mower might not be as well-made as the more expensive mower, the parts could be harder to get, the work to keep it running could be harder.
It’s always going to be best to invest in quality equipment that is going to work well and that is going to last for a longer duration. That’s what will save you money in the long run.
When it comes to starting a lawn care business, you are going to have a few different costs that you need to consider. Some expenses that will hit you right at the outset of your business include: mowers, leaf blowers, weed eaters, shovels, hoes, gloves, shirts or uniforms, any chemicals you may need, a trailer to hold and transport your equipment, a truck (if you don’t have one), and more. This can run into the tens of thousands in order to get a lawn care business off the ground, and you might not make all that money back right away. You can, however, often count the costs of starting your business to reduce your taxes which can help to cushion some of that cost.
It’s important to remember that with any business, you’re going to have to put up money to get started. You aren’t going to be able to start a business without some sort of capital to get it off the ground and to get all the equipment that you need to start the business. Taking the time to find deals is great, but it is important to take the time to invest in quality equipment that’s going to last and that’s going to work for years to come.
Small Business Owners Have to Wear Multiple Hats
As a small business owner, you’re going to have to run the entire show. This means that you’re the ringmaster; everything having to do with the business, and all the smaller jobs that fall within its purview, will be your responsibility. Aside from just cutting grass and lawn care, you will need to deal with marketing, hiring employees, managing your employees, recruiting new customers, handling payroll, sending out invoices, and so much more.
When you are just starting out, you are likely not going to be able to hire someone to do every single smaller job that might fall within the lawn care scope. Instead, if you can get someone to work with you that you trust and that can handle some smaller details, this can help to lessen the load. Taking the time to start small and do what you are good at and what you can comfortably control and manage is the best course. Then you can expand as you get more customers. As you are making more money, you can begin to hire more help.
Super Competitive Market
Professional lawn care, as we all know, is a very competitive industry. Within any small town there are probably a dozen small grass cutting businesses, that’s not even counting the large corporate companies that are also in the game. Though the industry is super competitive, you do need to take the time to set yourself apart from the other companies out there. Take the time to set yourself and your business apart with clever branding, a great logo, a fun marketing campaign that draws attention, and more.
This is also when things like offering discounts and running specials can give you an advantage over your competition. Take the time to make relationships with your customers so that they feel like they’re special to you and important to your business. It is essential to make a name for yourself so that when your customers think of grass cutting, they think of you. It can take time, but investing in some great marketing right out of the gate can help.
We all have trouble with time management, but it can be especially difficult when it comes to owning and running a business. With a business like lawn cutting there will be times when you are busier than others. It’s important that you take the time to figure out how to manage your time with the business as well as time with your family and time working to grow your business for the future.
Time management can make a huge difference in how happy you are with your business overall. You should work to allot time to each thing you need to do and try to stick to these timetables so that you can run your business smoothly and effortlessly. Carve time into your schedule for marketing and billing and payroll and such so that you don’t find yourself doing those things on nights and weekends when it will cut into personal time.
Don’t Wait on the Sidelines
When push comes to shove, one of the worst mistakes people make with a lawn care business is to sit on the sideline and try to plan for every single eventuality before you even get started.
It’s sometimes best to jump in and adjust as you go.
Figure out the challenges as they arise rather than trying to plan out every single detail before you start.
Starting a business can be difficult, but how can you face those challenges if you never even start?
Is now the time for you to start your own lawn care business? Only you can determine that for yourself. But if you decide to get started, just be sure to keep the above things in mind to help get you started. And remember, there will always be customers who need help with their lawn care, and there will always be people who are interested in switching from their current lawn care service because they’ve been unhappy. There will always be ample opportunity to grow your business.