Lawn Care Business Secrets
I’m going to try to shift your paradigm before you even get your feet off the ground starting up your lawn care business.
I’m trying to figure out how to post this information without making too many enemies in the process, but, well, I’m just going to make a few people mad.
Some of those people are trying to sell you on the idea that lawn care is “easy money”, so they probably won’t like some of the truth that I spill on my pages.
If you are doing your research, as you should, you are going to see more post and videos on the web about how much money you can make doing lawn care rather than post like mine screaming “BE CAREFUL!!!“.
The information I’m going to share is from my personal experience, take it or leave it.
Most of my friends in the industry have had the same challenges, so hopefully you can gain enough insight to avoid some of these issues when you start your business.
I have a checklist of things to watch out for in my article about profit margins in the lawn care industry.
Cutting grass will be the service you provide with the lowest ROI in your lawn care business!
It is also one of the highest ticket items on your equipment list to get started.
A zero turn mower runs upwards of 10 grand new. How many lawns do you have to cut to pay back that 10K you borrow for that shiny new zero turn?
I’m not saying don’t cut grass, and I’m not saying don’t get a zero turn.
What I am saying is think before you spend that money.
The profit margins are not great, but lawn accounts are a fantastic segway to other work!
This is the one point I really hope to get across to the newer lawn and landscapers out there.
Don’t overload yourself with lawn accounts!
The irony in lawn care and landscape is the lawn accounts bring lots of other opportunities, but once you fill your schedule with lawn maintenance accounts, there is no time to do the other work they provide.
Try to leave schedule slots open for all the other work opportunities that arise.
It’s very easy, especially in tropical climates like we have in Florida, to fill your schedule to a point that you can do nothing but cut grass all day, every day.
Then you are finding yourself being forced to turn down work that has a much better profit margin, such as a big landscape install.
Of course, all of these things depend on your capabilities and your overall business plan for the future.
If your plans are to manage 500 accounts and eventually sell off your lawn care business, then having multiple trucks and hundreds of accounts might fit your plan perfectly.
If you are more interested in just making a decent living working a lighter schedule, then focusing on the landscape work, clean ups, landscape installs, and other higher margin work might be better.
If you are retired and just doing it for supplemental cash, then you might be just fine running solo and only having a handful of accounts.
The bottom line is you need to structure the business to meet your needs and do what makes sense for your personal circumstances.
Think before you invest!
That zero turn is just a tool, just like every other piece of equipment you will eventually own.
I wish I had made some different decisions when I started out.
I would have started with a small skid steer or sod cutter as my first major equipment purchase, instead of a mower that had a crappy ROI.
The other thing I could have done was to have been smarter about the accounts I took.
I’m going to stress again, I am not saying don’t get a zero turn. I’m saying think about each and every single thing you invest in your business.
I don’t just mean monetary investments.
I am referring to time, effort, financial, scheduling, everything that affects you, your business, your time, the time you spend with your family…well….you get the point.
Choose the lawn care accounts you take on carefully!
Which lawn care accounts do you take, and which ones do you pass up?
When you are first starting out, you are going to be inclined to “take everything you can get”.
That paradigm will set you up for failure!
Remember, cutting grass is low profit margin work to begin with, so that makes it even more critical to be extremely efficient.
Drive time and labor cost are the two factors that will come into play for the most part.
When you are first trying to get some lawn care accounts, you will probably start by posting on FB, talking to friends, etc.
Remember, drive time to each property will affect your final profit margins.
The best route you can have is one street with as many properties on that one street as possible.
If you can park the rig, and spend the entire day servicing properties without moving the truck, well, that is “Lawn Care Nirvana”.
That makes the best efficiency possible for your rig and labor.
Instead of trying to get 15 of your friends to give you business, try to get 15 properties in the same neighborhood.
Your 15 friends probably all live in different areas, and that will be detrimental to your profit margin.
Use our flyer generator to create a flyer to focus on one neighborhood.
We have one flyer called “Neighborhood Discount” in the Lawn Care Flyers Database.
As I am typing this, I am thinking more about just how critical this one aspect is.
I am going to add an entire section in the flyer generator with templates for gaining multiple properties in one area, so be on the lookout for new template additions.