How to Start Your Own Lawn Mowing Business
You can start a business offering lawn mowing services as well as other connected services to upkeep a home lawn. This business idea can be a part of a larger business model, that of landscaping. However, you can build a business offering the basic services as well and then graduate to a landscaping business in the future.
One of the advantages of this business idea is that it is fairly universal. It can do well in a community of row houses as well as up market residential areas with villas and mansions. This flexibility also allows you to start small if you so wish gradually increase the scale of your business as you hire more people, buy more machinery, expand your services etc.
The possible downside of this business is that it could be seasonal in certain states and part of the country. Also, there is bound to be some competition in the more upscale residential locations. But then again, almost all kinds of businesses face some kind of competition or the other. You just have to define your business idea by offering something new, offering something better or just have a better approach with your potential customers.
Description of Job
• Perform basic lawn care, including lawn mowing, trimming around buildings and lawn furniture, and edging.
• Conduct seasonal fertilizing and application of other lawn chemicals, including weed killer.
The Need For a Lawn Mowing Business
Do you have a lawn? You need to keep it trimmed. It’s not just a matter of keeping up with the Joneses; in most communities, laws and regulations require that property owners keep their land reasonably neat. Cutting the grass also helps reduce the incidence of ticks, fleas, and other unwelcome visitors in residential neighborhoods.
That said, not everyone has the time, inclination, or ability to take care of their own lawn. The market for lawn mowing services includes older homeown- ers, persons with disabilities, and people who just don’t have the time to do it themselves.
Challenges Facing a Lawn Mowing Business
In most parts of the country, lawn mowing is a seasonal job. (In northern climes, lawns generally hibernate at least half the year, from about October through May.) You’ll need to pay off the cost of equipment during the growing season . . . and watch it gather dust over the winter. You will also likely have to pay for 12 months of insurance and licenses even if your business runs only 6 months of the year.
Rain helps the grass grow, which is good news, but a particularly dismal sum- mer could result in long periods when lawns cannot be mowed. Similarly, a drought could cause lawns to grow unusually slowly.
Deciding Key Objectives Beforehand
Will you bring your own equipment, or use whatever you find at your client’s premises?
Using your client’s equipment simplifies your operation in many ways: You won’t have to buy a lawn mower and other devices; you will not be responsible for maintaining it and providing gas; and you will not have to transport bulky and heavy machines from your home to your customer’s lawn.
On the other hand, the equipment you find may be of poor quality or unreliable. Some homeowners won’t have lawn mowers, costing you a job.
Using your own equipment should guarantee you’ll have machines you can rely on; you will, though, have to properly maintain the devices. If you bring your own equipment, you’ll need to transport the devices to your clients. If you’re working on your own street, you may be able to roll the mower down the sidewalk; anywhere more distant will probably require that you use a truck or a trailer with a ramp.
Will you be responsible for removing grass clippings? Are there any local regulations regarding disposal? (A mulching lawn mower may solve this prob- lem, if that’s okay with your client.)
Investigate other local ordinances. For example, some towns may limit the hours when noisy power equipment may be used.
Educate yourself on lawn chemicals, including fertilizers, weed killers, and pest control options. Take care to avoid exposure to dangerous substances. Re- member, although a manufacturer may claim that a chemical is not harmful when its instructions are followed, you may be exposing yourself to repeated use of the substance as you move from one job to the next.
Not all lawns are the same. If the property is hilly or irregularly shaped, it will likely require more time and effort than a flat, square property.
Lawn mowing is the sort of job that can be done by one person or by a crew. A lawn that takes one person two hours to cut could be done in one hour by a crew of two. Although having a crew may allow you to cut many more lawns, you’ll also have to pay additional salaries and benefits, and you’ll need more equipment. The principal advantage to hiring a crew is that you may be able to step back from actually cutting the grass yourself and instead earn your income as the manager for your lawn mowing empire.