How to Start a Lawn Care Business and Keep It Growing

Creating a new business is an exciting opportunity that might seem overwhelming. If you’re looking to start a lawn care business, you’ve already taken a big step by deciding what kind of business you want to create. 

Whether you start small or go all out, you need to decide what services you’ll offer and the equipment you’ll need. You’ll also need specific licenses and know how to market yourself. Clicklease created this guide on how to start a lawn care business to cover all of this and more. We have the information you need to streamline your business creation process. 

Decide What Kind of Lawn Services You’ll Provide

To learn how to start a lawn care and landscaping business, you need to decide what services you’ll offer and what you can handle. Do you want to focus only on lawns, or do you want to go into landscaping as well? Is expansion a goal for when your business is off the ground, or do you want to offer these services immediately?

You’ll need answers to these questions before investing time and money into your new business. 

The basic services you should offer when starting a lawn care business are:

  • Lawn mowing/trimming/edging 
  • Weeding
  • Fertilization
  • Leaf blowing and snow removal (for off-seasons)

Expanded services can include: 

  • Lawn grading
  • Lawn aeration
  • Returfing
  • Tree trimming
  • Shrub maintenance
  • Sod installation
  • Gardening
  • Insect control

How to Price Your Services

Once you’ve chosen the services to start your business, you need to price those services. 

Research other lawn care companies’ pricing to get an idea of where to start. You can price yourself lower than the competition to catch the attention of new customers, but don’t price yourself too low. Underpricing can make you appear unprofessional and like you don’t value your skills. 

When deciding your prices, determine if you want to go by an hourly rate, flat rate, or square footage rate. While calculating potential rates, keep in mind the following:

  • Labor cost
  • Equipment cost
  • Profit margins
  • General overhead costs (taxes, insurance, marketing)

Invest in the Right Equipment

You can’t have a lawn care business without the right equipment. The most obvious investment for a lawn care business is something to cut the lawn: A mower. There are three different types of mowers: 

  • Push mower: This is a typical mower that requires the user to push it to work. It comes in a wide price range, and inexpensive versions make it excellent for beginners.
  • Self-propelled: This mower can cut through thicker grass. It’s more expensive and requires more fuel than a push mower.
  • Riding lawn mower: This mower is appropriate for large jobs but expensive to purchase and maintain.

Along with a mower, you’ll need a string trimmer and edger to access lawn patches that mowers can’t reach. You’ll also require lawn bags to dispose of lawn clippings, sticks, and other debris. Personal protection requires goggles, ear protection, and gloves.

Add snow shovels, rakes, leaf blowers, and a snow blower to your equipment list if you offer off-season services. 

Additional equipment may include:  

  • Gardening shovels
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Lawn aerator
  • Pruning shears
  • Spreaders
  • Power rake

Depending on your starting budget, you may need assistance acquiring this equipment. You can look for used goods for the more expensive items, wait for the right sale, or try leasing the equipment

Truck or Trailer?

In addition to your equipment, you’ll need a vehicle to get to jobs and transport your gear. You don’t necessarily need a new truck or trailer; you can purchase a gently-used version of each and save a bit of money while growing your business. 

A trailer is appropriate for beginners who don’t have much equipment to carry, but you’d have to learn how to drive with the trailer attached to your vehicle. A truck allows you to get to places and store many tools, but it’s more expensive than a trailer. 

You can use your trailer or truck as a marketing opportunity by displaying your brand and contact information. 

Do You Need Licenses to Start Your Own Lawn Care Business?

Licensing depends on where you live and what kind of products and equipment you use. The most common licenses needed are business and pesticide applicator licenses. The National Association of Landscape Professionals offers a variety of certifications that can help build credibility and make for great advertising. 

Business Licenses

You may not need a business license to start your lawn care business, but this depends on the state where you’re operating. Business licenses are usually for brick-and-mortar operations, a business selling goods, or a company requiring other licenses or certifications. You can contact your local chamber of commerce or Small Business Administration (SBA) if you need assistance filling out the license application.

Even if you don’t need a business license, it may provide more credibility with new customers. 

Pesticide Applicator Certification

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires anyone who uses pesticides to get a certificate. You must demonstrate your knowledge of the proper use and storage of pesticides. You can acquire certification through the following: 

  • Passing a test (written or oral)
  • Passing a training course
  • Via a different system approved by the EPA

How to Grow Your Business

Now that you’ve set your business up, it’s time to get customers. Tell close friends and family that you’re starting a lawn care business so they can watch for potential opportunities and vouch for you. Word-of-mouth advertising can help you build a customer base that keeps coming back.

Once you have customers, you can also ask them to refer you to their social circles. To entice new business, offer discounts for referrals and first-time customers. 

Next, create an official website and social media pages for your business so you’re easy to find. Register your business with Google so your company appears when people search for lawn care services. 

There are platforms available that can be excellent sources of online business. Angi (formally Angie’s List) is about finding reputable companies that assist in home improvement. Nextdoor is a platform for neighbors to talk to one another and offer advice or recommendations. 

Let Clicklease Help You Start Your Business!

Getting the right equipment for your lawn care business can get expensive fast. Clicklease can help you with equipment needs, as we’ve already done with thousands of other entrepreneurs

With Clicklease, you’ll have access to many equipment vendors and a wide selection of lawn care tools. We provide finance plans, whether you have good or bad credit, along with reasonable monthly payments. 

Find out how you can get the best lawn care equipment with Clicklease today!

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