A lawn care business is relatively easy to start, but it is still a good idea to have some sort of guidance and a plan set in place, and you should know where you want it to go and how to grow it.
Writing Your Landscape Business Plan
Starting a business with no plan is a sure way to fail, and even though you may have a general idea of where you want the business to go, you will still want the specifics because this is how you will succeed. Some guys think think all they need is a push mower and some lawn care flyers and they are “in business.” With that said, continue to read on to find out what you should consider when you are creating a plan for your lawn care business start up and then you can go ahead and launch it.
The types of landscaping services you can offer and how successful you will be will largely depend on location. For example, if you operate in cooler areas or northern areas, then consider offering snow removal services, as well as Christmas lighting, as this will help your business stay alive during the winter months. If you operate in an area where there is a lot of fall foliage, then offer leaf removal services, and if you operate in warmer areas, then offer services such as sprinkler repair or trimming palms. Winters can be quite long in various parts of the country, so if you want to make profits and keep your lawn care business operating, then you should be willing to offer services that are useful to homeowners and business owners in the winter.
When you have a good idea of the services you will offer to the public, the next thing you want to do is to figure out how much you need to get your business started. The good news is that when it comes to startup costs, a landscaping company doesn’t require as much as many other types of businesses. Buying restaurant or store equipment can be very expensive, but that’s usually not the case with a lawn care business, but you will want to have money for advertising and marketing, such as ads in CraigsList and website SEO, and you will need to go to the local municipality and register the name of your business.
When you develop your business plan during the early stages, then you will find that the bulk of the costs are reduced when you compare the costs to other businesses, and that is one of the best things about a lawn care business. As your business starts to grow, you can focus on larger things such as leasing space, purchasing newer vehicles, as well as buying better equipment for your business.
The bulk of your startup costs will likely involve buying equipment, but don’t head right out and buy thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment. You will want to go into your garage and see what kind of stuff you have in there. You might have some lawn equipment that you can use, and if that’s the case, then you will save even more on your startup costs, and if your business doesn’t go as well as you expected, then at least you didn’t spend thousands on brand new equipment. When your business starts to grow and you reap profits, then you can go ahead and invest in better and newer equipment, and then you can start to increase the number of services you offer to your customers and this will also protect you against failing equipment.
When you create your business plan for your lawn care company you want to hold back on labor, at least in the early stages of your business. Asides from advertising and equipment, the next biggest cost will be labor, and this is why you should keep your labor costs as low as possible, at least until you have a growing and solid base of customers, and if you think it is absolutely necessary to get help. You might want to take the time to learn the ropes of your business before you go and hire other people, so keep that in mind too.
Using Your Plan to be Profitable
When you consider your plan, you will want to think hard about labor cost and how you use people who work for you because there’s a line between having enough people to help you and you need enough customers and to grow and be profitable, all without straining your finances. When you figure out what you want to charge and what you want to pay yourself, then you will need to figure out how many customers you need in order to pay your overhead, your marketing, your time, gas and equipment upkeep. You will also have to think about how much you will pay your employees and figure out if the work they provide is enough to cover their labor costs. When your team increases, then so will labor costs. This means you will have to keep on expanding your customer list. This is because you must keep pace with added costs associated with labor.