Updated on: May 24th, 2024

How to Start a Lawn Care Business (Tips and Tricks)

Hire Professionals to Start an LLC for Your Lawn Care Business (from $0 + state fees)

Do you want to start your own lawn care business online and have control over your work? This guide has all the information you need to begin, from deciding what services you’ll offer to take care of legal requirements.

If you’re thinking about starting a lawn care business, you’re aware that maintaining a well-groomed lawn is highly valued by homeowners. It’s considered an essential aspect of the ideal home alongside a classic white picket fence. Homeowners take pleasure in the fragrance of freshly mowed grass and the satisfaction that comes with having a vibrant, evenly-cut green lawn. Nevertheless, time and effort are required to keep a lawn in good condition, which is often challenging for homeowners.

Starting a lawn care business requires more than just a lawn mower and time to sell your services. Proper preparation is crucial for your lawn care business website to grow and expand into other popular services. This guide will outline the necessary steps to launch a successful lawn care business.

If you want to skip the hassle of starting an LLC yourself, consider using professional help for the best price in the market:

The Pros and Cons of Starting a Lawn Care Business

As a lawn care business owner, you must take a look at these pros and cons.

Pros

  • Guaranteed repeat business: You will have a consistent workload with your long-term clients as they typically require weekly lawn maintenance, providing you with a stable source of income or additional funds.
  • Providing additional treatments is necessary: It’s important to remember that our clients require lawn maintenance beyond just mowing. This includes applying special fertilizer, weed control, and bug treatment every four to six weeks. Even missing one of these sessions can disrupt the condition of their yard.
  • You don’t need much initially: Starting a lawn care business doesn’t require a lot of money. You just need to have equipment and a vehicle like a van or pickup truck to get to your clients’ homes.
  • Lawn care businesses are scalable: To begin, you can as legal business entity offer a single service such as mowing lawns and later expand by adding gardening, weeding, tree trimming, landscaping, and other related services.
  • Seasonal work: To have a year-round business, it’s important to broaden your services, such as providing snow removal in the winter.

Cons

  • Plenty of competition: To start a lawn care business in your area, it’s important to research the demand first. If there are already many businesses offering the same lawn care service, you may want to consider lowering your prices initially to attract customers. Make sure to check if this strategy will negatively impact your revenue before implementing it.
  • Seasonal work: If you reside in an area with severe winters, you might discover that your clients do not require your services during that time.
  • Cutbacks: You may lose clients depending on the economic situation. When times are tough, people usually remove non-essential business expenses such as hiring a gardener, which might affect your business.

By now, you should have a fairly good understanding of whether starting your own lawn care business is the right choice for you. Before making any decisions, carefully consider both the advantages and disadvantages. If you are prepared to take the next step, then continue reading. There are many things to think about when it comes to starting your own lawn care business.

Our Tips for Starting a Lawn Care Business 

Start Your Lawn Care Business Legally

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To start your lawn care business, you must ensure you comply with a list of legal requirements, just like any other business.

Register Your Company Name/Structure

After creating a plan for managing your lawn care services, you can officially register your lawn care insurance business and its name. You have three options for business structures:

  • Limited liability company (LLC): This structure provides protection from personal liability for medium to high-risk businesses.
    You can see our guide on how you can start an LLC by yourself.
  • Sole proprietorship: Ideal for those who prefer full control over their business and run it alone.
  • Partnership: Suitable for businesses run by two or more individuals who remain registered as self-employed. This structure needs an employer identification number (EIN) for tax reporting.

After selecting the type of business structure, you may proceed to register your business name with your local government. The process may differ across countries. However, in the US, you can trademark and register your business name if there are no existing businesses using it in your state.

Get a Business License

In order to begin your lawn care business, you must have a license. Business licenses typically range from $75 to $400 USD per year. To find out which license you need, reach out to your local Small Business Administration or Chamber of Commerce.

To use any product classified as a pesticide by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lawn care business owners in the US are required to obtain a license. Some states also mandate the completion of a pest control safety education program before one of the lawn care providers can be qualified to handle such products.


Get Lawn Care Business Insurance

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To ensure your lawn care business is protected, it’s important to have proper insurance coverage for damages, incidents, and injuries.

This typically includes

  • Health insurance,
  • Business owner insurance,
  • Vehicle insurance,
  • Liability insurance,
  • Employment liability,
  • Workers’ compensation.

Get Business Banking and Accounting

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To run a successful lawn care business, it’s important to keep your personal and professional finances separate.

Opening a business bank account can help you simplify bookkeeping, create a business credit profile, monitor cash flow, and maintain good tax practices.

In addition, you should develop a flexible budget that includes expenses like :

  • Supplies
  • Insurance
  • Payroll
  • Marketing

Finally, make sure to register your business with your country’s relevant revenue service (such as the IRS in the US) to stay compliant with tax regulations.


Choose Lawn Care Services to Offer

Lawn care businesses vary in the services they offer. Your budget and equipment needs will depend on which services you choose. It’s a good idea to focus on basic services, such as :

  • Mowing,
  • Trimming,
  • Edging,
  • Weeding,
  • Fertilizing,
  • Weed control,

And seasonal services like snow removal, when you’re just starting to attract initial customers.

As your business grows and you gain consistent income and loyal customers, you can expand your services to include more specialized tasks such as :

  • Grading,
  • Lawn aeration,
  • Returfing,
  • Leaf blowing,
  • Tree trimming,
  • Pest control,
  • Shrub maintenance,
  • Sod installation.

Analyzing your competition’s offerings and your existing customers’ needs can guide you in selecting which additional services to offer.


Use the Right Lawn Care Equipment and Tools

At the bare minimum, you require a lawn mower to get your landscaping business up and running. Typical lawnmowers include:

Riding lawn mower:

The machine is operated like a vehicle by the users. Lawn tractors are similar, but can cut a wider area, making them suitable for maintaining large lawns.

Push mower:

This is a great option for beginners. It is affordable and user-friendly with a price range of $170-350, but it is more suitable for smaller tasks.

Self-propelled mower:

Are self-propelled and provide faster and more effective mowing, but come with a higher price tag compared to push mowers.

We suggest having a string trimmer (estimated cost: $20-$80) and an electric edger (estimated cost: $100-$175) in addition to your mower. This will enable you to trim grass in hard-to-reach areas and shape lawn edges more precisely.

In order to provide additional services, you will need to have equipment such as

  • Shovels,
  • Power rakes,
  • Wheelbarrows,
  • Gardening gloves,
  • Lawn bags,
  • Leaf blowers,
  • Mowing goggles,
  • Safety earmuffs,
  • Pruning shears,
  • Spreaders.

To make it convenient, it’s recommended that you have a truck or trailer to transport your equipment from one client’s home to the next.


Price Your Lawn Care Services

As a new business owner, determining the appropriate pricing for your services can be challenging. However, it is achievable! To find the correct pricing for your new lawn care business here, take into account the following tips:

Identify your target customers

Will you serve both commercial and residential clients, or only one of them? Please note that commercial clients are usually more accepting of higher prices.

Understand the market

Can you please research the pricing of your competitors for the services you are going to offer? It’s important to ensure that your rates are similar so you don’t appear too cheap and lose potential clients’ trust.

Will you charge per hour or flat rate? 

Market research can offer valuable insight in this situation. To help clients plan for the cost, many prefer a single, all-inclusive fee for lawn care services. You can determine this fee based on your hourly profitability rate.

Factor in ongoing expenses

Running a lawn care business involves various expenses, such as taxes, health insurance, business and general liability insurance, marketing materials, cell phone bills, vehicle and equipment maintenance, software for accounting, scheduling, and website hosting, and employee salaries (if you plan to hire any). These costs add up and need to be considered.

Add in profit

To make your lawn care business profitable, make sure to price your services with a healthy percentage added on top to cover your costs and pay yourself. This will help you prepare for unexpected expenses and grow your business in the long run. Remember, pricing is not just about breaking even, it’s about making a profit.


Grow Your Client Base With Marketing

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To ensure your business thrives, it’s vital to engage in marketing, just like maintaining green lawns requires regular watering. Here are some tips to attract new clients.

One effective tool is to create a logo that can be added to many aspects of your business. You can showcase your logo on invoices, email signatures, marketing materials, and even apparel worn by you and your employees.

You can also use a decal with your logo on your vehicle or trailer. You can design your logo for free using design tools like Canva, or opt to hire a freelance designer from Fiverr or Upwork.

Check out your competitors

Which marketing channels do they use? Identify best practices to adopt and areas for improvement to avoid by evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.

Network through word of mouth

When starting a small lawn care business, it’s common to have just one customer. To gain more clients, try offering discounted services to family, friends hire employees, and neighbors. You could also consider running a promotion where customers receive a one-time discount if they refer a friend to your business.

Ask for reviews

Lawn care companies can benefit greatly from customer reviews as they are one of the most effective marketing tools. It is recommended to request satisfied customers to leave a review for most lawn care businesses on Google and Yelp.

Print flyers and business cards

Using printed materials such as flyers and business cards is a cost-effective method to advertise your new lawn care company or venture across your community or town. You have the option to post flyers in nearby establishments and share business cards with potential customers.

Build a website

Wix and Squarespace are tools that can help you create a professional-looking website with ease. You can use these tools to build a simple one-page website where you can describe your services, share your contact information, and post testimonials from happy clients.

Set up your social media presence

Consider enhancing your online presence by adding photos of your landscaping projects and positive feedback from clients on social media platforms such Instagram and Facebook. This will make it easier for people to find you.


Hire Lawn Care Employees

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To run a successful lawn care business it’s essential to build a team of employees with different roles. This will allow you to delegate hands-on tasks and focus on other important activities like marketing, scheduling, and employee management.

To hire lawn care professionals, follow these steps:

  1. Create a clear job description stating the responsibilities.
  2. Determine which jobs require subcontractors, part-time, or full-time employees.
  3. Advertise the job through various mediums such as job search websites, social media, newspapers, and magazines.
  4. Thoroughly review resumes and request references and background checks.
  5. Prepare relevant interview questions.
  6. Develop a systematic training program for new hires.

Use Lawn Care Business Software

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To effectively manage your employees in your lawn care business, even if they work remotely or have non-traditional work hours, consider using employee management software solutions such as Connecteam. These tools can help automate and scale your operations.

This software provides easy access to all the necessary tools for managing a lawn care business on a daily basis with just a click.

  • Using an employee time clock on their mobile phones for clocking in and out is an efficient way to track time as it helps to ensure accurate timesheets and payroll, especially when paying employees on an hourly basis. Furthermore, the GPS location of each employee is immediately tagged to enhance efficiency.
  • Managing employee schedules is simplified with extensive job information that includes details such as location, specific tasks, and recurring appointments for customers who require regular lawn maintenance.
  • Using digital forms and checklists allows you to easily report all job details, including before and after photos that can be shared with the client, while you are out in the field.

When you’re not physically present with your team, it’s crucial to have a streamlined internal communication system in place, such as updates, team chat for employees, surveys, and other similar tools. This helps ensure effective communication and collaboration within the team.


Dos and Don’ts After Starting A Lawn Care Business

Once you have established a lawn care business,

DOs

  • Maintain amazing customer service: To receive referrals and positive reviews for your lawn care business, it is essential to provide exceptional customer service. This means not only doing a good job but also going above and beyond to please your customers. Showing kindness, patience, and attentiveness, while being punctual and responsive, and leaving no mess behind are crucial aspects of delivering a great customer experience. Presentation is key.
  • Look to up-sell:If you provide extra services, try to find chances to suggest them to your clients. They may not know that they require more work. For instance, if your client operates a day camp, they might need kid-friendly fertilizer and weed control, or a playful garden for children to play in.

DON’Ts 

  • Forget to communicate with your clients: Make sure to keep in touch with your customers beyond just the initial agreement and payment. It’s important to provide regular updates to your team on the project timeline and who will be working on their lawn to ensure excellent customer service.
  • Forget appointment reminders: To avoid last-minute cancellations, kindly send reminders to your clients about their scheduled appointments through email, text, or phone calls.
  • Forget to follow up: To provide better customer service, increase the likelihood of repeat business, and encourage customer referrals, it’s important to follow up with an email, text or phone call after the job is completed and payment is received. Please avoid disappearing after receiving payment.
  • Ignore the weather: Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be ready for days with unfavorable weather conditions. If high winds or heavy rain make it impossible to work, you may need to delay or reschedule your tasks. By taking preemptive action, you can safeguard your business from the negative impact of bad weather.

Get Professional Help in Forming an LLC for Your Lawn Care Business

It can be difficult and time-consuming to form an LLC all by yourself.
That’s why we decided to give you a few of the best options for professional services that can help you start an LLC in no time & with 0 effort!

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