You might think starting a lawn care business makes sense if you’re an expert. But creating a successful lawn care business requires more than skill. Equipment, licenses, and insurance, among other things, will be important to consider. The grass care industry is not as easy to enter as it seems, but with careful planning and execution, you will be able to succeed.
This article will teach you what it takes to jot down a lawn service business plan and why it’s so important. You will also learn about planning and how to go about it.
What Is The Need For A Lawn Care Business Plan?
Every lawn care business owner needs a comprehensive plan. Not only does it help you stay organized, but it also allows you to set your goals, maintain focus, and pinpoint improvement areas.
To be successful, you need to consider your work’s financial, sales, marketing, and technical aspects. In addition to helping you better understand your competitors, they can also help you identify unique opportunities – remember, landscaping is often seasonal, so you must stay on top of your game to succeed.
Advantages Of Starting A Lawn Business
You can be certain that starting a lawn care company will be profitable! Plus, you’ll get to enjoy these benefits as well.
You have various service options with a lawn care service business, unlike other businesses with clearly defined responsibilities. In addition to working primarily in residential areas, you can also work in commercial spaces. And you can deal with a wide variety of customers as well.
You can come up with numbers that might make sense by considering your current products, equipment, costs, the average time you spend on projects, and several other factors.
If you choose your own clients, you’ll work with dependable customers during good hours and in an area not too far from your headquarters. You can also prioritize higher-paying or returning customers if you want more stability in your income.
Lawn Care Business Plans: How To Make Them Work
Let’s look at the advantages of having a lawn care business plan now that you know it’s necessary.
- The availability of yard work can vary depending on where you live, but business plans can help you develop alternative ways to earn money even if demand is low.
- It is easy to customize business plans to meet your specific needs. You can introduce new services, open a new location, or provide commercial customers with options.
- Keeping a regular workforce can quickly become time-consuming and expensive. Fortunately, seasonal employees like snow removal workers can contribute to your business plan.
- Your business plan can help you scale goals based on where your business is headed.
Major Elements Of A Lawn Care Business Plan
The following sections make up a complete lawn care business plan.
1. The Cover Page
Include your company name and logo on the cover page and your company role, business address, and other contact information.
2. An Executive Summary
You must include your mission and vision, business goals, what sets you apart, and brief company history in your executive summary, as the title suggests. Whenever you have a complete understanding of what the entire document contains, it is recommended to write the executive summary last.
3. Overview Of The Business
Among the aspects of a lawn care and landscaping company are the following:
- To comply with government regulations, you should determine whether your business is a partnership, corporation, sole proprietorship, or other structure.
- Include how much you have already invested in your business to determine how much investment you need to invest in the future. What assets you already have, such as a lawnmower, a fleet of vehicles, tools, and laptops, should be listed.
- Create an overview of your startup costs, such as office supplies, employee compensation (if any), rent, marketing materials, etc.
4. Lawn Care Services
In addition to mowing lawns, consider offering the following services when starting a lawn care and landscaping business. You must provide all your services per your existing assets and current budget. Common lawn care services include:
- Pest control application.
- Lawn fertilization application or weed control.
- Tree and plant services.
- Aeration or dethatching.
- Grass and leaf blowing.
- Landscape design.
- Tree trimming.
- Sale of insecticide, fertilizer, and several other lawn care products directly to clients
- Weeding, mulching, and other gardening works
- Lawn installations
- Planting native lawn(s)
- Planting native pollinators and species in and alongside grass lawns
- Seasonal services, i.e., snow removal in winter, raking leaves in fall, etc.
What you can offer will ultimately depend on your existing equipment, your competition, and your customers’ needs.
5. Legal Lawn Care Business Setup
Legally starting a lawn care business requires the following steps:
- Check on business licensing requirements – Here, you might not need a license to mow your lawn. However, if you apply pesticides or herbicides, you may need a permission letter.
- Set up your legal lawn care business – It is mandatory to create a legal business entity, i.e., some Limited Liability Company (LLC), S corporation, or partnership, for your lawn care business if you require some federal tax ID to pay employees or independent contractors. This step isn’t necessary for independent contractors, legally. In case something goes wrong, you may be protected in some ways by separating your business assets from your assets (with a sole proprietorship or LLC).
6. Market Analysis
Creating a market analysis is similar to crafting a buyer persona. In this section, you’ll want to define your target market, what solutions they need, and how you fit into the equation. When taking a closer look at your target market, list their characteristics such as:
- Income level and occupation.
- Geographical location.
- Size of property.
- Then, include an analysis of your top competitors. Consider factors like:
- What services do they offer?
- Who they cater to.
- What they charge for their services.
7. Buy Lawn Care Equipment
Starting a lawn care business doesn’t require you to purchase office space as other businesses do, but it does require some startup costs — namely, purchasing the lawn care equipment you will use. Getting started requires the following equipment at a minimum:
- String trimmer
- Leaf blower
- Mowing goggles
- Safety ear muffs
- Gardening gloves
- Gas cans
- Lawn bags
8. Price Your Lawn Care Services
Determining what to charge for your lawn care business can be challenging for new business owners. Fortunately, it is possible! Here are some recommendations to help you find the right price:
- Identify your target customers. Will you be servicing primarily commercial or residential clients or a mix of both? Each audience expects different prices, with commercial clients typically expecting to pay more.
- Understand the market. If you charge too less, clients may not trust you. Research properly about how much cost your competitors give for the same services you’ll be offering.
- Factor in ongoing expenses. Lawn care businesses are expensive to run! If you plan to hire employees, you need to consider overhead costs such as taxes, health insurance, business insurance, marketing materials, gas, vehicle, cell phones, equipment maintenance, and software (accounting, scheduling, website hosting, etc.).
- Add in profit. Your business shouldn’t be about breaking even. It should be profitable. Add a healthy value to your prices to pay yourself and help your business grow. You’ll need a profitable business to grow your lawn care business with by passage of time and weather any unexpected business.
9. Grow Your Client Base With Savvy Marketing
With these marketing tips, you can bring in new clients like your clients’ lawns need regular watering.
- Design a logo – Besides making your business look professional, a logo is a great marketing tool. Add your logo to your quotes, invoices, email signatures, and marketing. You can print it on your employees’ t-shirts and hats. You can even create a truck decal! You can use Canva or Fiverr to create your logo or hire a freelance designer.
- Check out your competitors – Is there anything you can copy from them, and what can you avoid? What marketing channels do they leverage?
- Build a website – With tools like Wix and Squarespace, it’s easy to create a professional-looking website. All you require is a simple one-page website describing your services, including your contact information and sharing client testimonials.
- Set up your social media presence – Add photos of any landscaping jobs and testimonials from happy customers to ensure people can easily find you on Instagram and Facebook.
What Competitive Advantages And Disadvantages Do They Have?
1. Business Strategy
As a road map to success, this section of your business plan outlines some key points.
- Your projected profits and investors should be considered when creating your financial objectives.
- A high price will not guarantee you profits. It’s important to consider your hourly rate, how much your employees are paid, equipment overhead, taxes, and additional fees when pricing your services. You may need to price your services lower for your first few clients.
- Make short-term and long-term operational objectives based on your mission and vision. For instance, you might want to engage clients or improve customer service channels to increase brand loyalty.
2. Marketing And Sales
This business plan should outline how you intend to market and sell your products and services. Ultimately, it should provide a summary of your:
- Marketing strategies.
- Pricing plans.
- Competitive advantage.
- Sales strategies.
In addition to determining your financial goals, you can determine how many potential customers you’ll need to reach those goals.
3. Personnel Plan
Generally, labor costs take up 30-35% of your revenue, so you’ll need a strategy to improve productivity, efficiency, and communication as your business grows.
- It’s important to consider these things before you hire more employees:
- Determining how much you and your employees should be paid is important.
- Your business goals will determine how many employees you need.
- The amount of work an employee can handle daily.
- Lawn care software might be helpful at this stage in your business plan since it automates repetitive administrative tasks and keeps your team accountable. Instead of performing menial, repetitive tasks, you and your admin team can focus on adding value to the business.
Rather than maintaining a regular workforce, you might find it more cost-effective to hire contract employees. Contracting specialists can reduce overall costs because you’ll only pay for labor when needed.
4. Financial Plan
The final step in your lawn care business plan is to outline how you plan to generate revenue. Especially if you are applying for a lawn care business grant, you’ll want to include the following information:
- Financial statements (and an analysis of them).
- Sales forecasts.
- Personnel costs.
- Overall budget.
- Cash flow projections (incoming and outgoing expenses).
What Should You Include In Your Lawn Care Business Plan?
When starting a lawn care and landscaping company, having a lawn-mowing business plan can make the process much easier. You can create one by following these steps:
- Decide on what type of lawn care and landscaping services you’d like to offer. Knowing what type of services you want to offer can help narrow your customer base and influence your other decisions.
- Research your target market and direct competitors. Determine whether or not you have potential clients in your area or whether other services might be more suitable for them. Be realistic about how many prospective clients you can serve per month. Next, analyze your competitors and think about what you can offer that they can’t. What can you offer that they can’t? How can you gain an edge?
- Depending on the daily workload and how much you will charge, you may need to invest in legal and accounting services to start a landscaping business as a sole proprietor. You can work with specialists on a contractual basis if you’re not ready to hire regular employees.
- Make a list of your potential income and expenses, then create best- and worst-case scenarios for each month. Consider business insurance, tax deposits, maintenance fees, and accounting.
What Does Landscaping Business Insurance Cost?
Your business insurance costs will vary based on the services you provide and the risks you face. You can expect to pay around $45 monthly for general liability insurance covering property damage and employee injuries. You may need to purchase additional insurance depending on how your business operates.
When your business grows, you may need to increase your policy limits because some policies only cover claims on a per-occurrence basis.
In addition, on average, lawn care and landscaping companies will need commercial auto insurance, which costs $150 per month. If you use company-owned vehicles, this type of insurance is required. For rented vehicles, you can purchase hired and non-owned auto insurance.
What is the annual revenue of landscaping businesses?
To earn a lot of money, your landscaping and lawn care company needs to offer a wide variety of services and have a broad customer base. Landscapers’ salaries can range from $33,000 to $73,000. Top performers, on the other hand, can earn up to $97,910.
What are the benefits of starting a landscaping business?
Starting a lawn care and landscaping company will depend on whether its pros outweigh its cons. For instance, if you operate in an area that requires lawn care services all year round, it might seem logical to start one. Despite the seasonal nature of lawn care and the economic risks involved, some contractual landscapers choose not to begin their businesses. However, creating a landscaping and lawn care company has a high earning potential.
Getting Lawn Care Customers: How Do You Do It?
To generate potential lawn care leads, you can use the following channels:
- Paid advertising.
- Social media marketing.
- Referral systems.
- Collaborating with key industry players.
- User-generated content and testimonials.
- Investing in organic search.
Moving ahead of your competitors and standing out as an industry leader takes a lot of work. However, crafting a detailed lawn care business plan will help you get ahead. You can make your hard work pay off by focusing on high-earning business tactics rather than worrying about how much it will cost you to start a business.
After covering the basics, you’re ready to start your lawn care business. Remember:
- Choose the services you will offer
- Create a business structure
- Equipment for lawn care should be purchased
- Invest in insurance for your business
- Your services should be priced accordingly
- Marketing helps you gain more clients
You provide a valuable service to your community, so treat your business like your lawns. It would help if you considered the factors we mentioned along with the competitor analysis, which is a prime consideration.