How to Start a Lawn Mowing Business With No Money
There's a lot of cash to be made owning a lawn and landscaping business. Getting to the top will take some time. But, with the right planning and strategies, starting a lawn mowing business can be a fulfilling and inexpensive way to become a business owner.
In today's day and age, most homeowners do not want to manage their own lawn and landscaping. Mowing the lawn and taking care of the landscape is typically a hot and dirty job that most people would rather pay for, than do themselves.
This presents a great opportunity for an eager entrepreneur!
There will always be more lawns to be mowed then there are lawn mowing services. When your lawn business is started right, the upfront investment can be next to nothing.
Let's dive in!
First, You Might Have to Spend Some Money
If you already own a lawn mower and a weed eater, you're in great shape. However, you will have to spend some money on little things like a business license. And, you might want to look into business insurance. Nonetheless, these are small expenses and can be paid for easily.
Let's focus on the things you need to do to start your lawn service business that don't require money.
Market to the Right Accounts
Finding the right client is the first place to start. Residential lawn maintenance accounts should be number one on your list.
These accounts are easier to get, and require less work on your part. Plus, it's easier to attract new residential customers with referrals. More on client referrals later in the article.
Start targeting residential accounts first, because the large commercial mowing companies dominate the commercial side of the market.
Also, maintaining the landscapes of large commercial customers demand equipment and employee hours that require a lot of money to get rolling.
Commercial accounts are great, but that's also where the majority of your competitors are looking to get new accounts. And, the large commercial companies dominate that market anyway.
Once you get some residential accounts, ask the owners if you can take care of their commercial property too. This is an excellent method to break into the commercial market!
You Have to Do the Work
The best possible thing you can do for your lawn and landscape business is to do the work yourself in the beginning.
Doing the work yourself is a great way to eliminate costs associated with hiring your first employee... not to mention the cost of insurance, employee training, and additional equipment you'll have to purchase.
Doing the work by yourself at first, also guarantees your accounts will receive the best lawn maintenance services possible, because you are focusing on quality and building your reputation.
You can go slower by yourself also. This will give you a good idea about how long job tasks at your accounts take.
Having this knowledge will give you a good idea to judge new employee productivity once you hire your fist crew mate. Because you've been doing all the work—pushing the lawn mower, running the weed-eater, and the edging, you'll know exactly how long each account takes.
Start Your Lawn Mowing Business on the Side at First
Start the business on the side at first. Only work weekends, or your days off. This will help you build up a steady cash pile to use once you have enough accounts to go full-time.
Unless you have experience with lawn maintenance, starting the business as a side project will let you make mistakes, without crushing the business.
There's little things that can make or break a lawn mowing company. Learn these mistakes early and often.
Uniforms and Appearance
Looking and acting professional will go a long way in getting and keeping your first accounts.
But, don't go to crazy at first.
When you are first starting out, the quality of your work matters way more than a fancy uniform. Plus, that money is better spent on nicer equipment, and stickers (or magnets) for your truck.
A good route for uniforms is to purchase a few, colorful tee-shirts and make sure you wear those every time you are out working.
Also, a nice logo is great for your business, but not totally necessary. Web services like Fiverr can make a logo for you for as little as $5 bucks. More on logos later.
The key is to be consistent with your uniforms. Wear the same color shirts and pants. Clients will appreciate your professional image and want to give you more business.
Attracting New Customers from Word of Mouth Marketing
To get your first few customers, you need to ask all your friends and family for business. After you have worked for these customers a few times, ask them to spread the word and refer new lawn accounts your way.
Word of mouth marketing is an incredible method for acquiring new customers for your lawn business.
Your clients will want to help your business out... especially if you are doing a great job of maintaining their lawn and landscape.
Your job is to ask all your accounts to spread the word. Don't be shy on this front! Simply ask: "If you like the service I am providing, can you please tell 5 of your friends to contact me?"
This simple "ask" will help you build a steady rate of new accounts.
Deliver Great Customer Service
Delivering great customer service is the key to creating a cash-generating lawn maintenance business. And, it's super easy to do!
Tailoring your service to match your customer's needs is the first step. You need to ask each customer what they are looking for from your lawn service.
Taking the time to discuss these concerns with your customer will create a great relationship right from the start. You need to ask each customer what they want early in the lifecycle. Then you should ask again every month or so.
This communication with your clients will set you apart from your competition, and it's an easy way to deliver great customer service.
Marketing Materials, Logos and Company Names
Creating marketing materials and a logo for your lawn mowing business is not as hard as you think.
The first place to start is naming your business. Here, you'll want to name your business based on your own company and personal values.
Once you have your business name finalized, it's time to create a logo. If you have a friend (or you are creative) ask them for help designing a logo.
Another route is to find someone to do it for you. A great service for this is Fiverr. Once you're on Fiverr's website: click on logos, set your budget, then answer some questions. After that, you'll have freelancers bidding on your proposal to design a logo.
You can spend a little money or a lot of money with Fiverr, it's up to you. Finding designers to create flyers and business cards can also be done on Fiverr. Have a look and test the waters.
Software and Technical Elements
As you get rolling and signing up more customers, you'll need to consider lawn and landscaping business software. There are a lot of options to choose from, but your best choice is Sagenine.
With a mobile app specifically designed for lawn and landscape companies, Sagenine is an easy choice. Plus, Sagenine offers a free plan for those just starting out.
After you sign-up for Sagenine, you should create a Facebook page for your business. These pages are free, and very easy to create.
Create an email account for your business. Using Google's Gmail service, you can create and email for free. A good email address should include your business name, for example: email@example.com.
Grow Your Lawn Business
A lot of people will start a lawn mowing business and keep it as a side hustle... There's nothing wrong with that. But, if you want to grow your business to something that will create a solid cash stream, you'll want to do some things differently.
First is signing up with Sagenine: We've build Sagenine to help all field service based businesses.
Our free, starter plan will help you get in the game, and does an amazing job with managing your clients and keeping you on track.
As your business grows, Sagenine grows with you. Advanced features like Sagenine's smart mapping will help you manage your employees and crews once you have enough accounts to hire your first employees.
Sagenine's mobile application allows your techs and crews to review job information, notes, account and customer profiles. Sagenine's mobile app helps service crews work autonomously, freeing up the telephone lines and allowing owners and office managers the time to focus on other business tasks.
The point is, it's never too early to start using software for your business. Sagenine's lawn and landscaping software will help you keep track of clients, jobs, tasks and invoices. The amount of time you'll save using Sagenine will pay for itself over and over.