Pros & Cons of Starting a Lawn Care Business
Whenever a new business begins, there are risks and rewards to be had. In the lawn care industry, there’s plenty of both. The question then stands, is it worth it to start up a lawn care business in this economy?
Throughout this article, we’ll look more closely at some of the pros and cons of the lawn care business. You’ll also learn the biggest risk lawn care professionals encounter and how to overcome it.
Pros of Owning a Lawn Care Business
A High-Success Business with Infinite Supply and No End in Sight
One of the best things about lawn care is that you’re starting a business with a high potential for success. Lawns are all around us, big or small. Whether your client rents their home from an owner who wants the best for their lawn too; there are always weeds to pull and grasses that need mowing when it comes down right now! Alongside this infinite supply of work (you’ll be hard-pressed finding someone who doesn’t have at least one complaint about his/her own property), we also get other benefits like being able to work outdoors and improve the overall community through lawn care services.
Perhaps the most attractive quality of starting a business in lawn care is the freedom to make it your own. Unlike other industries that have clearly defined borders, lawn care has a broad foundation and can go in many directions. For example, you could choose to pursue large corporate clients. Hotels, apartment buildings, schools, and community parks all host lush green lawns, and they want to keep it that way. Alternatively, you could choose to work only in residential areas, mowing lawns, pruning shrubbery, and watering gardens.
The freedom of this business doesn’t end at the clientele; you can also choose where you work. Managing a lawn care company isn’t like being a fisherman who is tied to an oceanside homestead. You could mow lawns in California or plant trees in Ohio. You get to choose where you live and where you work.
Charge What You’re Worth
Owning your own business means no minimum wage. You can select a fee based on what you’re worth. Taking into account your current costs for supplies, employees, and business management software, you can create a price point that works for you. You also get to design your own promotions, coupons, and discounts.
Another way to earn your value is to spend less on unnecessary costs. Being in lawn care means you don’t need to rent an office in an expensive high-rise downtown. Instead, you can have a mobile office. Your employees travel by truck and work on location with your client. That means no need for an office rental, renter’s insurance, power and internet hookup, and other fees associated with an office space.
Customized Client List
When you run a lawn care business, you have the pleasure of choosing your own clients. That means:
- Less driving and closer locations
- Friendly clients who treat you well
- Working good hours in good neighborhoods
- Higher paying clients
Customizing your client list also means creating your own schedule based on the clients you take in. If 9-5 is your goal, you can choose clients based on these schedules.
Use Products You Believe In
Working as a lawn care professional under someone else’s rule means using products they choose. Unfortunately, this could mean toxins, chemicals, and products that have been tested on animals. Overseeing ordering and inventory opens the doors to a whole new world of plant care products. Build your brand on products you believe in and forget about the rest.
Cons of Owning a Lawn Care Business
There are a lot of pros to owning a lawn care business, but there are also some cons that you should be aware of. In this section, we’ll outline the most important ones so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not starting a lawn care business is right for you.
Owning your own business means you get to call the shots. It also means you’re accountable if any of those decisions go awry. Being held accountable for a company is tricky. It’s not just your own actions you take the fall for, but those of your employees, products, and equipment. It’s essential to have all your insurance in order before starting a job. This includes bondable employees and having a business license.
One-Man Band Before You Grow
Lawn care businesses come in many sizes, but they all start out the same. Before you get the momentum to grow your staff, it could be just you doing the dirty work. That means long hours, small paychecks, and plenty of extra tasks with nobody to delegate to. Eventually, all that hard work pays off, but in the meantime, there’s less downtime with family and friends and more stress.
Managing Marketing, Selling, Job Management, and Invoicing – OUCH!
There’s more to lawn care than mowing the grass on the weekends. In fact, when you run a full-time lawn care business, there’s marketing, sales, employee management, invoicing, and more to consider. While some of it is delegated to a team, every employee you hire takes a piece of the pie you’ve made. Stretching yourself too thin, especially in the first year, is a serious possibility.
Lawn Care Can Be Seasonal
If you do not live in an area where lawn care services are needed year-round, your work and revenue will likely end sometime in late October and early November. If you live in areas where winter months are cold and lawns are dormant, it is possible to provide additional services such as snow removal, holiday lighting, or firewood delivery to help fill your calendar with work during those slower months. If you’re not going to offer these services, you will have to account for the loss of revenue in some other way.
Risk of Owning a Lawn Care Business
Along with the pros and cons of starting a lawn care company, there are risks to consider. While there are some physical dangers associated with lawn care, most risks are financial.
You can’t start something from nothing, and lawn care is no different. When you begin a lawn care business, you need to put in a little seed money (pardon the pun) to get things going. Start-up costs are an unavoidable risk for any business. You’re putting an investment into a company that could potentially fail. Financial risk is the biggest you’ll encounter during any new business enterprise, and it can be terrifying.
The best way to minimize this risk is by doing all your research, knowing your market, and having the start-up money saved and ready to invest. Using cash for start-up costs is still risky, but if you fail, you aren’t left paying off loans.
Being Successful in Lawn Care
If you’re considering starting a lawn care business, don’t go it alone. Even the most successful business owners began at the bottom and had help. Lawn care business management software will get where you need to be to succeed.