Being a lawn care provider can be really profitable, but sometimes this is not enough. Let’s face it, working on your own isn’t that feasible; you’re always exhausted, you run from A to Z day in, day out and at some point, you realize it’s not even worth it.
So, what can you do about it? On one hand, you want to make enough money to provide for your family just through landscaping and lawn care services; on the other hand, you feel like sooner or later, you’ll burn out.
In this case, you should seriously consider learning how to grow your lawn care business. As you will see next, growing a lawn care business can be tricky, but it will certainly pay off in the end.
We know that this is by no means an easy process (or an easy decision to make, for that matter) and that is why we’ve decided to compile this guide for you. In the following, we’ll tell you everything you should know about growing a landscaping business, from how to do it to all the pros and cons you should be aware of.
Methods of Growing a Lawn Care Business
There are two main methods you can do that: by hiring employees that will work directly with you or by outsourcing all the projects. The latter method is also known as the “contracting model.”
Let’s talk about each of them, in order for you to know what to expect, what possible shortcomings might raise along the way and what perks they offer.
GROW YOUR LAWN CARE BUSINESS BY HIRING EMPLOYEES
This is really the most obvious way of growing a lawn care business. One day, you decide you can’t do it all on your own so you start looking for people who would be interested in working for you.
In the vast majority of the cases, this is easier said than done. But why is it so difficult to expand your business these days? For starters, finding people to compile a crew can be nerve wracking. Even if you do find them, you’ll probably need to train them, so you might lose some clients during this time.
Don’t expect it to get any easier when you’ve found your crew, either, because you’ll be in for a very big and unpleasant surprise. Here is a list of some vital advice on how to grow your lawn care business.
Create Your Business Plan
Give yourself milestones and a few goals you know you’ll be able to fulfill in a certain period. For instance, your plan can sound like this: “Two years from now, I want to have 20 employees and step down to handle everything in management and sales.”
Set financial goals, as well, and try not to beat around the bush. Once your business plan is created, you should be willing to do everything it takes to meet your goals. Ask yourself where you’d like your business to be in a certain period of time and get there one way or the other.
Many people seem to think they don’t even need a plan – they know better. They do not. Growing a landscaping business requires a lot of planning if you want the growth to be successful.
Do not start growing it unless you know exactly where you’re going with it. Set your goals and priorities straight. It doesn’t help to read articles on how to grow your landscaping business if you have no clue what you’re going to do a few years from now.
MAKE YOUR BUDGET
This is perhaps the most difficult step because there’s no budget that is set in stone. Pay attention to the fact that you’ll need to have an initial budget that will keep your business afloat for at least three months.
In these first three months, it’s less likely you’ll see a profit; that’s how business goes, so it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing something wrong. Your budget should be reviewed on a monthly basis, or even weekly.
After the three months have passed and you’re still in business (luckily, with a good crew and a higher number of clients), you’ll need to create a monthly budget. Here’s the harsh truth: the bigger your lawn care business gets, the bigger the budget has to be.
You’ll need to pay people, purchase equipment, pay taxes, etc. However, if your business is on the right track, you’ll be able to do all these and still earn a nice profit. If you’re not familiar with how a budget is created, a financial advisor can help with that.
Do Not Underestimate the Importance of Accountants
The legal and accounting landscapes are jungles. One of the biggest problems in expanding a lawn care business is the fact that the owners really have no idea as to whether they break the law or not.
You need to comply with the law, (god forbid) you’ll need to deal with lawsuits, you’ll need insurance and proof of your revenue. It goes without saying that you can’t really do any of these on your own.
Accountants are absolutely crucial to any business, regardless of its domain. They can take care of all the legal aspects of your company, from the aforementioned ones to keeping track of your taxes, expenses, payroll, and others.
The best way to ensure your company is in full compliance with the law is to create a partnership with an accounting company. This way, it will always have you covered. If not, you can hire your own accountant, at least until your company becomes more successful.
Don’t Hire 100 People From the Start
This can kill your business fairly quickly. First of all, the chances are that you don’t have enough money to hire more than 3-4 people initially, anyway. Second, you don’t need many employees at first, because they’ll have nothing to do since your company is still very small.
Do not get money from the bank to pay employees that should not have been hired in the first place. You’ll be out of business before you even start.
Be Careful With that Equipment Financing
How do start-ups get enough money to purchase the equipment they need? By asking for financing, obviously, either in the form of bank loans or investments, but here’s the catch: you can easily end up in debt.
Nothing can kill a business faster than excessive and unneeded funding. So how can you get the equipment you need if you don’t get financing from a bank? It’s simple: you wait until you’ve got enough money to pay for it with cash.
It can take a while, true, but this way, you can sleep at night. If you’ve ever had a loan or mortgage before, you know that sleep isn’t that sweet. You always ask yourself whether you’ll be able to pay the debt off or not or if that interest rate will bury you under even more debt.
Make the right decision and wait until your company has generated enough money to allow you to buy the equipment you need with cash.
Do Not Undersell
There is a tremendous number of people that make a huge mistake in the beginning; they make a list of their competitors and the prices they have and then they start to systematically undersell all of them.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is not how business is done: by doing this, you simply start losing money from your budget. Before you know it, you’ll be out of business. Yes, with more clients than your competition, but still out of business.
Instead of underselling from the start, try to assess what the weaknesses of your competitors are. Take advantage of them. Do they lack a strong customer support department? You can create that.
Do they honor orders slowly? You can do it faster. By taking all these low-risk actions, you’ll start to gain ground in favor of your competitors and rise to the top while growing your business properly.
Let’s take a look at some of the problems that might appear as you start growing a lawn care business.