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Tips for Starting (and Growing) Your Lawn Maintenance Business

Tips for Starting (and Growing) Your Lawn Maintenance Business

Starting a lawn maintenance business is a good idea for several reasons. First, it requires no formal training (at least not in a traditional sense), and it’s great for those who want to learn about small business management without exposing themselves to major risks. Still, running a business, especially building one from scratch, is not an easy task. This is why you might need some help starting and growing your lawn maintenance business. Here are several tips for those who don’t mind starting humble and building their path to success from the ground up.

Pros and Cons

Starting a lawn maintenance business is a good idea because it is: A) a stable and repeat business and B) it offers you a chance to diversify your revenue streams. You’ll have the option to sell all sorts of add-ons like fertilizers, weed treatments, and similar items. Due to the fact that they’re already doing business with you, customers are more likely to make more purchases even at a greater price, especially since you’ll apply these consumables for them. You can also customize your equipment according to the needs of your company, which gives you additional room to maneuver.

There are some downsides here, as well. For instance, if you don’t have any equipment, the initial investments might end up being sizable. Second, the service is not exactly a top priority for all of your clients, which is why you might be the first one they cut if the economy starts declining. Finally, in some climates, this work might be seasonal, and you need to prepare for this downtime.

The Type of Lawn Maintenance Business

The first thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that there are many options when it comes to the type of lawn maintenance business that you can to run. For instance, you could start modestly as a one-person startup, just maintaining lawns in your neighborhood, and then expand the radius of your activity, or you could aim for corporate office lawn maintenance, instead.

These two choices will decide how many contracts you need to have in order to be profitable (corporate contracts have a greater value and you can run a business with one or two steady clients). It also dictates the quality of equipment you need to have, and the direction in which you’ll have to go in order to expand. Sometimes, it will even control whether you need to grow your business in one place, or start a chain of smaller offices across the state.

Think about the Overhead

Even if you’re working on your own (no employee salaries) and don’t sell anything (at the moment), you’ll have to think about the overhead of your business. Sure, you have the initial investment in equipment, but are you paying upfront or do you have to rely on monthly credit payments? Eventually, your equipment will break down and you’ll have to fix it or replace its parts. Businesses like Green Acres Mowers specialize in lawn maintenance parts like chainsaw and trimmer parts, lawn mower parts, as well as safety gear, which gets worn out or damaged during the maintenance process.

Know Your Goals

The worst mistake that an entrepreneur can make is not knowing where they want their business to be in a couple of years. Every employee you hire and every piece of equipment you purchase is something that will have to be paid off in the near future. If you know where you want to go, you’ll be able to examine whether business decisions you’re making are taking you in this direction. If the answer is no, you have to change your course.

Also, make sure that your goals are measurable, because the last thing you want is to have to rely on subjective feeling when it comes to something important. Therefore, have an idea of the revenue you want to have, the number of clients (exposure and income stability), the number of employees, and the quality of equipment that you should possess.

Measure Everything

The last piece of advice that is pivotal for the success of every entrepreneur out there is that you should measure everything. The cost of obtaining a single client, the frequency at which these clients need your services, and the difference between the pinnacle of the season and its lowest point are just some of the things you need to bear in mind. By measuring everything, you’ll become better at preparing yourself for anything, and you will avoid making the same mistake twice.


The next thing you should keep in mind is the fact that there are so many variables that will affect your success, that it’s nearly impossible for one to say when your business will be ready to take the next step. Nonetheless, if you lay out a proper groundwork, that moment will definitely arrive at one point in the future.

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by Cooper Klein // Cooper Klein is an entrepreneur with a degree in Marketing and a regular contributor to many online magazines. In order to spend more time with his family, Cooper decided to take a break, and he's currently working from home as a blogger.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.