Checklist for Starting a Lawn Care Business

Business checklist

If you are stuck in a boring desk job that no longer brings you joy and happiness, then what better time to start your own business? If you love being outdoors, making your own schedule, and have a green thumb, why not start a lawn care business?

It’s not super complicated to start and if done right, a lawn care business has the potential to earn you upward of $100K a year. If you hit it big, you can run multiple crews and continue to expand your earnings.

What do you need to start a lawn care business?

Below is a handy, printable checklist for you to make sure you’re not missing any of the critical steps to start your lawn care business.

You gotta have heart

What do you need to start a lawn care business? Ideally, you have a passion for this kind of industry. You will be more enthusiastic about putting in the effort and spending a lot of time on growing your business if lawn care is something you genuinely care about.

After all, as the saying goes; love what you do and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Lawn care is not just about having a green thumb. It includes many different kinds of services such as:

  • Mowing lawns
  • Fertilizing
  • Trimming bushes
  • Sidewalk edging
  • Removal of tree limbs and other debris
  • Blowing of grass clippings from driveways, curbs, walkways, and patios
  • Adding flower beds
  • Snow removal

Create a lawn care business plan

To be able to have a thriving lawn care business, you will need to create a business plan for your lawn care business. Just like any other business, this will serve as your blueprint to guide you toward your goals and will help keep you organized and motivated.

In your lawn care company business plan, you will need to outline your budget, how many people (employees) you need, and what equipment you have/need to start a business.

Set goals for yourself based on how much you’re investing into the business, and how much time you have to dedicate to the work. Is this your side hustle or you main source of income? It could very well start as one and turn into the other, but if so that also includes having an exit strategy from your 9 to 5 job.

Get a lawn care business name and license

Whether you are just a one-person show or you own a complete lawn care operation with a fleet of employees, you’ll need a business license.

You’ll first need to apply to be an LLC (limited liability corporation), and you have to make sure that your lawn care business name isn’t already taken.

You’ll then fill out documents, pay the necessary fees, show the documents to your bank, and obtain insurance. After all those requirements have been met, you will be granted your own LLC.

An LLC or any other legitimate company pays its expenses before taxes. This is a very crucial component to setting up your business because being an LLC opens up a lot more tax loopholes for you. This means, you can write off more as a part of your operating expenses during income tax season. This translates to smaller taxes for you and a larger take home pay.

Of course, you have to be approved by your city government, too.

Set up a corporate bank account

Set up a corporate account so that you will enjoy all the perks of being an LLC — and to avoid financial issues. For example, you must never mix your personal account with your LLC account.

In case someone goes after your LLC, your personal funds will remain untouchable. Keeping your personal expenses separate also makes it easier to organize your finances.

Secure a good insurance policy for your lawn care business

Do not forget about insurance. You will need it to protect yourself, your staff, and your equipment just in case something happens on one of your lawn care jobs. This is also for your security in case someone ever decides to sue your business.

First, you will want small-business insurance, which will protect your business’s assets, property and income. Depending on the coverage you choose, a business owners policy helps protect against things like financial losses, theft, fire, wind, damage from falling objects and lightning.

Pro Tip: It’s important to read your policy documents carefully to understand which coverages are included by your insurer.

You may also be able to buy additional insurance coverage to customize your policy based on your specific operation and needs. You will need comprehensive insurance for your work truck and trailer. This coverave must include all occupants and equipment in case you get into an accident.

Buy good equipment

You need to always have good, quality lawn care equipment with warranties.

If you’re thinking of going the second-hand route, make sure to test everything out before buying. Do not purchase anything that has not been well-maintained. The last thing you want when your operations are up and running is to refuse jobs because your machinery has broken down.

Good lawn mowers, trimmers, and leaf blowers will make your work life a lot easier, and you can do things more efficiently and effectively.

Check out our guide for buying the right equipment.

Hire the right people

Your team is a critical component to your lawn care business’s success. They will help you boost your business and please your clients. You don’t want an unreliable employee who will bail on you at the last minute.

How to get started hiring: It is critical to do a background check and vet all the hands working for you.

Lawn crew

Promote your business

When you’re new, one of the things you need to start a lawn care business is to actively promote your company. You may have the best knowledge, team, and equipment, but if no one knows who you are, then they won’t get the chance to hire you.

We suggest setting up your own website, being active on social media, and paying for localized Facebook and Google ads. Once the jobs start coming in, you have to consistently do well and give great customer service because word of mouth and personal testimonials will do the selling for your lawn care company.

A better option? Sign up with Lawn Love. You’ll get access to more lawn care jobs near you, so you’ll make more money and spend a lot less time (and gas) driving from job to job. Because we find the customers for you, you also save on your marketing costs. Oh, and we handle scheduling, accounting, billing, and any collections.

It can seem like a lot to start a lawn care business but if you’re passionate about your success, it is not too difficult. All you need is a good plan to make sure your goals come to fruition.

Main Photo Credit: StockSnap from Pixabay / Canva Pro / License

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