The majority of us are quite adept at taking care of our lawn, which has led many people to consider starting a lawn care business. However, there are several things that you need to consider before you’re able to start the company. Registering the business and getting the appropriate licenses etc. is obviously a part of this. However, many people overlook some of the key equipment that they’ll eventually need when on the job.
You Need the Tools
This could naturally mean that you may lose out on a significant amount of projects, as you’ll be unable to perform the work that’s being asked of you. There are a few pieces of equipment that will be essential for your company when you first start, with many of these being somewhat obvious to everybody. However, there can be a number of them that you may not have initially thought of, despite how necessary they might be.
There are also a few different tools that make your job much easier when you start working with clients. This means that they can be highly recommended for any lawn care company, regardless of how big or small they are. By ensuring that you have a few key pieces of professional landscaping tools and equipment, you’ll be in the best position to launch a successful lawn care company.
The majority of potential business owners will want to know what’s required to start their business and begin attracting clients before moving on to some of the less-mandatory equipment. It’s worth taking a look at the basic operations of a lawn care company before investing yourself in the industry.
An appropriate vehicle is perhaps the most obvious piece of equipment that many professionals will look for, outside of a lawnmower. But that doesn’t mean that everybody will know what an ‘appropriate’ vehicle is. The majority of lawn care professionals recommend a flatbed truck or a van that has been rated to hold one-ton of weight. This may seem excessive, but the weight of the equipment that you’ll need to transport regularly can add up. And if you need to transport large quantities of topsoil or fertiziler, then you’ll be glad to have a heavier duty vehicle. By being able to carry as much weight as possible without damaging your truck, you’ll be able to cut down on transport time.
This is also where a utility trailer comes into play, as it can further improve how much equipment and resources you’re able to bring too and from a project. That doesn’t mean that you should choose any trailer, as there are a few factors you’ll need to consider when buying one. Ensure that the trailer has a ramp that allows you to move a lawnmower in and out of the trailer without accident or injury. The trailer should also offer protection from the weather. Without it, your equipment can quickly become damaged by the rain.
Securing your Load
Lastly, you need to ensure that you’re able to lock each of your equipment into place for when you’re going to and from a project. Heavy-duty lawn care equipment can cause damage to your truck and other vehicles should it come loose while driving. This is something that can be avoided by purchasing lock tie-ins and other tools that are designed to keep lawnmowers and other equipment in place.
You should also consider adding your company’s branding to all of your vehicles, which will help with your marketing. While this isn’t a mandatory part of establishing your business, it’s something that can lead to a considerable amount of business over time.
Safety equipment is a necessity for every type of labor work, although which kind of tools you’ll need differs from industry to industry. One of the more important aspects of protecting yourself with landscaping and gardening is your hearing, as lawnmowers operate loudly. It may not seem like much when mowing your own lawn once in a while. But the noise can cause long term hearing loss for lawn care professionals who are subjected to the excess noise every day. This means that you’ll need to invest in high-quality ear protection, such as earmuffs.
The same can also be said of eye protection, as debris can shoot in a variety of directions. While this will typically be grass and other non-threatening things, they can do a certain amount of damage to your eyes. Invest in some safety glasses for when you’re on the job. These will prevent anything from hitting you in the eye.
You’ll also need steel-toed safety boots and gloves (which are mandatory in certain states). These keep your feet and hands safe while working.
What You May Not Have Thought Of
While each of the above may seem quite obvious, there can be a variety of other tools that you may not have thought of when starting your landscaping business. While some may not be essential to purchase straight away, they’re recommended for any entrepreneur who wants to continue growing their company. This is because customers will expect a certain level of service, which means that you may need specific equipment to meet and exceed their expectations.
Most prospective lawn care professionals know to use a lawnmower to cut grass. But a significant number of clients will actually want you to help them grow their grass. They want their lawn fertilized. Fertilization can fix patchy and uneven grass growth and damaged sections of lawn. As such, it can be beneficial for any lawn care or landscaping company to offer the service, and it is seen as a basic service.
While much of this can be done by hand, it’s not the most effective way of doing so, as the spread of fertilizer can often be uneven and time-consuming. This means that you may need to invest in a spreader, which evenly spreads the fertilizer. There are different types of spreaders to choose from. They can range considerably in price, although the most common type for professionals is what’s called a broadcast granular spreader, which typically costs less than $50, depending on the brand.
You should also invest in a sprayer. In contrast to a spreader, a sprayer is used to get rid of weeds that may be growing around the garden. Many of these weeds are in cracks in driveways and along sidewalks. These weeds will need a more targeted approach than a spreader, which typically sends fertilizer across a large area.
This is where a sprayer is used. A sprayer allows you to limit where the herbicide is placed. It uses much more pressure than many other tools. This pressure forces the weed killer deeper into the ground, right to the roots of the weed. There are different sprayer sizes to choose from. Purchasing one around the four-gallon or less mark is recommended. You typically shouldn’t need to use more than this on a normal project.
These also shouldn’t weigh too much, which means you’ll be able to carry them around the garden relatively easily. If you’re aiming for more commercial customers, then you may need to invest in a larger sprayer.
When it comes to lawn care, everybody will know to have a lawnmower, as it’s an obvious prerequisite to doing the job. However, you may need to have a significant number of other tools to effectively perform the work required on a project. The first of these is a trimmer, which will allow you to cut in and around the places that your lawnmower may not be able to reach; examples of this include around a mailbox, trees and a few other areas.
Alongside this, you’ll also need an edger, which does almost exactly what it sound like; it cuts around the edges of a lawn, while also being effective along driveways and other borders. By utilizing one, you’ll be able to efficiently cut around these edges without damaging the lawnmower or any of the non-grass areas that may be adjacent to the garden. By using the edger, as well as a trimmer, you’ll be able to quickly and neatly tidy up the lawn without needing to spend too much time doing so.
If you’re planning on landscaping, you may also need a hedge trimmer; while this may seem similar to a typical lawn model, there can be differences between the two, the majority of which affect their performance.
A blower is also something that you should invest in as early as possible, as it will allow you to clean up any trimmings quickly and easily. There are a variety of companies that may leave the cleaning to their customers. You should avoid this as much as possible, as cleaning up after a project can help you leave a positive impression on the customer and possibly lead to more business in the future.
Outside of the above, there can be a few smaller tools that you may not have thought of when starting the company, although they can end up proving vital to a project. Chief among these are:
- Measuring and marking tools
While these may not seem essential, they may make your work significantly easier. Especially when it comes to tougher tasks that require you to dig and remove certain aspects of the lawn. This is especially true for any landscaping work, where you may need to remove tree trunks and other large objects. While this can often be done by hand, it can be difficult and time-consuming. Therefore it can be better to just invest in these tools early on in your lawn care operations.
These professional landscaping tools and equipment may cost you a considerable amount of money. However, they can reap dividends over the long-term with the volume of work that you can get done. But, you’ll also need to put a significant amount of time into growing the company and establishing a positive brand name. This is one of the more difficult parts of developing a business. By placing a certain amount of effort into your marketing, and more importantly, your customer service, work should then start coming to you naturally.
Over time, your reputation will begin to work in your favor, as people will begin recommending you to their friends and family. This may only happen if you’re leaving your customers satisfied. Meaning you’ll need all of the necessary equipment, plus a little bit more. No customer is going to recommend a business that was only able to perform half the work. By having each of the above, you’ll be able to meet and possibly even exceed their standards. This will better position you and your company for future success.