Reasons to Start a Lawn Care Business
Many people appreciate a green, well-kept lawn. Although not everyone wants to or knows how to do this maintenance themselves, there are many reasons why people would rather hire a professional to keep their lawn healthy and looking its best.
Snowbirds and frequent travellers often need someone to take care of their lawn while they’re away. Similarly, retirees may not be physically able to do their own lawn maintenance.
Others simply would rather leave their lawn care maintenance to experts who have the equipment and know-how to keep their lawn and gardens in tip-top shape.
If you love being your own boss and enjoy spending time outdoors in nature, starting a lawn care business could be a great way to earn a living while getting to be active. Here are some ways to ensure you’re setting up your lawn care business for success:
Launch your website and create your brand
It’s easy to get your website up and running using website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, Wordpress or Webflow. There are no technical skills necessary. Simply pick a website theme and customize it to your preferences. You can also hire a freelancer on a site like upwork.com for a few hundred dollars to set it up for you.
Nowadays, your lawn care business can’t afford to not have an online presence, considering the vast majority of people use the internet to discover and research which business they’re going to purchase services from.
Start by picking your lawn care business name. Choose something that is simple and memorable, while keeping your target audience in mind. Instead of choosing a name that is trendy, ensure that you choose a one that will stand the test of time. The name of your business should reflect what your brand represents.
A brand is a promise to consumers that they can have certain expectations of your business. For example, you could have a brand promise to always arrive on time. Do you provide a top-notch customer service experience? It’s important to determine your lawn care business’ standard of service and deliver on it every time.
Determine a marketing strategy
In order for potential customers to discover your lawn care services business, you will need to create a solid marketing plan to direct people to your website or get in touch by calling your phone number.
1. Referral program
If you currently have satisfied customers, asking them to refer you to new customers is an excellent way to increase sales. Potential customers will be more likely to get in touch with you if somebody they know has already used your services and has had a positive experience. Start a referral program, to incentivize and reward more referral customers. For example, you could offer a $25 discount off future services to those who recommend your business to a friend.
2. Email marketing
The best way to stay in touch with potential customers is to collect email addresses. You can manually send emails, or you can trigger emails to be sent to customers at different parts of the customer journey using an email software. Email software such as MailChimp, ConstantContact, Sendinblue and more can be set up to automatically send these emails. For example:
- Regularly send customers valuable content such as lawn care tips, so they will view you as an expert and be more likely to purchase your services down the line.
- Send customers discount codes that they can use to purchase your services and nudge them towards a sale.
- After their lawn care service appointment, send them a follow-up to ensure customer satisfaction.
3. Digital ads
Digital ads can consist of Facebook/Instagram ads or even Google search ads. These ads allow you to use a predetermined budget, so you know exactly how much you’re spending to get the ads in front of your target customers. Tracking will provide insight into exactly how your ads are performing, to see if you have a good ROI. For example, you can track who visited your website when they clicked on the ad. From there you can track their journey to see if they booked a lawn care service appointment.
Read HubSpot’s Online Advertising Guide to learn more about how you can use digital ads to market your business.
To cast a wider net, consider delivering flyers to educate potential customers about your lawn care services, so they can get in touch online or call your phone number. Hire a graphic designer to create eye-catching and professionally designed flyers for your lawn care business. Have these printed in a shop and deliver them to homes in the various geographical zones that your lawn care workers service.
5. Online booking software
Once you use the marketing strategies to drive customers to your website, you can have an e-commerce booking page with a phone number and email ready, so customers can easily get in touch. Your customers can either schedule their appointment on your website’s booking page or you can book it on their behalf when they call or email you.
Choose the right lawn care equipment
The essential equipment that every lawn care service business needs to operate, include:
- Fertilizer Spreader
- Lawn Sprayer
- Grass Trimmer
- Lawn Edger
- Leaf Blower
- Hedge Trimmer
It’s important to keep your lawn care equipment in excellent shape so that you can rely on it to function properly now and into the future. Your equipment will need to be maintained to reduce the need for frequent replacements or expensive repairs.
Equipment drives revenue
Growing trends in the industry will help you decide which equipment to purchase and invest in. Environmentally conscious lawn care is becoming more popular, as a result, organic lawn care treatments and suitable equipment to achieve this will be important. As part of this green initiative, making an investment in battery-powered equipment, to reduce emissions can be beneficial.
Another consideration is investing in a ride-on fertilizer spreader versus a push spreader, this could save you time and complete service appointments faster.
Determine the right pricing and estimation system
Develop an effective pricing system to ensure your business is profitable and your work is being properly valued. Consider your profit margins to know exactly how much you need to cover the costs of each job, so that you still come out of it with a profit and are able to pay yourself and your employees. Create a pricing sheet as a reference for estimating and quoting future lawn care services.
You will need to factor in a few things to determine the right pricing for your services:
- Property size - this will determine the amount of fertilizer or weed killer necessary. Also the amount of time it will take a service provider to complete the job.
- Equipment - consider any equipment maintenance/repairs costs.
- Hourly labor rate - how much you’re paying your service provider.
- Special services/prices - if you’re using special materials for a job.
Don’t allow your pricing system to become stagnant - changes in the market such as inflation mean you will need to increase pricing over time. Take a look at the market, are some of your services overpriced or underpriced? Make pricing adjustments as you see fit to maintain profitability.
Start with the right automation tools - Use software to schedule, quote, invoice, and manage lawn care clients
A lawn care service scheduling software can help to streamline your operations. Automating the tedious parts of your job will ensure you get to spend more time doing what you love and earning money. These days, there is no need to be manually booking customers and managing sales, invoicing and payments yourself. This solution can help to make your business more efficient and keep it organized as it scales. We recommend looking for an all in one software that includes the following:
Job routing or logistics functionality
Driving to customers across large travel zones can be tiring and lead to burnout. By using route optimization software to make routes more efficient, you can reduce travel time and service more customers in a shorter period of time. This will also minimize fuel consumption and wear and tear on your vehicle. The environment and your wallet will thank you.
Online Sales and appointment booking tool for customers to self-serve
Many customers want the ease of booking their appointments and making payments online. With an online sales tool tied to your website, customers can book with you any time of day and you don’t have to worry about missing their call. The right sales software will automatically generate and send invoices, collect payments and optimize sales. It can allow your customers to see additional services on the page, giving you an opportunity to upsell them.
Since lawn care is a recurring service, if you keep your customers happy, they will likely become repeat customers. Remember: it’s much easier to keep a customer than it is to acquire a new one. They can even set up recurring appointments on the platform.
Automated appointment reminders
Send appointment reminders to customers to confirm appointments. There are many reasons why you may need to get in touch with your customer prior to the lawn care servicing appointment. A few common reasons include:
- If it starts raining, send your customer a quick message to let them know you’ll need to reschedule.
- Remind the customer to keep their dog inside their homes before you enter their backyard.
- Remind them not to water their lawn before your appointment.
Starting your own business can be very rewarding and by leveraging the right tools and using the above playbook, you should be well on your way to getting set up and avoiding common pitfalls.