So you want to start a lawn care business, but don’t have a stack of green to buy a new truck, trailer, and a big mower. Hell, maybe you don’t have the funds to buy a wore out truck and a junky used walk-behind mower.
You’re in luck. You can still start a lawn care business with your limited budget. And maybe even no budget at all….. if you are creative.
Think outside the box
Can you afford any option below?
- A tarp and set of hedge trimmers
- A granular spreader and a bag of fire ant control
- 20 bales of pine straw or let the homeowner buy it and you spread it
- 5 soil testing kits
- $10 a week to run a classified ad for mowing services that you sub out for a percentage of the job cost
Start a lawn care business in bite-sized steps
The services above could be part of a large lawn care operation. It’s true. But that fact shows that doing just one of the services is a viable option for you if you are just starting out.
These services are in demand, but some homeowners don’t want all of them performed. Many homeowners have a mower, but don’t know how to do a soil test properly. Or maybe they don’t have a decent spreader for pest control.
So start off small and work your way up to a full service lawn business. Or don’t. Be creative and you might actually profit more than a guy with ten employees, 15 mowers, and a constant headache!
Let’s look at each option below.
Even if a senior citizen is still mowing his lawn at 72 years old, it’s unlikely he can handle the hedge trimming. This is hard work and painful if you are not used to it. Holding a heavy piece of equipment in outstretched arms for an hour or two is tough enough on a twenty-year old!
This little service can be composed of the trimmers along with a rake and tarp to rake up the clippings. If you can’t buy the $300 trimmers, then line up 5-6 jobs for the same day, and rent the trimmers. Take the profit from those jobs and buy a decent set of trimmers the very next morning before you waste that money!
Start a lawn care business at your own pace, and save your money!
Fire Ant Control
People hate fire ants. You love money. It’s a match made in heaven. Research the best products to get rid of the little devils and post some ads for your ant eradication service.
You can buy a spreader for $50-$100 and purchase the pest control product as you get the work.
There are organic ways to get rid of fire ants too. So you can try to target that market of people afraid of toxins on their lawn.
Spread Pine Straw
Is this glamorous work? No
Is it fun? No.
Do people pay good money to have it done? Yes!
And the best thing about pine straw is you need no equipment to get going. That means low overhead and no worry about repairs.
Also you won’t have a big mower sitting in the garage for four months of winter like the genius who bought a $12,000 mower for ten lawns.
How many homeowners do you know that actually test their soil before adding fertilizers and weed control? Few if any I bet.
You can do this simple task for them. The key is to become an expert on turf. That way they will turn to you instead of a general lawn care guy who is the jack of all lawn trades and master of none.
Sub it Out
It might sound ridiculous to say you can run a lawn care operation with no mowers, no trimmers, no truck, and no desire to work outdoors. But stranger things happen.
I personally know a guy who opened a lawn care company and owned no equipment for the first couple years. He bid on jobs, got some, then subbed it out to other companies (with actual machines to mow lawns).
If you are good at marketing, why could you not find 50 grass cutting clients in two months? Take 10-20 percent of the pay for each cut and you will make decent money and never have to get dirty.
I’m not the boss of you. Start a lawn business any way you choose.
Just know you don’t have to be like every Mow Joe on the road. Most of those guys are in debt up to their mower seats and will be out of business once their mowers start breaking down.
Start off small and level up in the green industry. Leveling up doesn’t necessarily mean following the crowd though.
Perhaps you can scale your bite-sized service to the point where you are making plenty of money without the debt or headaches.