Editor’s note: This article has been excerpted from our Lawn Care/Landscaping start-up manual, available in the Entrepreneur Bookstore.
When you think back to the long, lazy summers of your youth, odds are some time was spent trudging along behind a lawn mower, pushing with all of your might and sweating profusely, just so that you can make a couple bucks to buy a baseball cards or some really cool bike. You might have occasionally mowed down a few pansies or even zebra-striped a yard, but you sure were thrilled when the homeowner arrived at the doorway, researched your handiwork, and forked over the agreed-upon fee.
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Mowing lawns or landscaping home or industrial properties to get a dwelling will provide you that same feeling of pride-while bringing you some fairly serious cash.
There are many advantages to running a homebased lawn maintenance or landscaping services. You’re master of your destiny, and you can devote as much or as little time into the business as you would like. You’ve got a short commute to work in case you are located in your community. You can work at your own pace and at just about any time during regular daylight hours. You also can benefit from the fresh air, get a good cardiovascular exercise, and bulk up your muscles.
The purchase price of this liberty and body contouring is relatively low-so low, in reality, that lots of new lawn service owners and landscapers use their personal credit cards or little personal loans to fund their new businesses. When you purchase the toys and tools you want to manicure lawns or install landscaping professionally, then you are generally set for years. You don’t need much in the way of office equipment, either, and you may set your office up at a corner of the den or a spare bedroom instead of laying out extra cash for a commercial area.
This all sounds pretty appealing, doesn’t it? However, naturally, every single Garden of Eden has a serpent, and yard care and landscaping businesses have quite a number of their personal coiled up and waiting to attack. To start, you have to be much more proficient at mowing, pruning and trimming compared to the average person. This means you’ll have to spend some time in studying gardening basics and techniques. You’ll have to be a disciplined self-starter who can dismiss the telephone of a glorious spring day and diligently service your clients instead of heading for the lake or golf program. You’ve got to be physically fit and able to deal with the rigors of this job, which may include things like lifting heavy gear off and on trailers, and wielding bulky handheld implements for hours at a time. You’ll be tackling potentially dangerous machinery and toxic chemicals. And you are going to have to be a really savvy business manager who will administer cash flow, invent advertisements and advertising campaigns, and implement a survival plan that will take you through the lean winter months.