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Lawn Care Business Strategies For Dummies

Updated on January 28, 2014
Cutting the lawn isn't for kid anymore, Put your lawn maintenance knowledge to work and make a lucrative full or part time income.
Cutting the lawn isn't for kid anymore, Put your lawn maintenance knowledge to work and make a lucrative full or part time income.

Lawn Care Business Start Up

Many of you have considered starting a lawn care business to supplement your present income or hopefully be successful enough to quite your job and do it full time. But most of us have not followed through because of lack of faith, that it would be successful. Well think again my friend. The truth is, anyone can be a success at starting their own lawn care service. It does not take much skill, almost everyone has mowed the lawn, pull weeds, fixed up flower beds, etc.. In this hub I will give you a brief overview of the entire lawn care business, how to get clients, and how to be successful at it.

How To Start A Successful Business

Starting Your New Business

A lawn service is a service you provide for a property owner who doesn't have time to mow their grass or really doesn't want to. The first thing I suggest is make a professional looking flier, and place it on as many doors in your neighborhood as you can. This will allow you to get your foot in the door and let people know you are in business. Also place your fliers in as many grocery stores, hardware stores, and local shops as you can. It helps if you have a catchy business name like, The Lawn Shark, The Cutting Edge, The Mow Shop, etc... Use your imagination.

Lawn Care Business Promotion Ideas

1. Existing customers are a great idea for getting the word out about your lawn service. Kindly give them some of your fliers and ask if they would hand them out to friends and family.

2. Hand them out- Pick your targeted area and just walk the streets, handing out fliers and asking people if they would like a free estimate to mow their lawn.

3. Door to door delivery- Select houses in your target area and go house to house and hang the fliers on peoples doors. You can get the print shop to make up fliers that fit nicely over the door handle.

4. Insertion in local publications- Many local newspapers and other publications will insert your flier into it for a small fee.

5. Waiting rooms- Laundromats, dentist offices, doctor offices, are great places to put your fliers.

6. Parking lots- Just simply place your flier under the wipers of peoples cars at the local supermarket, be sure it is not a windy day because this might tarnish your reputation if the fliers are blown all over town.

7. Community boards- These bulletin or community boards are located at schools, churches, court houses, etc.. Look for them and politely ask permission to hang your flier.

8. Busy events- Carnivals, garden shows, community garage sales, etc.. are a great place to get the word out.

9. Direct mail- Purchase a mailing list of targeted prospects, and mail them your flier.

10. PO drop box- Some post offices will arrange to have a copy of your flyer inserted into each one of their PO Boxes. A small fee is charged for each flier.

When Starting Any Business It Is Important To Make Some Contacts

Once you have finished hanging all of your fliers, it is now time to call all of the local real estate agents and let them know about your lawn care service. Inform them that you provide basic lawn service for any vacant properties they may have. Odds are they have one, know of one, that needs your service now.

Put An Add On Craigslist

After you have done the above steps, I suggest putting up an ad on Craigslist in the services section. You will be amazed at how many replies you get from people want lawn service. Always put a phone number in your ad, and always be polite and professional over the phone.

Lawn Care Business Equipment

A lawn care business requires that you haul equipment from job to job. So you will need a reliable truck or a truck and trailer would be even better. Other lawn care equipment will be needed, like mowers, blowers, trimmer, edger, rake, shovel, etc... Always keep your equipment in good running order. Sharpen blades, change the oil, and spark plugs. There is nothing more frustrating that getting to a job and your equipment does not work. This will save time and make you more money in the long run if all your equipment works correctly.

How To Service Your Equipment

Always provide the best service possible for your customers in the lawn care field. Repeat business is the key.
Always provide the best service possible for your customers in the lawn care field. Repeat business is the key.

Deliver More Than Expected To Your Customers

When you are doing a job for a customer, always do a better job than the customer is expecting. Pull extra weeds, pick up sticks and haul them away for the owner. This will ensure repeat business, and endless word of mouth advertising, which is worth its weight in gold.

What To Charge Customers For Lawn Service

Another difficult task in setting up a lawn care service is knowing what to charge your customers. This is actually very simple. First, estimate your entire cost (including gas, oil, etc.) and add up to 10% to that. Then figure how many hours you feel it will take you complete the job. (consider travel time in the equation as well) and multiply that by the amount you feel you should be paid per hour (Never work for less than $20 per hour). Add those two numbers together and add 30% to cover your taxes and insurance. This is a fair way to figure out your pay, and your customer will appreciate it very much.

How To Sharpen A Lawn Mower Blade

Additional Help Topics On Starting Your Lawn Care Business

Proper mowing height

Cutting grass as short as possible for your customer is not always the way to go. Most customers want you to do this because in their minds they think the shorter the grass is cut, the longer the time before your next visit. This is somewhat true, but is not always the best scenario for the lawn. Below is a chart of different lawn types and the proper height to cut them at.

Turf Species

Mowing Height (in inches)

fine-leaf fescues

2 to 3

tall fescue

2 to 3

perennial ryegrass

2 to 3

Kentucky bluegrass

2 to 3

creeping bentgrass

1/4 to 3/4


1 to 1.5


2 to 3

Other factors can contribute to how often and how tall to cut the grass. Lawn health, soil consistency, nutrient level, and the amount of water the lawn can absorb should all be considered.

Other Service You Can Offer To Your Lawn Customers

1. Leaf Raking

2. Gutter Cleaning Service

3. Branch Removal

4. Weed pulling

5. Power Washing Service

6. Junk Removal

7. Pruning/Trimming

8. Fertilization Of Lawn

9. Sod installations

10. Mulch Installation

11. Apply insecticide

Franchise Opportunities In The Lawn Maintenance Industry

  • Lawn Doctor Inc.
  • NaturaLawn of America
  • NiteLites Outdoor Lighting Franchise
  • Outdoor Lighting Perspectives
  • Spray Green Lawn Care
  • Spring-Green Lawn Care
  • U.S. Lawns
  • Weed Man

Reputable lawn and landscape Associations

  • American Horticulture Society
  • American Nursery & Landscape Association
  • American Society of Landscape Architects
  • Association of Professional Landscape Designers
  • California Landscape Contractors Association
  • Independent Turf and Ornamental Distributors Association
  • The Irrigation Association
  • Landscape Maintenance Association
  • National Gardening Association
  • North American Rock Garden Society
  • Organic Landscape Alliance
  • Outdoor Power Equipment and Engine Service Association
  • Professional Grounds Management Society
  • Professional Landcare Network
  • Turfgrass Producers International

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    • profile image

      Earl Brandone 

      2 years ago

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      At last! Someone with real exerptise gives us the answer. Thanks!

    • tipstoretireearly profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      Delivering more than expected is a great way to build a customer base. I ran a lawn service for a few summers back in college, and gained many new customers through word of mouth from existing customers. The most important thing is to simply make sure you get the lawn cut on time.

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 

      7 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      Figuring out what to charge for a service is always tough. I like your formula.


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