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Pros & Cons of Starting a Lawn Business

Part 1: Home Business Idea - Lawn Care

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Pros & Cons of Starting a Lawn Business
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The smell of fresh cut grass is intoxicating, but it isn’t the only reason to start a lawn business or consider yard care as a home business idea. There is ample opportunity within this service sector and the ability to customize a business to fit your specific desires and needs. Consider the following pros and cons of starting your own lawn care home business:

Pros:

  • Stable & Repeat Business: Lawn care accounts are perpetual, meaning ongoing and consistent. Your customer base will need their lawns mowed once a week, making for a stable book of business.

  • Revenue Generating Consumables: Not only do people need their lawns maintained, they need special fertilizers and treatments for weeds and bugs nearly every 4-6 weeks. These treatments would be considered “consumables”, meaning reoccurring product usage, and this business feature makes for an attractive business model.

  • Scalable: You can start by offering one service (mowing lawns) and build out to other service offerings like landscaping services, new sod installation, gardening, tree trimming, weeding…etc. The myriad of options available will allow you to scale up as customer demands change.

  • Customizable: There are so many ways to tailor this business to fit your needs or expertise. You can choose to be a sole proprietor, who literally does it all, or you can be the marketing genius who manages multiple lawn care teams from your home office. You can decide to go after residential contracts (the B2C route) or commercial building contracts (the B2B route).

  • Entry-Level Workforce: If you scale up and need employees, the majority of this type of workforce needs no formal education and is able to learn on the job. This means no expensive training or recruiting costs. Beware, however, this workforce typically comes with a higher turnover rate.

  • Franchises Available: If you are interested in purchasing an existing model to work from, there are many proven and reputable lawn care business franchises available for purchase. Additionally, you can consider purchasing an existing business, which will provide you with an existing customer base and equipment.

  • Seasonal: Excellent for those individuals who have summers off (i.e. teachers or full-time students or people whose professions revolve around winter climates).

Cons:

  • Seasonal: Unless you live in an area where winters aren’t bad, your customer accounts go into hibernation by mid-October. If you are looking for a year-round business, you will need to find something to diversify your product offering (i.e. snow removal) to keep business up and running through the winter.

  • Start-Up Expenses: Depending on the type of lawn care business you decide to build out, you will need equipment and something to transport this equipment with. This may require up front cash and in some cases, a sizable amount.

  • Competitive: Open your phone book and you will find a number of lawn care businesses in your area. If the market is too oversaturated, you will find the need to compete off price and this will cut into your gross margins. Research your area and if possible, speak to existing lawn care companies about what they are experiencing in your area.

  • Some Economic Risk: When economic times get tough, existing residential customers may find the need to cut non-essential expenses, and for many, outsourced lawn care is one of those.

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