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How to start lawn mowing service business successfully guide for individuals want to quit their jobs and start their careers as an entrepreneur are as follows:
DESCRIPTION OF JOB
• Perform basic lawn care, including lawn mowing, trimming around buildings
and lawn furniture, and edging.
• Conduct seasonal fertilizing and application of other lawn chemicals,
including weed killer.
THE NEED
Do you have a lawn? You need to keep it trimmed.
It’s not just a matter of keeping up with the Joneses; in most communities,
laws and regulations require that property owners keep their land reasonably
neat. Cutting the grass also helps reduce the incidence of ticks, fleas, and other
unwelcome visitors in residential neighborhoods.
That said, not everyone has the time, inclination, or ability to take care of
their own lawn. The market for lawn mowing services includes older homeowners,
persons with disabilities, and people who just don’t have the time to do it
themselves.
CHALLENGES
In most parts of the country, lawn mowing is a seasonal job. (In northern climes,
lawns generally hibernate at least half the year, from about October through May.)
You’ll need to pay off the cost of equipment during the growing season . . . and
watch it gather dust over the winter. You will also likely have to pay for 12 months
of insurance and licenses even if your business runs only 6 months of the year.
Rain helps the grass grow, which is good news, but a particularly dismal summer
could result in long periods when lawns cannot be mowed. Similarly, a
drought could cause lawns to grow unusually slowly.
KNOW THE TERRITORY
Will you bring your own equipment, or use whatever you find at your client’s
premises?
Using your client’s equipment simplifies your operation in many ways: You
won’t have to buy a lawn mower and other devices; you will not be responsible
for maintaining it and providing gas; and you will not have to transport bulky and
heavy machines from your home to your customer’s lawn.
On the other hand, the equipment you find may be of poor quality or unreliable.
Some homeowners won’t have lawn mowers, costing you a job.
Using your own equipment should guarantee you’ll have machines you can rely
on; you will, though, have to properly maintain the devices. If you bring your own
equipment, you’ll need to transport the devices to your clients. If you’reworking on
your own street, you may be able to roll the mower down the sidewalk; anywhere
more distant will probably require that you use a truck or a trailer with a ramp.
Will you be responsible for removing grass clippings? Are there any local
regulations regarding disposal? (A mulching lawn mower may solve this problem,
if that’s okay with your client.)
Investigate other local ordinances. For example, some towns may limit the
hours when noisy power equipment may be used.
Educate yourself on lawn chemicals, including fertilizers, weed killers, and
pest control options. Take care to avoid exposure to dangerous substances. Remember,
although a manufacturer may claim that a chemical is not harmful when
its instructions are followed, you may be exposing yourself to repeated use of the
substance as you move from one job to the next.
Not all lawns are the same. If the property is hilly or irregularly shaped, it
will likely require more time and effort than a flat, square property.
Lawn mowing is the sort of job that can be done by one person or by a crew.
A lawn that takes one person two hours to cut could be done in one hour by a
crew of two. Although having a crew may allow you to cut many more lawns,
you’ll also have to pay additional salaries and benefits, and you’ll need more
equipment. The principal advantage to hiring a crew is that you may be able to
step back from actually cutting the grass yourself and instead earn your income
as the manager for your lawn mowing empire.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Market your services before they are needed. In the best of all possible worlds,
you will be able to sign up enough clients ahead of the season to justify purchase
of equipment. Place ads on bulletin boards, at gardening supply stores, and in
community newspapers.
Ask friends and neighbors for referrals. Offer a discount or a free service for
any clients they bring to you.
Draw up a simple but complete agreement with clients listing exactly which
services you will be providing and the cost. Include in the agreement whether
lawn mowing services will be provided on a regular schedule (weekly, biweekly,
on a particular day of the month) or whether the client must call to schedule a
visit each time.
Get specific written instructions about any special conditions—a flower bed
to be avoided or a section that needs to be hand-trimmed.
UP-FRONT EXPENSES
Commercial equipment can be quite expensive; you may need to amortize the
cost over an entire season, or even over more than one season. A heavy-duty
machine can easily cost $1,000, reaching to $3,000 for the most powerful,
widest, and most flexible devices.
Investigate buying used equipment from a reliable dealer who will offer a
warranty and provide service.
Additional services such as edging and trimming, fertilizing, weed killing,
and pest control will require purchasing additional equipment and chemicals.
HOW MUCH TO CHARGE
Underlying the charge for lawn mowing services is the amount of time each job
requires, plus the cost of fertilizer or chemicals. You’ll also need to build into your
price the cost of equipment (amortized over its useful life) plus an allowance for
maintenance and repair.
You can establish an hourly rate and bill customers for actual time on-site, or
you can estimate the time a job will require and then charge a flat rate. Remember
that square footage alone is not an adequate indicator of the amount of time
required for a job: Take into account the shape of the land, whether it is level or
hilly, and any other special conditions. Lawns that are overgrown or wet will take
more time and effort to cut.
Offer a discount to clients who sign up for an entire season, which could be
in the form of a reduced rate or a bonus, such as a free end-of-season lawn mowing
or fertilizing.
LEGAL AND INSURANCE ISSUES
Special notes: Check with local authorities about the possible need for a permit
to dump grass clippings.

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