How to start a lawn care & mowing business (from home, legally!)

I interviewed 3 people who own profitable lawn care businesses. They explain how you can get started in the business, with almost no money.

Updated September 17, 2021

Written by

Benjamin Davis


Experts interviewed:

Joshua Grimmer - Owner, My Good Neighbor in Portland OR

Eric Knaub – Owner, Roys Yard and Haul in Milwaukie OR

Grant Wallace, Owner, Grantlanta Lawn in Atlanta GA

NOTICE: This article is long. You can skip directly to the guide if you prefer.

A lawn mowing or lawn care business is one of the most popular small businesses to start in the US, mostly because it's super simple to operate and can be started as a side-hustle. The income is good too – depending on the area, a 1-day-a-week business can bring it's owner an extra couple thousand dollars a month, with very little cost to get started.

I interviewed three people who got started in the lawn care business years ago, and asked them what you should know about how to get started in the business, and how to run and grow your lawn mowing business.

First, I wanted to know what background they came from – do people usually work in the industry first, before starting a business? Or is it common to just get started and learn as you go?

So I asked my three founders – how did you get started in the lawn care business?

How did you get started in the lawn care business?

did you work with someone doing lawn care before? or did you just get started on your own?

Joshua: I worked on the maintenance crew at a state park. And I became very frustrated with the inefficiencies of a lot of lawn care property maintenance. And I really wanted to go my own way. But I loved working outside and just working with my hands, and everyday going home tired, and knowing that I did a good job.

Eric: I started this landscape maintenance company with my father in 2008 – and he had retired out of the business, but I am continuing the business. So, 13 years later, here I am.

Grant: I was just looking for something more, something better, something new. So, it really just came out of pure interest in 'what's this going to go like'. And I like the idea of being outside. I like the idea of being my own boss and getting paid to exercise is another perk. That's how I looked at it. So, it was a desire to be outside and the desire to do something on my own for myself. I started with just me pushing a mower and now there's about a dozen guys on the crew. We still do maintenance but now we also do much bigger installations, and cleanups, and drainage control.

Tip: You don't need to have years of experience – the best way to learn this business is to do it. Most people have cut a lawn at some point – if you feel like you want more practice, an ad on Facebook that offers 'free mowing' will give you as much practice as you want!

Because most people are familiar with lawn mowing, it's a natural starting point when they think about businesses they can start and run easily without having to learn a whole new world of information.

I wondered if there is a specific set of skills you need to operate the business, or, is it as simple as it sounds?

What training, what skill, and what experience is needed? Could you hire experienced people to help you?

I asked the three successful lawn care business owners:

Do you need experience in lawn care to start a lawn care business?

can you start a lawn care business with no experience? can you learn everything as you go?

Joshua: I would say a hard requirement is you need to at least be okay with hard labor, and know your way around tools. I think if you don't have industry experience, that's okay, but you have to be someone who's okay with failure, and making a lot of mistakes, and then being willing to correct those mistakes. So, I made a lot of mistakes early on that an experienced person wouldn't have made, but I worked really hard at correcting those. And I was always open to feedback I got from my customers, and I tried very hard to make a good company and learn from when we did things wrong.

Eric: Well, when I started doing this, I did have some experience just by doing this type of work growing up, being the kid that gets to mow the lawn and gets to haul the weeds – but if I was to give advice to somebody that wanted to start their own business, I would say that, for starters, you're never going to know everything there is to know about lawn care, landscaping, gardening and what have you, but that you should really just start with the things that you know you can do and then as your business grows, your knowledge can grow within the services that you provide. So, you don't necessarily have to have a ton of experience before you get into it. You just need to get into it and start going. And understand you're going to make mistakes along the way because I make them still but a mistake or a failure is an opportunity for education and growth.

Grant: I had a little experience just from mowing my own yard over the years. For maintenance, all you got to really know is what height to cut the grass at, how to use a weed eater and then to use a blower and trimming hedges. I mean, there's a certain learning-as-you-go part to it and then also if you can hop on and join up with somebody for their route, that would be super helpful as well. And especially in today's online social media presence, there's all these Facebook groups and communities where if you got questions, you can get answers real quick.

Tip: In my step-by-step guide on How to Start a Lawn Care Business, I explain how you can get industry experts to teach you everything you need to know, 1-on-1, completely free of charge. You can check it out >here<.

So my three founders confirmed what I suspected – you can mostly learn everything as you go, without the need for a lifetime experience before you get started.

You just need some equipment, and some customers.

It's a good idea to buy commercial grade equipment – not home-grade equipment. It lasts longer, but the direct benefit is – it makes your work faster, and in many cases a good mower will have a nicer cut than a cheap mower, especially in thicker patches of lawn.

I asked my three experts how much money you need to get started in this business, and what you need to buy.

How much money do you need to start a lawn care business?

is it an expensive business to start? what equipment do you need as a minimum, to start earning money?

Joshua: Yeah, so if you're in an urban environment, I would say you can get away with only about $2,000, if you're just going with a push mower, and you just want to do residential. You can do a push mower, a string trimmer, a blower. Like, with just those three things – you can make a good deal of money.

Of course, that assumes you have a vehicle already. I've seen some ridiculous setups, someone was using their Prius, which I would not recommend – but you can do it. So, if you have ingenuity – like, I drove my hatchback for the first couple months, and my wife hated it – but we got through it, and then I saved up enough money to buy a proper pickup truck. So the long answer is – you can probably get started with just $2,000 if you have access to some sort of vehicle. If I were to do it again, and I wanted a proper setup, I would probably want at least $15,000. But you don't need it to get started.

Eric: I would say, at minimum, maybe $3,000 to $5,000 to start a solid business. There's a lot of ways you can look at it. I mean on the super low end you could be the guy that goes out there and uses your customers equipment, and then literally all you would have to do is show up – but if you wanted your own operation, you need a vehicle, you need a trailer, you need some equipment. So, it all starts from there. I started with a common camping trailer that cost just about a hundred dollars but I towed it with a Jeep that I already own, so I didn't have to buy a truck.

Grant: If you want to start out solo like I did, you don't need fancy commercial equipment, you don't need a big 10-foot trailer. I started with my Mercury Sable and I threw my mower in the trunk and I probably got that for a couple hundred dollars online used, and I probably spent another couple hundred on the rest of the equipment. So, your starting off cost is really low – if you have $500, you can start a company because the LLC isn't that much – although you don't need to worry about that at the beginning. But if you want to do it properly right away, get the LLC, get the insurance and, honestly, you're kind of set. So, for $500, you can get going.

Tip: Buying second-hand equipment can be much cheaper, but consider having a spare of everything. A spare mower, a spare trimmer and blower. You can probably afford to, if you're buying them for $100 each – but if one doesn't start or breaks down, you can use the other one to finish the days work.

Once you get the basic equipment – a mower, trimmer, and blower – and then you get some clients, you'll be earning an income almost right away.

Each lawn care business owner I spoke with said they have far more work than they can handle. The lawn care business has such huge demand for services that you'll quickly have as many clients as you want.

I asked the three successful lawn care operators how much you could expect to earn as you get started in this business, and as you get more established.

How much does a lawn care & lawn mowing business earn?

is it a profitable business to run? can you expect to earn a good income quite quickly?

Joshua: Generally, I would say at least $5,000 a month for a solo operator owner – at a minimum. I'd recommend people do it part-time to get started. Pick up just a couple houses, friends, family, see how you like it, and then just keep growing from there. And then you can afford to quit your job as you take on more customers. The wonderful thing about lawn care is that you have very little overhead outside of labor. Because we're not selling products, we're don't have to carry inventory – it's just your time.

Eric: For an owner operator working by themselves, a good number would be somewhere between $5,000 to $8,000 a month. If you’ve got a couple guys like I do, that number should be between $10,000 and $15,000 a month. And, fortunately, I live in a mild climate. So, we don't live under snow for weeks at a time. So, that gives us the ability to earn income even through the winter months. If we were living in a snow-drenched area, I would be in the snow removal business which a lot of guys are.

Grant: Honestly, after that first half-year, you're probably going to be set because once you get your regular lawn maintenance customers, you don't really take on any more unless you want to grow. So, once you get 40-50 customers, you're kind of set in that way forever as long as you want to keep doing it but with that said, after that first few months, and you got that route, that income isn't going to change per se.

So, if I had – whatever I was making back then per month – let's just say $5,000 is a rough number, it definitely gets better as you get more educated on what you need to quote. When I started, I was quoting yards for like near to nothing and now I realize that was a mistake. So, you learn a lot but if you read this article, for instance, I’d say find out what your competitors are charging, charge what they're charging and you should easily crack at least five grand a month if you're doing everything properly.

Lawn care can bring in a very good income, and once you get your base of customers it's quite a stable business.

Generally, the answer seems to be – you can expect to earn anywhere from $5,000 to well over $10,000 with a lawn care business – depending on how much you want to work, and what you're charging for your services.

It all starts with the first client, and then, 40 or 50 more.

I asked my three successful lawn care operators:

How do you get lawn care clients?

do you advertise? do you buy leads? is there something that works really well?

Joshua: I started out using apps a lot – like Thumbtack and Neighborly. And that kind of helped me get my feet wet. And then I started dropping the apps as I was more established, and I didn't need them as much, because obviously they take a big cut. And then getting Google Maps set up was a really big deal too, so that way – I truthfully have never spent a dollar on marketing, and I've always had a full schedule. So, I've always been fortunate that if you just do a good work, and you set yourself up right on Google, the people will find you.

Eric: When we started our business, there were two types of services that I performed. The first type is a one-time job – just go clean the yard up and get it to the point to where they can manage it. The second part is we'll come by every week or every two weeks and keep the place clean. So, getting the first organic customer was getting the one-time job from an ad we posted in the paper. And we cleaned up the yard. Then we offered them the opportunity for us to come by every couple of weeks and just keep it as clean as we just made it, and they accepted.

I would say 30% to 50% of the one-time jobs would convert to regular and ongoing customers. Honestly, the reason they hired us for the one-time job is because they know they don't have the ability or flat out just don't want to do it anymore.

Grant: Definitely got started with Facebook and Nextdoor and from there, I think, I branched out to like Google and Yelp and the website but originally, Facebook and Nextdoor was filled with people needing their yards cut. There was no shortage. And just this year so far we've had 1,400 requests come through our website and that doesn't even count all the Facebook, Instagram, Nextdoor stuff. So the website is important as soon as you can get it done.

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As you're getting established in the industry, you'll have phone calls and customer enquiries coming in. People will be enquiring about your services, and will be asking you to help them.

Turning those enquiries into paying clients is the next task.

Usually, that's pretty simple – just be helpful and answer their questions, and they'll use your services. If you do a good job, they'll probably use your services over and over again, as well as recommend you when their friends and family ask if they know someone.

I asked my three industry experts – how do customers choose which lawn care business they'll hire?

How to make sure a client chooses YOUR lawn care business?

what do clients really care about? what are they looking for in a lawn care or mowing service?

Joshua: A big part of it is communication. That is a big deal. I can't tell you how many times I've heard, “My last guy just stopped showing up and you picked up the phone.” And they're like, “Well, you know, I can't get anyone else to actually answer". A lot of lawn care guys are not that good at communicating.

I am staying on top of customer messages and using websites and apps to optimize communication.

That's the biggest thing – just answer your calls and messages.

And then also having a compelling story for your business is important too. This something other than 'Jake's Landscaping', I think. You could have it be like 'this is a family business', or in my particular case, I do job training for young adults, and I use all eco-friendly tools. Have something about the story of your business that's appealing to people.

Eric: I believe that price is probably the least important consideration for customers.

What they base their decision on is – number one, I believe, is reputation. I believe they base some of their decision on reviews, and also on referrals. A lot of my business comes from repeat and referral business.

So, if I do John's yard every week and then John has his buddy Bill and Bill said “Hey, who takes care of your lawn.” He goes “Oh, hey, Roy's Yard and Haul takes care of it and they do a fantastic job.” And so, when I go meet Bill, the job is already halfway closed because people trust their friends before they trust somebody that they don't know. And then also, it's relationship. It's when I go meet the client for the first time and I spend a few minutes to get to know them, it's just a real, heartfelt genuine relationship and I show interest in them and then also you treat them how you treat your best friend. So, when they become comfortable, they're happy to hire you.

Grant: They'll usually be testing you to see how it goes the first couple times – because really with lawn care guys, it has to be a 100% commitment. If you say you're going to show up every two weeks, you should show up every two weeks. And for whatever reason, our industry is notoriously bad about that. And then from the outside looking in, obviously, a bunch of reviews is going to help, having photos of your work, I think having some kind of personality is good. I had a local artist make our logo. And so, people see that and they're like “Oh God, I like that artist a lot. So, I’m going to try this company out.” I make a lot of commercials that are more humorous. So, I’m trying to do something more than just being a standard – I don't want to call them boring – but just the regular company.

Tip: The worst thing you can do is offer a 'cheap' lawn care service. You'll earn no money, you won't be able to maintain your equipment, and your customers will be annoyed and give you 1-star reviews, which will eventually kill your business. I've dedicated a whole chapter in my guide (available for sale, or for free here) to the topic of setting your fees properly.

As soon as you start advertising your services, you'll probably get calls and emails from companies selling you advertising and other types of marketing.

Some of those services are great, and some of them are a complete waste of money.

I asked my three successful founders what their experiences were with methods of generating new business. I wanted to know what had worked well for them, and what had been a waste of money.

What is the best way to get lawn care clients?

regular advertising? door hangers? online advertising? what works, and what doesnt?

Joshua: You're really shooting yourself in the foot if you're not on Google Maps, and you haven't asked all of your clients and all of your friends to get on there and review you, because it's absolutely free. And if you optimize it correctly, it's a very powerful tool. Then I would say the absolute worst one – and it's not from personal experience other than them spamming me – is HomeAdvisor. They've been sued for basically selling fake leads. There's a guy I know that has spent hundreds of dollars in a month with them. And he can't even get any of the leads to actually call him back.

Eric: Well, paying a company like Yelp to get you clients is probably the worst idea that I can think of right now. They do offer a lead service, and I’m on Yelp – but it took a couple of years for it to take off for me but it did eventually.

That goes for any of these things – you get these phone calls that people that say they'll put you on top of the page every time somebody searches for you. That's not always a good idea. Any third-party anything that wants to charge you money to make your phone ring is not really good advice for somebody trying to run a business because number one, it doesn't always produce results, number two, it's expensive, and number three, that money could be better put somewhere else.

I have a web designer that takes care of my website and he makes sure my name is on top of the page. And he's a personal friend. And there, again, networking. I know people that do a lot of things – so, I get on and work with them and let them take care of me so that I can run my business. Yeah, I pay him every month but every time somebody searches for lawn care, my name is near the top. Then they click on your webpage and they read a few reviews and then they end up sending me a call which starts the relationship between me and the new client. And then I go and I close the deal.

Grant: I think if you're starting out, there's nothing wrong with using any of those lead platforms like Home Advisor, Angies List, Thumbtack – but although I’ve had good and bad experiences with them, they've been essentially bad because I feel like I’m kind of wasting my money when I already have the clients I need. So after a certain amount of time, it's just like “I already have way more than I can handle. I don't need anymore". So I say to them – please stop calling me, please stop emailing me.

I don't mind Yelp because they let you have a free platform. So, I occasionally will chit chat with them just because they'd like to stay in touch but I’m specifically thinking of sites like Home Advisor where I signed up and I just couldn't stop it – when I quit or when I left, it just didn't stop and it's a little crazy in there. When you get a lead on there, it goes out to everyone, all the other companies too, so it's first come first served. So, if you're not on your phone 24×7, it's kind of crazy and can be hard to make it work.

The general idea seems to be – try everything at least once, but don't assign much budget to it. In an industry with as much demand as lawn care, it doesn't take much to get your client base established.

It can be tempting to start buying things – new computers, or services, or things to use in your business – once the cashflow starts coming in.

I asked my three founders whether there was

What is the biggest waste of money for a lawn care business?

is there something that sounds like a good idea, but is actually a bad purchase?

Joshua: I bought a leaf mulching kit – and I just didn't need it. And then I also bought a trailer that was not up to snuff. I wish I would have just bought a really nice trailer and not wasted my money on old junk. I would say the broader statement is – don't buy broken down vehicles or trailers. Just save your money and buy a nicer one, whatever it is.

Eric: Honestly, the biggest thing when you're doing this commercially is home-owner type equipment. Like going to Home Depot and buying a 300-dollar lawn mower. I know everybody's got to start small but that's a real waste of money doing it that way.

When somebody buys a lawnmower to mow their lawn and they buy a lawnmower every five or six years, it's only going to mow the lawn so many times, right? Well, my lawnmowers – even though I’ve had them for five or six years – they've got 10 to 15, maybe 20 years of use on them. My lawnmower will mow 20 lawns in a day and then do it again the next day, and the next day. Whereas somebody's home lawn mower just mows their lawn once a week. So, they give me a hundred times more work than the homeowner mower will get, and they just can't handle it. And they're not bad machines. They just can't stand up to the constant work that you put them through.

Grant: Well, I’m going to go 50/50 on Home Advisor being a waste of money, because maybe it's not. I think it could help you out if you're brand new – but I just didn't need that.

And then, honestly, equipment. There's two ways to look at it because, I mean, I could buy a hundred-dollar used Honda mower and make 10 grand off that thing. So, it's like you could buy a $10,000 machine or you could buy a hundred-dollar mower, sharpen that blade, change the oil, you're good to go.

Another thing I’ll say I’ve regretted is something that I DIDN'T purchase – because I didn't buy anything to lock my stuff up. I’ve had a dozen leaf blowers stolen, thousands of dollars out the window and that's just because there are thieves everywhere, and like my dad says, that's their full-time job. So, if you leave something out for a second, they're going to grab it. So, you really want to invest in a safety lock or something that does that job. I got a camper top or you could get a bed cover with a lock in it. There's a lot of ways to protect your stuff and that's super important. Otherwise you're wasting money replacing stolen gear.

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All three of the lawn care business owners I spoke to have built nice businesses for themselves, and, they said it's not difficult. They all report having more work than they can handle.

I wondered what a typical workday looks like for someone running a lawn care business.

I asked my three founders – what is a typical day for you now?

What is a typical day for a lawn care business owner?

is it busy all day every day? is it an enjoyable business? how's the work/life balance?

Joshua: I strive for 8 to 5, Monday through Friday. I work a lot more in the spring. Pretty much in the spring, I'm just like – I wake up and then I go to sleep. And then all the time in between that, I'm working or doing work related things. And then what's nice is that I can relax more in the fall and the winter.

And now at this stage, a lot of my day is doing more administrative stuff billing, communication with clients, setting up routes, and scheduling. I'm trying to get into the state of being owner more than an operator. So, I think that's what people should be working towards – you know – trying to find reliable people to go out and do the work, so that you can focus on a lot of the things that really matter for your business.

Eric: Well, my typical work day starts with a little bit of administration work. I get the truck out of the driveway right at 7:00 to 7:30 in the morning and I try to have it back by 5:00 to 5:30 in the evening. Then I do more admin work for a couple hours. And being an operator driver, I don't have the privilege of being able to stay in the office all day and take care of my work. That all has to be done either at 4 o'clock in the morning or after 5 o'clock in the evening. And if I do it consistently throughout the week, I normally keep it all caught up. And I have other people helping me too. So, I've got some support that I pay for, and it's worth it because if I can pay other people to take care of the stuff that I don't have time to do necessarily, I have more time to work on and in my business and obtain clients and close jobs and go out there and collect income.

Grant: So, for me, on one week, I still like to work outside, so I’m still mowing yards and I’ll knock out a dozen on Monday, a dozen on Tuesday, a dozen on Wednesday. And then from Thursday until the following Monday, so another week, like a week and a half later, I’ll do it all again. And I’ve been using my free time to just do ads and really everything and anything on my to-do list. So, in that sense, I’m kind of only working three days every two weeks but it's enough. It's what I want to do. So, that's the point I’m trying to get across is I’m doing whatever I want to do – and it's a good lifestyle.

The balance between work and rest seems attractive in the lawn care business. If you want to work more hours and make a better income, that's what you can do – but even working three-day-weeks will have you earning a very good income for yourself.

I wanted to know if the industry had a reputation for bad operators, or if other lawn care businesses were taking nasty shortcuts.

I asked the experts:

What sort of CRAZY things happen in the lawn care industry?

are there shady operators doing things the wrong way? or is the industry mostly full of professionals?

Joshua: I think the biggest thing I hear is, “Oh, this new guy just started working. It's his first year in business, and he's mine for just 20 bucks. Wow, isn't that great?” And I can just always tell you, that guy will not be mowing your lawn one year from now, because he'll realize how stupid it is, and he'll stop. And he'll either start charging more money, or he'll stop, which most of them do. So many of these type of people come in and come out.

I would say not charging enough is probably the worst thing that you can be doing. And it just doesn't lead you to respect yourself. And then that means that clients aren't going to respect you either.

Eric: The things that I see that I think are is just maddening is that I’ve seen other lawn care companies, what they'll do is they'll have a contract with a client, they'll say “We'll mow your lawn from April to October twice a week” or whatever but when you get into like a drought season, what they'll do is – and I’ve seen this happen – they'll literally show up, collect the check, get out, look around, maybe blow the footpath with the blower, and leave again and still charge the client.

I mean, if a client signs a contract that says “We're going to pay this much money a year for you to come by and take care of my yard” if that’s what needs to be done, it’s okay. But for me – my business runs on agreement, not contract. So, what I tell my clients is “If I don't show up or literally there's nothing to do, I just won't charge you.” That's the proper way to do it.

The basic principles of do a good job, charge a fair price, and treat the customer fairly seem to stack up in the lawn care business as well. Just don't try to be the cheapest – it won't lead to a growth in business, it will just lead to financial problems for you. Customers are already paying more, so why not stick with what they're willing to pay.

In lawn care, as in most other industries, it's always easier to get more from your existing customers than it is to find new customers.

I asked my three experts what other services they can offer, in addition to just lawn care and mowing, to increase revenue?

What additional services can a new lawn care business offer to customers?

are there extras and add-ons? what do customers often request?

Joshua: I would say pressure washing and gutter cleaning are two big things. And then junk hauling as well are three popular items. And then we're working on spinning off a junk hauling business, actually. One of my former crew members is going to completely take it over and run with it.

Eric: I remind the customers of what I do all the time whether or not they need it – because when the day is going to come that they do, they will remember to call me.

So, every once in a while, I’ll send out my business card with all my services on it and my invoicing just so that they know that I do other things that are not directly related to lawn care. A good add-on for a lawn care company is pressure washing – whether it be the driveway, the walkway or even the building.

And sometimes somebody will want like a few yards of landscaping supplies or materials dropped-off in the driveway but they'll spread it, which is fine. I’ll do the delivery for them just as an add-on service.

Grant: You often need to be licensed to do this but if you're chemically inclined and you're not going to ruin somebody's yard, there are tutorials, you could go to a class or something for weed treatment, so spraying for weeds in the yard or especially if weeds outside the yard in like the beds or in the driveway or on the curb, that's a very nice thing that you could offer as well. And pruning trees or bushes. Leaf control is half our business in the fall. I could talk forever about that but making sure that you offer an annual plan is really the biggest key if you're going to do maintenance because it secures your livelihood for you, because a lot of customers will drop you in the winter and say they don't have trees or the grass stopped growing.

Tip: Knowing exactly when and how to offer an extra, an add-on, or an up-sell can mean the difference between almost nobody saying yes, and almost EVERYBODY saying yes. I have dedicated an entire section in my guide to the topic of selling the easy way – you can check it out >here<.

Advice for starting a new lawn care business, from industry experts

the three successful founders share their keys to success in this industry, based on their own experiences

Joshua: First of all, charge reasonable rates for yourself, and for your clients so that they know to take you seriously. You know, so that means write up a professional bid, and stick to your price and say, and do your market research before and say this is a fair price. And don't, don't spend your time, number one advice more than anything else, don't spend your time trying to undercut everyone else. There's a reason why other people charge it they charge. It just won't last if you're making half of what you should.

And then I would say there’s a lot of good relationship with a local dealer if you can, and try to demo as many different types of equipment as possible. To be comfortable with different types of equipment.

And finally – work really, really hard in the spring, but let yourself play hard in the winter.

Eric: Well, the first thing that I would do is I would tell you to start small and build. I would also tell you “Well, if you take care of your customers, they're going to take care of you” because anybody can go out and push a lawn mower but if you don't have people skills, if you don't have relationship skills, I believe, that you're at the mercy of the local economy to run your business.

That's another thing. Really just provide a stellar business and give your customers a little more than they pay for every once in a while.

Treat your friends like customers and treat your customers like friends, right? So, one of the things that I do and I think is huge is every time I do a one-time job, they get a handwritten thank you card from me. And that just lets them know that “You're appreciated. Thank you for supporting local family business.” And all of the regular clients on my roster, every year, they get a Christmas card and it's all handwritten – and what I do in that Christmas card is I include a little one-dollar scratch-off lottery ticket. They really appreciate it.

Grant:Number one is – don't neglect the maintenance on your equipment. It's a headache. There's no way around it. You can learn how to fix stuff yourself or you can take it to a shop but you better have a relationship with that shop because mower maintenance repair turnaround time could be a month. If you don't have a mower for a month, you're kind of screwed. And that just literally means just have a backup of everything. So, you have a backup mower, backup trimmer, backup blower, especially for the fall. So, maintenance is a necessary part of the job, and you can't ignore it.

The second thing is rain delays. Since we can't mow, we're not supposed to mow when it's raining or the grass is wet, that could really screw up your schedule because in Atlanta, if it rains, it rains a week, you're a week behind your schedule now and the ground is going to be hard, the grass is going to be long and thick, and it's going to take you longer to mow. Customers might get a little annoyed but they don't get too angry but you got to make sure you show up as soon as you can because I’ve had way too many customers, it's like “When are you coming? When are you coming? When are you coming?” and I’m like “I’m so sorry. It just won't stop raining. You can't get out there.” There's a headache there if you're in an area affected by rain.

And then the last one is just the heat. So, depending where you're at, maybe it's not so bad, but in the south, 100-degree days, that's a thing. Got pretty lucky this summer. It was hot but it wasn't miserable to the point where you couldn't even go outside and you would risk getting a heat stroke or something. So, obviously, drink as much water as you can throughout the day and wear sunscreen, wear a hat, wear sunglasses. You just got to be prepared for that. It could be some brutal days.

If you do all those things, you'll have a great business.

The lawn care business ticks all the boxes. It's super easy to get started, the equipment can be as cheap as $500 or $1000, and in most places around the country the demand for services is much higher than the existing businesses can handle.

I have spent over 100 hours learning everything there is to know about the lawn care business, by talking to industry experts and lawn care operators. I have compiled it into the worlds most useful guide, How to Start a Lawn Care Business. You can check it out here.

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