You’ve made the bold decision to start your own lawn-mowing business after leaving your job. The idea of working for yourself, setting your own schedule, and making a positive impact on your customers’ lawns and lives excites you.
However, if you don’t have enough capital to invest in a well-known franchise, you need to develop your own plan to grow your lawn mowing services company. To ensure your success and avoid common mistakes made by lawn care businesses, here are ten issues to steer clear of when starting your budget-friendly lawn care venture:
- Using all of your savings to purchase equipment
When starting a lawn mowing business, your three biggest initial expenses will likely be the lawnmower, vehicle, and trailer. It’s crucial not to exhaust all your savings on these purchases. Remember, customers won’t inquire about the age of your equipment, so don’t let pride influence your choices. Consider buying used equipment and upgrading as your cash flow permits. This approach will give you more financial flexibility initially and prevent unnecessary stress about credit card payments.
- Neglecting to return calls
Managing phone calls while driving and mowing can be challenging. However, not answering customer calls is a common reason why lawn care businesses fail. If you fail to pick up the phone, you’re likely losing clients faster than you’re acquiring them, wasting the money spent on marketing to attract those clients. To overcome this challenge, explore strategies like using hands-free devices or hiring a part-time assistant to handle calls while you focus on mowing.
- Cutting grass outside permitted hours
In Australia, certain noise restriction periods must be followed to avoid immediate penalties from the local council. Each state has specific rules regarding mowing hours, typically allowing mowing on weekdays starting at 7 am or 8 am and on weekends at 8 am, 9 am, or 10 am. It’s crucial to be aware of your state’s noise limit periods unless you want to deal with irate neighbours or face hefty council fines. Familiarize yourself with your state’s regulations to maintain good relationships with the community and adhere to the law.
- Assuming everyone will pay promptly
Unpaid debts can cause significant headaches for lawn mowing contractors, and unfortunately, it’s a common challenge. Even professional mowing franchises face issues with clients who refuse to pay on time. To avoid such situations, carefully choose your clients, establish a system or checklist to track payments, and act swiftly to address non-payment. If clients consistently fail to pay, consider terminating the business relationship to protect your financial interests.
- Ignorance of legal obligations
Navigating legal requirements and regulations can be a daunting task, but failing to comply with them can lead to severe penalties and legal troubles. Before starting your lawn mowing service, familiarize yourself with the crucial legal obligations and public liability insurance qld requirements. Take the steps required to ensure full compliance and protect your business from potential legal issues. Consult government websites or seek legal advice to ensure you are aware of and meet all the legal requirements.
- Providing low-cost services
While it may be tempting to undercut your competitors by offering low-cost lawn mowing services, it’s essential to consider the long-term implications. Offering cheap rates might seem like a way to attract customers initially, but it can have several drawbacks. Calculate your labour hours, account for missed opportunities for higher-paying jobs, consider equipment costs, and evaluate your ability to increase prices in the future. Providing the cheapest lawn mowing price may not be in your best interest and can impact your company’s reputation and profitability.
- Neglecting lawnmower maintenance
Regular maintenance of your lawnmower is crucial to its longevity and efficiency. Many people overlook maintenance because nothing seems “broken” yet, or they don’t prioritize it. However, routine maintenance is often less expensive than repairs and allows you to compare prices. Schedule maintenance tasks, perform simple maintenance yourself, and keep a maintenance schedule for each piece of equipment. By taking proactive measures, you can prevent unexpected breakdowns and minimize business disruptions.
- Waiting for clients to approach you
Sitting around at home and idly waiting for the phone to ring is not a proactive approach to growing your lawn care business. Successful contractors are constantly looking for new ways to advertise and promote their services. Even if you provide the best lawn care service in the world, it won’t thrive if no one knows about it. Utilize various marketing channels such as the internet, phone, advertising, in-person visits, and more to spread the word about your business. Be proactive and take your own initiative to reach out to potential clients.
- Disregarding lawn mower security
It’s important to prioritize safety when operating a lawn mower. While you may feel invincible, accidents can happen, causing injury to yourself or others. Treat your lawn mower with care and respect, as it is a powerful piece of equipment. Adhere to safety guidelines, wear appropriate protective gear, and consider personal accident and sickness insurance to protect yourself financially in case of an accident. Prioritizing safety will contribute to a successful and injury-free operation.
- Failing to network
Building relationships is essential for the success of any small business, including a lawn mowing company. Look for opportunities to connect with other professionals in complementary home service businesses, such as house cleaners, carpet cleaners, pool maintenance teams, junk hauliers, landscape experts, and specialized lawn sprayers. Collaborate and establish referral networks, where you can cross-refer customers to each other. This mutually beneficial arrangement helps clients who may need multiple services and strengthens both your business and that of your collaborators.
By avoiding these ten mistakes and implementing effective strategies, you increase your chances of success in the lawn mowing business. Remember to stay proactive, maintain high standards of customer service, and continuously seek opportunities to improve and grow your business.