Question: Is there money in the lawn care business?
Answer: YES. TONS of MONEY.
… IF you do it right.
Growing a successful, million-dollar lawn care business is more challenging than you think.
I could think of a list about a mile long of the various bottlenecks every lawn care owner inevitably faces.
That said, if you follow the right steps, you can potentially make MILLIONS in your lawn care business. And that’s exactly what I’m going to help you do.
Here’s my bold promise to you: By the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge and tools you need to build a multi-million dollar lawn care business with WILD growth.
Should You Start a Lawn Care Business?
In all honesty, there’s not a certain “type” of person that should start a lawn care business… That’s what makes the lawn care industry so darn great!
You can become a lawn and landscape owner at any age with any income.
Even better? You don’t have to be a hard worker! Just a SMART worker.
Plus, there’s a lot of money to be made (especially, if there are sub-par lawn companies in your area).
Bottom line: The lawn care industry is right for ANYONE that wants to start a lawn business and has the passion to grow it.
How to Make Money in the Lawn Care Industry
Step 1: Start with Your BEST Services
A lot of times, lawn care owners try to do too many things at once.
They bend over backwards to acquire new clients and give clients anything they want (including services they aren’t trained to provide, or massive discounts that bleed profits dry).
But this type of client acquisition isn’t sustainable.
It’s better to wait for the right clients to come along organically than to provide empty promises and break your back trying to give everyone what they want.
Ideally, you want to begin with a few select services, then get great at those services, AND THEN expand them. Typically, 1-3 services is a great place to start.
As simple as this might sound, many lawn care owners are more desperate to find more clients than they are to find the right clients.
At the end of the day, your goal is to build a healthy business that specializes in profitable work – not a Jack-of-all-trades.
Pro Tip: How to Make New Clients LOVE You
THIS is a prime time to get referrals. So give it 110% on your first 4 visits to a new property. After that, you can dial it back to your usual 100%. 😊
When clients are happy with your work, they’re more willing to refer you. As a result, when you receive solid referrals, it gets progressively easier to gain more clients.
And don’t forget! You should also create referral offers that reward your clients for their successful referrals.
For instance, you might try a 5% discount on their next mow… or a free add-on (i.e. edging and/or weed eating). Plus, offering free add-ons is a great way to indirectly upsell!
Step 2: Nail Down Your Prices
If you want to build a successful lawn care business, you’ve got to properly price your services.
Here are a few of the many factors to consider when you’re pricing your services:
- Payroll (Even set a salary for yourself!)
- Transportation (i.e. vehicle cost, time, and gas)
- Business growth (You want an extra cushion in profits for growth.)
Notice I mentioned business growth as a pricing consideration?
Once you’ve combined your expenses and desired profits, make sure these numbers match up with your goals for the year.
Done for you Estimate Template with built in Pricing Calculator
You can use software to make this really easy and perfect 100% of the time. Which brings me to my next point…
Step 3: Use Software to Become Truly Efficient
No matter where you’re at in your business, it’s never too early (or late!) to start using the right software for your lawn care business.
The right software for your business will:
- Create Faster Routes:
- Easily schedule recurring jobs
- Get more efficient routes with ONE CLICK
- View and update your calendar from anywhere
- Win More Estimates (in LESS time!):
- In less than 5 minutes, you can:
- Pull an estimate template
- Automatically price all of the jobs based on your best numbers
- Build it out for any number of clients (including unique information)
- Send out personalized, professional estimates to your leads and clients
- In less than 5 minutes, you can:
- Build Better Client Relationships:
- Keep your client history all in one place
- See all of your clients’ jobs, notes, and invoices
- Track calls from clients and leads (and easily store call notes)
Service Autopilot does ALL of this and so much more! Plus, it’s specifically designed for the lawn care industry, so the functionality is predictive of lawn care.
Step 4: Target Your Ideal Client
You know that client you LOVE, and you wish you had a million more of them?
Clients like this are known as an ideal client, and you should clone them.
To clone your ideal client, fill out a Client Persona template (we’ve created a free one you can download here).
As you fill out this template, think about one favorite client to make this process as easy and accurate as possible.
Additionally, I recommend you fill out 2-3 of these templates to get a better understanding of your entire target market segment.
Find Out the Emotions and Benefits YOUR Clients Care About
Step 5: Get Obsessed with Marketing
If you want to make money and grow a successful lawn care business, you’ll have to become obsessed with marketing.
A common misconception among lawn care professionals is that they can’t start marketing until they can afford to hire a marketing professional.
While hiring a marketing professional has its perks… This is a commitment best made when your business reaches a larger scale – so for now, you can do it yourself.
Feel free to save this infographic, which includes helpful beginner’s basics for marketing your lawn care business:
Here are some other ways you can begin marketing:
- Upsell existing clients with emails
- Start 9-arounds with door hangers and flyers
- Get more online reviews (and fix the bad ones)
- Hand out business cards (PRO tip! Add referral offers on the back.)
Bottom line: It doesn’t matter where you start marketing, so long as you start marketing.
Want to find out more about marketing your business? Check out our free and complete marketing guide for lawn care HERE!
Step 6: Focus on What Makes You Different
Have you ever heard this marketing quote?
Often times, lawn care owners focus so much on being the best lawn care business, they ignore the most important part of finding new clients…
How the heck are you supposed to find more clients if no one can find you?!
You’ve got to make yourself stand out in the crowd to remain visible.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s preface this by saying… While it’s SUPER important to be unique, this doesn’t negate that you should always strive to put forth your best work and constantly aspire to get better.
With that said, you can offer the best services and still struggle to find new clients. If that happens to you, more than likely you aren’t making your business unique enough.
These are a few examples of ways to create a unique lawn care business:
- Create an amazingly beautiful website
- Have your team wear recognizable uniforms
- Pass out eye-catching door hangers and flyers
- Choose a unique name for your lawn care business
- Place Facebook Ads for the local areas you’re trying to target
- Place Google Ads based on your local keywords and your top competitors’ names
- Make your trucks BOLD with color (most lawn and landscape owners prefer truck wraps)
- Create a unique selling proposition (i.e. Why should they hire YOU? What makes YOUR services WORTH the price?)
There are a MILLION ways for you to make your lawn business stand out against your competitors – just find somewhere to start!
Get 7 of our best performing flyers (tested over 8+ years), put into print-ready templates.
Step 7: Start Hiring the Right People
The #1 obstacle that’ll prevent you from growing a million-dollar lawn business is… hiring.
It’s not easy to find people who want to work an intense, outdoor manual labor job. This is especially true when the benefits and pay aren’t generous enough.
As a lawn care owner, you have to know WHEN it’s time to hire new employees and HOW to find them.
When is It Time to Hire New Lawn Care Employees?
As a lawn care business owner, you have to know when it’s time to hire new employees.
If you aren’t hiring soon enough, then you and your team will get burned out and overworked. However, if you hire too soon, you’ll lose money.
There has to be a perfect balance, so it’s extremely important you know when it’s time to hire.
We also have a free Hiring Guide that lists the top 11 signs that you need to hire a new lawn care employee.
Here’s the first three from that list:
- An employee has quit.
- An employee has been fired.
- Your employee morale is plummeting.
If even ONE of these statements applies to you, you MUST think about hiring new employees.
Now, you know if you need to hire more people, you should ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have a process in place for new hires?
- Is your service running smoothly? Are your clients happy?
- Do you have the time and resources to properly train them?
- Do you have enough money to handle a short-term profit loss?
- How many hours do you want them to work? (By next week? Next month?)
Once you know the answers to these questions, you’re ready for the next step…
How to Hire New Lawn Care Employees
Even though it’s hard to find new lawn care employees, don’t get desperate. Hiring the first person you find is going to cause more stress and headaches than if you were understaffed.
This is why it’s important for you to know how to hire the right people.
In order to find the right potential candidates for your business, start off by posting job ads on:
Want to know how to find, train, AND keep great employees?
Step 8: FIRE Your Worst Clients
There’s a few reasons firing your worst customers will actually MAKE you money:
- You’re losing money on the job
- You’re exhausted and overworked
- Your client takes too much time away from your other clients
And when you realize it might be time to fire a client, you can do one of two things:
- Fire the client
- Raise their price
If you feel your relationship with the customer is irreconcilable, consider firing them. However, if your only issue is based on profit, try raising their price.
Typically, it’s a great start to take 20% of your least profitable clients and raise prices.
By raising prices on your least profitable clients, you’re keeping the ones that are making you MONEY. Plus, you’re saving yourself from overworking on jobs that aren’t worth your time.
Step 9: Use the Best Tools to Get a HUGE Advantage
If you want to grow a lawn care business that makes money, you’ll need the right tools to get there.
By far, we have the most advanced, customizable automations on the market.
With our automations, you can do things like:
- Two-way texting
- Integrate with SendJim
- Auto-send invoices and estimates
- Create and track your email campaigns
Automations will grow your business round the clock (even while you’re sleeping).
Additionally, Service Autopilot allows you to track your employees through our mobile app. It even tracks breadcrumbs, so you can see where your employees are spending time.
Overall, Service Autopilot has been proven to increase efficiency, bring in massive profits, and cut down on stress and wasted time.
Growing a Lawn Care Business for Generations to Come…
When you first started dreaming of your lawn care business, you had the ultimate goal in mind… To create a business you could be proud of and pass down to your family.
Even though starting a business can be intimidating, if you follow the strategies I’ve given you, it’s going to be so much easier.
- Getting more clients
- And finding the right software
… These are all the things every lawn care owner will always struggle with, so don’t let these everyday struggles stop you from pursuing your dreams.
At the end of the day, growing your business is as easy as equipping yourself with the right tools and knowledge.
Originally published March 10, 2020 7:00 AM