A Lawn Care Business means offering services such as grass trimming, removal of debris, and maintenance of one’s turf which includes internal services like fertilization, weed, and pest control.
The majority of lawn businesses offer weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly services depending on the need of the customers. These businesses offer their services to both residential and commercial customers both.
Are you looking to start your own lawn care business? Well, don’t worry. This blog will take you through the whole process of starting your business legally in the United States, documents required and much more. Let’s get into it.
9 Easy Steps to Start Your Own Lawn Care Business
Step 1: Preparing a Business Plan
A clear plan before starting the business is a priority for any amateur entrepreneur. It will not only help you map out the specifics but also help you in discovering the unknowns.
Let’s look at some important topics to consider while planning:
Cost includes business license, equipment, supplies, flyers, website, business cards, Internet connection and a pick-up truck.
This business can work with very modest liability insurance, however, if you hire employees, you need to pay the worker’s compensation insurance.
A typical start-up would require an investment of around $3000, with no assistants, which includes-
- Mower- $500
- Trimmer- $200
- Leaf Blower- $200
- Hand Tools- $100
- Flyers- $50
- Petrol- $20 per tank
- Website building- free to $500
- Internet- $50-70
- Pick-up Truck Lease- $299 + $100 (insurance)
- Target Market
Long-term customers allow the business owners to plan the budget in advance. Local companies are the best customers in this business, as they willingly pay more than the residential customers.
Spaces like hospitals, offices, shopping malls and schools can be considered regular big clients.
- Finding a Name
Choosing the right name for the business in challenging. If you are a solo owner of the lawn care business, avoid using your own name as the company’s name.
Keep in mind these points before registering your business name-
- Check your state’s business records
- Check the federal and state trademark records
- Check social media platforms
- Check web domain availability
Step 2: Forming a Legal Entity
It is important to understand the different types of business structures such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) and a corporation.
If you start an LLC or a corporation, it will protect you from being personally responsible if your lawn care business is sued.
Starting an LLC requires you to pay very minimal LLC costs with small additional fees.
Step 3: Tax Registration
Before starting a business in the United States, you will need to register for state and federal taxes by applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Depending on different business structures, the tax options vary with what you choose. There are also specific state taxes which can be applied to a lawn care business.
Step 4: Opening a Bank Account
If you want to protect your personal assets, it is essential to open up a separate bank account dedicated to only business transactions.
- Getting a Bank Account-
Once you start to mix personal and business transactions, your personal assets such as house, car etc. will be at risk if your business is sued.
It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
- Getting a Credit Card
Getting a separate business credit card makes it easier to identify between personal and business expenses.
In future, a good credit card history is the medium to raise money and for investment.
Step 5: Setting up Accounting
Keeping a proper business account of all the incomes, expenses and sources is crucial to measure the financial performance of the business quarterly or annually.
It makes the process of annual tax filing much easier if the accounts are detailed and accurate.
Step 6: Getting Permits and Licenses
If you do not get the correct permits or licenses before starting the lawn care business, it could cause you heavy trouble and hefty fines or even cause shutting down of your business.
- State & Local Business Licensing
Before starting the lawn care business, it is important to obtain a Lawn Service License. The business also requires certain local licensing or regulatory requirements which you can learn more about from your county clerk’s officer or local business associations.
- Service Contract
Lawn Care Business owner is required to get a service agreement form signed by the clients before commencing any project. This agreement should specify important things like client expectations and payment terms and conditions which lower the risk of legal disputes.
Step 7: Getting Business Insurance
In the United States, it is necessary for any business owner to acquire insurance apart from other necessary permits and licenses, in order to operate safely and legally.
Business Insurance helps in protecting the company’s financial well being in a state of risk or loss.
If you do not understand the several insurance policies for your business, you should begin with the most common one which covers small businesses needs, that is, the General Liability Insurance.
Business Owners should also make sure of getting Worker’s Compensation Insurance if they have employees.
Step 8: Defining the Brand
Your brand will only be a success if it justifies what your company stands for and how it is perceived by the target audience. A strong brand will boost your sales and help you stand out from competitors.
- Promoting Lawn Care Business
Following easy promotion techniques can help boost your business sales. Here are a few-
- Promotional signage on the trucks
- Door to door distribution of discount flyers
- Handing out business cards
- Following best practices for search engine optimization (SEO)
- Making an attractive website
- Assurance of Customer Revisits
Following these easy steps, you can help bring your customers back every time.
- Word of mouth from existing customers
- Being punctual
- Cleaning up the space before leaving
- Avoid leave the job partially finished or poorly maintained
- Checking in with customers regularly
Step 9: Creating Business Website
After brand and logo creation, comes the next major step, that is, the creation of the business website.
Here are some reasons why you should not delay building your website-
- All legal businesses own websites. It does not matter what the size of your business or industry is as long as you get your business online.
- Business Website cannot be compared to social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn profiles.
- Website building tools and sites have made it much simpler for any beginner to build a website without hiring an external web developer or a designer.