You are looking at a small enterprise that you could start at home to augment the family’s income. Your wife works for a law firm, and you’re the stay-at-home dad taking care of the kids and everything else around the house. The kids are much older now and require very little guidance. So you feel like you can devote your time to do some work. You’ve looked at several business opportunities, like a commercial cleaning franchise or a food business. They all seem like they need significant investments and would require a separate office.
A friend mentioned that you could probably try starting a lawn care business. You peek out the window, and you saw several houses in your neighborhood with vast lawns. Somehow, something clicked, and you began to do more research about it. How does one start a lawn care business?
Here are a few things that you might have found during your research:
An Overview of Lawn Care in America
2015 figures indicate that roughly $29.1 billion was spent on lawn care. Using the population numbers for the same year, the spending comes to just below $91 per person.
Also, a survey in 2016 revealed that 94% of homes that have lawns, claimed that they hired lawn mowing services or a landscaping company. A further 31% in the survey said they don’t know how to maintain a healthy lawn.
That 31% might be the sweet spot for your business.
All About the Vision
That you’re likely going to do the business from home and that you will continue with your other responsibilities, might be the first indicator of how you envision your business to be. Is it going to be a part-time thing? Or are you ready to devote a significant portion of your time to make the business a full-time engagement? What’s your expectation about the growth of your business or your team?
These are the questions you’re going to have to answer first before really making any serious moves. Answering these questions will help you clarify your goals and your mission statement.
Building an Organized Team
You’re going to have to dig into your inner HR-mojo because one of the most crucial things you would do is to recruit people for your team and organize them to near perfection. Scheduling has plenty to do with creating efficiency, and therefore more lawn services accomplished. Are there team members who can get to a location faster than anyone else could? Plan and chart locations for your team that make sense and in the most efficient way.
Communication Is Key
Rob is sick today, but he has a schedule in one neighborhood. Dylan is free and can pinch-hit. These kinds of information must be flowing freely in your process. Communicating status not just your team member’s availability but other situation as well, like cancellations or other schedule changes, client recommendations, delays brought by bad weather, etc. Everyone in the team must be in sync about such details.
Like the lawn itself, you are going to have to nurture your existing customers. They should be in a particular category box that says, “potential repeat business.” Repeat customers mean that their schedule would likely be the same. You are then able to plan correctly using this knowledge.
Of course, like in any new business, you’re going to have to write your business plan and develop a marketing plan to grow your business. But these key ideas should set you in the right direction.