Bootstrapping a Lawn Care Business - Part 1
Why Do YOU Want to Start a Lawn Care Business?
If you're considering starting your own lawn care business you are probably busy putting together a checklist of all the things it will take to make you successful. Of course you must do things like acquire funding, build a client base, form a legal enitity, and become insured. However, in Part 1 of this article I'm going to talk about stepping back before beginning and taking a ten thousand foot view assessment of your personal situation. What are YOU trying to accomplish as you start a lawn care business? Are you tired of your cubicle? Do you have an entrepreneurial itch you want to scratch? Are you pursuing the freedom you get from working for yourself?
In my personal case I already had a successful job but wanted to try to make a career out of a childhood passion. I knew there was good money to be made in this industry for people willing to put in the hard work. The financial freedom that this brings has been my ultimate goal. On this site I give advice on how to start a lawn care business based on my own personal experience (and how to become successful at it), but I will never tell you that it was easy. The truth is that there is a lot of hard work involved, and it's a lot better to be honest with yourself right now if you realize you don't have the passion to follow through with this idea. Once you have figured out what is the driving force behind this new venture, and are able to justify all the hard work that is to come then you are ready to form a mission statement.
What is My Mission Statement?
At this point you should be thinking about what is going to be your new lawn care business' identity. What makes you different from all the other lawn care businesses in your area. Believe me you WILL need an identity. Although this industry is on the rise and can support many new companies, it is easy to get lost in the crowd without a strong identity.
For me this identity was a family owned company that was going to live or die by the personal relationships we created with our clients. Integrity and work ethic are not things I was willing to compromise on. I also knew there was a lack of good advertising in this industry (at least in my region) and so I sought to dominate that aspect. Write down your goals, standards, expectations and anything else that you want to be a driving force as your lawn care business takes off. Once you have this mission statement, print it out and stick it somewhere you will see it frequently. Don't let this be an afterthought, but more like a compass when you start to question yourself or lose your way.
Lawntrepreneur Quote of the day
"Choose a job that you like, and you will never have to work a day in your life."Confucius, Philosopher
What is My Place in the Market?
The next thing to consider is where you fit into your community as a company. Do you want to cater to the wealthiest residents in your area? Maybe you would like to exclusively service commerical accounts. Whatever you decide should be shaped by things like your skill level, equipment quality, overhead costs, and reputation among other things. But the most important factor when deciding your specialty should be the demand for that specific service in your area. Maybe your time would be best served to carve out a niche with the middle-class residents.
To find out your best chance of success you will need to do some homework. Search for other lawn care businesses in your area. Inquire about the services they offer and the prices. You may find that there is a missed opportunity for a certain type of service. You may also find there is a lack of choices for people looking for lawn care service at a certain price point. You may find that the quickest route to success is to be the company that fills a void. The lawn care market is no different from any other market. It is controlled by the law of supply and demand.
In Bootstrapping a Lawn Care Business - Part 2 we will discuss the importance of your customers.