If you want to know how to start a lawn fertilizing business, then what you’re really looking to get into is overall lawn care. Just fertilizing lawns might be a business opportunity in some larger, more suburban communities, but the average business is going to need to put a full range of landscaping services on their menu in order to succeed. That means that you’ll need to start your business by learning the ins and outs of lawn planning, yearly care, and the skills required to make that a care option.
You’re also going to need equipment. Lawn care is all about how fast you can take care of a property while maintaining high standards. If you have riding equipment that has a zero turning radius built into the steering column, then you’ll be able to get 1 acre of grass cut in half of the time compared to a fleet of self-propelled push mowers. You’re also going to need edging equipment, weed whackers, seed spreaders, fertilizer spreaders, and lawn repair equipment available at all times.
1. Secure Your Licensing
For many jurisdictions, lawn fertilizing and other care falls under a general labor category, which means you’ll just need a basic business license. In some communities, however, lawn care is seen as a property improvement or construction service. These communities may require your business to hold specific licenses in addition to a general business license and require you to carry specific types of insurance in order to obtain that license. Check local laws to see what applies for you.
2. Create a Visual Portfolio
A lawn fertilizing business, as part of a general landscaping opportunity, is reliant on proof of skill. Anyone can say that they can cut grass, build retaining walls, or create amazing designs. By having showing off your skills through completed work somewhere in your community, you’ll be able to prove to your prospects that you can back up your words with some real talent.
3. Make Sure You’ve Got Some Flags
Many lawns today have sprinkler systems installed. Flag the sprinkler heads before beginning to do any work and you’ll save yourself a ton of cash by not having to fix as many broken heads.
4. Secure a Solid Worker’s Compensation Policy
Lawn care equipment is extremely dangerous. All it takes is for one moment of inattention or carelessness to have a finger or a toe lopped off by a spinning blade. By emphasizing safety with all of your workers, having a solid worker’s comp program, and insurance that protects you against employee negligence [even your own negligence], then you’ll be able to better protect the profits that are being made.
5. Look to Include Specific Landscaping Updates
Many customers will contact a lawn fertilizing business about their basic needs. Grass cutting and care is often their only priority on the initial contact. If you’ve got some specific landscaping skills, like building a floating flagstone path or patio, that can be incorporated into your business model, you’ll have a natural place to create an upsell opportunity. Many customers who want a year’s worth of lawn care will generally respond to one natural upsell opportunity if they have money available for a property upgrade.
6. Eliminate the Down Time
Except for lawn care businesses that exist in tropical locations, there is usually a 3 month spell of down time that exists between the end of the growing season and the start of the next one. Consider incorporating some winter services to keep profit levels up, including snow shoveling, driveway plowing, or even look at some light janitorial work as a potential option to avoid a prolonged layoff.
7. Green Is The Way To Go
The world today is very environmentally conscious. Although some customers still want chemical applications applied to their grass so that it can be green and weed-free, many more customers are looking for friendly services that won’t harm pets or people if they step through the chemicals accidentally. Using organic, safe compounds will not only help you market to these customers, but it will also help to limit your overall liabilities since your employees won’t be exposed to potentially harmful chemicals on a regular basis.
8. Work a 5 Day Week 100% Of The Time
Weather is the biggest variable that exists in the lawn care industry. Even in the most perfect of climates, there are going to be days that are windy, rainy, or just too hot to effectively work. By scheduling yourself two free days every week, you’ll give yourself the opportunity to transfer work from one day to another and still provide the services that you’ve been contracted to provide within a reasonable time frame.
9. Maintain Your Equipment Weekly At Minimum
The equipment you have for your lawn fertilizing business and other lawn care needs is your money maker. If it isn’t working, then you aren’t working. Make sure to clean your equipment thoroughly, make sure the blades are sharpened properly, and that oil is changed regularly so that it will work when you need it to work.
10. Be Willing to Fix a Mistake Quickly
Many lawn care businesses lose customers because they don’t see mistakes in the same light as their customers. From a customer perspective, forgetting to trim along a fence is a big deal because they’ve paid for that service to be rendered. It’s not something that can just be “put off” to the next service call. Go out there and fix the problem, apologize profusely, and if the error is bad, don’t be afraid to throw in some free services or an extension of their contract as a way to compensate for the error. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, you’ll eventually build a solid base of clients to serve.
Knowing how to start a law fertilizing business means having the skills on hand to provide consistent, beautiful results on a regular basis. By incorporating a suite of other services to compliment fertilization, you’ll be able to grow a solid business quickly and have one that is remarkably profitable as well.
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