Cutting Grass For Profit
If you have limited financial resources and want to start a business, you have two choices. Take out a small business loan, if you can qualify, or choose a business that you can start with limited capital.
The lawn care business is fortunately one of those businesses.
Why Lawn Care
Lawn care is an excellent choice as a startup business and not just for the limited capital that is required.
There is a lot of work out there to be had. Drive around and look around at all of those lawns that need to be cut each and every week. Sure, some people will cut their own lawn but the majority of people would rather pay someone to do it. This is a big financial opportunity for you.
Another benefit of the lawn care business is that it is nearly recession proof. The grass does not stop growing just because the economy is down. In addition, even in tough times, people will still pay you to do it. They might cut back on entertainment expenses during a recession, but people still do not want to get out and cut their grass.
Setting Up Your Business
Now that you can see what a good opportunity lawn care is, let’s take a look at how to set it up. Here are the things that you will need.
DBA Certificate (Doing Business As) $20
The simplest and cheapest way to start a business is as a sole proprietership. The only thing that you will need for that in most places is a DBA. The Doing Business As Certificate will allow you to get a business checking account which you will need for proper book keeping.
You need to keep your business and personal finances separate. Check with your local County Clerk’s office for details on obtaining a DBA and for any other requirements that you might have.
In most counties, a DBA will cost you less than $20, but check with your particular county for pricing.
Business Insurance – $50 Per Month
In most cities, business insurance is not going to be a requirement, but it is a good idea.
You might think that there is not much that can go wrong with cutting grass, but you never know. What if your mower shoots a rock into the side of a brand new Mercedes? What if an unattended piece of equipment injures a child? Things happen and you need to be covered.
For the cost of business insurance, it is very inexpensive peace of mind.
Lawn Equipment – $0 to $400
Equipment needs for a lawn care business are limited. You probably already have everything that you need in your garage right now.
You obviously need a mower. Nothing fancy, just a basic mulching mower. Sure, a 5000 dollar professional quality mower would be nice but a little out of your price range if you want to get started on a dime.
In general, you want mulching mower as well since the last thing that you are going to want to do is be bagging grass all day. It will cut down on your production and the mulcher is more environmentally friendly.
If you do not already have a mower, pick up a quality used unit from Craigslist for two hundred bucks or so.
Besides a mower your next two biggest pieces of equipment will be a gas trimmer and a gas blower. Both can be had used for about 75 dollars a piece on Craigslist if you do not have them.
Round off your equipment package with a few gas cans, a rake and some hedge trimmers. All for around $50
Transportation – $200
You will obviously need some way to transport all of this equipment around.
If you have a truck or SUV, you are all set and you can get away without spending a dime. If you have a car, you will have to spend a bit.
The easiest solution is a trailer and believe it or not, you can get a used one for around 200 dollars. Your friend here is a store called Harbor Freight. They are all over the country and you can get 20 percent off coupons all day long. You will have to assemble the trailer yourself, but the savings make it worth your time.
Advertising – $20
What good is having a business if you can’t get the customers. Luckily, there are some cheap ways to get them. Here is what you need.
First and foremost, you need business cards. Get double sided cards so that you can put a price quote on the back. Then, you can walk the neighborhood and put cards on doors. When people get them, they have your contact information and a quote.
Business cards can be had for a good price online but I have found that you can get a great deal at your local Staples. 1000 double sided cards for around $20 with no shipping costs.
Besides the business cards, you will be amazed at what you can do for free. Put an ad on Craigslist being sure that you put as many as Craigslist will allow. In general, you can place two ads a day in two different categories. Do this every day and as the ads expire, you can renew them. This is how companies get so many ads on Craigslist.
Another free way to drum up business is to network. Tell all of your friends about your new business and ask them to spread the word. If you are on Facebook, make an announcement about your new company. If you are not on Facebook, get on there. It is the cheapest way to advertise your business online.
There you have it, it could be as easy as that to start your own business. For less than seven hundred dollars, you can be up and running. Have your own company without a loan.
The only catch to this approach is that it will take time to build your company. You will not be able to quit your day job right away. If you work hard however, you can build a solid client base in a matter of months.
That is another great thing about the lawn care business. Customers are not just one time business. They are repeat business week after week. This makes it easier to build a solid foundation of business.