MoneyLife

How To Start a Lawn Care Business with Little to No Money

By Kaitlyn Wolf

Have you ever wanted to start a business but you weren’t sure if you have the skills or cash to make it happen? You might want to consider starting a lawn maintenance business. Although this may not be for everyone, a landscaping business has low start-up costs and job flexibility, making it a great option if you’re short on cash or are a bit of a commitment-phobe.

You’re probably thinking, “Okay but how do I start a lawn care business with little to no money?” It’s easier than you think! We’re here to help you kick grass with this guide that contains all our best tips for how to start a lawn care business.

How do I find clients?

The easiest and least expensive way to get clients is by word-of-mouth advertising, so tell your friends, family, and neighbors about your new endeavor. Spread the word on Facebook and Instagram. 

Then, add a listing to Handy and TaskRabbit as an easy cost-effective entry for your business. Once you start making a profit, create fliers and business cards on Vistaprint. Leave the fliers on doors and ask if you can post your business cards on cork boards of local businesses. 

How much to charge for lawn care?

Just because you’re starting out small doesn’t mean you shouldn’t charge market value. Make it worth your time and create value behind your services. Once you start growing your clientele and making a profit, you’ll want to bring on employees. 

Before you start hiring staff members, make sure you can afford to bring on quality people. Set a base rate to be sure you’re making small jobs worth your while, and then charge more as the yard size increases. You can create a pricing sheet based on the service cost, yard size, and add-on services. The average cost of mowing lawns ranges from $30 to $80. 

What do you need to start a landscaping business? 

Don’t think you need to be fancy right away. Use affordable tools, and don’t put yourself in debt right out of the gate. All you need to get started is a lawnmower and a weed wacker. If you offer fertilization services, you’ll also need a spreader and sprayer. 

You can find these items on Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp for a low cost. If you don’t have the funds to buy items, consider asking a close friend or family member if you can borrow their equipment.

Be aggressive with your free marketing, work hard, and give great customer service in the first year. Once you start making a profit, invest in higher-end tools.

Starting your lawn care business in 8 simple steps

Starting your lawn care business doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In the early stages, focus on making sure you’re following state laws and have the proper equipment. Utilize free advertising and learn how to manage your money as a business owner. Once you begin making a profit, license your business, invest in marketing, and upgrade your tools.  

Step 1: Get your equipment. 

Buy or borrow a lawn mower and a weed wacker. Don’t get the most expensive equipment right off the bat. 

Step 2: Decide on your company name.

Be creative and catchy, but don’t spend weeks trying to come up with something. You want to be practical and professional all while keeping it simple. Adding a logo to your company name can add an extra touch and help create brand awareness. Use the free design website Canva to create your logo. 

Step 3: Share your contact information.

Set up an email, contact number, and Facebook page for your business to make it easy for clients to get ahold of you. You can use your personal number in the beginning if you don’t want to worry about setting up a separate phone number. Then, create a company email to make it easier for you to manage your inbox and look more professional. 

Step 4: Check state licensing laws.

Each state holds different requirements for licensing around a lawn care business. In general, you might not need a license to start a lawn care business, but it depends. You will likely need licenses to offer certain services, like fertilization. 

To find out which licenses you need, check your local Department of Agriculture. In the future, if you acquire employees, you’ll need an employee identification number. Stay up-to-date with what your state requires in these areas. 

Step 5: Advertise your services.

Get the word out about your new business by advertising on Facebook Marketplace, Handy, and TaskRabbit, and by word of mouth. Once you make some cash, you can increase your advertising budget by paying for business cards, more professional flyers, and a business website. 

Step 6: Register your lawn care business.

When starting a business, it’s always important to make sure you abide by all rules and regulations. Each state holds different laws regarding landscape businesses. 

Generally, when you’re making less than $1,000, you won’t need to register your business at all. Once your sales surpass $1,000 you’ll need to register your business name with both the local and state government. Depending on your location, this could cost you anywhere from $45 to $309

Step 7: Keep track of your earnings.

As a business owner it’s crucial to keep track of your earnings, prepare for taxes ahead of time, and manage your money wisely. Having different bank accounts will keep your personal and business expenses separate, making them much easier to manage. Open a RoarMoney℠ account for only $1 per month to help you keep track of your business profits, manage expenses, and budget like a pro. 

Step 8: Get liability insurance.

Accidents can and do happen. In the beginning stages, this might not be a necessity. Once you start gaining traction and making a profit, insurance is something you’ll want to have because it protects your from liabilities, like injuries and property damage.

It’s time to get mowing

The first year is the most difficult, and any successful business requires hard work. Expect to hustle, network, and knock on doors a lot. Listen to your clients’ needs and grow your add-on services as necessary. Stay on top of your budget and don’t spend money you don’t have to. 

If you want to kick start your new lawn care business, you can get a Credit Builder Plus loan from MoneyLion. With this loan, you’ll be able to establish credit history or rebuild your credit. There’s no need to stress yourself out with expensive business loans. Plus, this loan gives you access to a portion of your loan funds right away, all without any hard credit inquiries

Now that you know what it takes to be a lawntreprenuer, get out and get mowing!

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