Thursday, July 3, 2008
How To Start a Lawn Care Business? Don't.
This Or That!
I occasionally get an e-mail asking me if they should start a lawn care service or
start an irrigation business.
I look at it like this. To start a landscaping business requires a large investment. You are probably looking at a minimum of $7,000 if you buy your equipment used. $15,000 for new stuff.
A teenager can get away with sticking his Dad's lawn mower in the trunk of his Camry and making the rounds of the neighbors. It's cute, and he gets paid Big Mac and a movie money.
If you are over 21, and actually have bills to pay, it's no longer cute. It spells LOSER!
You need a Ford 250 or it's equivalent to tow that big trailer around full of mowers. A lot of gas, and lot of maintenance.
I know a lot of guys that own a lawn care business. They are moving toward sprinkler repair.
Why? Overhead (employees, you can't get enough done by yourself to make a profit) and gas costs are one reason.
The other reason is that long time customers are slipping away and mowing their own grass due to fears that the recession will worsen.
Even though I preach the gospel that any homeowner can do their own sprinkler repair, most people still believe it is some kind of complicated "rocket science". It's not. Most of the repairs are so easy it's ridiculous.
You can use this belief that "Oh, my sprinklers aren't working! Call NASA!", to your benefit. I have for 30 years, and have done quite well.
All you need is some sprinkler system troubleshooting resources, a four cylinder truck, basic hand tools that are already in your garage, and maybe a wire finder. Thats it. No need to take out a loan on your house.
And you will make 3 times the money per hour with less than one tenth of the investment.
It's a no brainer, which may account for all the lawn care service start up's and bankruptcy's that float around Orlando seasonally like Love Bugs in the spring.