Lawn maintenance is a seasonal business. The prime business period is usually from April to October. This is subject to the climate of the location where you operate your business. During the spring season, you have to start marketing your service aggressively to gather enough clients to last you through summer. In the fall, you should be winterizing lawns and doing other jobs like raking leaves. If you have past due accounts, this is also a good time to start collecting them. Winter is consider a downtime for lawn maintenance but you can consider offering extra service like snow plowing to keep the cash coming in.
Types of services
If you are just starting out and working alone, you may want to offer only basic lawn maintenance like mowing, edging and trimming. Once you have a regular client base and are more proficient in planning your schedule, you can consider offering extra services such as bush and hedge trimming. This is also a good time to bring in a business partner to help you share the workload and possibly expand your client base.
If you are thinking of offering chemical application for weeds and pests control as an extra service, make sure you earn the right certification before advertising it. The lawn care and maintenance industry is a highly regulated one and you need the right certification before you are allowed to handle any hazardous materials.
Always keep your lawn maintenance equipment in peak condition. This means that you have to clean the mower blades at the end of each day. You will also want to use a grinding wheel to keep your blades sharp.
To prolong your mower engine life, use a balancing weight. This will also reduce the chance of you developing white finger, which is a form of disease, that strike at people who frequently work with vibrating machinery.
You also have to change the air and oil filter of your mowers regularly to reduce engine wear and improve performance.
Needless to say, you should take every precaution while you work. When working with your mower or handling hazardous materials, you need to wear gloves and safety goggles. Since mowing will be a big part of your lawn care duty, consider wearing a pair of earplugs to protect your ears from the mower noise. Never put your hand into the discharge chute or turn the mower over when it is in operational mode.
Since most mowers are gasoline-powered, make sure your mower has spark arresters to prevent the possibility of sparking a fire when working in a area that is experiencing drought. Another thing to remember is to let the mower cool down completely first before you gas it up.
Check out your competition before launching your business. You can look up the Yellow Pages to see what type of services they are offering. Take note of their promotion techniques too. You may be able to offer some extra service that your competitors do not have. However, try not to go into a price war, as this will hurt your business survival and profits in the long run.