View Full Version : Biggest start up pitfalls

06-18-2008, 04:47 PM
I wanted to get a post started that discusses the biggest pitfalls of starting a lawn care business.

So it is kind of a road map of what to look out for.

Please add thoughts as we go.

- Going into debt
- Buying new vehicles, new equipment
- Buying too much equipment
- Buying equipment that you won't be using daily because it's specialized, like a mower that won't fit through most fence gates. Or a lawn aerator.
- Spending too much money on your marketing and not enough time trying to personally get the word out.
- Trying to look too fancy and impress other lawn care businesses in your area.

06-18-2008, 07:52 PM
Well I think theres no replys here yet because you kinda got it covered already there Steve. So yeah, Watch out for those!

06-18-2008, 11:39 PM

That is a great list. *

I want to add:

Not knowing how to handle the "business" aspects of running a lawn care business.

Business Setup: *Licenses, Taxes, Business Formation, separating business from personal expenses, setting up a DBA, etc.

Money Management: *Receivables, Payables, covering slow times, taxes.

Cost Estimation: *Bidding jobs too low just to get the job and not considering turning a profit, Cost/Benefit Analysis, Opportunity Costs.

Growth: *Controlling rapid expansion so it doesn't harm your long-term business plans.

Knowing your passion: *Are you doing lawn care because it is something you love and are driven to? *Or is it just another way to make money? *

Even if it is your driving passion, take time out to enjoy other aspects of life completely away from business. *Otherwise, you risk burnout.

Thanks for starting this great topic.


07-05-2008, 05:03 PM
Some havics I'v seen is lack of funding or depending on the business too much when their isn't enough business to sustain the business and the owners liveing exspenses and bills.

07-06-2008, 01:00 AM

What suggestions do you have to resolve that problem?

07-22-2008, 06:48 PM
I just started a full service lawn and garden service this month. I am scared to death about going under. I have gotten it started out of pocket. I may have made a mistake not securing proper funding before I started. I still have hours under my former employer doing specialty maintenance. She subcontracts me now as my business instead of me being her employee. Some of her clients have ditched her and switched to me. I didn't want that, but I can't turn down twice the money and an opportunity to get referrals. I'm scared my old boss is going to cut me off before I have enough clients to sustain myself.

08-30-2008, 10:49 AM
steve how do you personally get the word out ?thanks Ted

08-30-2008, 10:51 PM
Hi Ted,

Do you mean for your business marketing?

08-31-2008, 12:02 AM
yes for business marketing

08-31-2008, 04:44 AM
Ok, I think ultimately it's best to start with the basics. Think of yourself as running for mayor. You want everyone to know you exist.

Get business cards made.
Hand them out to everyone you know.
Walk around your neighborhood and talk to people. Tell your neighbors you are now in business and give them cards.
Tell your friends to tell their friends.
Tell all your family to tell all their friends.

Get flyers made and hand them out.

Let me know if this helps.
There are a ton of more ideas here in the forum if you want to search for them.
I got a bunch of marketing books out that have organized these ideas too.

470 pages of lawn care business marketing ideas in the "The Big Lawn Care Marketing Book" here

or feel free to ask more questions :)