Lawn care businesses are an industry in their own. People tend to own their personal lawns in their houses or their farmhouse and professionally in schools, colleges, recreational parks, tennis courts and many more.
Most of us in our leisure time tend to get a stroll on lavish green lawns and while strolling we would have generally seen some people mowing through the grasses. Well that is what a lawn care business starts with.
Though it is not limited to just mowing but it has various aspects which can be extended possibly in dozen of such activities. While starting your business it will open to you to take the call whether you want to stick to few common exercises or want to increase the scope of your lawn care business.
In the United States, nearly 10,000 to 12,000 people are employed in lawn care business on individual basis whether as full timers or part timers. The industry is big enough to generate $68-70 billion annually while employing close to 704, 000 people.
This business is not only about just picking up the machine start mowing but requires a strategic approach based with plans and reasons and a will to be the best in business and only then there are chances of your success.
Since this industry is big enough it has many such players who can easily overpower you with their resources and financial power and you may end up losing everything in this business and that is why you need to have your own lawn care business plan.
Lawn Care Business Plan – An Overview
A Lawn care business plan contains an overview of your lawn care business along with some very minute details that may interest its readers. The readers are chiefly the investors and the creditors.
A business plan not only is necessary to gain investors and creditors but may be needed to secure loan from banks. It is useful in order to give an overview crisp and appealing presentation of your business.
Nobody invests in something that has high chances of failure. Thus your business plan should have all the details which are thoroughly researched and compiled in order to interest the reader who is probably going to invest.
A business plan also gives you a path moving through which makes your job easier in incorporating your business. Guidance at every step and advice for each action you take reduces the chances of deviating and also of making cardinal errors.
Such business plans also outlines the pros and cons of your business and what steps may lead to profits and what may lead to probable loss. A business plan is made after conducting a feasibility analysis test which is taken out by experts.
Feasibility analysis is basically is minute, step by step and deeply research focused examination of the business you tend to start. It examines the prospects of your business while keeping in mind various factors that may influence your business.
What Needs to be Included in your Business Plan?
So now if you have understood what exactly is a business plan and why you should have one then it is time for you to know what must be included in your business. In simple words what constitute a business plan?
Here are some of the important constituents of a business plan that should be there in order to make it a complete presentation of your business.
- Summary of your business and company
- Ownership and Assets
- Brief analysis of the market
- Services you aim to render
- Startup cost at initial and later stage
- Strategy you aim to deploy
- Cost benefit analysis
- Marketing and sales
- Financial plan
- Deployment of labor
- Future of your business
Overall your business plan will revolve around the above mentioned points which needs to be discussed with details in your business plan and backed with required data and documents.
#1. Summary of your Business and Company
This part is the detailed introduction of your business and your company which will have brief details about your business, origins, company details, structure of your company, memorandum of association, articles of association, prospectus, names of promoters, directors, board of directors, etc.
In this you will also be mentioning the objects of your business which is the most important part since it directly impacts the people who may be investing, collaborating or contracting with your company. The brief summary gives a basic idea about your business which removes all the doubts about your business.
The structure of your company can be Limited Liability Company, it can be unlimited liability company, a type of firm like limited liability partnership which is not a company, etc. Terms and conditions in MOA and AOA, etc. are necessary to be stated in your summary.
#2. Ownership and Assets
This will cover the ownership and assets you have in your firm or company. What is the net worth of the company, how much investment it has, capital shares, people who have stake in the company, who are the people who will be liable for the losses and up to what extent, how much property does the company have both immovable and movable properties, etc.
In case of a company, the property is held by the company which is an artificial person or a legal entity that can be sued and can sue on its name but in case of a partnership firm or a proprietorship firm the properties and assets are held by the partners and the proprietor on his name hence they are responsible in person and are liable to clear all the liabilities.
Such terms should be cleared in your business plan in order to make it transparent.
#3. Brief Analysis of the Market
The Lawn Care Business market is quite huge in United States and is also very diverse in nature. Though from outside it may look that just maintaining a lawn is all that is about lawn care but it is not true. There is lots of complexities involved that needs to be states in detail in your business plan.
It can be assumed that your business will generally be a small business that will cover a town or a city at least in the initial days therefore it can be assumed that your market will be that town or city. It depends which city or town you choose.
It can be at a cold place, a hot place, moderate or rainy. Secondly, there are basically two types of markets that you may be catering to. One is the domestic market which is generally of individuals having lawns to maintain and the second one is the commercial public market where institutions, companies, societies or the government have lawns to maintain.
Domestic market generally requires small and limited services while the commercial market is huge and requires larger services. Your target market will determine the size of your firm, resources, tools and machines along with capital investment and labor.
#4. Services you Aim to Render
There are variety of services that a lawn care business can offer to their clients. Though in the initial stage it is not possible to render all kinds of services but when a firm is established and is making good profit then it can expand and cater to multiple requirements.
Some of the services that a lawn care business can render are:
- Lawn Mowing and Maintenance
- Landscape architecture services
- Landscape design and contracting services
- Landscape care and maintenance services
- Weeding, use of fertilizers and pest controlling
- Hydro seeding and sod installation
You may choose only one at a time or can choose multiple. You may also have all the options open and can deploy any of these based on the requirements. It depends on the skill, labor, resources and capital.
#5. Startup Cost at Initial and Later Stage
Capital investment is what that matters the most in starting any business. A business plan thus becomes important in evaluating the capital requirement. Your company structure, business operation, size of your business, services you render, etc. defines the capital that needs to be invested both at initial and later stage.
For example, if you are starting a company then it requires a lot of formalities like maintaining an office, accounts, secretary, director, etc. while small firms or proprietorships do not require such formalities. This reduces costs in starting your business.
While the former ensures you against liabilities the later can make you far more liable individually. Based on your feasibility analysis and market research you can draw the capital investment estimate.
A precise estimate can be made only by evaluating the facts of your startup business but on a general basis some factors that determine your capital investment or the startup cost are:
- Structure of your business which includes the type of business whether a company, firm, partnership or proprietorship.
- Area of specialization in rendering services
- Your target market whether at small domestic level or at large commercial level
- Types of equipment, tools and machines you use and their size
- Size of your firm, employee numbers, whether they are employed directly or are under contract, are regular employees or part timers, etc.
- Formal expenses like maintaining your equipment, tools, machines, vehicles, office, etc.
- Miscellaneous expenses that may occur at any time.
This can be termed as a basic outline of the expenses that may generally occur which may increase or decrease based on your requirements. For example, leasing various tools, machines, and vehicles can cut your cost.
At initial stage when you are small business you may operate from your home without the requirement of an office space. You can do the office work, assistance and accounting on your own.
#6. Strategy you Aim to Deploy
What is the strategy that you aim to deploy in order to succeed in your business? This can be better carved out with the help of facts, feasibility analysis report that has the data, reports, etc.
You may also take help from experts in the business in shaping your strategy who are already veterans in this business. You can hire consultants or consulting firm to carve out a strategy for your business.
#7. Marketing Your Lawn-Care Business and Sales
It is necessary that you must have a strategy deployed in order to promote and advertise your business so that it can expand and get new clients. Your marketing would be focusing on your target market.
You adopt various methods of advertisement like the traditional billboard methods, pamphlet distribution in the locality, in newspapers, or using digital marketing.
The most effective one is the word of mouth which comes from your former or continuing clients who praise your services to others and inspired by their experience they choose you. Thus a lot depends on the service you render.
#8. Cost Benefit Analysis
Cost benefit analysis can be simply termed as the difference between what you have invested and what you have got in return. If the return is higher than the investment after a particular time of gestation then you are in profit and in case it is in negative or in loss then you are in loss.
Cost benefit analysis is essential before you invest in any of the ventures. This gives you an understanding whether your investment will bear fruits or not or by what methods you can get the desired returns.
The important factor here is the pricing of your services that you will render to your clients. Two factors must be kept in mind while deciding the pricing. They are:
- Your pricing should be such that it bears profit after payment of all the charges suffered while rendering services.
- It should be a proportional sum that is not too high or not too less just to attract your clients since your savings will also pave way for your future investment and expansion.
#9. Financial Plans
Financial plans basically contains a detailed outlines of your business in a wider perspective over years and not limited to a short duration. It means that what would be your goals after one or two years of your business.
How will you use the earned money and what will be your investment? Such details also helps your investors and creditors while deciding to invest. Since a business is a long term process a larger plan should always be there.
#10. Deployment of Labor
Labor are your employees whether in your office or on site working as technicians and mowers. For effective service their skills, talent and experience matters a lot and therefore it is essential for you to determine such qualifications before you recruit and deploy them.
You can take help from experts in providing skill training. You can hire coaches to train them efficiently. You can even hire a good experiences worker which can lead the team and train others. All can be done while keeping in mind the remuneration to be paid.
At last, you can draw a conclusion in your business plan writing your vision for the business while mentioning how you would like to see the future of your business.
Your future of the business should also be backed with cogent strategies that you will deploy in order to achieve that future of your business. That is how a business plan can be written for a lawn care business.