How to Start a Lawn Mowing Business

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Image of a grass flying from a lawn mower

Lawn Mowing Business Quick Overview:

A normal day as a lawn care professional may start early in the morning fueling mowers and trimmers.

Then begin cutting grass and performing other lawn maintenance tasks including edging, trimming, fertilizing, aerating, and weed control.

As your day progresses you may manage several lawns or only a few large properties.

Skill Set:
  • Scheduling mowing times and areas
  • Handling the necessary machinery
  • Maneuvering a trailer pulled behind a truck
  • Calculating estimates and submitting bids
  • Ordering supplies such as fertilizers and pesticides
  • Knowledge about grass health and types
  • Experience in small engine and equipment repair is a plus
  • Knowledge of different fertilizers and chemicals
  • List of Common Business Skills
Employee and Job Consideration During The Start-Up Phase or In The Future:
Approximate Daily Hours Needed:

General Hours of Operation: This business is typically seasonal. often in the late fall and winter, there will be little work, while during the spring and summer it can be very busy. A busy summer day may start at 7:00 a.m. and end at 7:00 or 8:00 p.m.

Hours Needed to Prepare: Plan to spend about an hour to load equipment and get to your destination. At the end of the day, plan on closer to two hours to clean and store equipment and chemicals properly, as well as handling paperwork and scheduling.

Equipment, Supplies, & Services During Start-up OR In The Future:
  • Professional Walk-Behind Mower
  • Blower
  • Line Trimmer
  • Hedge Trimmer
  • Edgers
  • Rakes
  • Shovels
  • Broom
  • Personal Safety Equipment
  • Riding Mowers
  • Stand-On Mowers
  • Hover Mowers
  • Lawn Dethatcher
  • Trailer With Cage
  • Pickup Truck
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Brushcutter
  • Essential office Equipment
Monthly Expenses and Operating Costs To Consider:
Licenses:

You are not required to have a professional license for a “lawn cutting” business, but that limits to “mowing, blowing, trimming, edging, weeding, etc.” according to the Department of Agriculture.

Certain herbicides and pesticides cannot be sold to the public; they can be sold only to those who have the proper license to purchase them. If you spray chemicals for a fee (such as a lawn care business) will need a Commercial Applicator’s License.

You may consider becoming certified in lawn care. A lawn care certification can help you get larger jobs, especially for government contracts, but may be nearly useless for small residential work. Also, consider diversifying your work. Skills, like laying sod and installing flowerbeds and hardscapes, can bring in larger jobs but require more equipment.

See Our Page on Licenses and Permits

Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:

Entrepreneur Magazine estimates that the average startup for a lawn care business can be under $2,000 USD. However, larger zero-turn mowers can cost several thousand dollars. Zero-turn mowers cut faster than walk-behinds and normal riding mowers.