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Starting a lawn mower service requires owning a lawn mower and other equipment, advertising to potential customers, and deciding on what to charge. Getting a lawn mower and a vehicle to transport it — if you do not already have one — will be the most expensive start-up cost. Advertising can take many forms, including flyers and newspaper ads, but potential customers might not contact you for services unless they have seen more than one ad, so using multiple types of advertisement is generally recommended. In addition, every lawn mower service has someone who can give a sales pitch and determine how much to charge for a yard. When starting out, this important job can make or break the business, and it is probably up to you.
At the very least, a lawn mower service needs one lawn mower. Depending on the distances you have to travel and the size of your mower, you may need to obtain a pick-up truck or vehicle capable of pulling it on a landscaping trailer. It is generally recommended to start with a commercial lawn mower because mowers meant for home use cannot withstand long-term use. In the beginning, however, it is normal not to have the capital to buy commercial equipment, or even new equipment meant for home use. If you cannot afford a new commercial mower, look for a used one or fall back on a home-owner quality mower, but keep in mind that you may need to replace it after a couple thousand hours of use.
Other equipment to acquire when time and money allows is a trimmer and a weed blower. Again, commercial quality is best but not inexpensive. Either way, however, these items will be considerably cheaper than a lawn mower. Once the company is making enough profit, you may want to purchase a trimmer for each person on your team to complete jobs quicker.
Advertising is where some people go wrong; do not fall prey to thinking that one-time advertising is enough. Potential customers are more likely to contact a service that they have seen advertised at least twice before. For example, you are probably more open to the idea of purchasing a mobile phone from a well-known manufacturer that frequently advertises in various ways than from a little-known company that rarely advertises. You can start with colored mailbox flyers, newspaper ads, or store flyers as cheap ways to advertise, but feel free to stack these advertisements for a better turn-over.
Once you have purchased the appropriate equipment, figured out how to safely transport it, and received an email or phone call from your first potential customer, it is time to give an estimate. Before meeting with the client, you may want to decide on an absolute minimum amount to charge anyone. This amount can be fairly low to start with and increase as you gain a steady income. With this amount in mind, look over the client’s yard; if it is fairly large or the client has made it clear he or she wants an immaculate job, state a price above the minimum. Remember that you will not win over every potential customer, and that it is normal to make novice mistakes in a new lawn mower service business.
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