Depending on your household responsibilities, you may have spent many summer weekends mowing your lawn or snowy mornings shoveling your driveway. I highly doubt you find it fun, but even if you do, wouldn’t you like to get paid for it?
You may be thinking that these ideas are so simple and popular that they are just played out. It is true that they are popular and you may know someone who has done it, but often, as with any business, it is dropped. It has proved to be too much work for your friends and they decided it wasn’t worth their time.
One of the best things about mowing lawns and shoveling snow, of course depending on where you live, is that it’s always in demand. Grass is going to grow and snow is going to fall. You can’t help it either way, so you might as well make some money off of it.
Here are some simple steps and ideas to start your business, be successful, and make it grow:
Get your capital
Capital is another way to say “supplies and things you need”. Make sure you have everything you need to do a good job.
For a lawn mowing business, you’ll need:
1. Lawn mower or some sort of grass cutting device. You could use one of those old fashioned grass cutters or a sitting mower; depending on how big the lawn is and how many things you have to mow around.
Actually, I wouldn’t recommend a manual grass cutter because they are hard to push. Unless, of course, you are trying to multitask and get a workout, too. That’s an idea.
Your best bet in getting a lawn mower is to borrow your parent’ mower. If you don’t have one or if they won’t let you use it, you could try asking a friend or neighbor. If you have absolutely no other way, you’ll either need to buy one, or look for a new business.
2. In addition to a mower, you will probably also need a weed wacker in order to do a good job.
3. The mower is really the most important thing you’ll need, but there are a couple other miner things such as paper for fliers, water and snacks to keep you going, and maybe a rake and garbage bag to pick up lawn clippings.
For a snow shoveling business, you’ll need:
1.Of course, a shovel. This is what makes snow shoveling a little easier than lawn mowing. If you have a snow blower that you can use, you’re lucky, but you can get by and still do well with a cheap shovel.
2.You will also need the appropriate attire for winter weather so that you don’t freeze. And flyers will also help.
As with any business, you will need money to get a lot of these things. If you don’t have anything saved, ask your parents or someone you trust and who trusts you to borrow the money from. Make sure you give them a plan to pay it back. A good idea is to take a percentage of your earnings out for repayment until it’s all paid back.
Some sort of advertising is required in order to get customers. On a snowy morning, walking door to door may get you some business, but you may be better off getting clients ahead of time so that you don’t have to waste so much walking time.
Also, knocking on the door of someone who has a messy lawn may offend them.
In order to advertise, set up flyers at local bulletin boards or you can put fliers in mailboxes. Make sure you include prices on you flyer as well as your name and phone number.
Spread word of mouth and ask friends and family. If you can drive to clients, you will probably get a lot more. You will probably need to drive if you are mowing lawns anyway to get the mower around.
When it comes time to set prices, you could either charge for how much you are mowing or how long. For a standard yard no more than 1 or 2 acres, it could about $15 to $35 dollars. I there are a lot of trees, small gardens, and garden ornaments to mow around, charge more.
For snow shoveling, it depends on how big the driveway is and if there is a path and porch. Also, how much it snowed. For a foot or more in a standard driveway, charge between $20 and $40 or more. For a few inches, charge $10 -$15.
Outdoor business are great compliments of each other. There is something for every season. Did you shovel in the winter? Ask your clients if they need their lawn mowed in the spring and summer. Maybe in the fall they’ll need their leaves raked?
Keep expanding and hire friends when you can’t handle it. Even if your friends are doing the work, if you have the clients and set them up, you can take a percentage. Or, you might decide to do jobs together. It would also help with the boring factor.