#169 – How to launch a lawn care business: COVID businesses I LOVE

Show notes from Episode #169 of the Sweaty Startup Podcast.

Nick is shameless about his love for lawn care. In Episode 119 Nick’s brother came on the show to talk about his lawn care company, and you can learn all about his first year of business which netted him $100k in revenue and $70k profit, all without a single dollar spent on marketing. Lawn care is forever a business Nick loves that you can start right now.

The Opportunity

The COVID pandemic has made it an incredible time to start the right business for three reasons:

  1. People are afraid to start businesses, so new competition isn’t entering the market
  2. Established businesses are frantic because they didn’t run a lean and efficient operation, and now they’re struggling financially
  3. Layoffs from restaurants, bars, stores, etc. are creating a labor pool of great workers looking for income

Outdoor home services have not missed a beat in these times. Nick’s brother still gets multiple leads a day through emails and phone calls. People that did not mow their lawn before COVID are not going to start now, and they aren’t going to be investing in a new lawnmower.

Lawn care is a low barrier to entry, but offers incredibly profitable upsell opportunities. All you need to get started is a lawnmower and a way to transport it, and people will offer you their money. Once you have an established client base, you can expand your business to landscaping, fertilization, weed control, or other opportunities. These upsells have barriers to entry, so the competition in those lucrative spaces will be minimal.

Getting Started

Look at Nick’s Essential Tools list for a comprehensive guide on how to start your business in a lean and efficient way. Really consider using Jobber to spend as little as an hour a week on admin work, so the rest of your day can be spent growing the business.

Get fliers together and go door to door, do some direct mailing, and consider investing in digital marketing. Get a used truck and a used mower off of Craigslist, and when you’re ready to expand you can get a weeder too. Mow lawns by yourself until you’re too busy, and then hire an employee to do it while you invest in growing your client base.

Learn Spanish, at least beginner level, right away; the H-1B Visa program is a great opportunity to start bringing on workers.

Hard times amplify good business owners. If you communicate effectively, run a lean business, and can sell, you will find success. Don’t fight for the bottom on price–find 10-12 clients who are willing to pay a premium and offer them the best service in your area.

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About Me

I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship. 

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