Starting a Lawn Care Business in High School And Getting Your First Employee
Starting a lawn care business is not only for the aged or adults as most people think. It also doesn’t have to be a full-time business, as you can start one even in high school. It could be during summer breaks or weekends when you have free time. The goal is to make extra money to support yourself in high school.
You don’t need a lot of capital to start a lawn care business as long as you have the necessary equipment. You can continue to upgrade your inventory as the business booms.
Major startup equipment
- Cub cadet
- Weed Wacker/Brushcutter
- Other hand tools like trimming line, and a pair of secateurs.
As a high school student, you may not have the money to rent out a space or buy a van. However, you can start with some of the equipment your parents keep in the garage.
How to balance with school activities
If you think too much about school activities, you wouldn’t start the business at all. Of course, you have to dedicate your time to school, but as long as you’ve decided to start a business in high school, then you have other things to think of.
Since you have to go to school during the day, you will have to work in the afternoons, weekends, and summer breaks. Starting and running a business requires work, and yours is no different. To meet your daily or monthly goals, you may have to sacrifice your free time. It won’t be so enjoyable seeing your friends playing in the evening hours and you can’t join them because you’ve got to finish a lawn. You just have to remind yourself of your goals, and take breaks when you need to.
Learning the trade
You’ve probably always helped your parents clear the lawn on weekends or after school and feel that is all there is to it. Well, it could be simple work, but there are also finer aspects to it. While it is okay to start out average, you owe it to your clientele to become better at the job.
- You can learn more about the business by seeking advice from established lawn care businesses in your area. It may be an uncle, a neighbor, or a friend’s parent.
- You could also watch YouTube videos and podcasts.
- Books are also a great way to learn. Read as many books as you can on business, leadership, and marketing. They will help to develop and train you.
Branding and Marketing
Your status as a high schooler does not make your business less legitimate. If anything, neighbors love paying young people to mow their lawns. You can leverage this sentiment to define your brand identity. You can carve out a name for your business and have a graphics designer do a flyer with a logo on it for you. You can distribute this to people and post them on walls for people to contact you. You should ensure your phone number is clearly stated on the flier and easy for people to see because it is the primary method for prospective customers to contact you. You could also include the areas you cover, especially if you do not have a car or driver's license.
As your business grows, you may want to design a website for more people to reach you for business. You can visit www.lawncarewebdesign.com for a professional website of your own.
This might be the most challenging part of the job for you, yet it is one of the most crucial aspects of running a business. If you do not know how to price, clients will take advantage of you and you may not get the proper pay. The best way to charge is per hour. Calculate how long it will take you to complete a lawn, choose your hourly rate and work out the price.
You need to be confident about your pricing. Not everyone will agree with you, but those who value your time and work will pay for it. For a high school student, you can charge between $20-$40 per hour, depending on your running costs, location, and level of experience. You can increase your rates as your work and expertise increase.
Common mistakes to avoid when starting a lawn care business
Mistakes are a part of business, especially when you’re first starting out. Some can be inevitable, but some others can be avoided.
Borrowing too much money
Starting a business requires funds, but as a high school student, you do not have to get all the equipment. As mentioned earlier, you can start with your parents’ equipment and get yours as you earn money from the business. If you start your business by borrowing, you may be starting off on the wrong foot. In extremely rare cases where you have no one to lend you equipment, only then should you consider borrowing money.
Taking on too much work
You’ve just started a business and you want to meet a particular goal for the week, but you cannot do more than you’re capable of. You have to consider your school activities and other things before accepting the jobs that come your way. As a student, you do not have all the time to work and you must be sure you’re not taking on so much work that it affects other areas of your life.
Creating unrealistic goals
This is one major mistake most business owners make when starting out. It is related to the point above. When you schedule unrealistic targets, you may end up not achieving any of them. As much as you’re encouraged to set goals, make sure they are realistic ones.
Every business needs proper planning, and it is no different for the lawn care business. As a student who has other things to take care of, you should plan out when you can take on mowing jobs. Your clients should know which day of the week and between what hours you work. If you don’t plan for this, you will run into many problems with your clients and you don’t want that for a start.
Lack of confidence will make you charge less than you should when bidding for a job. You shouldn’t sell yourself short just because you want to get the job. As a student, your fee may be lower than professionals in the business, but it should also be commensurate with your running costs per hour. Be confident in naming your price and people will pay it.
Hiring: Getting your first employee
Surprised? You shouldn’t be! You’re a business owner and sooner than you expect, you will need the help of others in achieving your goals, which means you will have to hire people to work for you. However, if you’re just starting out and the work is not too much, you should handle them yourself.
When you start getting more jobs than you can fit into your own schedule, it is time to get some help. For a start, you can employ the help of your friends or siblings and offer them fair pay from the fee you charge clients. This is a way to still be in charge of your business. You should start with people you know before moving on to strangers. You don’t want to hire someone who won’t listen to you because they’re older. Then as the business grows, you may have to hire a full-time staff who you pay monthly or per hour, or as agreed by both of you. Be sure you’re hiring a trusted and reliable person.
Feedback is an important aspect of every business, as they help you learn how to improve your business. As a business owner, you should expect feedback from your clients, whether positive or negative. But you should look out for the negatives because they can help you get better.
No matter how good your work is, not everyone will be satisfied with it and you have to learn to deal with that fact. If a client gives negative feedback about your work, the first thing is to apologize and ask politely for ways to serve them better. Even if you feel you’re right or the customer is way off, you should always seek ways to please your clients as the service provider.
If your customer gives you positive feedback, that is easier to handle because that means they are satisfied with the work you did for them. You should also use this as an advantage to ask for referrals. Most of your first few customers will be neighbors and friends. And then these people can refer you to other people who may need your services. As you start your lawn business, your goal should be to have repeat customers who also refer you. And that is why you should strive to always satisfy your customers.
Lawn care business requires machinery and you must be safety-cautious while using said machinery. Use necessary safety equipment before starting any machine, and be sure to be fully kitted. You’re mostly going to be working under the sun; you should apply sunscreen on your body to prevent sunburn.
Other services you can offer with a lawn care business
- Garden bed cleaning
- Leaf removal: This is an easy service to render and can serve as quick money for you. It’s one of the activities clients do not like to do, and they will be willing to pay you to do it for them.
- Tree trimming: You can ask to trim trees, bushes, and other vegetation for your clients who already paid you to mow their lawn or other people who may need the service.
- Weed control: You could help people remove small weeds in their gardens, and also provide a maintenance plan for a lasting solution.
Starting a lawn care business in high school is possible if you put your heart to it and you’re ready to do the work that comes with it. It is an opportunity for you to start something of your own and be responsible for it. It is also an avenue for you to make money even before you graduate – the same or more than a graduate would make. Many people wait until they graduate before thinking of what business or jobs to do. Starting this business places you ahead of most of your colleagues.
You can bet that there are some things you would like to get for yourself without asking your parents for money. Starting a lawn care business in high school can help achieve that without affecting your schoolwork. On top of that, you would be seen as a responsible kid and who wouldn’t want that?