Making your Lawn Care Business Plan is the most important part in the future success of your business.
Time spent doing a proper Lawn Care Business Plan before you invest a lot of money could save you from financial failure or give you a roadmap to financial freedom.
This Lawn Care Business Plan will give you a way of measuring whether or not your business is succeeding by setting goals, both time and financially oriented.
You are going to need a plan if you ever wish to borrow any money from a financial institution as they don’t just hand out money on your good word.
The following points are topics that should be answered in your Lawn Care Business Plan:
-Your business name, all mailing and contact information
-Business structure-Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Corporation or Incorporation.
-Type of business
-Your Personal Goals
-Your Businesses vision or Mission Statement
-What you sell- an overview of what physical goods or services your business offers
-What is the overall marketplace condition in your area?
-Who is your businesses competition?
-Who exactly is your Target market? (customers)
-How are you going to reach these customers in your target market through your sales and marketing.
-After your business is up and running how are you going to keep up with day to day operations
-What are your contingency or emergency plans?
-Are financially able to start this business?
-What is your personal net worth?
-What about your businesses financial statements (balance sheet, Income statement and cash flow projections)
By giving great thought and answering these basic questions honestly you are going to greatly increase the ability of your business to survive its’ first few years.
Let’s go over these topics briefly to get a feel for what you see in your future business.
You should already have given some thought, researched and decided on your businesses name. So putting down your business name is easy as for mailing information most of us will be starting our Lawn Care Business from our home just use your home address.
As for whether or not to use your home phone number is up to you. You can use your cell number as your business number as long as you have a reasonably priced cell plan. Do you also have good coverage in your proposed target market area?
The structure that your business will take to begin with should be simple, are you starting out by yourself? If you are then a sole proprietorship should be the natural way to go.
If not and you are starting with someone else then a partnership is probably the best option. I suggest that keeping things as simple as possible for the first year or two until you have some sales and a sense of how the business is actually doing before you get into a Limited Liability Corporation or becoming fully Incorporated.
Your Lawn Care Business is a service type of business because you go to the customer and provide a service to them such as mowing, seeding or aerating their lawn.
Personal goals are different for each of us. I feel that for the majority of us financial freedom, being your own boss, working outdoors and job satisfaction are all involved somewhere in our goals.
Just as personal goals differ so do the vision we have for our business For some of us it will be million dollar sales with a fleet of trucks and for others it will be staying small with a one or two man operation with six figure sales.
The choice is yours depending on how much you want to take on. The work is out there. What is that will set your business apart from the rest? Your attention to detail, your dependability? Or some other unique style you have in mind?
Next is the businesses’ objectives, is this business to make a profit in the first year? Is there a certain number of customers to be reached in the first year as a measure of success? Is this business to be a full time job or just part time income? These questions need to be answered.
Does your business offer more than just one service? Is all you want to do is mow lawns? Do you only want mow small residential ones or just large estates? Are you interested in fertilizing lawns? What about the off season?
Is there an off season where you live? You need to devote some time to this section because you may severely hinder your business growth potential by only offering one service.
Now you need to look at where you live be it national, county and even your particular city or town. Is your area in a rich one, I don’ necessarily mean full of millionaires but is your economy doing well enough to support your business?
Is your area full of unemployed people or is a growing area with new industry? Have a look around and take stock of where you live.
When it comes to competition in your area are there hundreds of other businesses or only a few? Are they professional or just a bunch of part timers out for a quick buck? Time well spent here will pay off big time later.
Knowing your competition is half the battle, it will greatly help you position your business for success. Check phone book yellow pages in your area, go out and drive around areas in which you want to get work and see the competition in action.
Who are you competing for? Who exactly is your target market customer? Is it commercial contracts, seniors with residential lawns or large estate lots in the country? It may even be all three. Do they have the disposable income to be able to afford your services?
After you have figured out who your customer is how are you going to get the message to them about your business and its’ great services? Will it be from a newspaper add, flyers, a website, business cards, signs or word of mouth?
It may be one of these or a mix of a bunch of these methods that finally reaches the customer and they call you to quote on their property. You will need to consider all of your options and find out what works well in your area.
Once the business is going strong how are you going to handle the day to day running of the business? Are you well organized and a person that has a good eye for detail?
How about keeping on top of which customer is to be mowed when? Does the equipment need servicing? Do you have spare parts on hand for what breaks most often on your equipment? How about the long weekend that your wife wants you to take? You can’t forget about that can you?
All of these things will have to be managed effectively. Make sure you have a plan.
Do you have emergency plans in place? What I mean by this is do you have insurance to cover yourself in case of an accident? Does your business in case you are sued for putting a rock through a large window? What if your equipment is stolen?
Let’s not forget the unthinkable if you die or are unable to continue to work does the business fall apart and dissolve or is it sold? What is the business worth at fair market value? Do you have a will? You should have one, especially if you have a family.
Finally you need to think about your finances. Do you have enough money to get this Lawn Care Business off the ground properly? Yes you can start this business for next to nothing that is what is so great about it.
But before you know it or expect it you will need some money in some form or another. Do you have it in the form of savings? credit cards or a bank loan?
You should figure out your net worth. How do you do that? Well you add up everything you own (cash, market value of your vehicle, stocks), then add up everything you owe from what you owe on existing personal loans, balance on credit cards and what left owing on your mortgage. Subtract everything you owe from everything own, the difference is your net worth.
Once you have your net worth you need to look at the businesses finances as well. The three main parts of your business financially are the balance sheet that is used to track your business’ progress over time is your assets that the business owns minus the liabilities that the business owes equals the owners equity).
Second is the income statement (sales revenue minus expenses equals a profit or loss), which is a summary of how the performs from one year to the next.
Lastly but probably the most important is the cash flow forecast. This forecast helps by looking at how sales even though they maybe good can still cause problems if it takes a long period of time to collect that money to pay bills incurred by your business.
If your forecast shows that over your slow period (usually winter months) you won’t have enough cash to pay your monthly debts then you will need to talk to your banker to make sure that you are prepared for this period.
When you are doing your Lawn Care Business Plan it should be broken down into various stages such as start up, six months, year one, year two and year three.
By making goals for these early points in the life of your business you will double your chances for success.
I have a couple of places where you can go to help get you started with your business plan. One is a free e-book that will be very helpful and covers many things specific to the lawn care business. Please click here.
Another place is a free planning guide offered by a bank which will walk you through the Business Plan. Please click here.
Your bank may also be helpful don’t be afraid to seek out the help of others. It is how we all grow.
“Keep It Simple to Succeed” lets get out there and make our lawns healthy and green!
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