To start a business in any field of expertise, the first step to success is to know what you are doing. While it may not seem that it takes tremendous experience to mow lawns, running a full service lawn business requires a knowledge of equipment, an ability to offer a variety of lawn and garden services and a knowledge of customer service and expectations that do require some experience and wisdom in order to see the kind of success you want.
The best way to learn the nuts and bolts of actually running a lawn business is to work for one. This "paying your dues" phase is about more than just showing yourself able to do the various jobs that a professional lawn care specialist can do. It is about sitting under the guidance of someone who is running their own lawn business and "spying" on how it is done and how your bosses handle various situations to keep the business moving forward toward success.
What initially inspires someone to start a lawn care business is their love of the work. But what goes on in addition to doing a great job making your customer's lawns look great is what is the difference between a lawn care worker and someone who is running their own small business that is focused on lawn care. And perhaps the most important aspect of that business is marketing.
The primary way of getting new busiess when you run a lawn care company is word of mouth. Pay attention to the boss when you are working for a lawn care company as a way of learning the ropes. When you go on a job with the boss and owner of the lawn care company you work for, you will notice he spends as much time talking to the customer as he does doing the work. That is the heard of marketing because by making happy customers, your boss will get referrals. That is also very smart marketing.
By taking a job in a lawn care company, you are in the finest "college of lawn care" there is. You are in the school of real life. You will see why your boss's company is a success. You will also see failures and problems that crop up and how that lawn care company you work for handles those roadblocks. If they do a great job resolving problems, they will be profitable and you can learn from their success. If problems cause the business to lose money, you can learn from their mistakes at no expense to you. That is also solid gold training you will use when you start your own lawn care company.
You will have to decide whether to confess to the lawn care company you go to work for that you are there to learn now to run a successful operation. In some cases, that will endear you to the boss who will give you private lessons in management, taxes, accounting, recruitment, marketing, maintenance and all of the aspects that you must be good at to make your lawn care business thrive.
But it is possible that if you tell your current boss you are there to learn the business in order to start a competing business, that can create bad feelings or even cost you the job. So you may have to keep your true motivations for being there to yourself. Nonetheless, continue to do a good job for your boss while paying scrupulous attention to everything that lawn care company you work for has to do to be successful as a business. You might even take notes and write up what you learn each day. When you finally step out of the "employee" role and strike out on your own, those notes will be your Bible on what to do and what NOT to do to be a success with your lawn care business. Your time in training will be time well spent when you avoid the pit falls and see your new lawn care company grow from the first day of operation on out.