Grow Your Lawn Maintenance Business
There are three questions to ask yourself regarding plans to grow your lawn maintenance business.
Hey Clippers! Dave Tucker here to talk about what’s next—for you.
If you’ve been in the ‘beautiful business’ for a while, you might be thinking about growth. You might be running the numbers on hiring an office manager or another crew—whether it’s your second or your fifth.
I’m all for following your dreams, but before you start charging forward, let’s talk about your goals.
We’ve talked before about the “why” behind your lawn maintenance business. It’s essential to plan your growth around what you want most. When you start making decisions based on what you feel like you should want, that’s a recipe for heartbreak.
So let’s take a moment for a bit of introspection. Here are a few questions for you to mull over. Bear in mind that this is not a magic formula, but it might help you get more clarity on how you’d like to grow your business.
And remember, the only wrong answer here is a dishonest one.
How big do you want your lawn maintenance business to be?
You might be envisioning a vast enterprise: multiple cities, a dozen crews, a fancy central office. Or the thought of a mom-and-pop shop might put a smile on your face. These are both completely valid goals, as is everything in between.
But only you can decide what’s right for you.
Don’t worry about what Money Magazine or the Wall Street Journal tells you to strive for. If you let outside pressure make your decisions for you, you will be unhappy.
Your lawn maintenance business can be as big or small as you want it to be. Decide for yourself what you want to achieve, and plan your growth objectives accordingly.
Are you ready to hire administrative or operational support people?
Managing lawn maintenance crews is time-intensive. The more you add, the more time and attention they’ll need. That includes hiring, discipline, quality control, inventory, and procurement.
If your goal is to work less, you’ll need extra help to absorb that growth. Otherwise, you’ll be spending every second managing crews, and you’ll never be able to back away from the responsibilities.
So here’s the question: Can you afford to hire an office manager or operations leader?
More importantly, are you willing to delegate responsibilities to someone else?
If you’ve managed to grow your lawn maintenance business from the ground up, it can be tough to relinquish control. But letting go and trusting someone else is crucial if you want to reap the benefits of owning a business.
If you’re not ready to start delegating responsibility just yet, that’s okay. It just means now might not be the time for you to think seriously about growth.
But I encourage you to remain open to the idea. An office manager or operations manager can make a huge difference in your business and your quality of life.
Why are you in this business in the first place?
Many folks pick the beautiful business because they like being outside and mowing lawns. If you’re one of them, that’s great! It sure beats sitting at a desk all day, every day. But as your business grows, you will spend less time mowing and more time managing.
This shift to managing the business can be challenging if you don’t consider yourself a business person.
If you’re ready to grow, you might consider taking a few business classes, so you’ve got the skills you need. A passion for lawn maintenance paired with some business skills is a killer combo for success. You don’t need an MBA, but a little extra knowledge can help with bookkeeping, marketing, etc.
Here’s the #1 most important strategy for preparing your business for growth
Start hiring potential business management leaders now, even if you’re just starting to think about adding crew members or growing your business. Keep an eye out for people with a genuine interest in leadership. Build on those relationships, and start training them to take on more responsibilities. Then, send them out on jobs to see how they do independently.
Once you’re ready to get serious about growth, those folks will be prepared to grow with you. And you can take your business to the next level without getting swamped from day one.
Growth can be very exciting whether you’re aiming for a sprawling lawn maintenance empire or a mom-and-pop lawn care business.
Get clear on your vision and enjoy the process. And no matter what size business you’re aiming for, you can count on CLIP to help you do it better.