Dave Tucker here.
A lawn maintenance business startup was the last thing on my mind when I first started mowing lawns for my brother-in-law in 1986.
I did it because I had a family to feed and bills to pay. But it wasn’t long before I saw the wealth of opportunity in the lawn maintenance industry. I worked hard and eventually took on the job of foreman. That’s when I began working on a program to help systematize the company’s billing, scheduling, and routing.
I became obsessed with developing systems that would improve the lawn maintenance business. That first bare-bones program evolved into CLIP – the state-of-the-art, cloud-based software designed exclusively for the lawn maintenance industry.
I also built my own successful lawn maintenance business from the ground up. Now I’m ready to share what I learned about systems and processes and help you create your successful business startup.
My goal has always been to create businesses that run without me.
There’s no secret to my success in this business over the years. It’s pretty simple: I’ve always tried to build my businesses around systems and processes so they can run without me.
In other words, my goal has always been to render myself unnecessary in the day-to-day operations of my businesses. Here’s why.
It’s not just about the business.
At CLIP, we believe small businesses are vital to the health of our communities and our economy. Building a company can give you a tremendous individual sense of well-being and accomplishment. But for me, it’s about more than business.
Don’t get me wrong: I love the lawn maintenance business. I fondly call it “The Beautiful Business.” But I love my family, friends, and missions work more. So business is a means to an end.
I’m not trying to sell you a book. I want to help you believe that you can do this—because you can. You—yes, you—can build a lawn maintenance business. And that it’s not just about building a business. It’s about creating a lifestyle—and maybe even a legacy. I call it The Porch VIsion.
This guide won’t cover every little detail involved in running a lawn maintenance business. Instead, it covers the time-tested, proven methods and processes you’ll need to get started and gain momentum fast.
Is now really the time?
Before the first quarter of 2020, business startups had increased since 2010. However, contrary to what you might expect, there was an even more significant growth spike in 2020 with 4.4 million new companies. That’s an increase of 26.9% over 2019! So now is a great time.
Many of those startups have likely learned by now that it’s tough to get ahead of the overhead in your professional life when you trade time for money. So we want to help you transition from working in the business to working on it.
Entrepreneurs aren’t just wealth earners. They are wealth creators. If you look at the recent headlines, it appears that now is an excellent time for both.
Here are the five major categories we’ll focus on over the next 19 weeks:
- When and why to start a lawn maintenance business.
- How to land jobs early and often.
- Measuring results and managing people.
- The four systems of a lawn maintenance business.
- Success: then what?
The series includes some hard-won lessons and tips. Everything from choosing the right equipment to the one book you must use to help build your company.
Before we get started
I want to try and plant a seed. If you’re serious about starting and growing a lawn maintenance company, this series absolutely will help you. If nothing else, it will help you avoid the mistakes I’ve made. And believe me: I’ve made them all.
But I want to challenge you to start by thinking beyond the business. What’s most important to you in this life? What do you care about?
Personally, I’m passionate about three things:
- My family.
- My faith.
- My business.
Business is last on the list. That’s by design. I love my work, but it will never be more important to me than my family. I purposefully designed my lawn maintenance business to run without me so that I could spend more time with my family.
What’s on your list?
So here’s my challenge for you: Over the next few weeks, think about what’s on your list. What and who do you love? What do you want more time and space for? Talk it over with your friends and family. Write down some answers.
And keep that list handy—you’re going to need it!
Here’s the Quick Clip Startup Series overview:
- Four reasons to own your own business: There are many meaningful benefits beyond the money.
- Why you should choose lawn maintenance for your business: Get started quick, earn money right away, and stay in business for the rest of your life.
- The key to financial security is residual income: How your lawn maintenance business can generate passive income and build wealth.
- The basics of starting a lawn maintenance business: A quick primer on legal entities, taxes, insurance, and why they’re essential.
- Year-round strategy for your lawn maintenance business: How to approach each season to ensure maximum return.
- How to land your first lawn maintenance customer: A simple and effective way to think about marketing so you can grow your business.
- Lawn maintenance paperwork 101: The differences between estimates, agreements, and contracts.
- How to buy equipment for your lawn maintenance business: What to buy, how to buy it, and tips for making smart purchases.
- Creative problem-solving in the lawn maintenance business: Sidestep silly problems and stay ahead of the competition by thinking outside the box.
- Hiring 101: How to hire excellent lawn maintenance employees.
- Why to consider hiring international workers: A guide to H2-B visas.
- Growing your lawn maintenance business: Your business can only grow bigger than you if it can run without you.
- Why job costing is critical to business profitability: An introduction to job costing and a short case study on why it’s so important.
- Earn money all winter long: How your warm-weather business can generate cold-weather income.
- Business success systems: Customers. Streamline customer service and make everyone happy.
- Business success systems: Employees. Empower your team to do their best work without having to consult you on every little thing.
- Business success systems: Vendors. How to maximize your own business by leveraging other businesses.
- Business success systems: Financials. Airtight accounting is crucial to growing your lawn maintenance business.
- What to do with your lawn maintenance business profits: Define the lifestyle you want—and then go live it.
The past few years have changed the way many people think about work. Workers want more freedom, flexibility, and space to do what they love. You can have all those things and more when you start your own business.
One of the great bonuses of these strange times we’re in is that people rally around small businesses with a renewed zeal. There’s a real passion for supporting local shops and service providers, and it’s unlikely to fade. As a result, your community’s desire to bolster your brand-new business will never be more robust.
Think about this, too: As an entrepreneur, you aren’t just a wealth earner. You’re a wealth creator. You can employ your neighbors and your friends. You can help change the working experience for the better.
You can always find a reason not to take the leap. But if you never give it a shot, you’ll never know.