Dave Tucker here.
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 opportunity that exists in the lawn maintenance industry. I worked hard and eventually took on the job as foreman and began working on a program to help systematize the company’s billing, scheduling, and routing.
I became obsessed with developing systems and that first bare-bones program evolved into what is now CLIP – a state-of-the-art, cloud-based software designed exclusively for the lawn maintenance industry.
I also built my own successful lawn maintenance business startup and now I’m ready to share the systems and processes I learned, and help you create your own successful business startup.
My goal has always been to create businesses that will run without me.
If there’s a secret to my success in this business over the years – that’s a big “if” – it’s that I’ve always tried to build systems and processes in the businesses so that they will run without me.
In other words, my goal has always been to make myself useless 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 a huge contributor to the health of our communities, our economy, and the individual sense of well-being and accomplishment that comes from building a company. But for me, it’s about more than business.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Lawn Maintenance business. In fact, in my book, I call it The Beautiful Business, but I love my family, friends, and mission work more. Business is a means to an end.
So, I’m not trying to sell you on a book. What I do want to sell you on is the belief that you can do this. And that it’s not just about building a business, it’s about building a lifestyle and maybe even a legacy. More on that last point later in the series when we talk about “The Porch Vision.”
This guide won’t cover every detail involved in running a lawn maintenance business, but it’s everything you need to know to get started at a quick clip and establish momentum with a set of time-tested proven methods and processes.
Is now really the time?
Prior to the first quarter of 2020, business startups had been on the increase since 2010. However, contrary to what you might expect, there was an even bigger growth spike in 2020 with 4.4 million new companies. That’s an increase of 26.9% over 2019! Now is a great time.
What many of those startups have likely learned by now is it’s very difficult to get ahead of the overhead in your professional life when you trade time for money. We want to help you make the transition from working in the business to working on it
Entrepreneurs aren’t just wealth earners they are wealth creators. If you take a look at the recent headlines, it appears that now is a great time for both.
Here are some of 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?
We’ll also include some hard-won lessons (otherwise known as failures) and tips, such as:
The best kind of equipment to purchase (week 7)
The power of piecework (week 9)
“Beach management” (week 15)
The one book you absolutely must read before you start your lawn maintenance business. Hint: it’s not about lawn maintenance or business. (week 17)
The porch vision (week 19)
Before we get started
I’d like to try and plant a seed. If you’re serious about starting and/or growing a lawn maintenance company, this series absolutely will help you. If nothing else, it will help you avoid the mistakes I’ve made – believe me, I’ve tried them all.
But I want to challenge you to start by thinking beyond the business. There are three things I’m passionate about: my family, my faith, and my business. Notice, business is last on the list.
Here’s my challenge: over the next couple of weeks, spend some time thinking about what’s on your list, other than the business. Talk to friends and loved ones, write down some answers.
Keep that list handy – you’re going to need it!