Having a plan for your lawn care business doesn't mean you have to have a formal business plan. Yes, I know formal business plans are important but I think for most guys, including me, I like to think of a plan for my business as more like a road map when I'm heading out to go on vacation. You wouldn't' go on a trip without knowing how to get there would you?
A lawn care business plan should simply state the following:
1. How much you want to make in a week, month and year? I would include how much I want to gross and how much I want to net.
2. How you will make this amount? For instance will you make it mowing lawns, doing landscaping installs, fertilization services or a combination of all of these? List what percentage of your revenue will come from each of these.
3. What equipment are you going to need and how much will this be? The equipment you buy needs to match up with the type of clients you are doing work for. For instance, if you are doing large properties, a 36"" mower would not be too smart to use. The opposite is true as well. If you are doing small garden homes then a 60"" cut zero turn mower might not be the best choice for getting though gates and into back yards. Don't forget to factor in repairs, etc.
4. How many clients will you need to be profitable and make the money you want to make? This ties in with #7 below. You need to know about how many clients it will take to make the money you want to make.
5. Who are your ideal clients going to be? Are you going to do large properties such as apartments or industrial clients or maybe you will focus on trying to get an entire community of garden homes.
6. Are there enough of potential lawn care clients in one area to support your business? In the area we service there are only a couple of garden home communities. It would be hard for me to make a living if that was my only target market. Make sure there are enough of the type clients you are going to focus on to make it worthwhile.
7. How much will your average customer be worth? You need to know what you average per client. I know some will be higher and some will be lower but it will average out. You need to know this number.
8. How will you spend to market to your potential customers (see my video on postcards, doorhangers and the other video on killer referral systems I use). If you know you make $1500 per year per customer then don't you think you can afford to spend $10 or so to get a new customer? It amazes me at the people who won't spend the money to do targeted marketing in a specific area to get more of the exact type of clients they need. So what if it costs you $1000 to send out full color, glossy postcards to a certain community. If you get 5, 6 or more new clients that fit exactly into your business it's well worth it.
These are basically the things I would include in my plan for my lawn care business.
This is not the "be all-end all" list. Depending on how big of a business you are planning on there are other things you will want to include. For most guys, this will be enough to get you started and thinking...