Starting a lawnmower business is much more than simply grabbing your personal mower and going to town. In order to protect yourself and your business and compete with others, you’ll want to establish a professional business with proper tools and equipment and adequate insurance. Knowing the costs of starting a lawn mowing business will help you to create a basic business plan and determine if this business is right for you.
Costs of Starting a Lawn Mowing Business
Costs of Establishing Your Business
When first starting out, you may elect to operate as a sole proprietor. This requires no formal filing, however if you use a name other than your own, you may be required to file a Doing Business As permit with your county clerk, which may cost between $10 and $45. You’ll also need to establish a free business checking account, preferably with your current bank, as this will make tracking and personal income that much easier. If you anticipate hiring an employee somewhere down the road, get your EIN now. Check whether you need a contractor’s license.
Unless you can piggyback on your spouse’s employer sponsored health insurance, you’ll need to purchase a health insurance plan. At year’s end, you can claim a portion of it as a deduction from your adjusted gross income. Rates will vary, depending on your level of health and age. Be sure to look for small business health insurance, which may be as low as $40 per month, depending on your income. You’ll also need to purchase a business insurance policy to protect you against claims for damage done to the property and to protect your equipment. A basic insurance policy may cost as little as $35 per month.
In addition to mowing, trimming hedges, trimming back trees, washing windows and emptying gutters, you may do light landscaping, such as laying down fertilizer or mulch. To remain profitable in the offseason, you may rake leaves or set up Christmas lights. Equipment and tools needed may include a commercial grade lawn mower, trailer and truck, fire extinguisher, gas cans, weed eater, edger, extension cords, power pruner, blower, spreader, fertilizer, ladder, rake, chainsaw, trash bags, garden gloves, visor, sunglasses, sunscreen, extra spark plugs and air filters for your lawn mower. Other expenses include gas and car maintenance.
Mowing software solutions which will allow you to schedule appointments, estimate jobs, track expenses and handle payroll start at about $99 at Gopher.
When first starting out, there is no need to purchase commercial equipment, which can you thousands of dollars. Instead, you can purchase a noncommercial mower with a bag for about $150 at Wal-Mart. Keep in mind, however, that you will need to perform maintenance as prescribed in the manual, such as checking oil, cleaning spark plugs and cleaning the air filter after every 4 hours of use. Also be sure to clean your equipment every day. Have at least one extra blade on hand, which are about $12 to $18 mowers. Keep in mind that you may want to look into commercial equipment once you have a robust business, if you find that you are having a hard time maintaining your current equipment. According to The Lawn Advisor, 36 inch or higher, walk behind commercial mowers cost from $2,500 to $5,000. Riding mowers start at about $5,000. Expect to spend at least $100 on a weedwacker, $50 on a corded blower and $40 on a hedge trimmer. Nab a used utility trailer for about $150. Visit Trailer Shopper for used trailers. Expect to pay about $1,000 to $5,000 on equipment costs.
Visit Vistaprint to purchase business cards and 40 lawn signs for your mowing business for about $250 per month. Develop free mowing and service contracts from Microsoft Word templates. Once your business expands, you can purchase a website. In the meantime, you can create a free blog at Blogger.com and post pictures of the yards you work on (with approval from your clients).