Why You Need a Lawn Care Business Plan
By Steve Sutherland
Lawn care businesses usually start off fairly small in size and some business owners in this industry don't even bother to put a business plan together at all. However, if you are serious about starting out right and growing a profitable lawn care operation then it is well worth the time to write a business plan.
Don't be one of those people who jump into lawn care thinking that they will just learn the ropes as they go. Don't end up being one of those failing lawn care business owners who finds out that they under estimated expenses or misjudged the market. Put some time into planning so that you can proceed confidently knowing that you have the best chance of success because your research has confirmed it. Below are just a few reasons why you absolutely must prepare a lawn care business plan.
Plan to Succeed
Many small businesses don’t make it past their first year. When failed entrepreneurs are asked if they would have done anything differently many state that they wished they had put more time into planning or preparing a proper business plan. It is best if you have a clear idea of the challenges and difficulties that you will be facing before you put your money on the line.
Bad decisions during the early stages of your business can often put you on the wrong track and make success harder to obtain. During the startup phase it is important that you get everything right so that you save yourself time and money going forward. Don’t make decisions that are difficult to reverse like buying expensive equipment unless you are absolutely sure. Your lawn business plan is your blueprint for success. It is your company’s road map to a successful and profitable future.
Clarification of Your Ideas
When you write your intentions and ideas down you will sometimes get new ideas or view your existing ideas in a different light. Writing out the business plan yourself will give you the opportunity to validate your ideas and possibly view them differently. After looking into the market more carefully you may decide to scrap your plans altogether or come up with a radically different approach.
One way to make sure that you don’t leave anything out is to write down a list of as many questions as you can think of. For example, you might write down ‘How much money will I need?’ or ‘How will I get new lawn mowing accounts?'. Write down all of the problems that you can imagine coming up and then set out to answer them. Write down the answers as sections of your business plan as you go.
Understanding Startup Funding Requirements
One other common reason for lawn care business failure is insufficient capital. A properly written business plan will address the issue of exactly how much money you need and where the money will come from.
The preparation of a business plan will help you to be organized and methodical as you proceed to prepare to launch your new business. It will provide you with one central document where you can compile all of the information that you come across during the research phase. You can always summarize sections later when you create a formal plan. You can also delete information as you go if you feel that it is no longer useful. If you are organized then the startup process should go relatively smoothly and you will avoid putting yourself under unnecessary stress.
Convincing the Right People
If you are seeking funding for your new lawn care business from lenders or investors then you will need to come up with some financial data that proves that your venture is viable. Lenders or investors will want to know what kind of profit potential the proposed business has. Investors will want to know what kind of return they will get on their investment and lenders will want to know how quickly you can pay them back.
If you are planning on going into business with a partner then a business plan will be crucial. With such a relationship you will need to be sure that you are both thinking along the same lines. If you both have very different ideas about the business then you will end up banging heads further down the line. Make sure that you have an initial agreement about how things are going to play out.
Aside from lenders, investors and potential partners there are also numerous other parties who may be interested in checking out your business plan. You may need to show your plan to local authorities in order to comply with local regulations or licensing requirements. Landlords may want to see your plan before leasing commercial space to you. Joint venture partners may want to learn a little more about your business before they agree to form relationships with you. In these respects, your plan can become a little like a resume. It can offer proof that you are serious about your proposal and convince others that your plan is a winner.
It is difficult to succeed if you don’t really know where you are going. A business plan will allow you to set both short and long term goals for your business. When you set out goals that are realistic and you provide details on exactly how you plan to achieve them then success becomes more likely. How many lawns would you like to be servicing after your first year? When do you aim to take on your first employee?
Starting a business is an exciting experience and most entrepreneurs are in a positive mood throughout this process. However, if you are not careful it is easy to become a little too optimistic without being realistic at the same time. Your business plan will force you to take a look at the real situation and any personal weaknesses or challenges that you are going to have to deal with.
Measure Your Progress
You should not simply discard your business plan once your business is up and running. Instead you can keep it to use as a reference as you go. You can check and see how realistic your forecasts were and if you are on track to reach your goals. You can always revise your plan from time to time to bring it up to date.
Many people start a business with the intention of one day selling it as a profitable operation. A well written and up to date business plan could assist you in the sale of your business when such a day finally comes. If the plan offers potential buyers a clear idea of how the business is run and how much money it makes you will find that it could support you in the process of closing a sale.
Six Sample Lawn Care Business Plans
Free Lawn Care Business Plan Template
Characteristics of an Effective Lawn Care Business Plan
Now find out which lawn care business guide I recommend above all of the others. For details CLICK HERE