How to Write a Lawn Care Business Plan [With Free Template]
A lawn care business plan is a document that describes your business, defines your goals, and outlines the strategies your team will use to achieve them.
It’s also the best way to prepare for the future, keep yourself accountable as an entrepreneur, and even get the funding you need to grow your business—whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned professional.
We’ll go through everything you need to know about lawn care business plans, including the most important topics you should cover.
We’ve also put together a template with a lawn care business plan example. You can create one that’s similar, or use it as a jumping-off point for a much more detailed plan of your own.
Why you need a lawn care business plan
There are several reasons why it’s a good idea to have a lawn service business plan:
? It’s a way for you and your team to understand your goals
? It keeps you organized and your plans on track
? It helps you prepare for future problems because you’ve already thought about them
? It provides important information to banks, investors, and other financial supporters
If you’re just starting a lawn care business, writing your business plan should be the first step you take. It’ll help you make the most of your time and money during the startup process.
That said, you can also make a plan (or update your existing one) several years in. This will help you plan for the future you want to reach—especially if that future includes big changes to your business.
1. Cover page and table of contents
If you’re writing a lawn care business plan to get financing, you’ll need to include:
- A cover page with your business’s logo, address, and contact details, as well as your own name and role in the company. It should also say “business plan” in big letters so the reader knows what they’re looking at.
- A table of contents helps readers see what’s included in the business plan. This makes it easier for them to skip ahead if they’re looking for a certain section.
If you’re writing a simple lawn care business plan just for yourself that’s only a few pages long, feel free to skip this step.
2. Executive summary
The executive summary is a simple overview of your lawn care startup business plan. It quickly introduces your business to readers and tells them what to expect from your plan.
Your executive summary can include content like:
- Company history and background
- Vision and mission statement
- Core values
- Business goals
- Competitive advantage
Keep your executive summary brief—no more than a page long, especially if the business plan is already pretty short. Make it even shorter if you’re writing a 1–2-page plan.
READ MORE: Best lawn care business apps
3. Business overview
A business overview gives readers a bird’s-eye view of your business. Let’s dig into some of the content that falls under this section of your lawn company business plan:
- Business description: Write a summary of your business that includes what you do, where, how you provide it, and who you work with (i.e., residential or commercial clients). We’ve included a lawn care business description example in our free lawn care business plan template.
- Ownership: Identify whether your business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation. Each type of business entity has its own rules, regulations, and tax requirements, so get your ownership structure in writing.
- Assets: List any equipment you own that helps you run your business. This includes things like a lawn mower, trailer, garage, phones and computers, and any money invested in the business. You can also separately list any future equipment you’ll need.
- Startup costs: If you’re just getting started, figure out any startup costs or expenses you’ll need to pay for before you launch. This starts with the assets above, plus office supplies, marketing materials, uniforms, payroll, and lawn care software.
READ MORE: How to get commercial lawn care contracts
4. Lawn care services list
Next, write down your lawn care services list and how often you’ll provide them. The services you offer may depend on factors like:
- The assets and equipment you own or can rent
- The services your competitors provide and their prices
- The services your clients need and what they’re willing to pay
- Market demand for new or uncommon lawn care services
- Opportunities for seasonal work, like snow removal or holiday light installation
The services list in your grass cutting business plan can include:
- Lawn mowing
- Yard cleanup and leaf removal
- Trimming and pruning
- Weed control
- Sodding and returfing
If you’re just starting your lawn care business, it’s a good idea to begin with a few basic services and grow from there.
5. Lawn care pricing
Now that you’ve got your services and target market down, it’s time to think about how you’ll price your services to build a profitable lawn care business.
Your lawn care services pricing should factor in every aspect of your business. To settle on that pricing, calculate:
- Your hourly rate (with and without employee pay)
- Overhead and equipment costs
- Consumable material costs (e.g., fuel, fertilizer)
- Any adjustments for special services and materials
- Your profit margin
- All taxes and fees
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6. Market analysis
This section of your lawn mowing business plan will cover your target market—that is, your ideal client. Write down details like:
- Whether you’re targeting residential or commercial lawn care clients
- How many ideal clients are in your area
- Ideal client demographics (e.g., age, income, family status)
- Client needs and wants that your business can address
- What clients are willing to pay for your services
- Qualities that clients look for in a service provider (e.g., speed, quality, price)
- Any industry rules or regulations you need to be aware of
In your market analysis, you can also outline any industry trends you can take advantage of. Just make sure they’ll help you meet your ideal client’s needs.
7. Competitor analysis
When you know who your competitors are and why they’re successful, you can fill in any service gaps and make your own business a real contender in your local market.
Identify up to five of your top local competitors. These are businesses that work with your ideal clients and provide services similar to yours. Your competitor analysis should include:
- What services your competitors offer
- What they charge for services
- How large their team is
- How long they’ve been in business
- How trusted and recognizable their service business branding is
- Why ideal clients would choose them over you (and vice versa)
READ MORE: Your guide to this year’s GIE+EXPO
8. Marketing and sales
Your marketing and sales strategy will help you bring in new clients and new revenue. To attract and win potential clients, you can use lawn care marketing tactics like:
- Lawn care website
- Business cards
- Lawn care flyers and door hangers
- Lead generation sites
- Google and Facebook advertising
- Customer referral program
- Email marketing
- Temporary lawn signage while you’re working
- Employee uniforms
- Vehicle wraps and decals
- Local business networking
If you have any sales staff, your small lawn care business plan should account for:
- The number of sales employees you need
- Sales team responsibilities and compensation
- Training and tactics for sales calls
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9. Employee planning
Labor costs make up 30–35% of revenue costs. That’s why it’s so important to account for your employees in your business plan—even if the only employee is you.
This section of your lawn maintenance business plan should include:
- Employees’ hourly wages or salaries
- Local labor rates and cost of living
- How many employees you need
- Time, effort, and cost to hire lawn care employees
- How many jobs you typically have per day
- How much revenue you need to make from each job
When you’re just getting started, you don’t need employees right away if you’re doing the work yourself. If you do want to hire, though, you’ll need to know how to write a lawn care job description.
10. Financial planning
The financial planning section is where you connect the dots between your business goals and how much it’ll cost you to achieve them. This will help you build a profitable lawn care business.
The financial plan for your lawn care business should include:
- Lawn care business model overview
- Any existing or required startup funding
- Current loans (purpose, amount, length, interest rate)
- Overhead costs
- Sales forecast
- Balance sheet
- Profit-loss statements
- Cash flow statements
- Employee costs
- Budget for expenses
- Personal financial statement
Project all of your incoming and outgoing costs for the next year. If you want to go a step further, you can decide what that projection should look like in two, five, or even 10 years.
Go into lots of detail if you’re applying for a lawn care business grant. If you have a bookkeeper, accountant, or other financial advisor, get their help with this section of your business plan.
You may need to include extra documents if you’re applying for a grant or bank funding. Add your resume, permits, credit history, photos of your work, or other documents in an appendix.
You’re ready to draft your lawn care business plan
A business plan helps you examine all aspects of your business equally, identify the gaps you need to work on, and help you focus on the big picture of your lawn care business.
Now that your business plan is done, you’re ready to start winning clients and making a profit, knowing your efforts are well planned and well spent.
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Originally published March 2020. Last updated on April 14, 2022.