QUESTION: I am thinking about starting a lawn care business. What are the pros and cons I should consider?

ANSWER: Regardless of the type of business you are considering, there are key questions you must answer to determine its success or failure. The place to start is to determine your Business Model?

Your business model is the structure with which you will take your product or service to the market and make a profit. It is a description of the way a company goes to market, what it takes to make the product and sell it, who are the customers and who are the competitors? Also, what are the costs to produce the product or service and how much profit will it generate?

Answering these questions can help you begin to crystalize your thoughts about your business model:

  1. Do you have the necessary funds to cover your startup costs? https://www.score.org/resources/start-expenses
  2. Is your monthly cash flow sufficient to cover your costs of operation? https://www.score.org/resources/12-month-cash-flow-statement
  3. Who are your target customers? What value do you deliver to your customer and what customer needs or wants will you be satisfying?
  4. Who is your competition? How will you compete? What are your competitive advantages?
    https://www.score.org/resources/competitive-analysis-template
  5. How will you reach your customers? What is your marketing strategy? https://www.score.org/resources/annual-marketing-budget-template
  6. What is your eCommerce strategy and what role will it play in your business?
  7. How much are your customers willing to pay for the value you offer? What are they currently paying? What are your pricing tactics and why should they choose to buy from you?
  8. What resources are needed to produce your product or service, deliver it to the market and make a profit? What kind of infrastructure will it take to do it?
  9. Do you have a team in place; lawyer, accountant, insurance, other? You may know your business inside and out, but you can’t know everything. You need to have professionals as part of your team to back you up.

A lawn care business can be seasonal in colder regions and year-round in the deep South. If your business is seasonal, give considerable thought about your cash flow needs in the off season. The 12-month cash flow budget template is an excellent vehicle to project expected income and expenses on a month to month basis.

NOTE: All of the templates recommended above can be found at

https://naples.score.org/resource/financial-projections-template

___________________________________________________________________________

Gray Poehler is a volunteer with SCORE Naples and can be reached at Gray.Poehler@scorevolunteer.org. Business counseling is available, without charge, from the Naples Chapter of SCORE. Call (239) 430-0081 or visit https://naples.score.org/content/find-mentor-165 The SCORE business office is located at 900 Goodlette Road North, in the Fifth Third branch bank building. Office hours are 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday.