Archive for category lawn care estimating

How To Buy a Lawn Care Business Vehicle

lawn care business truck van

How to buy a lawn care business van

A lawn care business vehicle needs to fulfill the particular needs of your lawn care business.  A specific truck or van that is perfect for one lawn care business might not fit the needs of your lawn care business.

In my lawn care business, I have used vans, large pickup trucks, and small Ford Rangers.  None of these individual vehicles fulfilled all the needs of my lawn care business.  Vans are good work vehicles because you can lock your weedeaters, leaf blowers, and other equipment inside the van.  Trucks are versatile in their hauling capacity.  Small pickups can be kept looking nice and they offer gas mileage that helps with running around town doing mowing estimates.  All my vehicles have been rigged with tow hitches to facilitate pulling a trailer.

I have been shopping for an additional vehicle this summer.  I need versatility in hauling capacity but this vehicle is not going to haul particularly heavy equipment.  I also need this vehicle to get good gas mileage and be able to keep my gear safely locked away.  Also, since this vehicle will not be a “heavy work” vehicle I need it to look good and offer a comfortable ride.  One more thing, I have a limited amount of money to spend.

In my search, I found a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan.

Although this style of van is normally for passengers, this particular van has been outfitted as a utility vehicle. 

lawn care equipment van

Lawn Care Equipment would be protective with an inner cage.

The seats and carpeting have been removed and a protective inner cage has been installed that will help protect any equipment and gear locked safely inside.

It comes with the 3.6L engine that Dodge puts in some of its heavy duty vehicles.  Though 3.6L Dodge engines have some issues reported online, this engine seems to not have the rattling that affects other engines.  In addition to the positives, this van is affordable enough for immediate purchase.

When I started my search for a new vehicle, I never thought I would consider a Dodge Caravan.  I started by looking for a standard work truck or work van like I have purchased in the past.  However, I believe it pays to be flexible and purchase the equipment and vehicles that “fit” into your particular need.  This vehicle will fit nicely and perform the “non-heavy duty” tasks that will be asked of it.

In your lawn care business, how do you make purchasing decisions for your lawn care equipment and vehicles?  Do you simply purchase whatever comes along at the cheapest price or do you have a structured plan in your purchase strategy to help you make purchases that “fit” into your lawn care business?  I see many lawn care business owners purchasing the wrong equipment and the wrong vehicles.  This costs them money in the long run and negatively affects their business.

If you would like to learn how to make better buying decisions in your lawn care business, our Lawn Care Business Strategy Guidebook & Estimating Software package includes a very handy equipment buying guide that will help you buy the RIGHT equipment for your lawn care business.

To learn more and purchase the program at this month’s sale price, please click here: 

Start A Lawn Care Business

Tags: , , ,

Estimating Lawn Care Jobs – Lawn Care Estimating Software

Lawn Care Estimating Software

Lawn Care Estimating Software

If you own a lawn care company, you probably know of the difficulty in properly estimating lawn care jobs for your customers.

We get to speak with hundreds of lawn care business owners all over the country (and the world) every year.  The number 1 problem new lawn care business owners discuss with us is the concept of proper pricing.  Mis-estimating lawn care jobs is a very serious mistake.  Underestimating a lawn care job means you leave money on the table.  Overestimating a lawn care job means the customer will find someone else who will do it cheaper.

There are two pervailing schools of thought to lawn care estimating:

Estimating by the size of the lawn care job.

Estimating a lawn care job by size means that a lawn care business owner takes a measurement of the area that needs to be mowed (or raked or landscaped, etc.) and multiplies that size by a predetermined cost per square foot.

Estimating by the time it will take to do the lawn care job.

Estimating by time means that a lawn care business owner estimates the overall time it will take to mow a lawn and then multiply that time by a cost per hour for his lawn care services.

A better method of estimating lawn care jobs.

There are problems with both methods of lawn care estimating.  When estimating strictly by size, you will likely discover that some jobs are more difficult than other jobs.  The layout of the lawn will be intricate, there will be ruts or gullies in the yard that slow you down, or tall grass will require multiple overlaps.  On the other hand, estimating by time can give varying results because of variable operator efficiency, different sizes of lawn mower decks, and inaccurate time estimates.

After being associated with the lawn care industry since 1992, we have developed a lawn care estimating software package that takes into account time, size, and many other variables of your lawn care estimates.  The lawn care estimating software allows for size of lawn, quickness of your lawn mower, size of the mowing deck, operator efficiency, and difficulty of the job to be mowed.  The software also takes into account travel time, weedeating & blowing, and other time consuming tasks in doing any lawn care job.   The calculator even takes local pricing into account.  So whether you are in Alabama or Arizona the lawn care software will help you determine the best prices for all your lawn care customers.

For more information about the complete lawn care business program (including the lawn care estimating software) please take a peek at our main lawn care business website.  The website address is below:

Start A Lawn Care Business



6 months down 6 months to go – Lawn Care Business in the Second Half of the Year

Mid Summer Lawn Care Business Strategies

Mid Summer Lawn Care Business Strategies

July is here??? Wait, I just blinked and 1/2 the year is already gone!!!!

Well, whether you like it or not, July IS here. If you own a lawn care business, I hope you are really mowing strong right now. Mid-summer is prime money making time for your lawn mowing company. If you are not making a lot of money mowing grass right now then you really need to re-evaluate your business strategy.

I have always used the first week of July to do a mid-year business audit and I ask myself such questions as:

How is my year going? Is my customer list where it needs to be? Are there customers that need to be replaced? Are my prices where they need to be? Am I on track to make my yearly goal? What can I do right now to ramp up my business going into the second half of the year?

Normally, I have always been able to come up with a few business strategies to gain new lawn care customers and entice current customers to spend more money. Mid-year customer evaluation is also done in July…not their evaluation of my lawn care company but my evaluation of them as customers.

Do they need a price increase? Do they need their service day rescheduled to better fit with other customers in the same area? Do one or two “complaining customers” need to be dropped and replaced with better customers?

Finally, I have always used July to really push non-mowing related services. Bed maintenance (mulching, barrier installation additional summer color plantings), shrub trimming, repair of drought affected areas, detailed edging, ornamentation and design work, etc. Customers REALLY want their yards looking nice during July. There are summer parties, cookouts, picnics, family reunions, volleyball & Frisbee in the yard. Assuring your customers of beautiful and functional yards during these summer months can bring you a tremendous amount of additional income from your lawn care business.

If you didn’t make as much money as you know you should have during the first 6 months of 2011, I encourage you to take a look at our lawn care business program. The book and software package is packed with business ideas that will help make your lawn care business a success. Even if you haven’t started your lawn care business yet, the year is only 1/2 over and there is PLENTY of opportunity for your to get started quickly and make great money for the rest of the summer.

For more information on the Lawn Care Business Book, Lawn Care Software, and Lawn Care Estimating Calculators, please visit our main website:

Start A Lawn Care Business

Tags: , , , ,

Start A Lawn Care Business – April, 2011

Start A Lawn Care Business - April, 2011

Start Your Own Lawn Care and Landscaping Business

Though springtime is already underway, right now is a perfect time to get started with your own lawn care business.  If you have ever thought about making money during the summertime mowing grass and doing small landscaping work for your lawn care customers, you should not delay starting your business.

April is the time that many homeowners and business owners hire a lawn  care person for the upcoming mowing season.  The grass is already growing and if you don’t get customers during the next several weeks, you will miss out on the rush of customers looking for lawn care professionals.

Proper price estimation is one of the main problems you will encounter when you are acquiring lawn care customers.  Many new guys do not know how much money to charge when they are giving estimates.  Lots of lawn care people think the only way to attract customers is to underbid (lowball) the other guys cutting grass.  Lowballing is a quick way to lose money.

Instead of lowballing, we teach you how to attract high quality lawn care customers and charge fees that will help you make the best money possible doing lawn care and cutting yards.

If you are starting your lawn care business this year, or if you are hoping to expand your existing lawn care business, proper pricing is an obstacle you need to overcome.  By getting good quality customers right now and charging the money you should be making you can dramatically increase your profit potential for the rest of the year.

Don’t lowball.  Learn how to charge the right amount of money with our bidding tutorial and lawn care business estimating software.  We have it on sale for the rest of the month for a price low enough that it should pay for itself in 1 or 2 lawns.

For more information, visit our main website homepage:

How to Start A Lawn Care Business

Tags: , , ,

Fence Clearing and your Lawn Care Business Services. Welcome to the Jungle, baby.

Make money with fence clearing. Lawn Care Business.
500′ of overgrown fence line. Good money for a lawn care business owner.

Can you make money clearing fences for your lawn care business customers?  Yes.
Is it fun? No.

Fence clearing is one of those jobs that no one likes.  It’s laborious, slow moving, and hard on weedeaters & other lawn care equipment (not to mention your back).  Fence rows become overgrown quickly and since nobody truly likes clearing fence rows those jobs can generate good money for your lawn care business.  Especially if you have customers in rural areas where fence rows are common, you should consider adding fence row clearing to your list of lawn care services.
What’s so bad about clearing fence rows and is it worth the money?
Despite heavy brush that chokes your weedeaters, broken barbed wire fence sections that can penetrate your skin, briars & thorns that get tangled in your clothing, snakes, bees, wasps and poison ivy, a properly cleared fence row greatly improves the apprearance of a piece of property and makes the owner very happy (and willing to spend good money on your lawn care services).
There is good money in fence clearing if you know how to price your jobs correctly.  You can use the estimating software located in our (Start A Lawn Care Business) program to help you calculate prices on your lawn care jobs.  It is a HUGE help especially if you are just starting out or if you are looking to expand your lawn care business this year with new customers and new services.
Whenever we’re tackling an overgrown fence row like the one pictured above, I always have Guns’n’Roses playing in my head.
“Welcome to the Jungle, baby.”

Tags: , , ,

Lawn Care Business and the Recent Unemployment Numbers.

Start A Lawn Care Business

Economists are so funny.  First, they make up forecasts based on their best guess estimates.  Then, when the numbers don’t come in as expected, they claim the unemployment numbers are disappointing.  Everyone gnashes their teeth and the stock market plummets as the television news stations make us common folk feel like the world is coming to {yet another} end.

Maybe the numbers themselves aren’t “disappointing.”  Maybe it was the economic unemployment forecast that was “disappointing” to begin with.

My formal education is in finance and economics.  I earned my degree long before I broke free of the cubicle and started my own lawn care business.  I will alway remember one professor who told me, as I was trying to analyze an economic report, “the numbers can be good or bad, it all depends on what kind of spin you put on them.”


Anyway, what do you guys think about the latest unemployment numbers?  Do you think that they are good or bad for the economy.  How do you think they will affect your lawn care business.  I will tell you what I think.  I think a lowering of the unemployment rate to under 9% is a huge step in the right direction.  As more people are put back to work, more people will have less time at home.  And they will have more money in their pockets to hire out their lawn care services.

One other benefit of more people going back to work is that many guys who were cutting grass as extra income while they were out of work will stop mowing grass.  Less competition in the lawn care industry is good for the guys  who are still doing it and for the guys who are starting their lawn care businesses this year.

So, if these talking heads on TV are getting you down and making you feel there is no hope for your life, turn off the TV and take your destiny into your own hands.  Someone is always going to have a bleak story to tell.  However, we ( speak with LOTS of lawn care industry insiders and we feel we have a pretty good idea of what is going on within the industry.  Lawn care is going to be strong again and we think this year is going to be one of the best years in recent memory for anyone with a lawn care company.

So, wether you are wanting to grow an existing lawn care business or you are wanting to start a brand new lawn care business of your very own, we hope you will stop dreaming and start doing.  Right now is a great time to get started.

We would also like to tell you that if you don’t know where to start and you don’t know how to acquire customers and price your jobs, we have developed an EXCELLENT series of guidebooks and ESTIMATING SOFTWARE to help you start your own successful Lawn Care Business. Maybe by using our Lawn Care Business Estimating Software, you will be able to give better estimates than the economists. 🙂

For more information, read more about the business program on our main website.  Click the link below:

How To Start A Lawn Care Business

Tags: , , ,

Google Earth’s Continued Relevance to the Lawn Care Industry

It’s hard to believe it’s been 3 1/2 years since I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal for their report on the use of Google Earth by small business owners.  The reporter for the Wall Street Journal had read a brief report I wrote concerning my use of Google Earth in viewing and sizing lawn care jobs.

Though I will be the first to admit that a lawn care company should never solely use an aerial or satellite image to determine a price estimate on a lawn care or landscaping job, services such as Google Earth can give lawn care company owners a graphical overview of areas of land that need to be mowed or landscaped.

Last month, Google announced a new Google Labs product called Google Earth Engine.  Google Earth Engine gives users tools to analyze environmental changes that occur over time.  Understanding our environment helps all of us, as landscapers, become better stewards of the grounds we keep.

If you are interested in the ways technology can make you a more successful lawn care business owner, please subscribe to our blog and check out the Google Earth Engine at:

Tags: , , , ,


don't hire this lawn care serviceHave you ever been at a party; laughing, talking with people you don’t know, and trying to impress cute girls only to find that people don’t want to talk to you or if they do talk to you they just stare then walk away laughing?  After that party, did you leave wondering if something was wrong with you (or “what was wrong with all those idiots”)?  Then, as you’re driving away, you look in your rearview mirror to see that there is a big piece of stupid broccoli or lettuce between your teeth?


The other guys at the party are your competition and they’re certainly not going to tell you about your problem.  And the girls?  Well, they’re just going to laugh at you and leave with some other guy who doesn’t have broccoli in his teeth.

Running a lawn care business is similar to being at a party.  If you have a problem with your advertising or your lawn care pricing, your competition certainly won’t give you any hints and your customers will just pass you over and hire a different lawn care company.  One of the reasons we developed the “Start a Lawn Care Business” guidebooks and training course is to help you develop your lawn care business to such a professional level that your customers will not pass you by. 

Why are lawn mowing customers passing you by when they choose a lawn care provider?  Are you charging too much money and forcing your customers to hire your competition?  Are you charging too little money and suffering from a perceived lack of quality?  Are your marketing efforts catering to people who never hire lawn care people?  Does your mowing equipment look (and cut grass) like pieces of junk?  Does your own personal attitude need refining to effectively deal with and retain your lawn care customers?  Do your lawns look like they were cut by a non-professional after you are finished with your work?

The “Start a Lawn Care Business” course will tell you what you need to know to operate a professional lawn care company that customers will flock to.  We have been in this business for almost 20 years and we’ve been on the consulting side of the business for almost 10 years.  The advice in our lawn care package pulls no punches.   We’re here to give you honest, hardcore, real-world advice about how to run a SUCCESSFUL lawn care business. 

If you didn’t make the money you know you should have made in 2010 then there is something about your business that is screaming:  “DON’T HIRE THIS LAWN CARE SERVICE!!!”

Where is the red flag?  What is telling potential customers to pass you by?  Is it your advertising, your pricing, your equipment, your service, your attitude?  Whatever it is, I am sure you want to know so you can fix the problem.

Pssst!!!  Hey buddy, you have broccoli in your teeth.

More than likely your lawn care company just has a piece of broccoli in its teeth.  Our business program will not only tell you about the broccoli but we’ll show you the best way to pick it out.  Okay, that’s disgusting.  But seriously, out of the hundreds of Lawn Care Business owners we have consulted the last several years, most of them simply have one or two small problems that need to be fixed. 

If you feel there is something holding you back from making great money with your lawn care business, our program will likely be able to put you on a great path to success in 2011.

To learn more about the Start a Lawn Care Business training course and Estimating Software, visit our main website at:
How To Start a Lawn Care Business

Tags: , , ,

November Rains Bring Lawn Care Pains

by: Start a Lawn Care Business

Ouch! My neck hurts.

No, it doesn’t hurt because of a recent car crash or an old football injury.  It hurts (figuratively) because I’m getting whipsawed back and forth with this November weather. 

November weather is notoriously fickle in the southeast and this November’s weather is no exception.  Two weeks ago, we had freezing overnight lows, last week we were into the high 70’s with cloudless skies, and this week is starting on a bleary note with showers and highs in the mid-40’s.

Ahh, November, it keeps life interesting for a lawn care professional. 

As much as you might like to complain about the weather, I hope you realize what a blessing November weather is for your lawn care company.  For instance, if you are in the southeast, last week was a perfect time to aerate and overseed all your customer’s lawns before this rainy spell kicked in.  Aeration before seeding allows perfect seed-ground contact.  Seeds will have a great oportunity to germinate and set roots as the rains moisten the soil before harsh winter weather.

We are already hearing from many of our readers in the North and their issues with the first snow plowing jobs of the season.  And, as always, sunny south Florida and Texas are the envy of us all being able to mow practically year-round.

No matter in what part of the country you reside, November weather brings its challenges.  However, if you play it right, November can be a very profitable month for your lawn care business.

Don’t forget, if you need to learn how to properly price-estimate all your lawn care customers, pick up a copy of our lawn care estimating software on our main web page:

Tags: , ,

A "Successful" Lawn Care Business?

by: Start A Lawn Care Business

Too often in the lawn care industry, we think of success in terms of number of jobs per day, number of crews, or number of clients on a roster.  For full-time lawn care companies, these criteria are important to the overall well-being of a company.  However, the industry should never overlook the needs of the small lawn care business owner or the solo part-time guy just looking to make an extra several hundred dollars per week doing a handful of residential and commercial customers.

Though many large-scale lawn care business owners purchase our “Start A Lawn Care Business” training package to gain new ideas how to grow their businesses, the majority of the purchasers of our business program are aspiring entrepreneurs looking to either start a new lawn care business or current small business owners who are looking to expand their business, go full-time, and add employees.

I was speaking with a guy last week who saw on of our Leaf Raking Videos on YouTube.  The video stirred his interest and he is about the take the plunge, purchase a commercial leaf blower, and start finding clients.  The main question he has is how to bid leaf raking and leaf blowing jobs.  We run into these questions very often and this is exactly why we developed the “bidding tutorial and estimating software” sections in our lawn care business program.  There are too many variables to do flat rate pricing on leaf cleanup jobs.  Our estimating tutorial teaches you how to properly bid jobs without overpricing (or underpricing) your work.

If you are a one-man operation wanting to start or grow a successful lawn care business we encourage you to learn how to bid your jobs properly and grow your business correctly.  We believe the strength in the Green Industry lies in the hands of small lawn care business owners.

For more information on the Lawn Care Business training guidebook and software package, visit our main webpage at:

Tags: , , ,