Surviving Winter As A Lawn Mowing Operator
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Those who know the struggles of winter most are definitely lawn mowing business owners. It can be a hard time for anyone who works outdoors, but especially for those who mow lawns for a living. If you're starting out this winter, we applaud you. We also recommend to anyone who is about to start their first winter season as a lawn mowing operator - read these helpful tips.

 

1. Mow lawns with a weed eater

When the grass is wet, it can be extremely hard to trek a mower through it. The lawn mower can rip up the ground and the grass will clump in the blades. Our pro tip is to continue mowing lawns but with a weed eater. While this may not give you the same finish you'd get with a mower - it will definitely avoid any other complications with the lawn.
 

2. Take on extra work to supplement your income

It doesn't really matter what it is, do it. Hedges, water blasting, section tidies or light tree pruning - these services will bring in the dosh when the lawns don't need mowing. Many lawn mowing operators tend not to stretch far from duties behind the mower, but in the winter it definitely pays to go further than normal services. 
 

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3. Build up lawn numbers

Perhaps it's time to get your extra friendly face on and introduce yourself to some of the neighbours. You could create a new social media page and push that to locals in your area. Don't be afraid to get testimonials from your current clients which will help sell your services to others.
 

4. Do some extra courses or training in health and safety

Without proper education and training, many things can go awry. The equipment and your environment can have large implications if not treated with care. That’s why it’s important to implement proper health and safety policies which you can get through Trimsafe. Not only does it make you a safer operator, but it gives your customers reassurance and peace of mind. Most of our Crewcut operators are enrolled in Trimsafe, so they can be safe on site.

 

More lawn mowing business articles

- 10 Common mistakes when starting a business
- How does a lawn mowing operator cope with extreme weather
- New areas for franchise growth

 

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5. Tool maintenance

All those hours in the summer sun have taken a beating on your lawn equipment. When was the last time you got your mower serviced or tried to tinker with it yourself? It's a good time of the year to scrub up on your lawn and garden tool maintenance. Make sure you:
- First of all give it a visual inspection to see if there is anything physically wrong. 
- Tighten up any loose nuts and bolts
- Sharpen or change the mower blade.
- Check the motors air filter. If it's dirty or clogged, it could slow down your mowing efficiency. 

 

6. Tidy up your business appearance

When we say this we mean, update your uniform, clean your vehicle and make sure your sign writing is looking great. If you're part of a franchise system like Crewcut, getting these things sorted will be a breeze. All it requires is contacting head office, and they will send these things out to you. 

 

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7. Plan a holiday

If it's winter in this part of the world, then it must be summer somewhere else! While work is slow, you could go away on holiday and make the most of the time off. It goes without saying that in the summer months while everyone else gets a break, you're generally at your busiest. 

 

 

8. Gain new skills

Have you wanted to learn a new technique or two? Or perhaps learn some basic maintenance for your machinery. Winter is the perfect time. These new skills could be in your back-end accounting type jobs, or practical gardening skills you could turn into services offered to clients. 

 

9. Budget/plan for winter

The winter months are the hardest time of year for any lawn mowing operator, which is why it requires careful planning and budgeting beforehand. During this planning period, you may set aside time for any of the things listed above, or it may be a time to get your finances in check. 

 

So even if the dark grey clouds are out, and it's looking a bit doom-and-gloom, there is plenty of work to be done.
Keep yourself busy year-round, and you'll definitely make your lawn mowing business a success. ;


Related Articles

CC Group
17 ways to make more money in your lawn mowing business

By David Serville - founder of Crewcut lawn and garden


So you want the direct path to wealth and happiness in the lawn mowing industry ? 

 

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With 30 years now in this industry, I have seen almost everything on the subject of profitability for a residential lawn mowing business. While I mowed lawns predominately in Auckland (most of that within a lawn mowing franchise system), I have also mown lawns in many New Zealand cities and a couple in Australia. I have bought and sold hundreds of private and franchised lawn mowing businesses and advised many lawn mowing owners how to improve their businesses. These are the key habits and tricks to making better money than your competitors. 

 

Most of these tips are either good tips to improve operational efficiencies or habits that need to be formed to improve profitability. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. In my experience, it's failing to practice these simple habits that stop hard working lawn mowing franchisees and operators from realising the true potential of their businesses. 

 

1. Start early, finish early

This is especially important for running a lawn mowing business in main urban centres to avoid traffic. The early bird catches the worm, so find the lawn suitable for early starts. Usually it's a commercial client that will not impact on late sleeping clients and neighbours. Finishing early means you have more time in the evening to get your admin sorted as well.

 

2. Sell excess lawns to develop a compact lawn mowing run

You don’t get paid for travelling between lawns. A little known fact is that your body tends to get stiff and cease up the longer you sit in your vehicle in-between jobs. The shorter the travel time, the easier it is to keep your momentum moving forward. At Crewcut we buy back excess lawns to facilitate less travel for our franchisees. This means you can really condense your patch of clients into one or two key areas and boost profitability. 
 

3. Pricing for profit

This is a whole article in itself, but it's not hard to work out that not all lawns are as profitable as others. My advice - during spring, put the price up for the twenty percent of your 'less than profitable clients'. This will groom your clients annually to improve your profitability. If you do this in spring you will be less likely to lose clients. 

 

4. Not all types of mowing are profitable

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The main types of mowers you'll see are catch, mulch and side-deliver. In a perfect world we would side deliver, side throw (or a Crewcut mower) on all our lawns. These types of mowers are by far the fastest and easiest. Next is mulch mowing. It's both quick and very good for most lawns. So it's a great environmental solution. Catching is one of the slowest and even if you start charging more, it's always harder to recoup all your time and effort. The best catcher is a Reel Mower but this is really for the flat lawn that will be kept in the best shape. Again you will have to charge a premium. By encouraging your clients to mulch you will be both fast and environmentally friendly. Just remember that the client is always right, so do what they want, but it doesn't hurt to sell and promote mulching. In the end, it does grow a healthier grass, which is something all clients want.   
                                                               

5. Mow in the rain

Do a weather check each night and unless it's a flood or your lawns are far too soft to walk on, then commit to mowing in the rain. This is more about work ethic and motivation than anything else. But lawn mowing contractors that are unstoppable make more money. Customers like knowing that no matter what, you'll give 100% to their lawn despite the weather.
 

6. Have a strict payment policy and system

All Crewcut franchisees have a well developed client Terms of Trade form which is printed on the back of each client statement or invoice.  Train your clients to pay monthly or every two lawn cuts. Cash flow is the life-blood of your business and good cash flow will mean that you never have to worry. Remember that planning customer payment methods is far easier than trying to claim their debts - it just gets too messy for what it's worth.
 

7. Mow early in the height of the season

Every week or 10 days, change clients from fortnightly to weekly for the growth season. Often they will agree for short periods of time. Not only does it increase your chances of profitability, but it will make your customers feel like your schedule is based on their lawn growth - one way to make them feel important!
 

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8. Run your equipment like a Formula One pit crew team

At the end of each lawn mow, check your line trimmer cord and top up all machines with gas. Your flow and rhythm is essential to good, profitable days. It's also a good idea to check under your mower and clear out the clumped grass - it will help you mow a bit faster. 
 

9. Walk fast all day

This might seem a bit of a basic tip, but lawn mower operators that make the most money always walk fast. Your profit is connected to your average speed. 
 

Further Lawn Business Ownership Reading

 

10. Do not run extra staff in your own vehicle

This is unless you have a business designed to take them, and you have some experience in how to manage them. In a residential lawn mowing business, often two people in the same vehicle don’t make double the money, as you have to pay them while you're travelling from lawn to lawn. That said, it can be suitable if you use casual labour for gardening as these jobs are typically longer at one address.
 

11. Always own good quality, well maintained equipment

Do not hold onto old equipment as it's a false economy. Equipment, like anything else has a life. Budget for replacement. Depending on your maintenance and care, often equipment will need to be replaced every 18-24 months.  
 

12. Set you van truck and or trailer up, well

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This is about flow and process and making sure everything works well when it comes to access, storage and speed. 
 

13. Wear good protective footwear

Unfortunately the jandals have to stay at home when you're mowing lawns. Make sure you wear comfortable AND protective footwear. Not only will they make you faster, the'll prevent any risk of injury from mowing over your foot or getting cut by the grass. 

 

14. Pre-plan for the next day

Order your run at night for the next day and prepare equipment so you're ready to go! This might seem simple enough but it's one habit that will make you money every day. Generally when you first wake up it can take time to get your brain into second gear. If all you have to do is jump in your vehicle, look at the first lawn job and get mowing, this will mean your day will flow much better. Simple ways to prep your equipment include cleaning your gear and filling the mower and line trimmer with petrol.
 

15. Claim your petrol tax

You don’t pay for money on any petrol machines that aren't being used on the roads. This is free money and for a residential lawn mowing operator, this can amount to quite a bit of coin. 
 

16. Have a back up plan for when things go wrong

Especially during the warmer months, your equipment and vehicle will be going gang busters. It's often the worst timing, but things can break down. Organise a supplier that will lend you loan equipment while they repair yours. Preparation for these events will minimise your down time. 
 

17. Buy a Crewcut lawn mowing franchise

Many independents will read this and ask why. The simple fact is that we supply our franchisees with a steady flow of qualified leads. Which means we continuously attract people who want our mowing services and pass them on to our lawn mowing franchise owners. This is a huge advantage over a private business. Marketing takes experience and time which many lawn mowing independents don't have. So maybe they have bought a lawn run and it's all they need, but again how do they condense travel time and develop the business further? The selling back process and personalised marketing package each Crewcut franchisee gets insures that their business will always improve in profitability and revenue. 
 

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Finally along with the above, at Crewcut we live with a set of company values. By following them we always succeed, no matter what the situation is.

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Be your word- We do what we promise
 

Create raving fans - We care about our clients happiness
 

Stick top the plan - We follow the Crewcut system to success 

 
 

If you or someone else you know might be interested in a Crewcut lawn mowing business, be sure to contact us on 0800 800 286. Check out our list of available lawn mowing franchises for resale as there may be an opportunity in your neighbourhood.


Related Articles

 

David Serville
How to write a lawn mowing business plan

By David Serville, Founder of Crewcut Lawn & Garden


In my view, a lawn mowing business plan should be kept simple. Once written, it should provide you with clarity and should be easy to follow for any reader. 

So who are you writing your lawn mowing business plan for?

  1. A bank
  2. A business Partner
  3. Yourself

These are in order of complexity. Before you write one for a bank or a business partner you need to address one thing; What sort of security and resources do you have to bring to such a venture? The bank will likely want to see equity in a property or home. You will need to fill out a financial statement of position form. See one HERE.

This tells the bank everything you own, your current outgoings, your debt and the equity you have at that point of time. The bank will want 3-6 months of bank statements (if it is a different bank or lender to who you normally use).

If you don’t own a property with a good amount of equity, in other words un-encumberd home with little debt, then don’t bother even calling a bank as they will not be interested. One advantage of a Crewcut Franchise System is that we can overcome some of this as long as you have enough money for the vehicle, equipment and a small deposit. It is key that you don’t start any business with more debt than the business can handle in the start up phase.

I would recommend that in any scenario that you always start with your own plan. I mentioned what is required by the bank only to save you time. The place to start any plan is with your personal business plan. A business partner will at the very least want to see this if they are investing time and money into the venture, unless it is your wife or a trusting relative. In my view, you should alway start with a one page plan.

 

Answer these questions

How will you financially live or get by for the first 6-12 months as you build you business? 

If you purchase a lawn mowing franchise, this is less relevant as you start with a ready-made own business with only a small development cost, if any. This depends on the package.

What is the cost of the equipment? 

  • 2 Lawn mowers of commercial quality for residential or commercial use. 
  • One straight arm loop handle of commercial quality line trimmer 
  • One blower 

What vehicle or trailer will you use?

  • Your current Vehicle with Trailer or Van or Truck - Vehicles need to white for a Lawn mowing Franchise (talk more about branding)
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Read more lawn mowing business tips:

 

What is your marketing budget and how will this be implemented? 

This could be a monthly cost and strategy which is outlined in just a paragraph or two. A big unique benefit to a Crewcut Lawn mowing franchise or business is that you get your own web page and digital marketing package when you start along with dedicated marketing to insure your business always develops and grows. With an in-house marketing team, the national marketing plan is being constantly developed.

 

What number of lawns will you need and how long will this take to develop? 

If you are considering starting as an independent, you need to consider this and at least write yourself some targets. It may be crystal ball gazing, but it is an essential number as this is the thing that will be the difference of survival or not. I would estimate the average lawn price in Auckland is about $30 while this may be more or less in smaller cities. Based on Auckland lawn mowing prices, when your business has grown to 40 lawns a fortnight, it will have a revenue of $1200 or $600 per week in summer. This is still only a part time business. As a Auckland Lawn mower contractor, you will need grow your business to at least 80 lawns a fortnight with additional property maintenance so that you could earn revenues of $1500 per week. At Crewcut we like to introduce someone that is not mowing fit with about 60 lawns and then grow the business rapidly from there. This gives enough time for a lawn mowing franchise operator to orient themselves to all aspects of the business while their business gets to 80 lawns in the following weeks. Some lawn mowing franchises nominate to have larger businesses however, the only requirement at Crewcut is providing a top notch service to your client base. You could eventually have 140 or more lawns and this is determined by the franchise owner.

 

Will this be part-time or full time? 

A part time business may not need much funding, and could be started with just one 21 inch catcher lawn mower of commercial quality with the ability to mulch or side deliver. A line trimmer straight arm loop handle and a blower and trailer. However if you want to be working full time, then purchase a small private round or a lawn care franchise and get cracking.

Put all this in writing on one pager 

If it is for the bank with a position of statement form, it will be a two pager. Keep a copy to look back at and celebrate certain milestones. If you buy a lawn care franchise you can start any time of year. If you choose to start a lawn care business from zero, I’d advise you to start in spring. That will give yourself the best chance for your marketing to work. I can’t stress enough that you should always write your goals down and add them to your plan at the start of each year. People who do this have a written plan to look back at and have mentally prepared themselves for success each year.

Other things to consider are your plans for a lawn mowing health and safety policy, a trading name that is memorable also to use for the business bank accounts, selecting a good reputable accountant and taking advice. You can also get your tax returns done for as little as $500 if you are organised and shop around. If you are purchasing a franchised business you will need a lawyer as well. For professionals, always get a quote. A lawyer will prepare any sale of purchase agreement for you and or advise you on a Franchise Agreement. 

Now you have considered all this, don’t procrastinate. Start! 

 

If you're looking for my advice before starting your career as a lawn mowing business owner, check out some more lawn mowing business tips here.


Related Articles

10 common mistakes when starting a lawn business
 
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Mistakes. An inevitable part of building a business - but can you avoid some of them? When you start your own lawn mowing business, you're likely to encounter plenty. But many of these issues can be avoided if you know where to get sound advice. We've heard or seen almost every mistake under the sun. Here are our top ten mistakes we see from new business owners or independent lawn mowing operators - and how you can avoid them. 

 

1. Having unrealistic expectations

One of the biggest mistakes you can have in any business, but especially when starting a lawn mowing business. When you think you can do 100 lawns in a week, you'll probably end up under the mower. But this mistake can extend to other areas, like customers and type of work you get. While you may only expect to do lawn mowing, there are other services that will need to supplement your income. 

Pro tip - write down what you expect from your first year of business, and perhaps cross check this with another lawn mowing operator. They'll have a wealth of knowledge to share. 

 

2. Borrowing too much money

Quite a few can get trapped by borrowing too much. While starting in a new business or franchise can be expensive, it takes a lot of careful financial planning to make sure you do it properly. Those who join a franchise like Crewcut will be shown how to budget correctly to avoid getting into large amounts of debt. 
 

3. Lack of communication

Whether it's poor communication with your customers, head office, or your regional manager - it's not going to get you very far. Be sure to let people know when you're going to be there, and if you can't. Trust us, an informed customer is a lot less problematic than a confused and irritated one. 
 

4. Not making time for admin

While you're out mowing lawns during the day, you may forget one of the most important aspects of the business, admin. No invoices or checking cashflow can spell disaster if left too long without attention. While you may be a great multi-tasker, this work is often shared with a partner. Have a read of 'Couples That Work Together And Love It'
 

5. Under quoting

Out of fear of not getting the job, a lot of lawn mowing operators underprice the job. The only issue is the customer will get a certain expectation that this will be the ongoing rate. You don't want to sell yourself short to get the job. Ultimately there are always plenty of other lone wolfs out there who will try to give the customer a deal, but cheap rates only go so far. The best way to get the job is to show you're professional and can do a quality job. 
 

Read more on franchise lawn mowing:

 

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6. Not planning the day or week

If you don't plan where you'll be or what jobs you'll do on a certain day - you're going to run into a myriad of issues. It's also not good for your customers as their mow may be delayed or they don't know when you're coming at all. 
 

 

7. Cheap or second-hand equipment

Going for the cheap isn't going to get you far in this industry. If you think you can get a cheap lawn mower from the Warehouse and expect it to last you forever, you'll be bitterly disappointed. Trust quality, well known brands. And again if you're going for second-hand equipment, you'll have to prepare to replace fairly soon. If you talk to head-office, you may be able to get a discount on some well-known brands. 
 

8. Lack of experience in being self employed or self motivated

A lot of people have been employed, but don't understand the pitfalls of having to take responsibility for their own business. Self employment is no mean-feat. It takes plenty of the 3 P's: persistence, planning and positivity. With a franchise network you'll have advice and support from other franchisees and a regional manager. This can take away some of the stress you may encounter if you were to start an independent business.
 

9. No financial planning or budgeting

It's important to budget for certain things in a lawn mowing business. Some of these things might include GST, ACC, or franchise fees. Another important aspect of the lawn mowing industry, is to plan around the seasonality of the work. For example, in the Winter months, lawn mowing services slow right down. If you supplement your income with extra garden services or you have another job - then this won't be an issue. However, if you're relying on lawn mowing for your entire income - you absolutely have to plan for these quieter months.  
 

10. Being a lawn mower instead of a proud business owner

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Thinking that you're just the person behind the lawn mower really limits how far your business will grow. You're more than that. You're the face of your successful business. The person the customer will see on a regular basis. So be proud of your business and put yourself out there - it will get you a lot further than the guy who is just a lawn mower.


 

Ultimately, all these mistakes are part of starting your own lawn mowing business. However, if you buy a Crewcut franchise, you're also securing yourself with fantastic training and ongoing help & support. This is one of the main benefits of joining a franchise rather than going it alone. For more information on how to build a lawn mowing business, be sure to have a read of 'Grow Your Lawn Mowing Business Like A Pro'


Related Articles

How does a lawn mowing operator cope with extreme weather?

Being a lawn mowing business owner means your schedule relies heavily on the weather. Rainy days, cyclones and other weather anomalies can really take the ‘wind out of the sails’. But making the most of the bad weather is what will get you ahead of your competition. When Cyclone Gita battered parts of New Zealand in February, the effects were definitely felt. Though it was downgraded to an ex-tropical cyclone, it still left a lot of people around the country with a big clean up. Crewcut operators had to work around Gita to make sure their business didn’t suffer from the forces of nature. 

Then you get other big storms like the one felt across the country April 11. Powercuts, tree debris on the road, and plenty of wind & rain have accounted for some home owner stress. Just imagine how it feels for the lawn mowing operator. 

So how does a lawn mowing business work around a cyclone or crazy weather?

 

When the grass gets wet it can cause a problem with most lawn mowers, as it clumps together and gets stuck in the blades. During rainy periods, you may find some lawns fully submerged in water. Not only can it do damage to your mower, but there is a big health and safety risk as well. The grass becomes slippery and operators can find themselves in a potentially hazardous position on a slope where they may slide out of control. It can also cause damage to the lawn as the wheels will tear up the soft ground. We advise Crewcut operators not to work on the tools when the weather takes a turn for the worst. 

 

We contacted some of our Crewcut operators from New Plymouth to Nelson to find out what they do when the weather makes it impossible to provide lawn mowing, or garden services.

 

In New Plymouth a state of emergency was declared during Cyclone Gita. It wasn’t until Sunday when it had been lifted, but the cyclone had left the city with no fresh drinking water for five days. Neil, a New Plymouth Crewcut operator, mowed for as long as he could on Tuesday when Gita came through. However, by 1pm he had to call off his jobs due to the rain and wind being too heavy. Neil’s solution around this extreme weather was getting out on the tools earlier on the day of the storm and the day after to pick up on missed work. This initiative made sure that his business wouldn’t miss out on any income. The day after the storm did require a bit more than mowing though. He found himself doing some section tidies to get rid of broken branches and other debris. Unfortunately, the storm also knocked out their power, so all of the online paperwork had to wait until the computer could be turned back on.


Read more on running a lawn care business:

 

At the top of the South Island, Phillip Rogers provides his service to Nelson. Though a lot of the area he operates in wasn’t affected by flooding, the surrounding areas did encounter the overflow. The cyclone however did prevent Phil from getting to work for his clients. The rain and wind proved to be too much and he had to take one day off while Gita passed through. Though he didn’t miss on this opportunity to make sure his lawn mowing business still operated well. He managed to get maintenance done on his gear, clean out his van, and finish off plenty of admin work. The morning after, he just waited out for the sun to dry off the grass so he could get back into what he does best, lawn mowing. Getting all of these tasks done during the weather chaos allowed him to relax at night knowing that he’d done something productive. 

 

Two of our operators in the Wellington region had similar scenarios with the weather. Adam from Lower Hutt had to take the day off as well, though it wasn't such a bad thing. It was his first day off in four weeks, so he got to spend the time with his wife and kids. Relaxation is another important part of running your business. It’s not worth going non-stop if your mental health and family are taking the backseat. 

 

Kapiti based, Tony, said that thankfully there was no flooding. However, there were plenty of branches and cabbage tree leaves on his client’s properties the next day. There were also a few slips on the way into Wellington, so anyone heading there had to be careful. He also had to take the day off from providing his lawn mowing service due to the weather. Instead, he worked on his fuel tax rebate so he still managed to bring in a few hundred dollars without being on the tools. This is another great initiative to take to make sure you have a steady flow of cash coming through. 

 

When it comes to this extreme weather, our Crewcut operators need to be motivated and smart with their time. Owning a lawn and garden business is more than just mowing a lawn or trimming a hedge. A smart operator will carry out maintenance on their gear, get up to date on their paperwork, or take the well deserved break to spend time with their family. There is so much more to business ownership than the service itself. Taking the initiative and making smart choices with your time will lead your business in the direction of success.

CC GroupDaily Lawn Mowing
Grow your lawn mowing business like a pro

By David Serville, Founder of Crewcut Lawn & Garden


  A picture of me back when Crewcut was the new lawn mowing franchise on the block

A picture of me back when Crewcut was the
new lawn mowing franchise on the block

I worked as an independent lawn mowing contractor for about five years before I started the Crewcut Franchise Group. During this time I was building lawn lists into scalable lawn mowing businesses and then selling them off. 

 

So when considering building your own lawn run, what is the cost? Your time is definitely worth something, so how much of it do you have? 

 

To build a lawn mowing business, you must have free time. How much is your time worth? If you’re working in a highly paid job that you want to leave, building lawn lists full-time may not be the answer for you. You may want to consider purchasing a private lawn round or a lawn mowing franchise, because building a lawn list has an actual cost, and it's not cheap. 

 

But if you have lots of spare time and are up for the challenge and commitment, then building a lawn client list could be a good solution. The cost is pretty simple to work out. To keep it simple, let's just put a cost for a month of your time. If you decided your time is worth $30 per hour, then one month of constant work is worth $5200. If it takes you three months of full-time work to build a small chunk of work, then the cost is $15,600, less the cost of the work completed and invoiced for. 

 

So how many months will it take to build a lawn list? This will depend on the marketing skills you have. You may already have the knack of marketing along with a great network, like being an active member of a local sports or community club. This will help a lot in growing interest in your business. But practically getting the first cluster of clients is the hardest. I would, however, set your own goal and establish a forecast and an actual number you hope to achieve per month. You may need to consider how to supplement your lawn mowing startup with a part-time job.

 

Five Necessary Skills

To be a successful independent lawn mowing business owner, you will need these five skills:

 

  1. Sales - Be willing and enthusiastic to improve your selling skill. (see sales skills)
  2. Marketing - This is essential, and some basic understanding is an absolute requirement. Do a lot of reading online before you start your business.
  3. Good health - As long as you don’t have old injuries or ailments, then becoming mowing fit takes 6-10 weeks.
  4. Record keeping - You need the discipline of record taking
  5. Organisation - As a business owner this is essential to be able to balance your time between mowing lawns, marketing, sales, and bookkeeping.

 

Start before Spring!

One bit of sound advice I can give here is time your start well. To maximise your business building, you will want to be ready just before the highest growth season, spring. Do all your research, make your lawn mowing business plan, and consider all the issues that may arise. The people that do well in business always do thorough planning.

Again, have this plan completed in winter so that you’re all ready to start in the high season, Spring. In New Zealand, I would have the preparation and planning stage completed by the end of August. That includes marketing materials, policies, your vehicle, and all the equipment. 

 
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Now we have established a start date, let’s consider
a timeline to get to the first milestone.

 

Stage One (part-time)

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Residential lawn mowing is different in every town. In small towns, the land packages are large, and in large urban areas the land size is small. At Crewcut, we have some small towns (Bay of Islands) where it is a requirement for everyone to have a ride on mower. That said, most of this article is written for the average start-up in large residential areas. 

So let's say you want to initially build a part-time business of say 20 regular lawns to cut per week. Based on the fact that most lawns get cut on a fortnightly basis, that is around 40 clients. Let's say the average lawn cut is $30, you could plan to have a revenue of $600 per week. A lawn may get cut about 22 times per year, so in regular lawn cutting terms that’s $26,400. You would or could also do other property maintenance work. So let's say through referral and off that client base, you could earn an extra $4000 with some preparation for slow months. In total you could earn $30,400. 

The point I’m making here is that you need to establish your goals. Do some back of napkin planning. Do you need to keep your current job for a while until you can go full time? Obviously, if this is your retirement project, you are going to view it differently.

 

Stage Two (Full Time)

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Let's say full-time businesses start at about 80 lawns. In Crewcut, we start franchise owners with 60, but that is to get them mowing fit. Newbies to lawn mowing businesses need to get their line trimming skills up to a speed that can accommodate 80+ lawns. A skilled lawn operator can mow more than 100 lawns on their own. I have known operators that do far more than 100, but this is all about skill and experience.

80 residential lawns is a sweet spot, and a great goal for a lawn builder or lawn mowing business start-up. We will assume you have gotten to 40 lawns already and now you are planning to build a revenue of $60k and upwards. The thing to consider is getting slowed down by winter. In New Zealand, there are dramatic differences between the South Island and the North Island. It obviously slows down to a holt if there is snow on the ground. Again, make a winter plan. 

In some parts of Winter, you will have little more than seven hours of light. Before you drop off in income, consider broadening your service offering. This can backfire though as people will want these tasks done at the height of the season. Tree lopping, gardening, hedge trimming, gutter cleaning and water blasting, to name a few.

From 80 lawns, it is very easy to build to 100+ as the referral work from a solid base should be quite steady, as long as you are a good service provider.

 

 

Learning to quote and price lawn mowing

This is pretty straight forward, so consider what hourly rate is expected by the market. Some suburbs and towns have lower lawn prices than others. You may decide that you want to achieve $50 per hour when mowing lawns. You will be pricing lawns against competitors, so you will soon learn where you’re positioned. You may lose a few potential customers until you grow in confidence.

 

Sales Basics

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At Crewcut, we teach you basic sales skills to convert clients. First Impressions count for everything. It amazes me how independents and franchise owners alike get this first sales tip wrong. But it’s key to basic sales. The first three tips are all about that first 30 seconds you have to leave an impression. Get all of these right and you are 80% of the way there.

 

  1. Turn up on time as agreed. You have your work cut out for you if you don't keep your word. In a busy world, a customer’s time is valuable, so don't fail on this one.
     
  2. Be presentable - Clean, tidy, fresh, and smell nice- uniforms and brand help build credibility, and demonstrates that you can easily be found and are accountable. If you turn up in an unmarked shirt and shorts (even if it’s tidy), you are deemed as a nameless person that can easily hide if something goes wrong. Look like you mean business.
     
  3. Smile and make eye contact. Let them know you’re keen to help. A smile and friendly greeting are free. Before you leave, give them a genuine compliment.
     
  4. Listen carefully to their requirements.
     
  5. Up-sell if you can and advise them of additional work they may want to consider. 
     
  6. Then ask for the business.
     
  7. To close the sale, remind them that you can do the lawn immediately. If they hesitate, throw something in for free. Remember you should have extra time to do this. I never used to leave the property until I closed the sale.

 

 

Sales recording client details

This is your database. If you have ever sold Amway or Insurance, then you know what to do here. Make a list of all your friends and let them know yours in the business. They may end up mentioning it to someone. Use your social media and mention it from time to time. You have a community, but you have to let them know. If you don't want to do this then sadly building a business from scratch is probably not for you. Maybe you're more suited to buying an established mowing business.

 


Read more lawn mowing business advice:

 


Marketing Tools

Very few Traditional Marketing techniques work anymore, but here are a few tools that you may want to prepare before starting your lawn round. 

 

Business Cards (essential)

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There is no point in printing these if you forget to give them out. It may seem like a small point, but get into the habit of keeping them on you at all times and giving them out. For most people, this has to be practised. 

 

Web Page - This does not have to be expensive but is really important.

 

 

How to market

When I started my first lawn mowing business years ago, it was all traditional marketing. Distributing pamphlets, placing adverts in local news papers and advertising in the Yellow Pages. It's pretty safe to say these are all dead, apart from networking. 

Marketing is all about digital. If you want to be found, then you must have an online presence. A web page does not have to cost a lot, but is your most important tool. Apart from choosing your name and getting a simple logo designed, I would advise this page to be designed, written and online as early as possible. You should have this is completed months before you launch your business. There is a real art to writing, but you may enrol a friend or well-priced copy writer to help build the content on your webpage. 

Images are also really important. My recommendation is that get some good help from a small webpage and SEO company. How much will this cost? Depending on where you go and what you want, this could cost as little as a few hundred dollars to many thousands. Working on your web page is something that should be done regularly. Focus on the locations and details that will build your lawn mowing business in your geographic area.

 

Book Keeping and accounts

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If you don't send an invoice then you won't get paid. Certainly in the beginning, you will want to be paid at the time you mow a lawn. But as you grow, this is pretty much impossible. You have to develop a good rhythm for sending out accounts. Usually, people don't like paying small accounts on a regular service. When you’re setting your terms of trade policy up, I have found that if you mow twice and get paid from a two cut monthly invoice, then everyone is happy.

At Crewcut, the software we use to distribute work to our franchise owners includes an online accounting package, but you may want to collect all your receipts and learn to run software like Xero. If you’re not organised and hate book keeping then you will need help here. 

 

The most important habit to learn is to keep your receipts and keep your expenses recorded well so that your book keeper or accountant’s work is easy. Make it easy for them and get a cheap bill from them. Make it difficult and it will cost you.

 

 

Health & Safety

Health and Safety are important and needs to be considered before you start your business. It also might seem complicated, but you will not attract any commercial clients without a thoughtful Health and safety policy. At Crewcut to make it easier for our franchise owners, we use a product called Safety Work Kits. Safety work kits is a templated system to help you start on this journey. While you still need to think carefully about hazards and how you manage these, it will give you most of the forms and polices to help you form the habits required. 

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There are many other things to consider when building an independent lawn mowing business, but I have covered off on the key ones. Independent lawn building is well suited to people that don't follow systems and have some great marketing and business skills under their belt. At Crewcut Franchise Group, we enjoy great relationships with independent contractors. If your business proves to be successful, then please keep us in mind when you want to eventually sell your business. We purchase a lot of these, so this may be a viable and quick way for you to also exit the industry.

 

For more info on starting a lawn mowing business, please have a read of

How to start a lawn mowing business in 12 easy steps’ 

Be found on Google with a Crewcut business
 
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It’s likely that whenever you’ve wanted a service - you’ve opened up your computer or phone and punched in your query to google. Need a plumber? Google it. Need some new material for your deck? Google it. Need a lawn mowing service? Google it. 

While word of mouth and referrals are still massive contenders for marketing strategies - this can’t be your only fall back. A few decades ago, you could advertise your lawn mowing business with more simple methods like flyers, newspaper adverts, local directories and notice boards. These were effective then, but they aren’t so much anymore.
Your potential customers are now on their phones and the internet 24/7. When they need a product or service - they aren’t going to check the yellow pages, but they will do a search on google. It takes the hassle out of searching and makes the job of finding a service a lot easier. 
 

Of all the countless lawn mowing businesses out there in New Zealand, we know of about 200 - and this is a very low number. There are PLENTY of them, most likely closer to 1,000. However, many of these lawn mowing businesses are invisible online. How will these companies grow into the future without a presence online?
 

The demand for lawn and garden services

 
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There's a huge demand for lawn and garden services online - and not many lawn mowing companies know how to reach these searchers. Here are some stats on some of the common queries for lawn and garden services in New Zealand:

  • ‘Lawn mowing’ 800 monthly searches
  • ‘Lawn mowing Auckland’ 400 monthly searches
  • ‘Lawn mowing Hamilton’ 200 monthly searches

For lawn mowing search phrases there are close to 6,000 monthly searches.

And for gardening, hedge trimming & tree trimming, this is even greater at 8,500 monthly searches.

These are huge figures! It shows that your audience is truly looking for the services online, and you can market to them.
But getting to these top spots on google is not easy. In fact, if you’re out on the job looking after lawns and gardens - it’s unlikely you’ll have time to manage a website as well. Even if you have someone at home who could possibly help out, they will need to have knowledge in SEO, Google adwords, social media and a myriad of other different digital marketing techniques.

 

Read more about lawn mowing franchises:


So again, why would buying a Crewcut franchise help you be found on Google?

The benefit of joining a franchise like Crewcut is that you have a dedicated team of digital marketers who are getting you and the brand out there to your potential customers. In fact, the Crewcut digital team are currently working on a national franchise directory dedicated to each and every one of our franchisees. This means that every Crewcut franchisee will get their own webpage with a photo, bio, areas they cover and more. Joining the Crewcut group also means you'll be getting a set of other digital online accounts created and managed for you - so you don't have to lift a finger!

With Crewcut, we have a very competitive team that use many online tools to get the Crewcut website to the top of google for many search phrases. This can be the difference between you getting the lawn mowing quote and someone else. 

 

If you're interested in owning a lawn mowing business of your own, consider Crewcut - we put you first.

Contact us on 0800 800 286 to receive an in-depth information pack. 

CC GroupBusiness Growth
New Areas For Franchise Growth
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The housing boom has seen unprecedented urban sprawl in many parts of Auckland and where there was once countryside, there are now lawns and new landscaping to be maintained. These new housing developments come accompanied by homeowners who generally fall into one or more of these categories:

  1. They’ve made the move from the city and have no idea about lawn care
  2. They’ve moved onto a bare lot that needs hedging planted and lawn sown before regular maintenance begins
  3. The homeowner is too busy working to pay off the new mortgage to be bothered with the lawn mowing
  4. The property is a rental and the owner will need someone to take charge of the lawn care, including lawn mowing and hedge trimming.
     

These areas, like Millwater in the north, or Paerata in the south, are ripe for Auckland lawn mowing franchise opportunities. Usually when buying into a franchise you inherit a list of clients, so targeting new suburbs will take longer to build up a client list - however, it will pay off if you get a lot of clients in a concentrated area. As we’ll see in a couple of paragraphs, your lawn mowing business can run into problems even when you start off with plenty of customers, if you’re unprepared and have no support.


Read more on growing a lawn mowing business:

 

Promotion need not be a headache – you’ll get a lot of support from head office, which will help you with marketing material. I suggest that you add localised touches to your flyers, like ‘new *franchise* round starting up in *suburb*’. There’s nothing I distrust more than a flyer that says ‘Auckland-wide’ and a cell phone number. People like local, it’s safe (you don’t have to live there yourself). Include a small smiling photo. If you look like Ed Sheeran, use a photo of your dog.

Ex-independent lawn mowing operator, Jamie, had the great luck to be given a lawn mowing round of 30 North Shore properties, as well as advice on where to get the best machinery. Jamie was experienced at both lawn mowing and hedge trimming but he had little knowledge of business or the practicalities of quoting a new job.

 

“Even though I was gifted a customer base, I didn’t know any tricks of the trade, so had no idea of the techniques of how to do a job efficiently,” he says.
“ My accounting was a mess because I didn’t pay any ACC premiums, so I got hit with a retrospective ACC bill. But the biggest problem I had day to day was that I didn’t know anything about quoting for a lawn or hedge trimming job, so I’d turn up and say something would take a couple of hours and I’d be there all morning and end up out of pocket. Also, it was quite lonely.”


Jamie advises anyone wanting to start an independent lawn mowing operation to register as a business and organise GST and ACC before cutting the first blade of grass. He says if did it again, he’d opt for the advice and support of belonging to a franchise. “Plus, you get the tried and true equipment. And the camaraderie. Outside work can be pretty solitary so it’s nice to have that feeling of belonging.”

When Jamie eventually left the Auckland lawn mowing industry, he handed on the lawn mowing round he’d been given gratis so was left with nothing but several black bin bags of receipts. However, he still has the commercial mower and line trimmer he was advised to invest in by his predecessor and they’re in excellent condition thanks to regular maintenance from a trusted local operator.

CC GroupBusiness Growth
How to start a lawn mowing business in 12 easy steps

By David Serville, Founder of Crewcut Lawn & Garden

 

After 30 years in the lawn mowing industry, first as an independent, then building independent lawn rounds, pushing a lawn mower and then building  a national lawn mowing franchise network, I have learnt a thing or two.  I’ve also listened to a lot of lawn mowing contractors and lawn mowing franchise owners. There are two types of people that are attracted to this industry: Those that think it’s easy, and those that take a more respectful approach to starting in this sector. In my experience those that prepare thoughtfully and approach the development of their business carefully, increase their chances of success tenfold. Those that thought it was easy often don’t last. 

Key to success in this industry is having the thoughtful reason for choosing lawn mowing as an industry. Many of the successful people I know say something like. “I always saw myself doing this one day” or “ I always wanted to leave the desk job and work outside”  People that explain their motivation in a related way are pursuing a dream and will often have the clarity to make this great business succeed. 

Hopefully by sharing this list, it will make your start in the lawn mowing business a little bit easier. This list will apply to you if you join a Crewcut franchise or go it alone. Before you decide if you want to join a franchise or be an independent lawn mowing operator, be sure to read this blog 10 reasons lawn mowing franchises beat start-ups.

 

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1. Make a plan

Most of what you read about planning is not appropriate, complicated and confusing. The lawn mowing business plan you write down on one piece of paper will be suited to focusing your attention on the right type of development path. There will be some simple ideas you can edit and adjust over time. Answer some simple questions: What sort of money do you want from you business? What hours and lifestyle do you want to attain, and by when? Will you work in the weekends? What type of jobs will you do? What geographic areas do you want to work in?

By asking and answering these questions, you'll make your decision to buy a lawn mowing business a whole lot easier. 

 
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2. Start with some work

Buying some lawns is important. You want to hit the ground running, and you want to buy enough that you know you can comfortably service. A common mistake is to buy a fully developed business then struggle to keep up. Clients get disappointed with a drop in service and they haven’t built trust with you, so if you make this mistake expect to lose some of your client base. If you buy a lawn mowing franchise ask your franchisor to hold some of your clients until you are ‘lawn mowing fit’.  Buying a good franchise business will make your first year much more profitable. 

Tip: It takes 1.5 x to 2x’s longer to cut a lawn for the first time, and that’s when the grass is being cut on time. If you’re a little late to cut it and it’s the first time, it may take you 3 times as long. It’s about knowing each lawn. To get to a maximum speed, it will take until the third cut to get the timings right. If you have been trained well it helps. 

 

3. Pick a trainer and coach

So you think you can mow a lawn, but can you run a lawn mowing business?  

My start-up hack is to give away 2-3 weeks with a couple of very capable lawn mowing men. 

Yep work for them, for free. The truth is that you will probably be slowing them down in the first week at least. Don’t do 8 hours mowing a day in your first week. Start with 5-6 for the first week, then only ever a maximum of 6 while you train. The last few days do 8. Training with someone competent is essential. You just have to look at their rig and listen to their advice to work this out. Most people will need at least 3 weeks to build knowledge, but not many will want to work for free that long. I KNOW this will be one of the best investments you will ever make. You should learn in 3 weeks: pricing work, scheduling, equipment operation, quality of work standards, customer service and maybe even some admin and peer work if your trainers are generous.  This is just the start. Keep in touch with your trainer (this is your advisor).

Tip: keep in touch with your advisor even after you finish. Who knows, they may be able to share or sell their clients to you for a reduced fee. Who ever said that it’s who you know not what you know - really knew what they were talking about. 

 

 

4. Choose the right Tools (check list) 

Most people spend a huge amount of time here and this is almost the easiest part. Choose two mowers, this seems like a correct balance to start with. 

Tip: Only buy new gear. Buying someone else’s gear secondhand has very little merit or value. If you get the gear for under 20% of replacement value and have the expectation to be buying newer gear in your first 3 months, then secondhand gear may be alright in this instance. If it lasts 6 months, that’s a huge bonus. But be sure to have the money to replace immediately if you have to. 

 

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The right number for a walk-behind round is probably two in the start. If you have too many mowers, your repair bills go up significantly.  Too little and you over-work your gear. 

Buy a commercial quality kit and look to the the people who have been in the industry for years. 

 

Here are a few pieces of equipment you should definitely have:

• Catcher mower 21 inch

• Mulcher mower 21 inch or Side delivery 

• Line Trimmer Straight arm loop handle 25 cc + plug in tools are handy like hedge trimmer Stihl 

• Petrol Blower vac 

• Pruner Clips 

• Garden fages x 6 

• 2X 20 litre petrol cans 

Make sure you look after them, and budget for replacement. 

 

Vehicle and Trailer

Make sure you consider your set-up and get a vehicle suitable to your requirements and demands of the business. 

•  Van -  Go for a long wheel base

• Ute - Will need a trailer attached

• Lite Truck 

• Trailer - Consider the design. Single axel high sides with built ramps. Also on a wish-list is lockable cabinets, Stowage for lawn equipment on the cross bar with drop ramp. 

Signage on vehicle and trailer is best loud and proud. Customers have mentioned that the Crewcut signage is recognisable and gives them comfort that their backyard is in good hands. 

 

 

5. Give yourself some slack, and be patient

When you first start a business, you can have great expectations, but these can be set-back by the reality of the industry. The lawn mowing game can be a competitive one, it takes time to really build momentum. 

Tip: It can take 3 months to set up your lawn mowing business, depending on the season. This will obviously be more profitable in the summer period, but it’s short lived and you’ll be faced with the winter months. You also shouldn’t expect to make much money in the first few months. During this time you’ll be investing a lot in your equipment and gear. Plus you won’t have as many customers as you will in 12 months time. 

 

6. Use your existing clients to build income

While you can go out finding new customer sources, your best resource is your existing client-base. These are the people who will recommend you to their friends and family - a vital marketing tactic. Use all the options you have, whether it's handing out a few of your business cards, adding a message at the end of your invoice or offering a great referral benefit system. 

 

Read more on starting a lawn care business:

 

7. Collect payment routinely

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Payment is one of the most important parts of a contractor and client relationship. Without it, you have no income, yet so many feel awkward discussing it. There are a few things to consider when thinking about payment: training your clients with an invoice rhythm, trading terms, debt, collection rate and internet banking. This is something I could go into great deal about, but for the sake of this article I'll keep it short. Set out how you do payments within the first or second meeting with the client - that sends a message to them that you're organised, and they will need to fall in line. If you can't communicate this from the start, your clients will likely be lazy too.

 

 

8. Organise your schedule and prepare your equipment at the end of each day. 

After a full day mowing, the last thing you’ll probably want to do is prepare your equipment for the next day. But think again, this is an important step in ensuring you’re ready to go. If you're not ready to go in the morning and end up late to your first mow - it will throw off the rest of your day and irritate your customers. This is especially important in those first few encounters with a client - make them unhappy at the beginning and they'll be lost forever. 

 
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9. Communicate with your clients regularly

Don't be invisible. Be easy to get hold of and keep in touch. Many in the service and trade industries get marked with the label of ‘poor communicators’. Avoid this at all costs. Make sure to call or txt all your clients on a regular basis. It will show you’re being proactive and will make your clients happy. There’s nothing worse than not showing up to a mow and not telling your client. Always, always, always let them know if a part of your schedule changes and will affect them. 

 

10. Love your clients

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Customer service is everything. You want to be friendly, with a ‘nothing is a problem’ kind of attitude. Many clients love to stop and chat with lawn mowing operators as it’s sometimes the closest and most regular form of interaction they get. Show your clients you’re glad to work for them - this will be so beneficial to you in the long-run. They may recommend you to their friends, or give you extra work. 

Tip:  Ask them for feedback on a regular basis. Ask questions and be curious. Customers like to have all their needs catered for. Showing you’re willing to go above and beyond will make them raving fans. 

 

 

 

 

11. Marketing and growing your business

For a non-franchised business, this is a large task and only a few with some sales or marketing expertise will find this easy. Most people will need to have a suitable plan that will need to be reviewed regularly. 

This is probably one of the biggest reasons aside from support to purchase a well functioning franchise businesses. I hear some people ask; “Why even buy a franchise?”. Well this would be one of the compelling reasons. Marketers will do all your marketing, for a weekly fee of course. 

 

The marketing landscape has changed a lot since I started my lawn mowing business nearly three decades ago. Back then it was all traditional marketing like: Yellow Pages, local directories, letter box drops with advertising flyers, advertisements in local suburban newspapers, referrals through local communities and hubs such as sports clubs, churches and schools. All of these except referrals are pretty much out the door. But the old school strategy of building off your existing client base is still a good one to have. 

 

The new era of digital marketing is here. Now you need to know something about developing a small web page or landing page and developing a Facebook page and getting 'clicks'. Does it sound a bit like mumbo-jumbo? To many it can be frightening to step into the wild world of new technology. While it's scary, it's even more frightening to think that all potential customers are using these technologies and could be going to your competitors. At the very least, you will need to set up a Facebook page to engage with your customers when you're not at their address. 

 

 

12. Measure

Review and audit every 4-6 months. Look at how your business is developing. Some things you can measure. Lawn numbers, average lawn price, time spent on lawn jobs, travel time between lawns & debt collection rate. You'll be able to really tell how things are going by looking at these factors. Room for improvement? That's normal, besides it will have been the toughest 4-6 months you'll likely face in the business. 


As you can see, owning a lawn mowing business can be a lot of work and careful planning. If you're thinking of starting your own, perhaps consider the benefits by joining a well known, national franchise system like Crewcut. We have franchises currently available right around the country, so check here to see if one is near you! 

7 reasons a lawn mowing business might be for you
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If you’ve ever talked to someone who owns a lawn mowing business, they’ve probably told you that it’s improved their life in many ways. You might be wondering how, and if you could mow lawns for a living too. So, here are the 7 main reasons why a lawn mowing business might be for you.

1. You want to call the shots in a business you can own

Owning your own business comes with the special authority to ‘be your own boss’. While you still get support from head office and a nationwide network of other franchisees, you are ultimately the maker of your own success. Do the hours you want, the days you want, and organise your business in the way you want to.

2. You want more time to spend with your family

One of the big reasons people come to us for a Crewcut business, is so they can spend more time with their family. As you can set your own schedule, it will allow for more flexibility - so, more time to hang out with the family (or do a bit of relaxing in the man cave).

3. You love the outdoors

It comes with the territory that a lawn mowing operator is going to get plenty of outdoor time. If you want to be successful in this kind of work, you’ll love the outdoors - sunshine or rain. It’s been scientifically proven that if you spend more time outside, you’ll spend less time at the doctor’s clinic. Boosted immunity, plenty of exercise and douses of Vitamin D are going to make you one healthy individual. 

4. You like people and you don’t mind having a chat

Although you’ll be dealing with lawns, you’ll also be dealing with the people that own them. We’ve found that the most successful lawn mowing operators love people - or at least, love talking. At the end of the day, any good business needs communication, and people skills. Trust us, a little communication goes a long way.
 

Read more Lawn Mowing franchise blogs:

5. You like getting a bit more hands-on than you would in the office

Whether you’re mowing, pruning or clearing sections, you love getting hands on and doing things with a bit more (blood, sweat and tears) than in your regular office environment. 

6. Extra money? That sounds good

With Crewcut, you’ll be provided with plenty of customers for as long as you own the business. And with this, you’ll always have a steady flow of income. If you play your cards right, you’ll be earning well above what an independent lawn mowing operator would earn. Compared to other lawn mowing franchises, our low franchise fees means more money in your back-pocket. 

7. You want to own a lawn mowing business, but being independent sounds scary

A lawn mowing business can be stressful to set up on your own. However, with a nationwide network, most of the work is done for you. You’ll get a customer base, ongoing support, successful marketing, and all the things you need to make your business successful. Customers can trust a well-known franchise, which means you’ll be trusted too. Crewcut has now been in operation for over 25 years, which makes it one of the most respected and relied upon lawn mowing services in New Zealand.  

If you’re interested in learning more about how a Crewcut franchise could benefit your lifestyle, please give us a call on 0800 800 286 or alternatively email us info@crewcut.co.nz.

10 Reasons Lawn Mowing Franchises Beat Start-Ups
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When you decide you want to run a lawn mowing business, the next major decision is - will you join a franchise or go it alone? While we tip our hats to those who try to do it themselves, there are some major disadvantages with this route. A Crewcut franchise will provide you with guaranteed success that you can’t get with your own franchise - here are a few reasons why. 

 

1. All your branding is done for you

Branding is one of the most important factors when it comes to starting or joining a business. It's the first thing potential customers will notice when you enter a property. However, when people start up their own business, it's often one of the things that gets overlooked, because 'service is the most important thing right?'.
Although great service accounts for a lot, it's not the only thing. Customers have often commented that Crewcut's branding is clean, sharp, trusted and recognisable. This branding is seen through our uniforms, sign writing, and marketing collateral. Always remember, people create a judgement in those first 10 seconds, so make them count!

 

 

2. A qualified marketing team

With a successful franchise, you'll also be getting a qualified marketing team who are dedicated to making your business a success. If you thought that customers will just come to you - or that word of mouth is the only form of marketing, think again. Things are changing, and going digital. That's why Crewcut's marketing team is always updated with the latest trends in marketing - bonus, they're willing to help you so you can try it for yourself!

 

3. You'll have a great support system

Here at Crewcut we have a saying:

"What is the most important thing? It is people, it is people, it is people." 

This is so important to us - which is why we have a great support system at every point. When you buy a Crewcut business, you'll gain support from Head Office, and your own regional manager. They have a wealth of knowledge that they can share with you. Their experience extends from getting customers, training and even accounting. 

 

4. We'll provide you with customer leads

While some customers may come directly to you, many come through our head office contact. We can then give these customers to you - and you didn't have to break a sweat! That's a great part of having a whole team around you that are willing to make your business a success by bringing customers directly to you.

 

5. National Operations manager

A franchise system also means a top-notch operations manager which ensures everything is moving tickity-boo. They'll be able to help you out with any disputes or accidents - it makes your job that little bit easier and stress-free. 

 

Read more about owning a lawn mowing business:

 

6. Growing National contracts

Crewcut currently looks after huge national contracts which are always growing. It means you'll always have work on top of your current client base. 

 

7. Wide network of other franchisees

Have a question you wanna ask, and to someone who will understand? That's where a franchise network is perfect. We have over 200 franchisees nationwide who would love to talk to you. We have dedicated Facebook groups and a newsletter which helps franchisees stay in touch. Through these mediums you can discuss all things lawn mowing and business. It's the perfect place to learn a new sales pitch or get a hint on servicing your mower. 

 

8. You can sell your excess customers back to HO

Are you SO good at sales pitches that you acquired more customers than you can handle? That's okay, because at Crewcut we can buy your customers off you - for a decent price. That way you can keep on top of all your work and still make some good money. 

 

9. Training

As mentioned earlier, your great support system will be able to provide you with training. This is the big difference between a franchise and a start-up. If you were going it alone, who would you turn to for advice and training? We offer a 2 week period which will train you in all things lawn mowing, gardening, customers and business operations.

 

10. People will find you on Google!

With good marketing, comes a good website. The Crewcut website is on the first page of google, and in first position for many searches like 'Lawn Mowing Wanganui'. When somebody wants their lawns mowed, where will they go to find the service? The answer is - google. 

 

These are just some of the perks we've heard from our franchisees, but there are countless others. Before you start your own lawn mowing company, just think - can you get all of these benefits by going it alone?



If you're interested in buying a lawn mowing business through Crewcut, please fill out an expression of interest form by clicking the button below. 

CC Group
100+ clients for sale in Rangitikei
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If you’ve ever thought about starting a new life in Rangitikei, we have a perfect and profitable solution for you!


One of the Crewcut couples are selling up due to personal reasons - leaving a great investment opportunity for you. Chris and Karen have been with Crewcut now for over 6 years and have absolutely enjoyed every minute of it. They have over 100 regular lawn mowing and gardening customers which are mostly in residential properties.

Included in their lawn mowing business for sale is:

  • Sign written Mitsubishi L300 vehicle
  • Sign written Custom-made, tip trailer
  • Testarossa Lawnmowers x 2
  • Masport Shiremaster 720 mower (for the really big jobs)
  • Blower
  • Backpack sprayer
  • Weed eater

The Rangitikei/Wanganui region are the undervalued treasures of the North Island’s west coast. Not far from Palmerston North and just a few hours north of Wellington, there is plenty of opportunity just waiting for you to get your hands on. Wanganui is home to 40,000 people and growing. With their affordable properties and more quiet lifestyle - it’s the perfect environment to retire in or just have a complete change of pace. 

If you have ever considered owning your own businesses - now’s your chance! Joining the Crewcut Wanganui team will mean you'll be in a good network of other Crewcut operators and a very reliable regional manager providing you with plenty of support. 

Check out the trademe listing below to find out more details and to contact the business owners.

 

Business Opportunity in Whangarei
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If you’ve ever considered a change in lifestyle or career, we have a brilliant opportunity for you.

One of our franchisees from the beautiful Whangarei region, Peter, is selling up his lawn mowing business. He has been with Crewcut for 6 years, but is now moving on to a new part of his life. 

During his years with us at Crewcut, Peter has accumulated more than 50 clients both ride-on and hand mower. Peter has a good mixture of commercial and residential clients which ensures a decent and ongoing income. With his partner, he could get this mowing round done in a couple of days, but on his own it would take about four days.

Peter mentioned that he got brilliant support from the Whangarei Regional Manager which has made getting customers and maintaining his business a breeze. Whangarei is the perfect region for escaping the big major centres and soaking up the sun - just 2 hours from Auckland. 'The Winter-less North' as it's known, is home to around 56,000 people, and growing.

So if you’re interested in joining a lawn mowing business but don’t want to put in the hard yards getting customers - this could be the perfect solution for you! One of the major benefits of joining Crewcut is you will receive on-going support from head office and your regional manager. The marketing will be done for you - so customers will continue to call. 

If you need more financial information and costs - check out Peter's lawn mowing business for sale on Trademe by clicking the button below.

 
Can a millennial own a lawn care business?
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If you were born between 1980 and 2000 then chances are, you fit into the special class of avocado eating, selfie taking, brunch loving millennials. You may be working in a job you enjoy, but are seeking something more fulfilling. Franchise or business ownership is seen as a milestone some reach after a lifetime of ‘working for the man’. Seen as a rite of freedom, it’s generally not reserved for the young. However a lawn care business could possibly be your next best life move during a time when you’re not sure what the future could hold.

Maybe a lawn care business could work? According to a Forbes analysis, 72% of millennials said that they want to be their own boss. They don’t want to listen to others and work extremely hard in a field of work they don’t enjoy. They want to have a life, not a job. There are many opportunities in a lawn care business which would make you perfect for this kind of business, here are a few:

1. Fresh thinking

The newer generations always bring a different kind of thinking to the table (or the lawn). Your generation wants to make a living in a job you’ll enjoy. To do this, you’ll come up with different strategies to make it work.

2. Openness with new technologies

Millennials have been raised with technology - learning another won’t scare you away. In fact, you love it. Embracing new technology ensures you won’t be left behind (especially when the new frontier of automated mowing just around the corner).

 

Read more on owning a lawn mowing franchise:

 

3. Born into social media

While much of your work will be behind the garden tools, you have the know-how to film, create and share your work with your surrounding community. You're a natural at Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Youtube and Twitter, while your Baby Booming counterparts tend to struggle. This innate social marketing will make you stand out amongst the crowd. Crewcut appreciates creative thinking to solve business problems, and this is where you could fit in well. 

4. You’re fairly fit and active

Let’s face it, it’s gonna be a lot easier for a 20-something-year-old to stay out and work hard in the gardens for 6+ hours a day. While you’re still fit and active with minimal health issues, it’s the perfect time to own a lawn care business. Some of our lawn care business owners reported walking 25-30km a day during the summer months! Could your Fitbit handle that?

5. You have the time to really build your business and savings

While you’re young and don’t have as many responsibilities in your personal life, you’ll really be able to earn good dollars to save towards your future goals. How else are you going to afford a house in today’s market? With Crewcut operators earning well above industry standard, you’re guaranteed to sneak in a few extra avocados each week.

So you’ve finally decided that a lawn care business is for you, so how do you start? The best thing to do is to talk to our team, by calling us on 0800 800 286, or emailing info@crewcut.co.nz

Couples that work together - and love it!
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Who will look better behind the mower; you or your partner?

Working with your spouse may seem like a scary thought for some. For others however, it could be the start of a bright and successful future. A lawn mowing business is a lot of work, and often takes more than one person to run effectively. In fact, some of our most successful lawn mowing businesses are made up of couples. While many households struggle to keep up with the increasing cost of living, a lawn mowing business could be the secret to ‘trimming those bills down’.

So why does the couple team work?

It works because you’re both the owners of a successful business model. It also means that however you arrange the workload, you will definitely be able to handle more lawns and gardens.
You’ll have someone to talk to. Someone you know the strengths and weaknesses of, and in this way, you’ll be able to better assign tasks and roles.

If you want proof, check out Don and Sue from sunny Tauranga who have really enjoyed owning a lawn mowing franchise together. 

 

Read more about franchise lawn mowing:

 

What are the different combinations?

One out mowing - one managing the books

A popular combo is the mowing and book keeping duo. While one is out doing the lawns, the other is working on all the finances and contacting clients. This is effective as it saves double handling of jobs and solidifies your roles (which would negate any possible arguments)

Both do mowing

If both are tackling the mowing, you’ll be able to get plenty of lawns done in a day. The average single mowing operator can get around 8-10 lawns done in a day. If there’s two of you? You can only imagine how many you’ll mow through.

One does mowing, the other does gardening

Although Crewcut is primarily a lawn maintenance business, the unsung hero is gardening. If one or you looks after the gardens, that’s a huge opportunity made for extension of your services. Customers really seek operators who will go the extra mile and provide a whole range of services in their backyard. 

How do we start?

If you're interested in giving a Crewcut business a go, make sure you do your research and your own personal assessment. If you’re unsure about the qualities you’ll need, have a read of ‘7 reasons a lawn mowing franchise might be for you'. If you’re still interested, give us a call on 0800 800 286 or email us info@crewcut.co.nz and we’d be happy to talk to you about a business for your ‘couple team’. So who will look better behind the mower? We’ll let you two decide on that one.