New Areas For Franchise Growth

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.

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 Group
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.




1. Make a plan

Most of what you read about planning is not appropriate, complicated and confusing. The 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. 



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. 



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. 


7. Collect payment routinely


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. 



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


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! 

David Serville
7 reasons a lawn mowing business might be for you

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.

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

10 Reasons Lawn Mowing Franchises Beat Start-Ups


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 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. 


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

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

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?

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).

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

Couples that work together - and love it!

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. 

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 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.