Make your lawn mowing business 'green' with these 9 steps
Already mowing lawns, or among those looking to buy a lawn mowing business? You're undoubtedly already committed to ensuring that those lawns are nice and green. But is your business really all that 'green'?
As we push ever further into the 21st century, it's just a fact that more and more consumers don't just appreciate environmentally friendly businesses - they absolutely demand them. And the expectations on lawn mowing businesses may even be higher than that.
Amid growing international concern about climate change, there are plenty of reasons why outdoor businesses are increasingly in the spotlight. Not long ago, scientists made the shocking discovery of DDT in even the remotest areas of Antarctica. The reason? The widespread use of the pesticide in the West.
In short, 'green' practices when making our lawns green have been pretty grim. And it's a reputation every business, but especially businesses like a lawn care franchise, must battle. So as competition grows, 'going green' is the perfect way to ensure that your responsible lawn mowing business is the one people reliably pick.
- Why and how to make your lawn care business 'green'? -
Put Antarctica aside for a moment and think about the almighty dollar.
One study found that over two thirds of all consumers are prepared to pay more just because a business labels itself as environmentally friendly or sustainable. Undoubtedly, it's the households with a bit extra disposable income who can afford to be more discerning about your environmental credentials.
And it's these very people who are also the best lawn mowing business customers - people with a bit of extra money, a penchant for a professionally manicured 'green' lawn, and genuine concern about the state of the planet.
No, we're not necessarily talking about wind powered ride-on mowers.
But there's no doubt that 'green'-minded people do associate the growl of your petrol-powered mowers with the sort of fossil fuel burning that is contributing to man-made climate change. And there are great electric-powered lawn mowers and other equipment on the market to peruse.
Even if you can't find something truly 'green' or can't afford it, the latest advances in just about all technological sectors make a big deal about energy efficiency, so be savvy when it comes time to replace some old equipment.
You get your business to that next paying customer with a scruffy lawn at the wheel of your work vehicle.
So show your green-minded customers that you care about the fuel you're burning and the emissions you're putting out. Thought about a hybrid? Now's the perfect time to consider it. And if that sounds like a big bill, you might just consider telling your customers that you carefully plan your days in advance, so that driving time is minimised and emissions are kept to a minimum.
4. Organic stuff
So your lawn mowing business needs some chemicals, like fertilisers. We get that - it's unavoidable. But synthetic ones hurt the soil, pollute the air, and run into the water.
So have you thought about going organic? There are organic lawn care products available commercially, but the savviest of lawn care businesses might even consider making their own with ordinary ingredients lying around the house. And the best thing of all? It's cheap.
When you're done mowing, you have a lot of grass clippings. So make a big deal with your clients about what you do with it.
Tell them a compost heap is the best solution. That way, you can establish your own green credentials whilst encouraging your clients to have a compost heap of their own. Not only will you get rid of the clippings on-site, you could even add a premium 'compost maintenance' service to your menu!
You need to market your lawn mowing business. Just make sure you do it the green way.
If you print any materials, keep it to a minimum and always use recycled paper - and if possible, avoid paper altogether and go completely digital. More and more consumers are becoming aware of their environmental footprint - even when it comes to receipts and invoices! Many opt for emailed versions instead - means just a little less waste. Just don't forget to let your customers know that even when it comes to the fine details, you care about the world.
Environmental concerns are all about carbon emissions. Right? Wrong.
The most precious resource on Planet Earth is water, with only 1% of the world's H2O being fresh and fit to drink. So as you use that water to make lawns beautifully green, show you care about water conservation by encouraging responsible irrigation and doing the little things like using a water-saving hose.
So while it's not all about emissions, it definitely is a LOT about emissions.
And a lawn mowing business that is really serious about its emissions will not only try to reduce its carbon footprint - it may even pledge to becoming completely carbon neutral. This can be easily done in New Zealand by offsetting the emissions you make. Look up a couple of good Kiwi non-profit businesses that will plant the right amount of trees to offset your CO2. You can then proudly call yourself '100% carbon neutral' - and that's some boast!
9. Green alliance
What's the only thing better than a 'green' business? That's right: a network of green businesses.
Once you claim that title as a lawn mowing business that cares about the planet, look around for other businesses who are also seeking the very same reputation. That way, when someone is getting their 'green' solar panels installed next week, they might recommend you as a great 'green' lawn mowing partner business.
By establishing a commitment to being as 'green' as the lawns you love so much, you demonstrate that even the friendly lawn mowing guy cares about the planet. And as we've demonstrated, it's not just the environment that will thank you for it. Your customers will reward you with a proud reputation and a loyal client base that is keen to pass on the word about your green credentials.
Going as green as your pristine lawns? It just makes sense.