part time lawn mowing business while working a regular job
No matter what the economy is, the grass keeps growing. There is always someone nearby who needs to mow the lawn and cannot do it himself. These people have a problem and you, the full-time employee who wants to start a part-time lawn mowing business, have the solution. They can pay you to mow the lawn. Problem solved.
I am often asked if you can start your lawn mowing business part time at nights and weekends and keep your full time job. The answer is a big yes!
the question is can your have to? If you have a lot of energy, enjoy being outdoors and working in your garden, and can handle only 5-10 extra hours of physical labor each week, you can start a part-time lawn mowing business and keep your regular job.
People who work rotating 12-hour shifts are in a great position to run a lawn mowing business part-time and keep their full-time jobs because they have plenty of days off.
First, you need to find some clients. Write a brochure using word processing software, print it out, take it to your local copy shop, make 25-30 copies, and distribute them in your neighborhood within walking distance of your home. You may want to use a half-page flyer so you can distribute it to 50-60 households. Include what you offer the prospect (mowing lawns, edging, cleaning concrete), your name, the best phone number to contact you, your address so they know you’re a neighbor, and how much you charge. Since you are new to the business, charge at the lower end of the average rate charged by other lawn care professionals in your area. Five dollars cheaper than average can make your neighbors stop using someone outside the neighborhood and start using you.
Another reason to start with your neighbors is that they know you or know you and we all want to help other people, especially people we know. Because these people are nearby, you can go out, knock on doors, and meet your neighbors while promoting your business to them. Smile, introduce yourself and tell them which house is yours or which street you live on and get to know a little about them and some things you may have in common. Hand them a flyer at the end of the conversation and move on to the next house.
Keep it up until you have at least one person ready for you to go home, get your gear right now, come back and work that day, and are pulling out their checkbook to pay you. If this happens, stop trading that day, service your new customer, and make some money. Continue marketing the next day.
When you have the number of clients you think you can handle, stop trading daily and just do a little bit occasionally or when someone asks for your information. You’ll need to have some flyers on hand to hand out. Keep an eye out for overgrown gardens and see if a landscape service comes to cut them down. These people may need someone closer to them to service their lawn on a regular basis. Be sure to visit them and ask.
Don’t buy any business equipment or go into debt. You just need the mower you use on your own lawn, a gas-powered string trimmer, and a blower to get started. If you have an electric string trimmer and blower, you can still use them, but make sure the customer knows that you will need access to an outlet and will need a very long extension cord.
Alternatives to gas and electric trimmers and blowers are cordless rechargeable models. They’re less expensive than their gas-powered cousins, cheaper to run, and much more environmentally friendly. If you have an electric piece of equipment that requires an extension cord, you’ll want to replace it with a cordless or gas-powered piece of equipment as soon as you make enough money mowing lawns to do so.
Starting a short drive from home eliminates the need for a truck or trailer to transport equipment to job sites, keeping costs down. If you live within walking distance of work, you can put your gear and gas can in a wagon or cart and pull your lawnmower by hand. If you’re willing to do this extra manual labor, you’re more likely to succeed because you’re not afraid of hard work and you’re not prone to overspending.
One of the biggest reasons for running a part-time lawnmower business is that you make a lot more money for the time you spend working than most other part-time ventures.
If you charge $50 for mowing, edging, and cleaning and you can do 5 landscaping after work and on weekends each week, you will earn $250 per week. You will need to set aside 15% of your income after expenses (gas, parts, repair, replacement equipment, etc.) for self-employment taxes that you will need to pay each quarter. If you spend $9 on gas and save $36 on taxes, your net weekly earnings will be $205. Six weeks of hauling your gear by hand will build physical strength and net you around $1,230. You can also resubmit your W-4 form at work to deduct the correct amount of extra money from your paychecks to cover these taxes. However, if you are trying this out to determine if you want a full-time lawn mowing business, I recommend that you familiarize yourself with paying quarterly self-employment taxes.
After 20 weeks of mowing 5 lawns a week, you will have earned almost $4,000. It will be less than this because your equipment will need maintenance and repair. That won’t cost him more than a few hundred dollars, so he’ll still have about $3,700 if he saves his winnings.
You will now have the money to buy a good used commercial lawn mower. Once you have a commercial lawn mower, you will be able to increase the number of yards you can mow per week in the same amount of time it took you with your residential lawn mower, increasing your income. You may be able to mow 10 yards a week instead of 5, so your gross income will increase to $500 a week. After another 10 weeks, you may have enough cash to purchase a used trailer to haul your business equipment.
Remember that in many areas there are only 3 cutting seasons or about 40 weeks of constant work each year. If you spend the first 40 weeks earning enough to get some business equipment and grow your customer base, your second year of part-time will be mostly profit.
Two years in the business part time will allow you to decide if you want to start mowing lawns full time. You’ll know it’s time to work full-time when you turn away customers because you don’t have time to service your yards, and if you could serve those customers, you’d earn more annually than you would at your full-time job.
Earning more means earning more than your current annual salary after taxes, plus paying for benefits you and your family need, like health insurance. If your spouse works outside the home, he or she can carry the family benefits, leaving you free to earn lots of cash. You’ll need to save for retirement and pay for your own disability insurance, even if your spouse can provide the other benefits. Few companies offer retirement or spousal disability coverage.
If you’re willing to work during your off hours and not spend money on equipment you don’t need, you can work part-time mowing lawns and earn a lot of extra money. It is also possible that you will eventually be able to quit your job and run your business full time.