Many people who finally launch their own lawn services company do so after operating for some time as an independent contractor. This is a good way to go because you can build your customer base but keep your costs minimal. Often times you may operate like this doing most of the work yourself and so avoid having to keep “employees” or deal with partners.
The thing that may be pushing you to start your own lawn care business may be that you are just too good at your job. Your business is growing to the point that you may not be able to service all the customers without changing your profile from an individual contractor to a small business owned and operated by you. This is a natural growth and businesses that start because of this kind of growth curve often succeed because you know the business and you know how to control costs and take good care of your customers.
The problem comes when the needs of the business outgrow your physical space that you consider to be “home base” of the business. In most cases when you start doing lawn care as an independent contractor, you may use the same lawn care equipment that you use for your home. Your garage is your “home base” and you keep track of the business details on your home computer.
When you take that big step of actually starting your own lawn care business, you have a decision to make. Do you continue to use your home as the base of operations for your business or do you invest in a business location to give you offices, a larger garage and storage facilities for the wide diversity of tools and equipment you and your employees will need to take care of the business you support?
The argument in favor of operating your small business from your home is economic. If you can launch your lawn care business with little or more additional expense and avoid taking out loans, you can use the profits to buy more equipment, pay for additional workers and eventually afford a larger space. This is outstanding business management if you can pull it off.
The problem is that you often have to invest in growth before the growth is a reality. To try to grow a business out of your home and garage means there will come a time right before you finally lease space for your business that it will be overwhelming your home. That can become a big problem for your family and for keeping the equipment of your business safe and separate from your private property. It is smart to start out keeping costs low. But when the time comes to formally launch your lawn care business, that may be the time to secure a small business loan and get a separate operating location for your new business.
Building and maintaining a separate location that is the physical location of your business has some real advantages. For one thing, the people who work for you and do business with you have a place to work and interact with you that is only about the goals of your lawn care business. Your family does not have to interact with your employees or clients and you can keep your equipment and paperwork of the business in one location secure and separate. For you, it is a place to “go to work” and it gives your business a real legitimacy that is important when you are seeking to be seen a real business operating in the lawn care markets in your lawn company community.
A separate facility gives you plenty of room to store your equipment including trucks and trailers you may need to transport your equipment to each job site. It gives you room to work on that equipment, clean it and effect repairs. And if you select the right location, you have room to grow when you buy more equipment to support your rapidly expanding business. Just as you dress for success, equip your business with a “home base” that is ready for growth because you know growth will be coming. Then the physical location of your business can grow with you step by step to greater levels of success each year.