People & Planet
The lawn maintenance business makes a positive difference by…
- Gives people a break from necessary chores and more time to spend with their families on weekends.
- Helps people who work and just don’t have the time to mow lawns because who wants to come home from a hard day to discover more work.
- Gives people the chance to have pride in their property without doing anything.
- You are developing a business which can further make a profit in the future.
- Helping the environment if you compost grass clippings.
- Use an alternate mower to petrol, for example an electric mower if possible.
Before You Start
Do Some Market Research
Conduct a quick survey among your neighbours and friends asking them:
- Do they have a lawn mower?
- How often do they mow their lawn?
- Would they want someone to mow it for them?
- The size and time on average it takes to mow their lawn?
Things you’ll need:
- A Lawn-mower.
- A Catcher - This will avoid too much stray grass.
- A Broom - To sweep grass off pathways etc.
- Hedge Clippers - To trim weeds underneath fences and bushes.
- Edge Trimmer - To trim the grass that is growing over concrete or edgings.
- Solid Shoes - It will be a messy business if you chop your toes.
- Goggles - To protect your eyes from flying stones, grass and debris.
- Gloves - Wear these for picking out weeds, stones and clumps of grass (and in case of scary bugs and prickles!) and to avoid blisters on your hands.
- Start with your Neighbours and Friends- they know you and trust you already, (hopefully).
- Make an Eye-catching Flyer- Put it in letterboxes or hand it out to neighbours.
- Offer the First Cut Free- Shows that you are a good worker and do a good job, use an incentive for people to start using your service, a nice way to say thanks for employing you.
- Get Some Testimonials- Get a client or two to write a few words about the good job you do for them, put them on the bottom of your flyers and advertisements.
- Once you're more experienced you may want to- Place an ad in your school or a local school's newsletter, place an ad in your community newspaper, pin flyers on community notice boards (make sure you're allowed to do this first), put a brightly coloured sign advertising your business out on your front lawn and on the lawn you are mowing.
Whenever you're visiting the house of any client you don't know very well, always have a trusted adult present and make sure your parents know where you're going to be working.
Never try to fix or clean the mower blades while the mower is on. (Disconnect the spark plug first)
Keep any spare petrol away from naked flames. (Petrol is very flammable!) Also keep out of reach of client’s children if they have any, you don’t want to be accountable for negative consequences!
Wear sunscreen and a hat so you don't end up looking like a tomato!
Get on with it
- Keep a Notebook Diary (Remember to be professional) - Write down the time and date of all your lawn-mowing commitments; keep a good record of the hours you have worked.
- Keep a Receipt / Invoice book- Keep track of all the money you collect and are owed, your Income less your Expenses = your Profit, get the client to sign it after you complete a job
- Have a One Page Agreement Including: Which day, time, and how often you will mow their lawn; how much money they agreed to pay you and when they will pay you, who will provide the lawn-mower and who will pay for petrol for the lawn mower (if you use a petrol mower); agreements to who is responsible in the case of certain problems such as you break the client’s lawn mower; a place for both of you to sign.
So How Do You Mow a Lawn Anyway?
Always remember that you are mowing someone else’s lawn and they have to put up with it and you could lose your custom!
- You should practice on your own lawn first, just to see the job you can do and if there is anything you can improve on. It would be a good idea to ask others such as your parents to give you tips on how you could do a better job. It may also be a good idea to get your client to look at a lawn you have mowed to show the awesome job you can do!
Step One – Clearing and Preparing
Before you start walk around the entire lawn and move hoses, rocks, clothes pegs, etc, so that you won't run over them and break the mower. You should also trim under fences with hedge clippers and put the grass in the middle of the lawn so you can catch them with the lawn mower later. Then trim the edges.
Step Two - Mowing
- Start by cutting all the way around the outside of the lawn, then mow up and down in straight lines to make a neat pattern.
- Make sure that the edges are neatly trimmed. (use the edge trimmer for this)
- Step Three - Tidying Up
• Pick up any dumps or clumps of grass.
• Put the grass on a compost heap neatly, or take it away with you.
• Sweep up any grass that may have blown onto walkways.
• If you are using your client's lawn-mower you should clean it.
• Put the petrol away a safe place (where client wants) if you are using a petrol mower and if the petrol is the clients.
Developers of this document so far....