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 have their grass cut and cannot do it themselves. These people have a problem and you, the full-time employee who wants to start a part-time lawn mowing business, has the solution. They can pay you to mow their garden. Problem solved.
I am often asked if you can start your lawn mowing business part time in the evenings and on weekends and keep your job full time. The answer is a big yes!
The question is whether you should? If you have a lot of energy, enjoy being outdoors and gardening, and can handle just an additional 5-10 hours of physical work each week, you can start a part-time lawn mowing business and keep your regular job.
People who work 12-hour rotating shifts are in a great position to run a part-time lawn mowing business while maintaining their full-time jobs because they have many days off.
First, you need to find some clients. Write a flyer with word processing software, print it, take it to your local copy shop, make 25-30 copies, and distribute them around your neighborhood within walking distance of your home. You may want to use a half-page flyer to distribute to 50-60 households. Include what you offer the prospect (mowing the lawn, cutting edges, cleaning the concrete), your name, the best phone number to reach you, your address so they know you are a neighbor, and how much you charge. Since you are new to the business, you 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 the people we know. Since these people are close by, you can go out, knock on doors, and meet your neighbors while marketing your business to them. Smile, introduce yourself and tell them what your house is or what street you live on and get to know a little about them and some things you may have in common. Give them a flyer at the end of the conversation and move on to the next house.
Continue like this until you have at least one person ready to go home, get your gear right now, come back and work that day, and take out your checkbook to pay you. If this happens, stop trading that day, serve your new customer, and earn some money. Continue marketing the next day.
When you have the number of clients you think you can handle, stop trading on a daily basis and just do a little bit from time to time or when someone asks for your information. You will need to have some brochures on hand to hand out. Keep an eye out for overgrown yards and see if a landscaping service comes to cut them down. These people may need someone closer to regularly repair their lawn. Make sure to visit them and ask.
Don’t buy any commercial equipment or go into debt. To get started, all you need is the trimmer you use on your own lawn, a gasoline string trimmer, and a blower. If you have a string trimmer and electric power blower, you can still use them, but make sure the customer knows that they will need access to an electrical outlet and will need a very long extension cord.
Alternatives to gas and electric cutters and blowers are rechargeable cordless models. They are less expensive than their gas cousins, cheaper to operate, and much more environmentally friendly. If you have electrical equipment that requires an extension cord, you’ll want to replace it with gas or cordless electrical equipment as soon as you make enough money mowing to do so.
Starting a short distance from your home eliminates the need for a truck or trailer to transport equipment to job sites, reducing costs. If you live a short distance from work, you can put your gear and gas can in a wagon or cart and carry the mower by hand. If you are willing to do this extra manual work, you are more likely to be successful because you are not afraid of hard work and are not prone to overspending.
One of the main reasons for having a part-time lawn mowing business is that you make a lot more money for the time you spend working than for most other part-time endeavors.
If you charge $ 50 to mow, trim, and clean, and you can do 5 lawns 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 (gasoline, parts, repair, equipment replacement, etc.) for self-employment taxes that you must pay each quarter. If you spend $ 9 on gas and save $ 36 for taxes, your net weekly earnings will be $ 205. Six weeks of transporting your equipment by hand will develop your physical strength and allow you to accumulate about $ 1230. You can also resubmit your form W-4 at work to withdraw the correct amount of extra money from your paychecks to cover these taxes. However, if you are trying this to determine if you want a full-time lawn mowing business, I recommend that you familiarize yourself with paying self-employment taxes on a quarterly basis.
After 20 weeks of mowing 5 lawns a week, you will have made almost $ 4,000. It will be less than this because your equipment will need maintenance and repair. That won’t cost more than a few hundred dollars, so you’ll still have around $ 3,700 if you save your winnings.
Now you will have the cash to buy a good used commercial lawn mower. Once you have a commercial lawn mower, you can increase the number of yards you can mow per week in the same amount of time it took with your residential lawn mower, increasing your income. You may be able to cut 10 yards a week instead of 5, so your gross income will go up to $ 500 a week. After another 10 weeks, you may have enough cash to buy a used trailer to haul your business equipment.
Remember that in many areas there are only 3 mowing seasons or around 40 weeks of consistent work each year. If you spend the first 40 weeks earning enough to buy some business equipment and grow your customer base, your second year of part-time will be mostly earnings.
Two years part-time in business will allow you to decide if you want to start mowing full-time. You’ll know it’s time to work full time when you turn away clients because you don’t have time to repair your patios and if you could hire those clients you would 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 take the family benefits freeing you up to earn lots of cash. You will have to save for retirement and pay for your own disability insurance even if your spouse can provide the other benefits. Few companies offer coverage for retirement or spousal disability.
If you’re willing to work during your off hours and don’t spend money on equipment you don’t need, you can work part-time mowing lawns and earn lots of extra money. You may also eventually be able to quit your job and run your business full time.