In the last post in this series, we talked about funding your lawn care business. In this post, we are going to talk more about writing a business plan for your lawn care business.
As we have discussed before, starting a lawn care business shares many common steps that any other new business has. A fundamental step of preparing to start your business is to write a business plan.
Sadly, people often procrastinate when it comes to this because they do not know how to do it and they are intimidated by even thinking about the process. So understanding the basic steps that you need for your lawn care business plan will help you get ready for this important step.
It takes capital to start your own lawn care business. A business plan at heart is a document you prepare for investors. You use it to present your business opportunity to lending institutions in order to get startup capital or a small business loan.
There is equipment to buy, workers to hire, trucks and trailers to get, marketing materials to create and storage facilities to lease. The funding will help you get that basic infrastructure in place before you have the revenue to pay for those costs.
Your business plan is a document to demonstrate to those who may give you the capital you need that you have a solid business concept. It also discusses that the markets are there to support your business and that you have a realistic plan to build the business until you are making sufficient profits to pay back the money with interest or to give investors a handsome return on their investment.
This does not mean that you should skip writing a business plan if you already have what you need to start your lawn care business or if you have enough funding without taking on debt or investors. The process of writing a business plan is a vital developmental step because it will force you to think through your plan for success.
You will create a detailed cost/benefit analysis which will call for you to gather real world cost values for the equipment you will need, the insurance you have to buy, the space you need to lease and to pay the workers you will need in order to support the initial business and its future growth.
That research alone can be a lifesaver when you actually start your new business. However, you will also go to the next step of verifying if the market for your services is strong as well as proving how you will about growing the business over a five year period of time.
If you discover during this process that you do not have a sufficient market for your lawn care business, better to know that before you take the plunge of starting the business than after. The process of building a business plan is a big step of taking your vision for your wonderful new business and making a real life projection of how that dream will play out in reality.
If you do not know how to write a business plan, you should not panic. There is plenty of help available. Your local library or bookstore is overflowing with books that will guide you through the process. The internet is also rich with resources to take you step by step through how to research each section of your business plan and then how to go about writing that plan in a way that will be understandable and reasonable to your backers. Here is a starting point.
You can also turn to the local chapter of the small business association for help. Very often, there are retired businesspersons who volunteer to help a new small business owners like yourself write a solid business plan.
Never be too proud to accept their help. They know what you are going through seeing your vision for a great lawn care business go from dream to reality and they know how to guide you through this important part of your planning and preparation.
When your business plan is done, you will be happy you took the time to complete this process. Part of the document is a five-year plan for success. That means when you are done, you have a roadmap for how you will take your vision for a successful lawn care company from dream to reality.
Keep in mind that your plan will go through some changes and revisions as you go along, but having a map to follow can be a huge help when it comes to growing your lawn care business. Just remember, the time to find your map is before you get lost in the woods.
Make sure you look for your next issue soon. We will be talking about some great ways to make your lawn care business profitable.