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Free Lawn Care Business Plan Template

By Steve Sutherland

Having at least some form of business plan for your lawn care startup is essential if you are to succeed. If you are applying for a business loan or looking for partners or investors then your plan must be comprehensive and prove that your ideas are feasible. At the very least a business plan is a way of getting all your thoughts and ideas down on paper and it provides some benchmarks for you to assess your progress against as your business grows.

In the following report we offer a basic business plan template that you could use for a lawn mowing business. Every business advisor has different ideas about how a plan should be put together. Here is a list of sections that you might consider dividing your lawn care business plan into. The following is free for you to use and adapt as you wish.

Cover Page and Table of Contents

If your report is longer than a couple of pages then you should include a contents page. This will help readers to navigate the report or to quickly skip to sections that are of interest to them. You should also attach a cover page to the plan and possibly a cover letter. The cover letter can be written differently depending on who you will be giving the business plan to.

Executive Summary

Introduce the reader to your report by offering a summary of what is included. An executive summary should convey all of the main points that you want to get across. Writing a couple of sentences on average to summarize each section of the report should be sufficient. Its length should be around 10% of the length of the total report.

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Mission Statement

Some business plans include a statement that outlines the purpose of the business and the standards that it desires to achieve. Consider writing up a few sentences that state how your business strives to help your customers and provide the highest level of service. A mission statement is a way of summing up your companies purpose, philosophy and values aside from the profit motive. Your mission statement could match up with your business slogan.

Background Information

Introduce yourself and any other people who are involved with the proposed lawn care company and mention the involvement and interest that they would have if the proposal goes ahead. Provide information on your qualifications and experience and let the reader know why you want to start a lawn care business. Do you bring any competitive advantages to the table?

If the business is not new and has a history up until the present point in time then here is where you should go into detail about this.

It is also helpful to provide readers with some background information on the industry both nationally and locally.

Business Description

Describe your business model and other basic details about your business. Let readers know the market that you want to serve, the services that you want to offer and how you want to fit into the local market in terms of offering something different from the competition. Give basic details such as where the business will be located.

Goals and Objectives

Set out your goals and a timeline for achieving them. Include growth targets that you want to hit at certain points within your first few years of operation. Targets could include gross revenue, net revenue, the total number of lawn mowing accounts or the total number of employees by a certain date.

Ownership Structure

Will the business start out as a partnership or a limited liability company? Give details regarding who will own the business and what their role in the company's management will be.

Startup Requirements

Make up a list of everything that you are going to need up to the point of opening for business and research costs. Include all of the startup costs involved with marketing and purchasing equipment as well as the costs associated with setting up a legal business structure.

A solid plan should also include information on accounting, taxation, insurance and legal matters such as licensing. It is recommended that you seek professional advice in these areas.

Once you have an idea of your total startup costs you can then propose how you plan on funding your lawn care business. You may need funding to cover not only startup costs but also operating costs for the first six months while you are still building your customer base. If you are operating from your home then operating cost will be low anyway.

Services Offered

Make a list of all the services that you intend to offer to customers. In addition to basic lawn mowing many operators also offer other lawn maintenance, irrigation or landscaping services. Make sure that this matches up with your equipment requirements.

Market Analysis

In this section you can include the results from your market research. Let the reader know what kind of people use lawn care services and how you have come to the conclusion that your area has a market of significant size. Outline the profile of a typical customer. What sector of the market do you plan on targeting?

Competitor Analysis

Carefully analyzing what your competitors are offering is a great way to understand your local market. Include a competitive analysis that provides details on all of your major competitors. Show that you understand their strengths and weaknesses and offer ideas on how you intend to compete with them for market share.

Marketing Plan

It's important to have a clear idea of how many new accounts you need to add each month to maintain a rate of growth that will achieve your goals. You then need to have solid marketing methods to bring in these new clients regularly.

Your lawn business marketing plan should include information on brand development, pricing, advertising, other marketing strategies and sales.

Outline a customer service plan that will allow you to maintain and build your relationships with customers in order to keep them for the long term and increase the chances of having them refer new clients to you.

Operations Plan

Your lawn care business plan should also clearly set out how you plan on running your business operations on a daily basis. This could include details on handling customer enquiries, route planning, invoicing clients, hiring employees and managing them in a way that maximizes productivity. What systems will you have in place to maximize efficiency and make sure that things run smoothly?

One of the most important things to consider is the point at which you will take on your first employee. Working too hard mowing lawns can impact on your marketing efforts. If you find that you are spending more than 70% of your time mowing lawns then you should hire an employee. This will allow you to free up some time so that you don't neglect other aspects of your business. Your plan should set out a schedule for hiring employees and provide basic job descriptions for them.

Financial Plan

Using information from your lawn care business market research you should anticipate monthly gross income. Remember to include a conservative estimate as well as a realistic estimate as your customer base may not grow as quickly as you hope.

After estimating gross monthly earnings you can then subtract expenses to get a clear idea of what kind of net profit you will be making on a monthly basis. These figures should be projected into the future and set out on a spreadsheet so you have clear ideas about the rate of growth that you require to meet your long-term goals.

You will have to make some assumptions about what an average lawn care account is worth to you. Then you will have a good idea of how many customers you need to reach break even point and certain profit milestones beyond that.

Appendix

The appendix is where you can attach any information or evidence that supports any of the assumptions that you have made in your business plan. You may include copies of documents, financial spreadsheets or other research findings that back up your proposal.


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