Let’s start by defining just what a business is and does. This includes lawn care and landscaping businesses.

There are several ways to think about a lawn care business. You could define a business as the various activities and processes that you conduct in order to produce a bottom-line profit. This definition is perfectly acceptable…for an accountant or a professor. Yet the point of this book is to help you see an equally valid definition of a business that tilts this equation. You should also consider a business to be all those financial considerations that enable you to produce something you care about. Is your business the first, or second, type of entity?

This, of course, is a trick question. You must think about your lawn care business as both.

At its very core, a business is an organized entity that provides goods or services to customers in exchange for money, or some other form of currency. Ideally, eventually, and finally, consistently, it does so for a profit. That’s because businesses add value, through sweat or smarts or processes, or scarcity, in ways that customers can’t or won’t do on their own.

The range of value-adding activities is vast. You might apply your sweat and muscles to provide a lawn care service, or turn a mass of construction materials and plants into a new landscape. You might use your thinking hat to ease

someone else’s technical confusion. You might have a knack for turning scraps of cloth into clothing or quilts. You could be a natural matchmaker between companies and executives seeking jobs. The possibilities are as unlimited as the number of stars in the sky.

Regardless of how you add value, the word exchange forms a critical part of this definition. Businesses always exist in relationship to a web of customers, employees, partners, vendors, and other community members. Businesses by definition exchange and relate to a wide skein of people and organizations. We’ll explore the notion of customers, and selling, and meeting needs throughout this book. But it is critical that you understand the importance of your lawn care business as an entity that conducts social intercourse with other people and organizations. At this very early stage in your business, even though you are determining what it is you have to sell, be sure to hone your listening skills. One identifiable trait of most superb entrepreneurs is their ability to read other people (See the sidebar “Who Wants to be a Lawn Care Entrepreneur?”).

       
Lawn Care Book
Lawn Care Book
Lawn Care Book
Lawn Care Book
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As you begin to conceive of your own individual lawn care business, it’s important to think through how you will add value for your customers. Every business structure and type carries advantages and disadvantages.

Companies with low barriers to entry (meaning that they are very easy to start), for example, are often great starter companies for novice beginners.


Is a startup garden business or landscape maintenance business for you? - Editor


 

Endeavors like lawn care, cleaning houses, swapping collectibles, or consulting on something you know about all require few resources beyond what you have. This means you can get started easily and hopefully hustle your way to success. This inviting opening has definite drawbacks. First, anyone else can enter the field as easily as you did, giving you a run for the money. Second, you are probably relying more on your individual hustle than on the creation of something that is uniquely yours. While you can earn more simply by working more, your profits are ultimately related to, and limited by, your personal hours.

You can also pursue a venture that adds value at a much higher level than a simple lifestyle type of business. Yet this too has its pros and cons. There are pie-eyed entrepreneurs who have sought to build new satellite systems creating new communications networks. Great idea, and, should the venture work, it would be very, very hard to knock off by others. But of course one needs vast financial and organizational resources to make such a plan pay off.