6 Things to know before mowing lawns for money

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Whether you’re a keen gardener or just enjoy working outside, mowing lawns for money might be the ideal opportunity, but be aware there are things that you need to consider before you do?

mowing lawns for money - cutting grass

We’re heading into that time of year again where the lawnmower seems to be coming out more often than I’d like it to.

I can’t be the only one, but mowing lawns is not my favourite job, and it’s for that reason that I have often wondered whether it would be worth paying someone to do it for me, freeing up my time to do something that I actually do enjoy

I live in a new build property and our garden is bigger than what you’d expect from a new build, so to do a good job on it would take around an hour, decreasing it if I did it more often to maintain it.

This got me thinking if I were to pay someone to do it for me, how much would they cost and out of curiosity could someone make good money offering this as a service. 

The 6 things you need to know before mowing lawns as a business.

1. You need to treat it as a business

Whether you’re going to mow lawns as something that you do at the weekend or something that you do most days, you are going to need to treat it as a business.

This means marketing your service, ensuring that you have the appropriate tools for the job, you know the basics of finance to enable to deal with everything money and tax-related

There are very few businesses that you can start with little or no money so be prepared to invest in the business.

2. If you don’t treat it as a business, you might still need to pay tax

You might not earn enough to have to pay tax but if you do, then you will need to register for self-assessment.

If you were to earn more than £1000 you will need to send a tax return, you might feel that as this is a cash in hand business you can get away with not telling the taxman, but this is what is they call failure to notify, which can come with some hefty penalties should they find out.

3. The work is seasonal

Don’t expect to be working every month of the year if all you are offering is a mowing service.

Lawns generally only need to be cut between March and October

4. The purchase and maintenance of equipment isn’t cheap

The most obvious expense when starting out is going to be the lawnmower itself.

Unfortunately, you aren’t going to get away with buying a cheap one from your local DIY store and even if you were this would limit those homes that you could offer your services to.

Image turning up to a potential client’s property only to find out that your cable isn’t going to reach any of their sockets. That’s why you are going to need to invest in a petrol-powered mower

As well as the mower, you might also need a van and a trailer, again none of these items is going to be particularly cheap to buy and maintain. 

5. You’ll need to register to dispose of your waste

Imagine the scenario, you get to a client’s house and they don’t have a garden waste bin, what are you going to do with the waste, take it back to yours, this is unlikely, isn’t it?

The thing is as soon as money exchanges hands for your service, this becomes commercial waste and some hoops have to be gone through to ensure that you are doing things correctly and responsibly.

This means registering as a waste carrier, as you’ll be disposing of garden waste, you’ll only need to register under the lower tier, failing to do so could result in you being fined £5000.

6. There’s a low barrier to entry

A low barrier to entry means that anyone can buy themselves a lawnmower and start a business.

This shouldn’t be a deterrent though, in fact, it should be the opposite and spur you on to offer a service that betters everyone in your area.

How much to charge for mowing lawns

At the end of the day what you charge for your service is going to determine whether you get any business or if the work that you are going to do is going to make you enough money to cover your costs.

As you’re treating the service as a business there has to be a level of research on your part, so get on the phone and do some internet searches to see how much others in your area are charging.

Of course, only use this as a guide as their overheads might differ from yours and only you will know what you need to not only cover your costs but also make a profit.

Will operating a lawn mowing service be profitable?

Operating a lawn mowing service can be profitable, but to make it profitable some variables need to be considered.

  • What you’re charging?
  • The number of clients that you have
  • Your business costs (marketing, website, general administration)

Conclusion

Starting a lawn mowing business can be a great way to earn an extra income, but shouldn’t be your only source of income, not only due to its seasonal nature but the fact that should anything happen to you that results in you not being able to work this is going to impact your finances and might also result in lost clients.

If you’re not put off, you also need to think about all f the services that you might also be able to offer.

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