Organic lawn care continues to gain popularity with its appeal to the ever-growing environmentally-conscious population. Homeowners are looking for alternatives to chemical lawn treatments, which some feel can pose a threat to their children, pets, and the environment. If you’re committed to organic practices and love working outdoors, or if you’re already in the spray business and looking to expand your services, organic lawn care may be a great fit for you.
- Do your market research. You want to set yourself up for success, so the first step is to find out if your geographical area needs this service. How many competitors are currently in the organic lawn care space? Is your area environmentally conscious? If the demand is there, it’s time to get down to business.
- Think through the details. Will you offer pure 100% organic, a hybrid program, or both? What additional services will you offer? What products will you use? You could develop your own proprietary formulas or purchase commercial spray in bulk. If you’re new to the industry, think about what spray equipment you will invest in. High-quality, durable units are key to keeping you in the field. You’ll also want to think about the size and configuration that will be best for your business. Be wary of buying secondhand sprayers, as most have been used to handle chemical sprays in the past.
- Get licensed. Check state regulations. Ensure that you do everything necessary to legally establish a business. If you’re only going to be spraying 100% organic products, you’ll have the advantage of not having to get a chemical license or permit. Since the specifics vary by state, contact your local licensing department to learn what the legalities are and what certifications are required for the services you have in mind. Don’t forget to consider what types of insurance you’ll need to protect yourself and your new business.
- Market effectively. Once you’ve laid all the groundwork, it’s time for the fun, yet challenging, part. Develop a name for your business with a catchy tagline to appeal to your market. Distribute business cards and flyers outlining your services at green-conscious stores. Millennials in particular pay attention to environmental issues, and since they tend to seek information online, it’s worth investing some time developing a strong digital presence with an impressive website and social media pages. Consider starting with a small pay-per-click campaign and basic SEO to drive traffic to your website. With little competition in many areas, these simple marketing efforts can go a long way. As you begin to grow, consider larger advertising opportunities like sponsoring local green festivals, trade shows, or other events for more name recognition.
- Prepare for challenges and be proactive. It’s not going to be all rainbows and butterflies. Organic lawn care comes with its share of challenges. Organic products can emit unpleasant smells and may leave more weeds unaffected compared to chemical treatments. Be candid with your customers so their expectations are realistic.
Starting a business is a big decision. Ample research and preparation up front will help relieve headaches down the line and give you the confidence you need to start a new venture in organic lawn care.