Sunday

Lawn Landscaping Business Tip: A Henry Ford Secret To Success

Our brains are like a battery. The more of them put together, the greater the power. A group of brains in unity, focussed on a single purpose can provide more thought energy and ideas than a single brain. The increased energy created through those like-minded individuals seems to become available to every person linked together in that group.

I remember reading that Henry Ford used this strategy to get from poverty to riches in 25 years. I think its applicable to the lawn landscaping business industry.

Not too many people know he came from a place of poverty and illiteracy. The odds seemed to be against him.

People say his greatest advancement in success came from the time he befriended the famous inventor Thomas Edison.

He later went on to add to his mastermind group the likes of Burbank, Firestone, and Burroughs. Henry Ford tapped into the mind power of these 4 brilliant men and used the knowledge and experience gained to help himself rise to the top of success.

And that's worth thinking about and acting upon.


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Lawn Care Business Tip: How To Bounce Back From Anything

Resilience is such a powerful word for the lawn care maintenance business industry. A character trait needed by all of us. The dictionary defines it as the ability to return to original form after being bent, stretched or compressed. Its the ability to bounce back from any adversity we face.

Lets just keep it simple.

Resilience in the arena of the lawn and landscaping industry means being able to withstand setbacks, broken hearts and broken dreams, financial crisis, etc.

What would you do if you ran into a problem that cost you everything? How would you handle that? What would your next step be? How long would you cross your arms and be angry at the world? What would it take for you to pull yourself up and stir yourself to start all over again? How much resilience do you have?

Here are 3 ingredients to bouncing back from anything you face.

1.) Faith

You would first need to believe you could do it. We rarely attempt anything we don't believe is possible for us. It would take a lot of trust in God to move forward.

2.) Self Reliance

It would take a lot of self reliance not to point fingers and play the blame game. It doesn't matter if what happened was your fault. All that matters is that your actions after the fact determine your future.

3.) Discipline

You would have to dig deep within yourself to get going and to keep moving forward every day. You'd have to focus and concentrate on the goal ahead. It would take a lot of discipline to balance the fear and the worry with the knowledge that, if you did it once, you can do it all over again. You can succeed.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from anything you face in your lawn business. Regardless of what you face, big or small, you have to bounce back. Even if you just lost a huge client. One of your biggest ones. This client accounts for more than 30% of your gross revenue.

Yes, losing this client is going to hit you hard. Losing this client is going to leave a negative ripple effect for a while.

As my mentor instructed me, the first thing you do is analyze why you lost this business. What did you do or not do? How are you responsible? Don't go yelling at an employee or another associate. That's unprofessional.

Trust me. You’ll lose respect. And respect is hard to regain once you’ve lost it, whether it’s the respect of those you work with, your trusted colleagues or your valuable support people. You have to approach the situation intelligently and ascertain how to bounce back.

Look at the situation. Analyze it. Then work out a plan to bounce back and get the lost business back. You can’t sit back and dwell on what’s happened. As they say, "That's water under the bridge." You’ve got to get back into the game and recapture what’s been taken from you.

My mentor told me that children who grow up in terrible circumstances and later become successful are known as “dandelion children.” If they can succeed and prosper with terrible conditions, they can grow anywhere. It’s important to be more like a dandelion child. To be able to grow and prosper and succeed despite our current conditions. To be able to grow and prosper and succeed despite our losses. To be resilient.

Building a resilient character turns what others would call failure into success. It turns the bad into the good. A resilient person just won't quit. A resilient person will, in spite of everything they face, keep doing it until they accomplish their goals.

The more trials and tribulations you face and defeat with your lawn mowing business, the more resiliency you will naturally develop. There is nothing that can hold you back if you can bounce back.

Until next time...


Successful Lawn Business Strategies

http://www.HowToStartYourLawnCareBusiness.com

http://www.HowToGrowYourLawnCareBusiness.com


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Saturday

Lawn Care Business Tip: Stop The Excuses

Personal discipline with a lawn care maintenance business is about as important to personal achievement as rocket fuel is to a rocket. Of course there will be moments when you will feel like someone poured molasses all over your life, but you'll always get out of that mess with some consistent and persistent disipline. Without it, you're destined to stay stuck in a rut.

The opposite of self discipline is procrastination. Discipline means you never throw in your towel. Procrastination usually means you never get started, although on the other side of the spectrum, the inability to finish something is also a form of procrastination.

Ask people why they make excuses and you'll often hear something like this, "I have to get this "just right". Everything has to be perfect before I can get down to business. Let me just shuffle and straighten out my business cards first, have to make sure there are no distractions, not too much noise, tidy up my desk, no telephone calls interrupting me, and of course I have to be feeling like working, too. I can't work when I don't feel like working." On the other end of making excuses you'll hear things like, "That's just not good enough just yet. It has to be perfect. I'm really not satisfied."

Do you see where I am going with this?

The root of making excuses could be (more likely than not) fear of failure. That's what perfectionism is all about really.

You're essentially paralyzed by fear. Afraid to make a mistake. You're stuck. You're still going nowhere. You're still overwhelmed by the responsibilities that are before you. It's an endless cycle of having your thougts dominated by a negative view of the road ahead. So in the end you convince yourself not to do anything.

Here's my recipe to end making excuses and procrastinating. I'll show you how to turn procrocrastination into self discipline. If you're brave enough to do what I suggest you consider, the process will be easier than you think. It involves two steps.

The first step comes from Henry Ford. He said no task is too big if you break it down into smaller jobs.

No matter what you're trying to do with your lawn business the simple key to achievement is your ability to break down the job into smaller more manageable tasks and then carry them out one by one. Concentrate on accomplishing what's sitting before you right now. Forget about what's off in the future.

Suppose I were to ask you if you could lose 52 pounds. If you're like the majority of folks, that would sound like an improbable job.

But what if I changed up my question. What if I asked you to lose 1 pound a week for one year? Do you find this smaller task more plausible? All I did was break down the 52 pounds into a weekly goal.

Trust me. If you keep this up for one year, you'll lose the weight. Discipline yourself to stay focused on the day at hand and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

The second step is to put thought to paper.

Writing is to goal setting as carbon is to steel. The writing you'll do in order to end making excuses is very similar. Instead of focusing down the road, you're now going to be writing about the present just as you experience it every day. Instead of describing the things you want to do or the places you want to go, you're going to describe what you actually do with your time, and you're going to keep a written record of the places you actually go in your life.

In other words, you're going to keep a journal. Write about your activities. If you're like me, you're going to be surprised by the wastes of times and distractions you encounter each and every day. All of these "things" get in the way of achieving your goals. The brilliant thing about keeping a journal is that it brings all this out in the open and lays it on the table for you to see. It forces you to face what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong.

Your journal doesn't have to be anything overboard. Just a little book you carry on your person at all times, making quick notes as you go through your day. A note every thirty minutes is best, and you drive yourself to create this daily habit for at least 7 days. 21 days is ideal.

Break it down. Write it down. These were the instructions from my mentor and I pass them onto you. These two steps are simple. Don't wait. Make the changes you need to make now. Put an end to making excuses and keep moving on the road to achieving your lawn care business goals.

Until next time...


Successful Lawn Business Strategies

http://www.howtogrowyourlawncarebusiness.com



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Friday

Lawn Care Business Is Booming: VIDEO - Grass Cutters Seeing Green

Tuesday

Lawn Care Business Video

Saturday

Turbo Lawn Mower

Sunday

Lawn Care Maintenance and Mowing Business: The Generosity Factor

Hard work without talent is a shame, but talent without hard work is a tragedy."

- Robert Half

 

There are always the nay sayers who mock the suggestion that giving away a free lunch with no strings attached is futile.

I think it depends.

Take a fancy steak restaurant for example. Yup, it would cost a lot to give away 500 free steak dinners in just one week. It wouldn't be unreasonable to suggest it could cost as much as $10,000.

But if those steaks are cooked just like the person wants and taste exceptionally good, hundreds of those people could turn into regular customers.

That means that the cost to get those customers is much lower with that "free lunch" method than through most other advertising approaches.

Any lawn care maintenance business owner could use this idea. Most won't.

Here's a story of a supermarket that did steal this idea.

With their new location up and running and in need of new customers in their new location, they gave away 5,000 quarts of milk, 5,000 pounds of butter, 5,000 cans of peaches and 5,000 packages of napkins.

Was this crazy?

You might be thinking how could they afford to give away all of those products. The money lost from doing so would be massive.

Hold on. Let me finish the story.

This supermarket created and printed up 5,000 coupon books. In each book were four coupons.

Each coupon was good for one week of the month. The first week was for a free quart of milk. The second week was for free butter. The third week was free peaches and week four was for the napkins.

No purchase was necessary to redeem these free items using the coupons. There were truly no strings attached. This was a genuine free lunch.

They mailed these coupon books to 5,000 selected families in the surrounding neighborhoods.

More than 3,000 coupons were redeemed the first week and nearly 4,000 by the fourth week.

Here's the kicker. Almost every person also bought groceries while they were there redeeming their free lunch.

The following fifth week with no free lunch coupons and also no other form of advertising, over 4,000 people shopped in that supermarket spending a total of over a half million dollars that week.

Ka-ching!

This is something to think about and I call it the "Generosity Factor".

Until next time...


Copyright Successful Lawn Business Strategies. All Rights Reserved.

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Saturday

How To Accomplish More In The Next 12 Months Than The Last 12 Years...

Discover how to use the power of this brand new Success Program to grow your sales and increase your profits, all the while working less in your business...

Introducing The
Lawn Business Mastermind Program...

It's an exclusive group of very smart, successful lawn business entrepreneurs from across the country and around the world who want to:

Increase their sales

Increase their profits

Work less in their business (without any drop in profitability)




Ultimately, it's a program that can take ANY lawn and landscaping business and turn it into an automated money-making machine.

Here's how we do it:

The Most Effective Marketing Strategies: No fluff or theory, but truly "underground" guerilla marketing strategies unknown to 99% of the business community. You take these these strategies and apply them to your business for extraordinary results.



Forced Focus: You only spend time on the activities that really make a difference in your lawn maintenance business, instead of the thousand and one other things that do nothing but suck away the hours of your day.



Friendly Accountability & Encouragement: We gently push you into doing the important business tasks you know you should be doing.



"Creative Thinking Multiplied": Leverage the minds and experiences of your fellow members to come up with effective ways to solve your most frustrating business problems.



"Sounding Boards": Get feedback on new promotional ideas, sales strategies or other business challenges before you make a mistake that costs you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours.



Joint Ventures: Complementary businesses working together to break into new markets, get new customers and make more money.



IMPORTANT NOTE :

We are almost full and accepting few new applicants at the moment. Additional spots to be opened soon. To be put onto the list to receive more info about the program along with a priority invitation to join, please send an e-mail to Jason R. at info@howtostartyourlawncarebusiness.com with your name and e-mail address enclosed.

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Wednesday

Lawn Business Advertising Secrets

Hi Everyone,

We received an email this week about a new lawn business startup and an inquiry to what advertising will work the best for them.

Here's our answer:

Advertising your lawn business comes downs to tracking. 2 companies in the same county could have completely opposite results using the same method of advertising.

So there is no secret pill that will automatically make your lawn business marketing efforts explode. Not without tracking your results anyway.

You need to test different forms of advertising and measure your results. Find out what method of advertising gets the results you want and run with it.

For example, if you spend $300 on a classified ad and get 10 customers, each customer cost you $30 ($300 divided by 10 customers).

But if you create a flyer and get it handed out for you and it costs you $500 but you get 20 customers, each customer cost you $25.

Which of the 2 advertising methods is better? They're both good but one generates customers at a cheaper price.

There is no one source for marketing (advertising is part of the marketing process) tips and tricks. You should be getting your hands on books, audio, video and anything else you can. Never stop learning.

And once you get an idea of how to write the advertising copy, another key is consistency. If you only plan to hand out flyers one time, forget about it. Your advertising will fail or not do nearly as good then if you hand out flyers several weekends in a row.

Most customers need to see your ad about 20+ times before they realize they may or do need your lawn care service. That means you better plan on handing out your flyers for several weeks in a row.

Hope this points you in the right direction. Check out other articles within our blog for even more marketing advice.



Sincerely,

James R.

Successful Lawn Business Strategies
www.howtostartyourlawncarebusiness.com

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Monday

Stop Chasing Your Lawn Business and Landscaping Business Customers For Payments FOREVER!

This just in...

I ran into the owner of an online automatic payment system SPECIFICALLY created for lawn business and landscaping business owners.The days of chasing customer’s for money are over.

Get paid when you want, automatically.

I also twisted his arm and got him to discount the ENTIRE fee for his system for anyone I send his way. You can now sign up FOR FREE!

Check it out:

http://www.lawnlandscapingautopay.com

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Saturday

How To Get New Lawn Care Business Customers From Scratch

We received the following lawn care business question this week and it's one we've been getting a lot of lately so we want to post our thoughts and share them with others.

1. Would you share with me a few of the most effective ways to get some lawn care customers and contracts? I'm just starting out, got my truck and equipment ready to work, just picked up my business license last week and it seems like getting that first customer is the hardest thing to do. I made some flyers and distributed it out at some public places, school teachers lounge, employee lounge and a few other places. No bites and I'm going on two weeks. Is this normal? What's the average wait time before a lawn business lands its first customer? I'm trying different marketing approaches one at a time, and allowing time in between each one to measure and see which ones actually work. So far nothing is working.

ANSWER:

First of all congratulations on taking the step towards starting and running a lawn care business. Believe it or not, most people won't even take this first step because they are too afraid.

Right off the bat make a quality decision that you are going to do this no matter what. The reason is because starting out and getting momentum in your business can be challenging and you need to have persistence. The main reason is because you have to get those first few customers and you don't have any experience under your belt in doing that so unless you make a quality decision, it's too easy to get discouraged. Sometimes customers can come quick, sometimes it can take some time but only the persistent lawn care business owner wins.

Put the law of averages to work for you. This means that it could take 1 out of 100 or 1 out of 250 flyers or more before you get a quote. Just keep taking action. Just keep handing out your flyers and any other advertisements you have on a consistent basis. Doing it once or twice won't cut it.

You see imagine a pizza coupon. Most people get them once a week and how many times do you throw them out or just skim over them? But when they come on a regular basis, week after week, eventually there does come a day when the flyer comes and you want pizza so you call.

Your customers are the same way. It may take several exposures to your ad before they realize they need to call you . That's what a lot of lawn care business owners don't know. Your advertising needs to be consistently going out.

The 3 areas important for your marketing are: MESSAGE, MARKET, MEDIA. This means your ad has to be arranged and setup properly. You have to be advertising to the right market. And the last one means you have to be using the right form of media.

The good news is that it sounds like you have several marketing weapons working. What you need to do is have them all working at once. That is where you want to be. You want to be taking action on several fronts at the same time because sooner or later (as long as your ads are compelling, you shooting at the right market and using the right media to market), you will get phone calls.

We constantly recommend that you educate yourself about marketing. It doesn't mean you have to spend money. You can pick these books up from your local library for free, but just start to read about how marketing works. It's quite fascinating and in this game, the more you know, the better you become at making winning ads and beating your competitors.

We haven't seen your flyers or other advertisements but it's important that your ads have the following arrangement (our book recommendations at the end of this post will give you similar advice).

  • ATTENTION ---> HEADLINE
  • INTEREST
  • DESIRE
  • ACTION

There are a few schools of thought on this but the above layout in the ad is important. So a quick example of this would be...

--------------------------------
Do You Want The Best
Lawn On The Block?
Finally, come home to a fresh,
green lawn, cut and trimmed for you
ALL SUMMER LONG!
__________________________
$20 LAWN BUCKS
Valid on your next order over $100.
__________________________
Call or email us today for a
FREE ESTIMATE
555-1234
NoNameMowing.com
Hurry Offer Ends March 20xx!
--------------------------------


Your ads need to give people a reason for calling. They have to persuade and stir a reader to take action. Always have a great offer with a deadline and impel them to contact you. Yes, keep track of your responses. Ask people who called, why they called. Even ask those who didn't call why they ignored the call to action. Get your trusted family and friends to look over your ads and see if they find them compelling.


2. What are your thoughts on buying an existing lawn care business? My problem with this is not having the upfront cash to purchase the business. Is this an idea worth looking at?

Buying a lawn care business is another way to get customers. Most businesses don't sell so anyone selling a lawn care business may be persuaded to be flexible.

This means that what we have seen is that a seller may be willing to allow you the purchaser to make monthly payments over a period of time for the business. Not having to have the cash upfront may be the winning ticket. They might also be willing to help you with the transistion of ownership, working alongside you for a period of time.

The HUGE red flag with buying a lawn care business is that you need to be very cautious. Why are they selling? Are the customers on contract? Does the sale include equipment? What shape is the equipment in?

Doing your due diligence is VITAL. It's an absolute. Visit NOLO.com for information on buying a business.


MARKETING BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

9 Lies That Are Holding Your Business Back

How To Make Your Advertising Make Money

Advertising Secrets Of The Written Word

No BS Sales Success



Well we hope this helps!

The Staff
www.howtostartyourlawncarebusiness.com

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Wednesday

Lawn Mowing Business Tip: S Corp, C Corp or LLC? Which Structure Is Right For You?

S Corp, C Corp, LLC : WHICH STRUCTURE IS RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?


When a person considers starting a lawn business, or when existing lawn business owners consider changing their business structure, one of the most common options they evaluate is the corporation.

There are several different types of corporations, the C corporation, the S corporation, and LLC. Which one is best often depends on the goals you have for your lawn business.

Corporations and limited liability companies ("LLC s") are preferred lawn business structures because, unlike sole proprietorships and partnerships, both offer liability protection. This means that the owner of a lawn maintenance company cannot be held personally responsible for the company’s debts. The personal assets of an owner are shielded from company liabilities.

In researching the various business structures, one inevitably comes across the S corporation. S corps and LLC's are similar in that they are both "pass-through" entities for tax purposes. The income of these type of lawn businesses are passed through to their owners and reported on the owners’ personal income tax returns, thereby eliminating the double taxation incurred by owners of a standard lawn care corporation, or C corporation. (With a C corporation, the net business income is subject to corporate income tax, and the monies remaining after the corporate income tax are taxed a second time when they are distributed as dividends to its owners who must then pay personal income tax.)

Let's start with explaining the difference between an S Corp and an LLC? And discuss which structure is right for your lawn care business?

The answer depends on your own unique situation. There really is no other way to say it. If operational ease and flexibility are important to you, an LLC is a good choice.

If you are looking to save on employment tax and your situation warrants it, an S Corp could work for you as the lawn business structure of choice.


Lawn Business Ownership & Operation

There are restrictions on who can be owners (also known as "shareholders") of an S corporation. An S Corp can have no more than 75 shareholders. None of the shareholders can be nonresident aliens. And shareholders cannot be other corporations or LLC s. This is important.

An S Corp is operated in the same way as a traditional C corp. This lawn business structure must follow the same formalities and record keeping procedures. The directors or officers of an S Corp manage the lawn business and an S Corp has no flexibility in how profits are split up amongst its owners.

Let us explain.

The profits must be distributed according to the ratio of stock ownership, even if the owners may otherwise feel it is more equitable to distribute the profits differently.

LLC s offer greater flexibility in ownership and ease of operation. There are no restrictions on the ownership of an LLC . An LLC is simpler to operate because it is not subject to the formalities by which S corps must abide. An LLC can be member-managed, meaning that the owners run the lawn care business. Or it can be manager-managed, with responsibility delegated to managers who may or may not be owners in the LLC . This may be more attractive to your situation. The lawn business owners of an LLC structure can distribute profits in the manner they see fit.

This may be a lot to take so we'll paint you a picture.

Let’s say, for example, you and a partner own an LLC called ANYBODY MOWING LLC. Your partner contributed $50,000 for capital. You only contributed $5,000 but you perform 95% of the work.

The two of you decide that, in the interest of fairness, you will each share the profits 50/50. As an LLC you could do that. If you had your lawn business set up as a S Corp you could only take 10% of the profits while your partner would take the other 90%.

Get it? Let's keep going.


Employment Tax: Savings vs. Paperwork

A major factor that differentiates a lawn business structured as an S Corp from an LLC is the employment tax that is paid on earnings. The owner of an LLC is considered to be self-employed and, as such, must pay a "self-employment tax" which goes toward Social Security and Medicare. The entire net income of the lawn business is subject to this tax at a rate of 15.3% (rate as of this writing).

In an S Corp, only the salary paid to the employee-owner is subject to employment tax. The remaining income that is paid as a distribution is not subject to employment tax under IRS rules.

What does this mean? There is the potential to realize substantial employment tax savings.

Let's say Billy owns a lawn service business. In keeping with the industry standard, Billy decides that a reasonable salary for a lawn business manager is $35,000 and pays himself accordingly. Billy's total earnings for the year are $60,000: $35,000 paid in salary and the remaining $25,000 paid as a distribution from the S Corp . Billy's total employment tax is $5,355 (15.3% of $35,000).

If Billy were the owner of an LLC , he would have to pay employment tax on the entire $60,000, equaling $9,180. But as an S Corp, he realizes savings of $3,825 in employment tax.

Not bad. But, listen up.

One might assume that these savings could be further manipulated by reducing the salary to an extremely low amount and attributing the rest of one’s earnings to distributions, but this would be a very big mistake. In practice, the IRS is careful to notice whether a salary is reasonable by industry standards. If it determines a salary to be unreasonable, the IRS will not hesitate to reclassify distributions as salary. Don't mess with the IRS. It's never worth it.

Still, while the potential employment tax savings may make the S Corp an attractive structure for your lawn care business, bear in mind that you would then have to deal with all the paperwork associated with payroll tax.

The payroll tax is a pay-as-you-go tax that must be paid to the IRS regularly throughout the year. This means on time or you will incur interest and penalties. The paperwork alone can be an overwhelming task for someone who is not familiar with it. If you expect to incur losses or otherwise experience a cash flow crunch during the year that would hinder you from paying the payroll tax when due, this could present a problem.

Owners of LLC's pay their self-employment tax once a year on April 15 when income taxes are normally due (or make quarterly estimated tax payments, if they expect to owe total taxes of $1,000 or more). Income tax filings are also relatively easy for the lawn business owners of an LLC. A single-member LLC files the same 1040 tax return and Schedule C as a sole proprietor. Partners in an LLC file the same 1065 and Schedule C as do owners of traditional partnerships.


Employment Tax

Employment/payroll tax on salary; no employment tax on dividends paid to shareholders.
Self-employment tax on total net income.



The C Corporation Vs. S Corp

The C corporation is the standard corporation. The S corporation is a standard corporation that has elected a special tax status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It gets its name because it is defined in Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code. In order to elect S corporation status, Form 2553 must be filed with the IRS and all S corporation guidelines met.
While the C corporation and S corporation have many similarities, they also have distinct differences.


Similarities

Both offer the same limited liability protection for shareholders (owners), meaning that the shareholders are typically not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the lawn care business. Both are separate legal entities created by a state filing.

The formation documents that are filed with the state, which are typically called the articles of incorporation or certificate of incorporation, are the same whether the lawn service business will be a C or an S corporation.

To recap a bit, corporations have shareholders, directors and officers. Shareholders are the owners of the company and elect the board of directors. The board of directors oversees and directs the affairs of the corporation and has responsibility for major decisions, but is not responsible for the day-to-day operations of the corporation. The directors elect officers to manage the daily affairs of the business. Most states allow one person to be a shareholder, director and officer of a corporation.

Both are required to follow the same internal and external corporate formalities. Examples of internal formalities include adopting bylaws, issuing stock, holding initial and then annual meetings of shareholders and directors, and keeping the minutes from these meetings with the corporate records. Examples of external requirements include filing annual reports, which are required by the state, and paying the necessary annual fees.



Differences

1. Taxation

C corporations are separately taxable entities. C corporations file a corporate tax return reporting profits or losses, and any profits are taxed at the corporate level. C corporations face the possibility of double taxation when profits are distributed to shareholders in the form of dividends, as the shareholders must report dividends as personal income and pay tax on them at the individual level.

S corporations are pass-through tax entities. Pass-through taxation is discussed more below.

2. Corporate ownership

C corporations can have an unlimited number of shareholders, while S corporations are restricted to no more than 75 shareholders (some say 100, check with your local CPA or attorney).

C corporations can have non-US residents as shareholders, but S corporations cannot.
S corporations cannot be owned by C corporations, other S corporations, LLCs, partnerships, or many trusts. C corporations are not subject to these same restrictions.

S corporations can have only one class of stock (disregarding voting rights). C corporations can have multiple classes of stock.

3. S corporation Election

S corporations must make a timely filing of Form 2553 with the IRS. The IRS instructions indicate this form must be completed and filed:

At any time before the 16th day of the 3rd month of the tax year the election is to take effect, or;
At any time during the tax year preceding the tax year it is to take effect. An election made no later than 2 months and 15 days after the beginning of a tax year that is less than 2½ months long is treated as timely for that year.


An election made after the 15th day of the 3rd month but before the end of the tax year generally is effective for the next tax year. However, an election made after the 15th day of the 3rd month will be accepted as timely filed if the corporation can show that failure to file on time was due to reasonable cause.


Pass-through Taxation

As mentioned above, electing S corporation status with the IRS allows for pass-through taxation of the corporation’s profits. S corporations must still file corporate tax returns, but they do not pay taxes at the corporate level. The corporation’s profits are passed-through to the individual tax returns of the shareholders, and taxes are paid on those profits at the individual tax rate. If the corporation is reporting a loss, the loss is passed-through to the shareholders as well. Because S corporations do not pay taxes at the corporate level, this eliminates the potential double tax C corporations face when profits are issued as dividends to shareholders.

How's that for an explanation? ;-)

There is no one, magical entity that works for everyone. A CPA or a specialized tax attorney can assist you in choosing the right structure for your lawn business. The important thing is to consider the operational, legal and tax aspects of each structure as they apply to your unique situation.

Nevertheless, as you determine which business structure is the best for your business, there are both online and professional resources to assist you. For advice on which structure to choose, you should contact an attorney or accountant. For additional information visit NOLO.com.

Cheers!

The Staff
http://www.howtostartyourlawncarebusiness.com

Copyright SLC

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Thursday

Lawn Business Marketing Example

Hi Everyone,

Lets look at and analyze a lawn business ad and see how we can improve it.

The following is a sample ad we received recently. The sender asked for some advice so we're going to give some.



_____________________________________________________
COMPANY NAME
Professional, Affordable
Early Bird Special
Spring is around the corner.
We will:
Mow
Trim
-------
-------
Other services available such as:
--------
--------
Sign up before April 1 and save
$5.00 per visit
-Free Estimates-
Call Today!
555-5555
Satisfaction Guaranteed
_____________________________________________________
First off, this ad has many elements a successful ad needs. What we would suggest (in the end you make the call) is a little rearranging and adding a little more here and there.
First off, our advice has been termed outrageous. That's okay because the results have also been known to be outrageous. I don't know about you, but we believe it's all about results. It's all about persuasion. Getting a prospective customer's attention and moving them to call you.
Right? Whats the point of having an ad that doesn't make your phone ring?
So what we need is a killer headline. The truth is we like this company name. It just needs to be located in a different spot.
We like the promotion because everyone wants to know what the "special" is all about. What "deal" or "bargain" will an interested party get?
After we ran the ad past a few of us in the office this is how we would rearrange it for possibly better results. We say 'possibly' because you'll never know unless you try it and TEST it. That means you have to keep track of your results. Always, always, always ask people where they heard about you when they contact you. This way you'll know what marketing is working and what marketing is not.
You with us? Okay let's keep going.
This is the new version of the ad. You'll notice in this new example we have followed the age-old formula of ATTENTION - INTEREST - DESIRE - ACTION.
We catch people's attention with the headline. On average there are atleast 1500-3000 marketing messages being shot at your prospective customers every single day. You have to stand out of the crowd.
Once we get them to pay attention we have to stir up some interest. We then create a desire and end the ad with a call to action - pick up the phone now and call us.
_____________________________________________________
FINALLY!
A Way To Have The Best Lawn & Garden On Your Block...
GUARANTEED!
Are you looking for mowing, trimming,
shrub maintenance and other services?
Then look no further.
-----------------------------------------------
"My lawn has never looked better.
I am so happy with these guys and
my neighbors are impressed too."
- Mr. X, Somewhere County
----------------------------------------------
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL!!!
If you book your service before April 1st
you'll receive 5% OFF all season long!
HURRY! Offer Ends April 1st, 2008 12pm sharp!
Call Today For Your FREE Estimate
555-5555
[COMPANY NAME]
*Only 37 New Customer Spots Available
_____________________________________________________
There you have it. This is a very basic overhaul of a lawn business ad but it's enough to get your creative going. There's a ton of variations you could use in this ad but you get the point.
Advertising is salesmanship in print. This ad has the job of convincing someone to call you. And in the end, the number of people who call as a result of this ad is the clear reflection of how good or bad it is.
We hope this helps!
The Staff

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Monday

Lawn Business Tip: Raising Money

I received an email asking about how to raise money for a lawn business.

Although I do go into greater detail about this in my lawn business course, here is a very basic list of ways to finance your business venture.

  • Tap into your savings
  • Ask for money from friends and family
  • Wisely use a credit card (do your due diligence)
  • Sell something
  • Apply for a loan at your local bank
  • Visit the small business administration
  • Have your customers pre-pay you

Speaking to the business owner who emailed me, you mentioned you already had the jobs but needed some advice about the money. Since you have the jobs, option 5, having your customers pre-pay you, looks like it may be one of the better choices for you to look into.

By asking for prepayment, you could smartly cover your costs as you grow your business. You might decide to ask for full or partial payment depending upon what you dare to do. That way you are jump starting your cash flow which sounds like it might just be the ticket you're looking for.

Of course, stopping into the SBA is also a very good idea.

Hope this helps.

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Friday

Lawn Care Business: DiCaprio Sues Landscapers

DiCaprio Sues Contractors Over Yard Work
Feb. 8, 2008, 12:14 AM EST
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- It's hardly a titanic struggle, but a dispute between Leonardo DiCaprio and his neighbors isn't departing anytime soon.

DiCaprio and the cousin from whom he rents a house are suing dozens of building contractors in an ongoing legal fight over a basketball court that neighbors claim destabilized their Hollywood Hills property.

The cross-complaint filed Jan. 30 lists contractors hired by the neighbors and by DiCaprio and cousin Robert Hrtica themselves.

Neighbors Joan and Robert Linclau sued DiCaprio and Hrtica in May for at least $250,000 in damages. They claimed their property was illegally excavated and some plants removed in 2004. They also said the work undermined a slope behind their home and left their deck and pool in danger of collapse.

The latest complaint from DiCaprio says the Linclaus' lawsuit has no merit, but if damages are found then the contractors are to blame.

Phone messages left after business hours to attorneys for the two sides and to the central contractor named in the suit were not immediately returned.

Previous court papers filed by DiCaprio contend the Linclaus may have caused the problems by installing an "illegal railroad tie retaining wall."

DiCaprio, 33, was a best-actor Oscar nominee last year for "Blood Diamond." His films also include "The Departed" and the megablockbuster "Titanic."

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Thursday

Lawn Business Competition: How To Succeed In a Tough Market

Here's a question we received just the other day. Maybe it's the same question you may be asking.

"I'm having hard time getting people to let me mow for them. They keep going to the kids around the small town I live in. What should I do?"

This is a tough place to be in. And it probably appears to have no other solution than to slash your prices and shoot for the stars.

That is the WRONG answer.

There is another solution that might just do the trick. Listen up.

Don't cut your prices. Add value to your lawn business services. Make it so irresistible that someone who avoided your offer would be ridiculous.

What am I saying exactly?

If your competition are just kids, then that means they may not have the ability to get their hands on other lawn equipment. They might only be able to grab what they can from their garage (I'll explain what I mean in a second).

Or there is a good chance they are not smart marketers and don't have a clue about what I am about to suggest.

Either way, you should have the advantage even in your small town.

I can't promise a miracle here but from what I've learned and heard over the years, the following is a tip that has worked for some to tear their competitors apart.

Instead of just mowing, try creating a combination of services all for a profitable price for you and your lawn care business.

  • The kids in your area might advertise lawn cutting for $15. But you could push lawn cutting and garden bed clean up for $25.
  • Or you could try 4 lawn cuts and a FREE aeration.
  • Or you could offer paying by VISA or MasterCard through PayPal.
  • Or you could start to donate a small percentage of your income from mowing to charity. People like to do business with companies that care. When you advertise, let people know this.

Most people won't change who mows their lawn unless there is a reason to. It has to make sense and the previous ideas are persuasive ways of convincing them.

You see adding value is what separates the good from the bad lawn business owner. The best from the better. Use some creativity and see if there is a combination of lawn services that could profitably work for you and appeal to your prospective customers.

The bottomline is there is a way to win, you just need to persist and find it.

Hope this helps!

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Tuesday

Lawn Business Marketing Tip: Your Competitors Will Hate You

Saturday

Lawn Care Business Video Tip: You Need a Reason Why

If you want to be truly successful, and I know most do, then you have to stop blaming others and situations and start taking responsibility for your life and lawn business. Hurdles and pitfalls are sure to meet you face-to-face but this short video reveals an often overlooked "little" secret that can help you conquer anything that comes your way.



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Thursday

How To Disaster Proof Your Grass Cutting Business

By Daniel Pepper

If you're a grass cutting business owner, you need to know how to protect your business.

In reality, there's no fool-proof trick to avoid an accident. Bad weather, employees, etc. are all potential causes for damage to your business.

The good news is that there are strategies to help you keep your head above water. Knowing what to do in the event of a business disaster is vital for you because lawn care is providing a level of livelihood for you. No mowing = no money.

So lets look at what you can do right now to disaster proof you grass cutting business. Start with this checklist to help build your disaster plan:

1. You Need a Plan

Yet again, few grass cutting business owners have given thought as to what they might do in the event of some sort of disaster that can effect their business. So do what the successful owners do, get a plan. Your plan should take into account as many variables as you can imagine and the solutions.

2. Set Aside Emergency Cash

This is a financial tip even outside of business - keep at least 3 to 6 months of living expenses that you can use in case you run into trouble. That way, should something happen you'll have money available to pay your bills and for the most part, keep things flowing. This is especially important if you have employees.

3. Back Up Your Computer

Although it seldom happens today, there are still situations that arise that leave grass cutting business owners in trouble because they lose valuable data to a crash computer. Back up your files on a regular basis. Create a routine. Some go to great lengths as to take store their backups in another location - such as at their home and if they have one, their office away from home. Make certain that should something happen to your business, your backup files are safely stored.

4. Don't Forget About Physical Documents

Keep your papers and records safely stored as well. Never overlook the protection of tangible lawn care business records. You never know...you may need them.

5. Insurance Is a Must

Keep your grass cutting business insured. The bigger your lawn business grows, the harder it
will fall. Talk with your insurance agent on a regular basis to make certain that your coverage is up to date. That's particularly true with a home-based business. Also, make sure your equipment at home is covered as well. Keep in mind that the extra money for guaranteed replacement coverage may not be all that bad. After all, if anything happens, you can leave your own money in your pocket.

6. Luck Favors the Prepared

Most don't believe in luck but I figured this last tip is a good one. Be prepared. If you're caught off guard, disaster can be terrible. Even the slightest awareness that something can happen and being ready for it can greatly limit damage to your lawn business in the event of a disaster. Let everyone that needs to know, what your disaster-proof plan is. Make certain your employees know what to do when disaster strikes (ie they get into a car accident). When lawn care business customers know you're ready for anything, that will build trust for your business.

Here's to your lawn mowing business success!

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Lawn care business expert, Daniel Pepper brings his own unique way of teaching others about the lucrative realm of starting and running a lawn business. He believes anyone can do it with the right advice.

Learn the secrets to how to start your grass cutting business right now!

Copyright SLC. All rights reserved.

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Are You Motivated About Your Lawn Business?

What's Driving You?

This post is a shorty but a goody.

Never trust a business opportunity promising that you'll make millions of dollars overnight with no effort. The idea sure sounds nice but it has an awful aftertaste.

If you hear a promise like that, run the other way.

In all fairness, you can make millions of dollars with your own lawn business - but it's going to take some 'seriously' smart work.

Notice I didn't say hard work. Everybody knows somebody who works hard but goes nowhere. I'm talking about working smart.

Part of that process of finishing 'first' above your competitors is developing your own motivation. This force inside of you will help you work hard at your lawn business no matter what you encounter.

If an employee calls in sick on a day when you need every one of your team, it doesn't matter. If your aerator blows up and you have to fork out $2500 (which you don't have) for a new one, it doesn't matter.

When I say it doesn't matter, what I mean is that it must not stop you.

Begin to think about the things that make you get excited and how you could enjoy them more because your profitable lawn business will help get you there. See yourself going on that dream vacation. See yourself buying that new vehicle. See yourself finishing school or paying off that debt that's been hanging over your head for years.

Whatever it is, see yourself experiencing it.

When I first started, my 'driving force' was getting my allowance.The joy of making quick money with my own lawn business. And since that was back in the days when the lawn industry wasn't as large as it is now, I had to do a lot of learning by trial and error, learning as I mowed, resulting in some very physically long days.

If I hadn't been so 'driven' about what I was doing, I would have probably thrown in the towel after round one and you wouldn't be reading this BLOG.

So do yourself a favor. Take a minute to think about and write down what drives you. This is a secret to help you keep moving when the going gets tough with your lawn business. You'll be amazed at how often you look at it for motivation.


Copyright Student Lawn Corporation 2007. All rights reserved.

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Sunday

There's No Profits With a Grass Cutting Business Until You Do Something

Get Moving!

You can start or grow your grass cutting business anytime you want but here's the catch --- you have to start.

You'll find that you won't accomplish anything if you wait for all
the possible objections to be overcome.

Really.

Knocking on that first door or making that first phone call. Mowing
the first lawn or putting that ad in the paper. People get scared and that fear paralyzes them from doing anything at all.

Do yourself a favor, don't let fear tell you how to live. Whatever it is that you must do, do it afraid if you must, but get moving.

Don't wait for things to change. Don't wait until you feel something. Don't wait until you have more money. Don't wait until you have more time, until you are less tired, until you settle down, until school is finished, until, until, until. Don't wait for a major event in your life to occur before you begin to work on your grass cutting business.


Start Today


Start where you are today. Begin right where you're at as you read this. The minutes you are wasting now, dreaming of some success, is crowded with tremendous possibilities right here, right now.

Even if it's snowing or raining as you read this, or it's the off season from the lawn services you carry out, you can still do a lot of preparation before the season comes around again and kicks into high gear.

When you take the first step, no matter if it's a big step or a small one like straightening your attitude out, your mind will mobilize all its forces to help you.

Once you have started, all that is within you and unknown forces around you will come to your assistance setting momentum in motion.

The only way to start down the road to lawn business success is to move your feet, one step at a time in the direction you want to go.

Any Day You Want


Any day you want you can discipline yourself to change it all. Your future is right in the palm of our own hand. Any day you want you can start on the path to a bigger, better, and much more profitable grass cutting business.

Copyright Student Lawn Corporation 2007. All rights reserved.

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Do You Have What It Takes To Make It With Lawn Care?

Find Out Now If You Have What It Takes...

My team and I have a job. That purpose is to persuade and prove
to you that, wherever you are in your life today, you too can
become wealthy with your very own lawn care business.

All you have to do is start now.

If you work hard enough, and do some of the things I recommend,
or others in this blog, you may even become very wealthy.

What you read in this blog should be taken with a grain of salt, but
for the most part the methods, techniques and strategies do work.

(My team and I moderate what is posted here and keep only the
good tips everyone submits...)

They have for me and countless others. There is no reason why
you too, cannot achieve your dreams.

If you are willing to take the time to learn how to attain it, you can
achieve what you set out to accomplish.

Most of the millionaires in the US are first-generation. That means
they are self-made.

Let me bring it down another level...they started with nothing.

They earned every penny by applying their talents and abilities to
the opportunities that they either discovered or created. It is
estimated that someone, somewhere in the United States,
becomes a millionaire every four minutes.

That is mind boggling when you stop and think about it.

But what these self-made success stories have done you can do
as well. Believe that no one is better than you and no one is
smarter than you. Those who are successful with a lawn care
business
are quite ordinary.

They are invariably honest, hardworking men and women who
have taken risks, developed expertise in their chosen fields and
refused to quit when the going got tough, as it always does.


Copy The Successful


Successful lawn care business owners are not very different
from you than you might think. They have simply used more of
their talents and done things in a different way from the majority
that have started out on their journey and given up.

The wonderful discovery is if you do what other successful,
wealthy lawn business owners do, over and over again, you will
eventually get the same results.

Contrary to popular belief, lawn business success is not a miracle,
nor is it based on luck. It is simply the law of sowing and reaping.

If you sow (you act on the information you learn), you will reap the rewards.

You've already got all you need.

If anyone tells you that running a profitable lawn care business is
impossible, they're lying.


Copyright Student Lawn Corporation 2007. All rights reserved.

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Saturday

Where In The World Is Your Lawn Care Business?

Where Ya From?

This post is for letting the world know where your lawn care business is operating. Let others know.

Daniel

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Lawn Business Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers

This is a post I started because there were so many people emailing us for advice about a lawn business that I want to make the questions and the answers to the questions available for everyone.

So go ahead and ask away!

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Thursday

Learn About and Understand Your Lawn Service Customers

Do You Know Your Lawn Service Customers?


Contrary to popular belief, your lawn service customers are not hard to figure out and impossible to understand. This is a flat out lie.

Customers are something you can learn about and understand.

You should research your customers and find out all that you can about them. Knowledge is power and it is also profits to you.

If you take enough time to sit down and think about your customer's buying behaviors, you'll come up with creative ways to fill your lawn care business with good, quality customers.

Noticed I said "good" customers. Those people who pay on time and refer others to you.


IT'S UP TO YOU


It's up to you to get stirred up enough to step out and begin to study your lawn service customers. From the moment they contact your business!

If it's their first time contacting you, find out where they saw your ad and why they called. Go from there.

If it's not their first time contacting you, thank them for returning and find out what compelled them to return.


THE MORE YOU KNOW -- THE BETTER



The more you know about your customers, the better it will be for your lawn service business. The more profitable you will become.

Prepare to win. Knowing and understanding your customers is preparing to win.

Start from when they first contact you and never stop learning. If you've already been in business for awhile, start today. Don't skip a beat. Start on your journey to understand your customers.

The more you know, the richer you will be because you will focus on the areas that have been bringing in your customers. You will leave the unprofitable avenues alone.


Copyright Student Lawn Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Lawn Maintenance Advertising Tips

DON'T JUST SELL YOUR LAWN MAINTENANCE SERVICE

If you want to attract the good and okay customer that will add toyour profits, you must use advertising to project high value -- this is a secret of lawn maintenance advertising.

You want customers on your roster that are smart enough to understand that a higher price can be well worth it if they get genuine value for their money.

Even as you read this, any lawn maintenance advertising you have going right now isattracting a specific type of customer whether you realize it or not.


START HERE

As I learned and am now suggesting to you, the first place to start when designing a high value ad for your lawn maintenance service is, whatever you do, don't just sell the service.

If you are just selling your lawn maintenance service and no other benefit to the customer you are putting yourself in the trap of being a commodity where the cheapest price wins.

If customers see no difference and no benefit in choosing your lawn maintenance business over another then they would be foolish paying moremoney for the exact same service that they could get from a competitor.


DON'T FALL FOR THIS LIE


A lot of lawn maintenance business owners complain that they are in a market in the country where customers only care about getting the cheapest price.

But take any market, any business category, there are businesses that are at the highest price. I've seen several situations in which 2 lawn maintenance business owners, one is convinced that they are only selling a commodity for the cheapest price and the other is selling in the same market at a much higher price.


THIS IS HOW YOU PRICE HIGH


To price yourself at the high end of your market you have to add things to your lawn maintenance services that are more important than just the lowest price.

Let me give you an example. Keep in mind that there a few different types of lawn care service purchasers...

Many people like unique gifts. There are quite a few stories of peoplewandering the malls looking for that last minute special gift.

What do you think would happen if this type of purchaser had seenan ad like:

"Use ABC Mowing's annual reminder service to never rushfor a last minute gift. Give a unique gift and make them smile."

Really picture this. A lawn maintenance business that helps pick a purchase.When that person makes the purchase the lawn care business keeps iton file. They phone the person a few days after the lawn service iscarried out and ask how the person liked the gift.

1 year later they call again and email a couple of gift choices that match last year's lawn care service. They will give a couple of price range options and will have the gift lawn service ready to go as soon as the person says go ahead.

Dumb idea you think?

It's better to have a list of 200 people to remind than be waiting around for people to call because of an ad that says 50% OFF first lawn service.


SELL CONVENIENCE


Don't just sell a lawn maintenance service. Sell the convenience. In the example above, it was the convenience of buying and giving aunique gift.

This is a simple, new way to look at your business. You get the picture.

Continually think of ways for your lawn maintenance business to stand out. A lot of your competitors are too lazy or distracted to do the extra things that drive more business in.

I agree, adding on extra services is a pain. But being broke and fighting for scraps of customers with competitors who offer theexact same thing is a much, much bigger pain.

I'd rather suffer the pain of being innovative and so should you.


Copyright Student Lawn Corporation 2007. All rights reserved.

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What Is a Lawn Mowing Business?

Good Old Hard Work

A lawn mowing business happened to be the very first business I dared to start with. I am no exception to the rule so, like most mowing business owners, I had to figure things out the hard way. Contrary to popular belief, I didn't know anything about the business at all nor did anyone take me under their arm and teach me. I just learned to push the mower and trim as fast and effectively as I could.

If you think you need to know lots to start your own lawn mowing business - you've been lied to. Remember, I didn't know much at all but over time I got the swing of things. And because I did, building a successful and profitable mowing business will be much easier for you than it was for me. After all, you are now discovering all my experience for the fraction of the price it cost me in more ways than one.


What Is a Lawn Mowing Business?


In essence, a lawn mowing business is an art. I find myself calling what I do 'lawn art' and my paintbrushes are the lawn mower and trimmer. Is it so crazy to call someone who mows a lawn a 'lawn artist'? After all, anyone can push a lawn mower but not everyone can make it look good.

Generally speaking (not taking into consideration chemical applications), the non-artsy, and down to earth description of a lawn mowing business, is the cutting, trimming, and power blowing of a property.

You spread the word of the lawn care service you offer. Interested people ask you to give them a quote and if everything sounds good they hire you to take care of their lawn - and so your business grows.

The potential for your client list is not just residential but also commercial. Even the grass on gas station properties and similar commercial sites needs to be maintained.

You can choose to have your hands in both pies. It's up to you. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Once you have all the facts, you decide for yourself what you want to do.

Essentially, a lawn mowing business will give you a sense of pride while earning a ton of cash.


How Much Money Can You Make?


Let me give you a stark basic example. In other words I won't be factoring in the minimal daily expenses such as fuel etc. For all I know these lawns could all be on one street or under two minutes from each other.

Take an average lawn and attach a $25 price to mow it. If you can mow one average lawn in one hour that's $25/hr. If you mow 8 average lawns in a day that's a $200 pay day, $1000/week, and $4000/month.

If you double those numbers - mow 2 average lawns an hour - you'll pocket $400/day, $2000/week, and $8000/month.

This was just an example. Keep in mind you're going to find out techniques for making money with other services. My hope is that you make what you set out as a goal to make.

For the most part even just $1000/week isn't too shabby. As you can see, the numbers just keep going higher. Even this isn't the only good point to mowing for money - there's many more.

Obviously, this isn't rocket science. What you need to do is find some great information that teaches you how to start, run, and grow a lawn mowing business and then take ACTION!

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