There are many articles out there about starting a lawn care business; for any number of business ideas there is a plan for each. While you could start a business without a plan, it’s not really a great idea. One of the most important things that a business plan provides you is a blueprint of what your business is and what you intend to do with it. In the life of every business there come hurdles and roadblocks to cross and the plan you write will be just as fluid as your business as it grows. Below is a list of the sections of the average business plan and what each section covers. This is by no means a comprehensive outline but a general outline of what information you will need to start a lawn care business.
- Executive Summary: This is the first section of the plan and is the last part written. The executive summary is just that, a rundown of all of the sections written as an overview of the entire plan.
- Industry Overview: This overview covers what your business is, which is in this case lawn care. It shows estimated industry sales, who the main players are (Lawn Doctor/US Lawns) and finally where your business falls within the industry.
- Market Analysis: Who are you going to sell to? Market analysis covers your products and services, as well as where you are going to offer them, who you are offering them to (demographics), what the general needs of your market segment are and how they are currently being met.
- Competitive Analysis: When you are starting a lawn care business you need to know who your competition is. This analysis covers your direct competitors (businesses who are offering the same services as yourself) and your indirect competition (businesses who offer the same services but as an add-on to their main business.) Also included in this section are the barriers to entering the market and how you propose to overcome them.
- Marketing Plan: This is a detailed plan for products, services, and pricing as well as your advertising and any potential promotions you will run.
- Management Plan: Your management plan covers several things beyond just who your management team is. It also contains your external resources, your legal structure as well as what your human resource needs are.
- Operating Plan: This covers your capital equipment, business location, facilities, and what type of employees you will need when starting a lawn care business. Additionally, it shows what your inventory needs are and who your suppliers will be, as well as any other information related to the operating of your business.
- Financial Plan: One of the most important pieces of your plan, the financial plan outlines your funding needs, your current assets, detailed financial statements and often a financial statement analysis as well. Also, any funding source will want to see your 1st year projections by month, 2nd year by quarter, and then a 5 year projection showing at what point you break even and start to make a profit.
This outline is not by any means a comprehensive list that is a replacement for sitting down with a counselor at your local Small Business Administration (SBA) nor is it a replacement for working with a potential franchiser. It does offer you an excellent place to start when you start a new lawn care business!