Are you looking for ideas on how to take your lawn mowing business to the next level? Do you seek more work or are in need of a change of scenery? If so, this article is for you.
Throughout the article we refer to “groundskeeping”, which, in general, involves more than lawn mowing. Groundskeepers can have a variety of duties like landscaping, maintenance and repairs. Nevertheless, chances are you already do more than mowing lawns and you can always negotiate with your potential clients regarding how far your duties can extend.
Contract for Resorts
Among the concrete jungle that takes over urban areas, luxurious resorts often provide green oases that can be gold mines for a lawn care business.
This is ironic, because said resorts can also contribute quite a bit towards the concrete desert. Nevertheless, high-end hotels are in a never-ending competition to provide the best experience to their guests, which includes luscious gardens, sports fields, and even exotic flora and fauna.
Depending on where you operate, you might have access to a vast market of hotels, resorts, amusement parks, etc.
One potential downside of doing groundskeeping for hotels is that it is pretty much a seasonal job. This is not to say that their amenities won’t need maintenance during the winter, but you won’t be as busy as during the active season. On the upside, if your lawn care business lands a contract with a resort, you can use the low season to bring variety to your job by serving other areas. Another potential positive when working with a large resort is that you might have access to cutting-edge (pun intended) tools. This can be a huge relief when dealing with large areas.
You don't need to be a sports fan to appreciate the pristine greens of high-profile sports arenas. Perhaps the most famous example of supreme turf care is Wimbledon, where the preparation for the next tournament begins as soon as the current one ends.
Of course, there are plenty of other sports arenas, including here in Australia, where you can take your lawn mowing venture to the next level. Despite advances in artificial turf, playing on a perfectly-trimmed natural green field is still revered in many places. Perfect examples are the national rugby team's HBF Park, the Flemington Racecourse, which hosts the annual Melbourne Cup race, and Brisbane’s Gabba.
If your ambition is to grow professionally, and your end goal is a managerial position, you'll also benefit from some relevant education. There are a host of organisations that provide greenkeeping training. The Australian Golf Course Superintendents' Association is one such entity.
Naturally, landing a contract at the MCG would be quite competitive. Hence, if your lawn mowing business so far has been limited to standard house yards, you'll need to get some relevant experience. So, before pitching your offer to the prominent places, you can try your hand at smaller, local sports ground.
Public areas—such as parks, recreational zones, and governmental buildings—are other places where your work can be on a proud display. As cities aim to go “greener”, this is one area where your business can flourish, so keep updated on your local nature-related initiatives.
Unless you get a contract specifically for lawn mowing, the position of a public area groundskeeper might also involve other tasks such as watering, fertilising, and maintaining markings.
Overall, when dealing with public area groundskeeping, chances are you will be doing business with municipalities and institutions that outsource their landscaping needs. This is a great chance to expand your business with solid contracts. However, keep in mind that working with public/state entities can be subject to different requirements and regulations than when working in the private residential sector.
What’s more, maintaining a city’s recreational areas is not a one-person job. You might need to hire extra help if you are aiming for a “bulk-job” contract. You also need to make it clear beforehand which party will be responsible for providing machines, tools, and other equipment.
Schools and universities might count as public areas, but upkeeping their grounds calls for a separate point. They pack a lot of people in a limited space, which means there is denser traffic than in, say, a park. This means that you might have to perform your duties among a bunch of people, which can take some adaption if you are used to doing your job in isolation. Although, you’ll most likely be able to arrange a schedule that’s coordinated with the classes to minimises interference.
Depending on the size and type of school/university, a position as a groundskeeper can involve quite diverse tasks that go beyond landscaping.
The unmatched benefit of working your lawn mowing/landscaping business at a school, is that you can witness all these students grow and develop. Abc.net.au published an article featuring three school groundskeepers, and all of them said that no day is alike at their job. "The fun part is never knowing what's going to come up during the day," said Michael Scheer, a groundskeeper at St. Ambrose's School, Newmarket.
Do you know a business in your area that can make use of your lawn mowing services?
This is more of a general category, but corporate sites are everywhere, which makes them prime candidates for your lawn care/landscape/groundskeeping business.
It is not only public institutions that are booming with “green” projects—the same is true of the corporate world as well. You could say that private businesses are at the forefront of undertaking a variety of activities to bring nature closer to the office. Of all the ideas laid out here, this one is probably the one that will present you with most opportunities, as businesses are abundant and everywhere. On top of that, the employee-centric model, which is becoming key in the business world, means that companies are in a constant competition to offer the most lucrative working environment to current and potential employees. This includes lush green spaces, which require regular maintenance and the potential for lucrative contracts.