Starting a lawn care company is an exciting prospect, but can be challenging, as there are many obstacles along the way that can prevent success. The earlier stages of the business are often the most difficult as you work to set the groundwork and structure. Before you worry about growing your business, however, make sure you have the proper funding you need to start bringing in revenue.
Invest in the Right Tools
Before you secure any investors or apply for a loan, it’s important to make sure any funding you receive will be put to use in an organized and efficient manner. Not having the proper funding from the start can make or break it. In the lawn care business, inefficient routing and inaccurate invoicing can be the difference between success and failure.
Investing in software to help with scheduling, routing, time tracking, and invoicing will deliver a return on investment that will allow you to put money towards other equipment and tools needed to scale your business. The rising cost of materials in today’s market is causing businesses to either adapt or fail. Investing in tools and systems that improve efficiency and profitability will help mitigate some of the risks of operating within the ever-changing market environment.
Explore Loan Options
Loans can be a great opportunity to get access to the funds you need to start your business, provided you don’t take on too great a debt. You’ll need to consider when the business will become profitable and how large of a loan you’re willing to take on. There are a few different types of loans available to business owners:
The US Small Business Administration connects businesses with approved lenders that offer loans as small as $500 to as large as $5.5 million. The process is fairly straightforward and you can find all the lenders they guarantee on the website. You won’t have to worry about the legitimacy of lenders since all of them have been vetted by the SBA.
Personal loans can be used for just about anything, including your budding business. Research your options and try to get the lowest interest rate possible. Before applying, you’ll need to make sure you have the minimum credit score for a personal loan.
If you don’t meet the requirements, making regular on-time payments on your credit card will increase your score over time. You can use this type of loan to cover equipment and material costs, or even payroll for a short period of time.
Loans From Friends & Family
Given the right circumstances, getting funding from friends and family can be a viable option as well. You can come to a shared agreement about the amount and interest rate much quicker than dealing with a larger organization.
You’ll have to pay it back either way, but keep in mind that getting funding through friends and family might put pressure on you that you don’t want. If you choose this route, make sure you’re asking for a reasonable amount and one that won’t ruin them financially if your business were to go under.
Consider Investors and Donations
If investment from friends and family isn’t an option, you can still ask them if they know any investors that would be willing to have a conversation with you. If you have a professional presence on Linkedin, reach out to people that are connected to the startup investment community. Explore your community for any business or investment-related events that you could attend to get exposure.
There are funding options accessible online that bring investors and aspiring business owners together. Angel investment networks are another way to get in touch with the right people. The lawn and irrigation business model may not attract many investors in the crowdfunding space, but you might be able to find individual investors that have experience in the same industry that are looking to invest.
Keep Tax Breaks in Mind
In the early stages of your business, you’ll want to take advantage of any tax savings you can get. The IRS describes three categories that are considered tax-deductible. One is the costs associated with starting a business. Another is preparation costs for opening the business, and finally, organizational costs.
The specifics of what is and what isn’t tax-deductible can get pretty in-depth, so do some more reading on that topic and consult a CPA for further assistance. These startup tax breaks are something you’ll only be able to take advantage of once, so make sure you fully utilize this as you’re starting your business.
You have plenty of funding options available to you, but it’s up to you to decide how much of the company you’re willing to give up to investors, and how much risk you want to take in the form of debt. Business loans are great for small businesses just getting started and can be supplemented by a personal loan if needed. Investors and crowdfunding options are also a great way to get the financial support you need as you build your business.