How to Start a Lawn Mowing Business

During the spring, summer and early fall months, this is a great time of year for those who are in the lawn mowing service business. A person can find many people who want their lawns mowed and trimmed. These people are willing to pay for this type of service because of their busy lifestyles or because of health issues that prevent them from keeping their lawns mowed and trimmed.

Many people mow their lawns during the summer for extra money, and with good reason. Whether families are too busy to take care of their lawn, don’t enjoy the work, or any number of other reasons, many are willing to pay to make their lawns look nice.

Whether you’re a student in need of a summer job or an adult looking to make some seasonal money, lawn mowing is a solid business. And the best part? You don’t even have to do the work (at least not for long).

How can you tap this lucrative service market?


Before you solicit business, it’s a good idea to round up some reliable workers. Your best bet? Local college students (or very mature high school students). Local students work best because they don’t leave for the summer. If they’re in school, you can recruit friends and classmates. If you’re an adult, you can ask your friends for suggestions. Students are great for this kind of work because they usually have access to a car and usually don’t try to negotiate pay (and a few other reasons you’ll learn about below). Start with four reliable students and you’re on your way.


Now that you’ve staffed your lawn mowing business, it’s time to get…well, business. Your newfound staff can help in that regard. Make up some simple fliers, assign your students routes (in upscale neighborhoods) and have them drop the fliers off at the houses on their routes (in the storm doors – it’s illegal to put them in mail boxes). Church bulletin boards, civic groups and word-of-mouth are other excellent ways to nab clients. Your job, as business owner, is to schedule the days and times for your workers to mow your clients’ lawns.


While you could provide equipment to your staff, the upfront investment would start your enterprise at a deficit. Your staff of students will likely have easy access to their families’ own equipment (mower, weed whacker, pruning sheers, trimmers, rakes, etc.). Some seasonal lawn mowing business owners will only hire those who have their own equipment. If you’re going to provide the essential tools of the trade, you’ll be able to find most – if not all – of the equipment at yard (or barn, or garage) sales for very little money.

Minding the books

Your workers will need to be paid. So will you. Keep track of the income coming in, how much you paid out and any expenses along the way. You’ll need this information for tax purposes as well as a way to gauge your success. How you mind your lawn mowing business books is entirely up to you. If you’re comfortable with a spiral notebook, use that. If you’re at ease using a spreadsheet, then use that. No matter how you do it, minding the books is essential.

Income potential

How much can you expect to make from your seasonal lawn mowing business? Well, let’s say you have four students working for you. Let’s also say that you only charge $20 per lawn per week (which would be very conservative – even for a small lawn).

Since you’re the business owner, let’s hypothetically say you’ll take 25% of the fees. Finally, let’s say that you schedule an average of four lawns per student per day (averaged due to rain and other bad weather). Your workers will make $60 per day (or $300 per week) while you’ll be making $80 per day (or $400 per week). Given a mowing season of May 1 – October 1, you’re looking at taking home $8,000! The best part? You won’t even have to touch a lawn mower!

Of course, you may want more people to handle more business. And depending on the location of your business, you’ll need to adjust how much you charge (up or down). But no matter how you slice it, owning and operating a seasonal lawn mowing business is an easy way to make some annual cash – especially since other people are doing all the work.

While this was more than 30 years ago, starting your own lawn mowing business can still be a profitable home business for anyone. It really doesn’t take much money to start a lawn mowing business. Now your thinking “Yea right, this can cost more than you think.” Seriously, it doesn’t cost as much as you think to start a lawn mowing business. The initial investment to start a lawn mowing service is a push lawn mower, a gas can, and lawn mower oil.

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