Different Types of Lawn Mowers Explained

There are many different kinds of lawn mowers.

Once you begin looking towards getting a new mower you will probably lookup some lawn mower reviews and very quickly discover that you’ve many options available to you, along with the specific type of lawn mower (for example cost, size, and the like). That said, it’s fair to say that the type of mower you are considering purchasing is the primary factor involved. Cost, size, and everything else becomes unimportant if you start searching for commercial zero-turn mowers when you happen to just have a 20ft lawn.

It is essential to undertake a brief analysis of the various sorts of lawn mowers and lawn tractors before you start checking through reviews, allowing you to grasp the basic facts surrounding them; like if, for example, the mower you are wanting to buy runs on a horizontal axis (known as a cylinder, or reel mower) or vertical axis (termed as a rotary mower). Just below are my different types of lawn mower reviews.

Reel/cylinder (horizontal axis) – Reel/cylinder mowers may be human-powered, but they are often joined together with an internal combustion engine.
As the most well liked commercial walk behind mowers (a lawn mower you push); the horizontal mower blade axis can make reel/cylinder mowers a superb all-rounder. They’d be of little use on commercial lawns, however for a small household lawn they are excellent.

Rotary (vertical axis) – Vertical rotary blades are incredibly powerful, and consequently typically they must be powered by an interior combustion engine. That said, electric rotary mowers have grown to be ever more common.

The primary down side to rotary mowers is because of the vertical axis they do not collect the grass cuttings. You will have to leave the cutting on the ground unless you wish to bag them to keep the newly cut lawn looking uncluttered.

Like with reel/cylinder mowers, the majority of these would be of very little use on commercial lawns, but for a compact home lawn they’re ideal.

Hover – Hover mowers are energized rotary push lawn mowers that make use of a turbine engine over the rotating blades to force air down so to produce an air cushion, lifting the mower above the ground.

Hover mowers are excellent for massive commercial lawns, parks and fields, and even for excessive grass areas. They are also equipped excellently to cut things such as shrubs due to their ability to hover.

Ride-on (also known as riding, or lawn tractors) – These are typically really popular for substantial commercial lawns, school fields and parks. The person working with the mower can sit atop it, operating the mower and literally riding it.

Nearly all riding mowers use the horizontal (reel) rotating blade system, accompanied by a lot of blades.

Lawn Care Business Flyer Design and Distribution Tips

There are many ways to go about promoting a new or existing lawn care business. One of the traditional low cost methods that has been popular in the industry is advertising via flyers.

When researching advertising methods for your lawn business you may find that many people are saying that flyers are no longer an effective advertising method in the 21st century. While this method may not be effective in certain areas, countless lawn care business owners across the country are still having success with this method so it is definitely worth a try before you right it off.

In this article we offer some advice on how to go about putting together effective flyers for your lawn company and how to go about getting them out there for prospects to read.

Free Lawn Care Business Flyer Templates

You may consider having your flyers professionally designed but for those starting up or running on a strict budget there are numerous free flyer templates available online that you can customize to the needs of your own business. Using this method along with free distribution methods means that you can virtually undertake a campaign for free and only have to consider printing or photocopying expenses. You can also design your own using a word processing program like ‘Microsoft Word’.

Elements of Good Lawn Business Flyer Design

1) Don’t underestimate the importance of a great headline as without one the entire flyer is likely to be discarded without being read. Don’t make the mistake of using the name of your lawn mowing business in the headline but rather use a headline that is interesting, arouses the customers curiosity, gives them an attractive offer or let’s them know what you can do for them and how well you can do it.

2) Be sure that your flyer copy includes a strong call to action. If customers read it once it is unlikely that they will read it again so try to inspire them to pick up the phone right away by offering them a ‘limited time’ offer.

3) Unless it would result in complications with your printing method you may as well use both sides of your flyers. While one side can be promotional the other side could be more informational and feature more precise details about your lawn maintenance services.

4) Keep your flyers clean, neat and uncluttered. Make sure that all the information and contact details are correct before you go and print thousands of copies with mistakes in them.

5) If you are planning on running flyer campaigns to advertise your lawn care business over many years then it will pay to do some testing. Try out different headings, offers, styles and layouts and track results so that you can find out what works best.

6) Consider stapling one of your business cards to your flyer. While people are likely to throw a flyer away they are much more likely to file a business card away for future reference and a business card will add a professional element to your ad. Some lawn care owners now prefer smaller promotional pieces on cardboard that are more like the size of a postcard and find that people respond better to these than they do with traditional full sized flyers.

Distribution

1) While going door to door distributing flyers can still work well you must check first with your local post office about what is acceptable as some areas have ordinances regulating unsolicited mail. Handing flyers directly to prospects in person will usually be more effective anyway so look for people who are out in their gardens, strike up a conversation with them and hand them a flyer if things go well.

2) Give each of your existing clients a few flyers and ask them to pass them on to friends and family if they have been satisfied with your service. Let them know that you are trying to expand your business and would really appreciate it if they wouldn’t mind mentioning you to people that they know with lawns. If you know the client quite well and you are not too pushy with the way you do it then this approach can work wonders.

3) There are places that will let you post your lawn care business flyers for free. By putting flyers on community notice boards outside libraries, schools, churches and any other organizations that you may belong to you help to add to your exposure.

4) Consider placing some of your flyers under the windscreen wipers of cars that are parked on the street or in parking lots in your area. Proceed cautiously here though as this practice is frowned upon in some areas and you may be held liable if your flyers end up scattered all over the street.

5) Join forces with other local service businesses and promote multiple businesses on the same flyer. If each business that is involved puts in the same effort into distributing them then your exposure will be much greater (even if it is diluted down a little be sharing the space with other companies).

6) It takes good a number of views before an advertisement usually sinks into a consumer’s mind. For this reason it is foolish to run campaigns just once but rather you should be trying to hit people again and again with the same message.

Whatever you do, try to make your flyer the one that will stand out above all the others and avoid having it immediately deposited into the trash by the reader. Get your lawn care business off to the best possible start by testing flyers out as a means of promoting your business.

How to Start and Run a Successful Lawn Care & Landscape Business

Before you “Hang your Shingle”

Plan? We don’t need no stinking plan! There is only one time I personally recommend you do a “full fledged” business plan. When you need to borrow money that you CANNOT get anywhere else. I say this because a true business plan, though a “map” to where you’re going, has much information you won’t really need, use or understand. I favor Marc Allen’s’ approach called the “one page plan”.

I suggest you read the Millionaire Course by Marc Allen to get a better feel for it, but here’s the basics.

• Write down your ideal scene, set five years in the future.
• Write down your goals (extracted from ideal scene).
• Turn your goals into positive, personal, present-tense affirmations.
• Deal with doubts and fears effectively (the book provides a specific process for this).
• Write simple plans for your goals on paper.
• Take the most obvious first action right in front of you, and keep going from there.

So you basically write down your ideal scene, be brave and be outrageous. Then scan this document for “goals” that you can write down. Then write down specific tasks you can take to accomplish these goals. Remember, beginning has boldness! And hard work is simply a bunch of easy stuff that didn’t get done when it should’ve!

Who are you? Who are your clients?

Define your market – define yourself: Who are you as a company? Are you the guy who specializes in cemeteries and schools and other municipal properties? Or are you the one who takes care of that “select group” of wealthy, particular clients who very few have the skill and patience to serve? It’s SO important to define yourself FIRST or you’ll have a “mixed bag” of clients and you’ll make many errors in judgment as to how to serve each type. You can be general or specific, but start defining now.

We cater to middle to upper – middle class, middle to old age, particular but not “spoiled”. This is where we experience the best money, most enjoyment and greatest client satisfaction. On the corporate side, we cater to small properties who are loyal to a company who gives great service. We want companies that say “Ok, he did our property JUST the way we liked it last year, I see no reason to go anywhere else”. I stay away from companies that put their properties out to bid every year. You MIGHT keep the job if you give “knock em’ dead” service, but chances are, saving money will always win in the end. I Stick with small and loyal, and that just works for us.

DO occasionally take clients “above” your target, just not below. Defining yourself is another way of setting your “terms”. For instance, our rate is our rate. We don’t dicker. We say HOW the work gets done, the client gets to dictate the end result. I am paid on time. I do what’s best for my family, I live by the golden rule and I clean up my messes and take 100% responsibility for my life. Notice there are no “or else’s” at the end, no “back doors”. THEN they would be called “conditions”. These are NOT conditions, they are “terms”. There is no room for any alternative and we do not give the alternative space to exist. Period. Most of your personal terms would be the same whether you were married, single, childless or patriarch over a brood of 11. They “define” you, and adhering to them strengthens you and compromising them weakens you.

Metaphysically speaking, when you define yourself, you invoke the great “I AM”. When you firmly define yourself, you will begin to find situations drawn to you that fit your definition. You’ll get calls from the “right” clients, you’ll be in the “right” place for the president of the condo association to stop and talk to you, you’ll happen to be the ONLY contractor that answered his phone that day when the new homeowner next door calls.

Pick two and “Know the WHY?”

Pick Two: This is extremely important! There are 3 things you can offer; low price, great service, great quality. You can only offer TWO out of the three. What are they going to be? If it’s great service and quality, don’t you DARE let clients dicker with you on price. Trying to offer all 3, OR offering a “different 2” from one day to the next will do you in quicker than almost any bad business decision you can make. Who are you? It’s ok to change your mind as you go along, just be clear as to why. Be clear on who you are.

I’m clear that I’m all about quality and service, which is why I hire subs and am “stepping back”. All my successful business decisions can be traced back to a decision to follow these two choices. All or most of my poor decisions can be traced back to a time that I “waffled” and forgot who I was.

Know the Why!: Know what you’re going to charge and WHY. You MUST feel that there’s a reason you charge $40, $60 or $80 per hour or you’ll let yourself be talked out of it. Know WHY you’re in business. What are your goals, what are you trying to accomplish? Where are you going? Another word for “WHY” is “purpose”, and purpose gives the needed energy and passion to everything. Passion is really all you need to get going and STAY going through all sorts of conditions. Passion leads to perseverance. Perseverance leads to success. Perseverance is “heard” by God and the universe as “Hey, this is what I want and where I’m going, regardless of whatever obstacles I encounter”. This is also crucial in budgeting. Know how you came up with your numbers. Do the extra work. Instead of just saying “I want to grow 20% next year”, figure out what needs to happen to accomplish that. How many lawns do I need to get? Make sure you BELIEVE that you can do it, and you understand what needs to HAPPEN for you to do it and your chances will skyrocket.

Sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC or corporation? This is one of those questions that can ONLY be answered firmly by a lawyer or tax specialist (you do have an accountant don’t you?!) But I’ll put my 2 cents in here. I believe that ONCE YOU ARE MAKING A GOOD PROFIT, an Scorp is the best way to go for the following reasons:

1. It disciplines you to keep company and personal money separate because you HAVE to pay yourself a paycheck and CANNOT commingle funds.

2. As you make more profit, you get to dictate your paycheck and leave the rest of the profit in the company which simply gets taxed at your rate. For instance, if you are a sole proprietorship, and you make $50,000 profit you have to pay state and fed taxes PLUS social security and Medicare (self employment tax) of 15.3% (you and company side). If you are an Scorp instead, you pay yourself $30,000 and pay all those taxes on it, then JUST pay state and fed on the remaining $20,000, saving $3,060!! Setting up an Scorp is pretty straight forward.

I would say that as long as your GROSS is $100,000 or less and your net before tax profit (including money you pay yourself as wages) is $30,000 or less, you should stay either a sole proprietorship OR LLC. Consult your lawyer and accountant on these matters first though.

A couple of points about incorporating:

• DON’T buy expensive ledger and corporate package. It’s only a fancy 3 ring binder and corporate seal. Google “corporate seal” if you really want one, but my understanding is that they are no longer necessary.
• DO spend 50-60 on an incorporating package OR a program like LLC maker because it just simplifies and clarifies everything for you. IF you are comfortable researching, go ahead, but my advice is that if you can run a business, you can incorporate yourself without a lawyer. I just bought a “maintenance package” that includes minutes and bylaws to keep everything tidy and legal.

That’s it for now!