Starting a lawn mowing business can be a very worthwhile idea if you know what you’re doing. After all, there will always be grass and it’ll always need mowing. 

But before you get started, there are a few things you should know about that could have a big impact on your success. 

In this guide, we’ll be covering some essential knowledge that everybody should know before starting a lawn mowing business. We’ll cover financial guidance on things like:

  • How much you can expect to make
  • Insurance
  • Equipment costs

And we’ll also cover more general things like:

  • Working hours
  • Working seasons
  • Industry competition
  • Economic risks 

How much you can expect to make

As a standard rate for your lawn mowing business, you can expect to charge anywhere from £10 – £40 per hour for your services. 

The amount you charge will vary depending on:

  • Other lawn mowing businesses in your area – you will have to offer a similar, or lower, price if you want to compete. 
  • The kind of property – residential properties (like people’s gardens) tend to be charged at a lower rate than large commercial lawns (like football pitches and parks).
  • The amount of work you get from each customer – most lawn mowing businesses will offer discounts to customers who agree to repeat contracts. 
  • The level of service – you can charge more for added extras like strimming, hedge cutting, leaf blowing, or fine detailed work. 

Insurance

Insurance is a must for lawn mowing businesses. You’ll be operating expensive, somewhat dangerous, equipment on private property, so there are a number of insurance policies you should consider. 

Most insurance brokers will offer tailored insurance policies depending on your industry, but generally, these are the most common insurance policies you might need:

  • Public liability insurance – covers claims made by the public for personal injuries, or loss or damaged property, that occur in connection with your business.
  • Professional indemnity insurance – if your business gives advice or offers a professional service to other businesses, or if you deal with client data or intellectual property.
  • Employers’ liability insurance – If your business employs staff.
  • Business buildings insurance 
  • Business contents insurance – protect the contents of your business premises, your business equipment and tools.
  • Stock insurance – If you hold any stock, whether on your premises or in storage.
  • Product liability insurance – protects you should a customer of yours suffer damage as a result of a faulty product you provide
  • Personal accident insurance 
  • Business interruption insurance – If your business is disrupted by material damage caused by an event such as a flood or fire.
  • Business legal protection insurance – covers your commercial legal expenses and protects against the potential costs of legal action brought by or against your business.

Equipment

Equipment is going to be your biggest start-up cost. You’ll want good quality equipment that can handle full days of work in the heat, for several months on the go. 

You can pretty much everything on our list from Amazon, but there are also dedicated gardening supply websites like Toolden that should have everything you need. 

Lawnmower

The star of the show, a new lawnmower will set you back anywhere between £100 – £600. The cheaper ones tend to be electric mowers that aren’t really suitable for heavy-duty work. 

Grass edger

For tidying up the grass along paths. A manual one will only cost about £10 – £20, whereas an electric one could cost anywhere between £70 – £150. 

Strimmer

Like your lawnmower, the cheaper ones probably aren’t what you’re looking for, so a decent strimmer will cost between £200 – £600. 

Truck or van

A vehicle will be your biggest expense. It needs to be reliable and big enough to store all your other equipment. It could cost anywhere between £15,000 and £30,000 for a new one. A second-hand van will obviously be cheaper, and hiring one will cost between £150 and £250 per month. 

Safety gear 

These are prices from either end of the scale for basic safety equipment. 

  • Safety goggles – £5 – £15
  • Ear protection – £5 – £20
  • Gardening gloves – £3 – £20

This is just a basic set of starter items that you’ll need for every job, but you’ll probably find you add to this list as you go on. 

To be safe, probably set aside about £200 in total to account for all the bits and bobs you’ll end up buying. 

Working hours

In the UK, there are specific rules about when you can carry out noisy activities like lawn mowing and construction. Work like this should only be performed during ‘sociable hours’. 

The National Society for Clean Air and Environmental Protection defines sociable hours as being from 8 am to 7 pm on weekdays and Saturdays, and 10 am to 5 pm on Sundays. 

Avoid working before or after these times, unless you want noise complaints from angry neighbours. This is a UK wide rule, but different local councils might have different rules, so it’s always worth double-checking for the specific region you’re working in.

Working seasons

This one might sound obvious, but lawn mowing is not a year-round job. In the UK, the best you can hope for is work drying up around late October and starting up again in March. 

If you don’t want to lose customers during this time period, you can pivot your business into different gardening services that matter as the weather gets colder and wetter. 

Economic risks

Unfortunately, hiring a private lawn mowing service is a bit of a luxury expense. So, when the economy is struggling, people are probably going to choose to mow their own lawns instead of hiring a professional. 

There’s not much you can do about this other than keep an eye on the economic landscape and prepare for the worst if things do take a bad turn. 

Manage your finances with Countingup

Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.