Kid entrepreneurs are amazing because you have the drive to succeed and the creative ideas to do it! Starting a business doing yard work is excellent because your parents likely already have the tools on hand, so the startup cost isn’t as high as other business ideas.
If you live in a neighborhood of primarily single-family homes, there is huge potential to earn some extra money if you are willing to knock on doors, put up fliers, and do professional work so homeowners will spread the word about your services.
Now that you know you want to start a yard work business, let’s talk about how to do it!
How to Get Started Building a Yard Work Business as a Kid
Determine what services you want to offer. Do you know how to use a leaf blower or an edge trimmer? If you do or are willing to learn, this is an additional service you can offer on top of the yard mowing. Another option could be weeding or laying mulch. The services you offer will determine what tools you need to get started with.
Get your tools together. Ensure you have all of the tools you need to get started and that all tools are in good working order. If tools need to be maintained or repaired, get this done before advertising your services. As your business grows, be sure to keep your equipment in good condition or invest in new tools.
Set your hours. Talk to your parents and determine what hours per day you will be available and how far away from your home you can work. Depending on your age, your parents may want to go with you to jobs to make sure you are safe.
Create fliers for your services. The primary source of advertising for your business should be word of mouth, but professional-looking fliers to hand to potential clients with your name, the neighborhood you work in, phone number, and rates will leave a lasting impression. Consider hanging fliers in your neighborhood, at church, in the community center, at school, and in other public areas close to your home.
How to Set Your Yard Work Rates
Our survey of kid entrepreneurs gave us rates and advice to pass on to other entrepreneurs to help build your businesses! The average rate charged is $10-20 per yard, which adds up quickly! If you can mow 3 yards in a weekend, you are making between $30-$60!
The benefit to the homeowner is that they don’t have to worry about their lawn care which gives them time to spend with family or have fun doing activities they enjoy!
Tips for Being Successful Running a Yard Work Business
Do a great job. Give your customers your full time and attention when working on their lawn. Ensure the entire yard is mowed, and everything you were paid to do is done well. The benefit is that the customer is happy, you will likely have a repeat customer, and they will tell their friends how amazing you are, which should bring in more business for you.
Consider seasonal work. Homeowners will always need yard work done, even in the winter. Lawn mowing is popular in the summer, leaf raking or blowing in the fall, and snow removal in the winter. If you can provide services year-round, you have a steady income stream.
Keep customer contact information and check-in with them. Most customers will need their yard work done once per week, so reach out to them to see if they need your services frequently. Or, schedule with them for the next week right after mowing their yard. This keeps your schedule full without having to put extra effort into finding new clients. If you don’t stay on top of scheduling your clients, the competition could come in and take that job from you because they are communicating better than you.
Get paid right after finishing the job. Some kids leave and forget to get paid for the work they did. Going back to the house later to ask for money is not very professional so try to get paid right after finishing the job. This prevents the homeowner from keeping track of how much money they owe you. The easier you can make their lives, the better the business relationship.
Seek feedback. Business owners of any age know that we can constantly improve our services, even if we are experts. Talk to your customers after you have finished the job and see if they have tips for improvement for you. Be grateful to them for helping you become a better business owner and service provider. Feedback gives us the ability to raise our rates as we improve what we offer, so take it and work it into how you work from now on. Feedback is a great thing!
Ask for referrals. Some happy customers will refer you to their friends, but not everyone will think that way. As a kid entrepreneur, it’s your responsibility to build your business, so take the lead and ask for the referral after finding out if the customer is happy with your work.
Keep equipment maintained. Make sure the mower has fluids and the blades are sharpened. This is a task that parents should help with due to safety. Clean grass clippings out of all of your tools after each use. Lubricate parts and pieces that need it frequently.
Reinvest in your business. It can be really fun to spend everything we earn from our companies, but this is the quickest way to go out of business. Set aside some money from each job to buy new equipment or marketing materials to help build your business. Having savings for your business is the best safety net you can give yourself.
How to Find Yard Work Jobs In Your Neighborhood
Start by walking around your neighborhood, seeing what lawns are long, and then knock on the door or ring the bell. Carry some fliers with you to give to the homeowner that has your contact number on them. Ask them for referrals in the neighborhood if they tell you “no.” Leave your flier tucked in the doorframe if no one answers the door. Don’t leave your flier in the mailbox because that is actually illegal.
Talk to your parents about getting paid for mowing your own lawn or referrals to their friends who would be willing to hire you for yard work.
Ask neighbors when you see them outside or hang fliers around your neighborhood to advertise your services. If you go to church or the local community center, ask adults if they need your services or know someone that is.
Seek out community job boards. My local automotive shop has a corkboard in the lobby with jobs posted or local service providers’ business cards. If you have a business in your area with a job board, check it to see if someone needs help with their yard or hang your flier.
Social media groups for your area are a perfect place to find potential clients! Check for ads asking for yard work help or make a post of your own with your flier and your contact information. Give specifics on what neighborhood you are working in so customers know whether or not you can provide them service for their area.
Books to Learn About Running a Yard Work Business as a Kid
- Start Your Yard-Work Business (Build Your Business) by Amie Jane Leavitt This book is intended for kids ages 6-8 years old and gives advice on advertising, money management, work ethic, and professionalism for kids that want to start a yard work business for themselves.
- Cool Jobs for Yard-working Kids: Ways to Make Money Doing Yard Work By Pam Scheunemann. Aimed at kids ages 8-11 and gives easy-to-follow information with pictures of how to create business plans, safely operate lawn equipment, keeping customer information, marketing, and what services to provide based on where you live.
- Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid By Mikaila Ulmer. Perfect book for kid entrepreneurs aged 10-13 that think differently and “dream like a kid”. Mikaila Ulmer started her efforts to save the bees with her lemonade stands at 4 years old and “Me and the Bees Lemonade Stands” was born. She has inspired many and was featured on Shark Tank and in Time Magazine!
- Mo’s Bows: A Young Person’s Guide to Start-Up Success: Measure, Cut, Stitch Your Way to a Great Business By Moziah Bridges. Moziah Bridges is a successful kidpreneur that is living his dream of creating and selling products that he’s passionate about. The intended audience for this book is 11-14 years old and he teaches how to believe in what you’re doing, give back, the power of hard work, and how to lean on friends or family to build your business.
- How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000: Earn! Save! Invest! By James McKenna. Gives advice to kids 10-14 on how to start a successful business, save money from profits, and invest for gains in order to build financial literacy and a great financial future.