Lawn-spraying companies treat commercial and residential lawns with fertilizer and pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or insecticides to eliminate weeds and pests and improve the health of the lawn. Sprayers must have an in-depth knowledge about turf ecology and treatment and local regulations on chemical use. An entrepreneur equipped with a wide knowledge of lawn care could do well to start his own lawn-spraying company.
Contact your state’s Department of Agriculture to learn what certifications and permits must be obtained prior to opening a pesticide control business. Generally, anyone who applies pesticides for commercial purpose must obtain a permit. Depending on the state, you may be required to have two years of on-the-job training or a four-year degree in horticulture or a related field.
Obtain the necessary skills or experience needed to become eligible for an applicator license. In addition to lawn care and organic alternatives, you will need to understand the risks of pesticide usage, such as water contamination, how it may affect endangered species, spills and worker safety. The Professional Landcare Network offers six relevant certifications, including Landscape Industry Certified Lawn Care Manager. Enroll in a state-approved training course, if necessary. Submit an application for a pesticide applicator license to your Department of Agriculture, along with any fees. Obtain a business license and liability insurance.
Purchase a truck and compression sprayer with pressure control that will allow adjustments as necessary. Also purchase protective clothing, goggles, nozzles, gloves, hoses, storage tanks, pumps, hoses, a wind meter, chemical injectors, chemicals, uniforms and filters. Implement a secure method for storing chemicals.
Create a competitive price list that doesn’t undercut your competition. Compete by offering higher quality or friendlier and more efficient service -- not by trimming off the top and cutting into your profits. Another way to compete is to expand services to include tree and shrub care, landscaping, aeration, bug control and animal control.
Learn what to include in a bid for commercial lawn care. Before bidding on a contract, be sure you have the manpower, equipment, skills and time needed to complete the job. In your bid package, include a detailed list of your projected schedule and the scope of the work.
Market your business. Design quality brochures, business cards and fliers. Consider creating a portfolio. Contact golf courses, residential homes, athletic departments and schools.
Gain experience by working for friends and family or residential homes before jumping into commercial work. This will give you a much better grasp on the time, manpower and equipment needed for the job.
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