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Should I start a reel lawn service? {A Perfect Lawn for the Perfect Customer}

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Looking to expand your lawn care company? Well, if you are really into lawn care, you could consider adding on reel mowing services. 

But should you start a reel mowing service? 

Well, reel mowing services are not for every lawn care provider, especially not newbies to the lawn care profession.

While it may be a niche that may be underserved in your market, you need to know a few things before you jump into the reel mowing business. 

Now, let’s take a look into whether or not adding a reel mowing service to your lawn care business is right for you. 

Perfect lawn cut by reel mower

Who is the target demographic for reel mowing services?

In general, there are 2 demographics that would pay for reel mowing services. 

One is sports fields such as golf, baseball, and soccer courses. 

The second is wealthy homeowners that want a PERFECT lawn. 

Look, as you can probably tell, the target market for reel mowing services is very limited. While reel mowers offer a superior cut than a rotary mower, they can only do so if the lawn they are cutting is PERFECTLY maintained. So there are some additional challenges to running a reel mowing service.

should I start a reel lawn care business

The Added Challenges of Reel Mowing

Everything gets more difficult when you switch from rotary to reel mowers. And while some homeowners like to make a hobby out of mowing their own lawns with a reel mower, starting a reel mowing service is an entirely different story. 

Here’s the deal, reel mowers only work when the grass is cut low, very low. This means that the grass must be cut 2-3 times a week to keep the grass at the proper height. 

Further, because reel mowers cut the grass so low, you need to maintain the grass itself perfectly. Meaning that you will need to: 

  • Apply pesticides frequently to keep weeds out, 

  • Aerate regularly, 

  • Reseed as needed, 

  • And ensure the lawn is PERFECTLY level.

Basically, lawns maintained by reel mowers require constant upkeep, and you have to find clients who are willing to pay ALOT for their lawns. And if you can find those clients, that’s great for you, because it means you can make more money with fewer lawns.

Additionally, because reel mowing is such a niche market, you can charge more for your time if you can find the right service area. As you can see from the image above, that is only the start of the challenges of starting a reel mowing business.

Pesticide Applications

In addition to all of the other challenges associated with reel mowing, you will likely need to be, or have someone on your crew that is a licensed pesticide applicator

In order to maintain a perfect lawn, you are more than likely going to face invasive weeds, pests, some sort of mold, or other lawn diseases that will need to be treated. And depending on what the issue is you may need to have a pesticide application license to treat it. 

A Perfect Lawn for the Perfect Customer

So Should You Get into Reel Mowing Services?

Here’s the deal, pretty much anyone can operate a rotary mower and get a decent cut with a little experience and a little bit of knowledge. 

However, reel mowing isn’t just about how to use the mower itself. You also have to be an expert in lawn maintenance. When to apply pre-emergents, reseed, apply fertilizer, aerate, the list goes on and on. 

So not only do you need the experience to cultivate a perfect lawn, you need the perfect customer that needs your services

reel mower for cutting grass

My Advice: Try it as a hobby or an apprenticeship first

As with anything, you need to have the experience to learn how to do it. But unlike rotary mowers where the task is fairly forgiving. There is a steep learning curve to operating a reel mower. And a client who is paying top dollar for your services isn’t going to care why their lawn isn’t perfect. 

That being said, if you want to test adding reel mowing services to your business, get an affordable reel mower and test it on your own lawn. And after a season or two, you will know what it takes to keep a perfect lawn. And whether or not you feel up to the task of selling your reel mowing services. 

Alternatively, you may be able to get a job or apprentice with a lawn care company that offers reel mowing services already. 

Either way, you want to have a full picture of all that running a reel mowing service entails before spending any time investing in a new venture. 

Golf course cut with reel mower

Starting a Reel Mowing Service At the End of the Day

If you love lawn care, and you better if you want to get into reel mowing, you may want to consider adding a reel mowing service to grow your business. 

However, reel mowing isn’t the type of service you want to jump in and try without sufficient experience. On the other hand, if you are a seasoned lawn care veteran, or a lawn care professional that has a few seasons of using a reel mower on your own property adding a reel mowing service to grow your business may be a solid move. 

But experience is only half of the reel mowing services puzzle, you also need to find a market where your services are needed.

Looking for more ways to grow your business? Learn how to get commercial clients on LinkedIn.

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