Lawnmower and cart with Half Dog Fred.
While commonly spoke of in corporate America, the Value Added Proposition can also be added to the simplest of businesses such as a teen mowing his neighbor’s lawns. Here I illustrate adding value by cleaning up around my yard trees using a hand clipper and saw. This enables me to free the trunks of these trees, make the yard more attractive, remove low-hanging limbs to increase mowing safety and ultimately cutting the time it takes to mow the lawn.
I discuss the details of the process on a YouTube video that you can watch below or see at: https://youtu.be/MgxFs75QPo8.
Because I am working on my own yard in rural Georgia and not bound by any sort of homeowners’ association contract, I can maintain a burn pile in my back yard, dump my cuttings to help stop erosion in front of my house and have my dogs assist me in cleaning up the yard and doing the video. I do yard care because it is a necessity to keep the Georgia jungle from taking my house and lot. I don’t particularly care if the grass is of uniform type, composition or color. I have at least three varieties of southern lawn grasses and likely twice as many more natural grasses, weeds and shrubs (Privet hedge) that I cut to lawn height.
If one had unlimited funds and the desire, it would likely take over $10,000 to level my lawn, sod it, put in sprinklers, clean out the weeds and bring it up to California subdivision standards – something I never intend to do. For those who are so inclined, this brings with it the possibility of obtaining an almost unlimited amount of lawn-care related work in addition to the usual grass cutting.
I, Hector and Half-Dog Fred are quite satisfied to keep it mowed down to the extent that can easily spot rattlesnakes as they move about the yard, as they sometimes do. I think that the dogs are convinced that I also have dragons, which they accept as their sworn duty to keep away. I do not really have dragons, but I do have lizards, turtles, salamanders, snakes, rabbits, raccoons, other species of small game as well as coyotes, deer, wild hogs, turkeys and more recently black bear. These “yard critters” come and go as they like.
Depending on one’s age, financing and ability to travel, making some extra money doing lawn care can be taken on at whatever scale is desired at the moment. The peak of the lawn-care season is during the height of the Summer when most teens are out of school and casting about for something productive to do. Cutting grass and doing lawn care is a natural outlet for some of this excess energy while putting money into their pockets. If they have the drive and desire, these sorts of activities can be expanded into a full-time business in rural, small town and subdivision America.
By offering extra services, such as cleaning up around overgrown trees, the amount of fees can be increased, and as a consequence the amount of money earned. One occasional task is mowing a person’s lawn when they are on trips or on vacation. If this is a possibility, attempt to have them let you mow it at least once before to locate hidden tree roots, sprinkler heads and any pipes or electric lines that may be at are near ground level. One bad strike on a buried piece of pipe marking a property corner can cause hundreds of dollars of damage to a fast moving riding mower.