Location, location, location...
I am not trying to throw cold water here, but location is of crucial importance in this business. Sparsely populated rural areas will probably never generate the kind of business that urban areas will.
I'm in Houston, TX where there are millions of people who commute from the suburbs to downtown and the last thing they want to do with their free time is spend a few hours using poor equipment to mow their lawn. Many of these people make a decent salary so paying me $30 to mow their average sized lawn is an easy decision.
Another thing to consider is how many HOA neighborhoods there are in your area. That's half the reason that people here get their lawns cut every week, just keep them off their back.
Just my 2 cents...