We all make mistakes. It's entirely up to you on what you want to spend to get rolling. I started my lawn business back when I was delivering papers. I had an elderly gentleman walk over to me, threw a paper down in front by my feet and said "I don't want your junk mail. But, do you cut lawns?" and that's how I started. I advertise mostly on word of mouth. I've acquired 75% of my business from word of mouth alone. I advertise for a couple weeks on kijiji.ca in my local area during the start of the season, but that's it. However, to become an "official business" you must first register your business name, and list yourself as the sole proprietor. Good luck!