Landscaping may not be the first choice that a lot of people will have when thinking of starting their own business. But it’s a great way to make some money. It’s a business that doesn’t require a heavy investment but has great returns and the best part is, pretty much anybody can do it. So, let’s check out how you can create a landscaping business plan.
First, you have to decide on what services you want to offer from your landscaping business, then get the equipment you’re going to need for it and then you can start to sell your services. You’ll also need to be worried about transportation to get you and your equipment to the location. And of course, you’re going to need proper marketing to advertise your business.
It can be very intimidating, especially if this is your first time starting a business. But trust me, landscaping is a great way to set up your business and be successful at it. It doesn’t require any special skills and you’re just going to get better at it with time. Let’s go over it step by step, and you’ll see how convenient it is.
Is Landscaping a Good Business to Start?
Yes, landscaping and lawn care is a great initiative, especially in the United States because lawns are very popular here and very widespread. Landscaping business ideas are often overlooked, but they are a relatively inexpensive way to start a business. Being in charge of your own business is a freedom many will love.
Especially if you are passionate about your dream, investing in your own business is a great source of income. It comes with flexible timings and you get to be the boss of your time and effort. If you stick to it and let the business grow, all your hard work will pay off.
In the United States alone, the lawn care industry has an annual revenue of 76 billion USD and annual growth of 3.4%. And the best part is, you can start your business with very little. You can gather the capital from the revenue you will get and grow your business with time.
It doesn’t take a lot of capital at first, so pretty much anybody can start. And all your investments will pay off with time. The only large investment would be transportation, but you get a lot of use out of it. So compared to other businesses, a landscaping business is convenient and a great way to become successful.
How to Start a Landscaping Business? (Step by Step)
Starting a landscaping business can simply be divided into 7 steps. You do your research and decide which services you want to offer. Once you’ve established your prices and can get a few customers, you can begin working. The rest is just growing your lawn care business. Let’s look at each of these steps in detail.
Step 1: Do Your Research and Decide What You Want to Offer
The first step to starting most businesses is going to be scanning the field. Lawn care is no different. Start with a bit of research on what the market is looking for. Check out the different services that other landscaping businesses offer. See if you can do them yourself.
The great thing about landscaping work is most of it you can learn from tutorials online if you don’t already know how to do them. If you have a lawn of your own, you already have some experience of DIY-ing these things. And the more clients you get, the better you will become at this work as you learn the tips and tricks of this trade.
I would suggest starting small, especially if you are low on manpower and capital. Offer only services that are easy to do, and don’t require heavy equipment that you might not have yet. Once you’ve decided on which services to offer, you can get on to the next step. Here are a few options you can check out:
● Designing and planning new lawn areas for homeowners
● Work on existing lawns and update the designs
● Consulting on improving old lawns to give them a more aesthetic appeal
● Plant care and planting new seeds
● Lawn Aeration
● Trimming and decorating the lawn
● Fertilizer services
● Dealing with bugs and weeding and unwanted infestations
Step 2: Buying Equipment
Deciding on what services you will be offering, will give you a better idea of the kind of equipment you're going to need. Make a list of everything you might need and plan out where you can get them from. A written list is very helpful at this stage because you might easily forget small bits and pieces.
Depending on your services, your equipment list will differ but most landscaping businesses should have lawnmowers, shovels, rakes, gardening gloves, protective clothing, clippers, leaf blowers, a proper invoicing system, or accounting software, etc.
It can be quite expensive to gather all this equipment when you are starting, so you can also rent them when you get a job. Or you can start with very few services, and once the revenue starts coming in, you can use that money to buy new equipment and expand your services. This is why this business is so great. The capital can be raised from the business itself.
Step 3: Decide on Your Price List
Next, you need to set up a price list for the services that you chose to offer. Most landscape business owners work on about 16.62 USD per hour. But depending on your project and the kind of work you put in, your prices will vary.
To decide on a proper price, you need to check out your competition. See what others in the market are charging for these services. If possible, you should start with low charges so people prefer you over others. Once you've established a market for yourself, that's when you can start increasing your prices to the market rate.
However, don't undersell your work. If you're willing to do work for anything you can get right now, your clients will always expect that of you. And it's also exploiting labor. So while it's important not to be too expensive, you shouldn't keep prices way too low either.
When planning prices, remember to think of your business expenses as well. Take into account prices for taxes, equipment, and even transportation. You'll get a better idea of how to price your services with time and experience in the field.
Step 4: Get a Business License
It's best to get the legal aspects done as soon as you can. Landscaper licensing requirements will be different depending on where you live. So do your research and see if you are fit to apply for a license. Most places will have a local licensing office where you can get all the information you need.
Your license may cost you anywhere from about 15 USD to 200 USD per year. Be sure to also get an EIN or employer identification number so that you can set up a proper business bank account and do all your tax work.
Step 5: Choose a Market
Though it might be appealing at first to cater to as wide a market as you possibly can, it’s better to develop a niche. Decide what kind of work you want to do with what kind of clients. Focus on them. See if your local area already has other landscaping businesses.
Try to get clients from an area where there might be a shortage. This lack of competition at first can be very helpful. It's best if you can cater to your locality, where people already know and trust you. Once you've gotten a good portion of your local community and have built up a good name for yourself, you can expand to larger areas.
Step 6: Manage Transportation
This will perhaps be the most expensive investment in setting up your lawn care business. But think of it this way, it will be something that you use all the time and it won't deteriorate with time. A proper truck can be very helpful in taking heavy equipment with you to farther away locations.
When you're starting, you can rent out trucks or transportation to do this for you. Again, when you've gathered enough cash, consider investing in buying a vehicle of your own to do this efficiently.
Step 7: Brand Your Company Name
Branding your company name and image is important in any business. Proper branding can be the difference between a business that is successful and one that fails. Remember to choose a good name, one that is easy to remember and that is unique. It should also be representative of what your business stands for.
You can get a proper logo for your business and use stickers to brand all your equipment. Getting up flyers in the local area is also a great idea when you're starting. Start with a social media page and then once you've gotten up and run you can even set up a proper website for your business.
And that’s it! Your business is now ready to operate. All that’s left is getting the customers and growing your business. And all that is a matter of good marketing.
How to Grow a Landscaping Business? (Tips and Tricks)
Once you are ready for business, now you can focus on growing your business and building a clientele. Not only is it important to get new customers, but it’s also just important to keep customers you already have.
These are the people who will give you a steady revenue. Let’s check out more tricks and tips to grow your landscaping business.
Focus on Quality
While this may be the most obvious tip, it's extremely important. People aren't going to come to you if your work is bad. Take your time to do your work well, listen to what your client wants and give it to them. Don't try to make some easy money by slacking off. If you put in enough effort and time, your business will shine.
If your work is amazing, then not only will customers keep coming back to you but they will also share your name with their neighbors and friends. That word-of-mouth referral can go a long way, especially in local communities. And since there's always something to fix in your lawn, recurring customers are where a lot of your revenue will come from.
So, keep your priority on the quality of your work. Invest in good quality equipment whenever you can and focus on honing your skills. Practice makes perfect! You need to be passionate about your work. Only then will your passion seep through to others.
Always be Marketing
If anything comes as close to the quality, in terms of importance, it’s proper marketing. It won’t matter how good your work is if people don’t know about you. Put your business out there. Get on all the social media sites and it’s never too early to start. Get the word out that there’s a new lawn-care business in town.
Work on building your community. When you're starting, your immediate community will be the best place to start. Start with neighbors, friends, and family and tell them to pass your name on to others. Attend local community events and share your cards.
If you have a lawn of your own, you can start work from there as well. Presenting a beautiful front might make others curious and ask you about how they can get their lawn to look like yours too.
You can even have a proper blog to post about lawn care essentials and post tutorials and tips. Being online will help you get customers from far outside your local area. That is how you bring in new customers. Be very active on social media and be polite to anybody who has any queries.
In addition, you should consider getting a website. A custom website can help bring credibility and show potential customers that you are serious about your business. On top of bringing organic search engine traffics, websites also offer a great way for you to show case your work to help build instant trust. For custom affordable landscaping websites, you can visit prophone.com and get a free sample created within one day.
Paying for Ads
Unfortunately, organic social media growth is a very lengthy process nowadays. So if you do want some traffic on your site, you may need to consider investing in ads. But ads can be very tricky, and often they don’t even work in getting you more customers.
So, knowing when to strike is essential. Don’t just start by putting out ads. Once you’ve catered to the local community and have an idea of what the market demands that is when you can be smart and put out those ads. You can choose which areas your ads are shown in as well, so think carefully and analyze your target audience.
Otherwise, old school ads in the paper or putting up flyers work just as well when it comes to landscaping businesses. Since your main market is going to be locals, they’ll see the flyers in the neighborhood. You can even put them in their mailboxes. But try not to be intrusive and annoy them.
Host Open Houses
Open Houses are a great way to put a face behind the business and build real, organic human connections to your community. Invite people over and talk about the services you provide. Your previous customers can also share their experiences.
This is mainly a socializing event, so make sure it’s fun for the people attending as well. You can even provide discounts and offers to people who attend these events.
Remember to provide refreshments as well. Make the event exciting for everyone attending. Think of it as a party. You can even set up performances or get the locals to perform. If you can make it a yearly tradition in the neighborhood, it's a fun way to not only market your business but also have a good time and build community.
Changing Up Your Services
Landscaping and lawn care have a whole range of services of their own, each different from one another. So instead of focusing on one, offer them all. Diversifying your services can help you attract more customers. Though this is after some time has passed. Don’t take up too much at the beginning.
Since lawn health and problems change in effect to the weather as well, you can offer different seasonal services as well. For instance, in the fall, people might require lawn cleanup more than in the summer. So, offer different services during different seasons. You can sell lawn care necessities to your clients as well.
Now that you know how a general landscaping business plan looks, you can start to curate one of your own. Be as specific as you can and plan out all your expenses. With proper planning and marketing, you’ll be a landscaping success in your community.
Remember to have patience and grow with time! Hope this helps in your journey. All the best!