Small Business Brief


9 Things You Need to Know About Starting a Landscaping Business in 2020

Ever since you were a kid, you’ve loved helping outdoors.  You spent Saturday afternoons raking leaves and mowing the lawn for a little pocket money.  

Fast-forward to the present and you’ve turned your passion into a landscaping business. Congrats!

Like any business venture, you must learn the nitty-gritty before starting. Here are 7 of the most important tips!

1. Budgeting Your Landscaping Business

Before you can brainstorm landscaping business ideas, you must figure out your budget. Luckily, a lawn care business has relatively low start-up costs compared to other pursuits.

Assuming you already have a lawnmower, leaf blower, and other necessary machinery, you’ll also need:

  • Rakes and shovels
  • Garden shears and clippers
  • Protective gear 
  • Yard waste disposal bags 
  • Mulch, seeds, and soil 

It’s tempting to spread your budget over a long time and if you do this, ensure you have a plan for when and how to purchase products like landscaping trailers, so you can keep your business ticking over nicely. 

Also, once you’ve started making money, keep all records so you know the numbers.  When your records are in one place, it’ll be easier to do taxes from your balance sheet and cash flow statements.

2. Know the Licences and Permits Required

Before you Google “how to start a landscape business”, it’s important to get the right licenses for your business.

Most states require a landscaping company to get a business license which requires a fee. Also, if you fill your business license as a limited liability corporation (LLC) or a partnership, you’ll need an Employee Identification Number (EIN) to hire employees.

State licensing requirements differ so research your state’s laws before going into the business.  For example, some cities may ask for a fee payment based on how much money your company earns annually. So double-check to avoid any fines. 

Also, you must get insurance to cover your employees (if you hire) in case of an injury and your clients if you damage their property.  

3. How Many Hours You Will Work Per Week 

You’re gripped with the same thought every day: “how to start a lawn care service?”

Know that when you’re getting started, you’ll be working long hours potentially 70 hours per week. 

This is because you’ll have to find new clients and serve your existing ones at the same time. But once you grow your portfolio of clients and get their testimonials, you can cut back to around 50 hours a week. 

4. Work On a Mission Statement 

Don’t be deterred by this corporate jargon, a mission statement will make you feel confident about the services you provide.  It will also let others know which morals the company’s foundation is built on. 

5. Decide On Prices 

Before you embark on your new venture, decide how much your services are worth.

When you’re deciding on your rates, it’s wise to check out the competition to see what prices they’re offering and go from there. But don’t worry, you can always adjust rates as you go.   

6. Market Your Business

Marketing is the backbone of any successful business and it’ll be something you must address in your company’s early days. Build a Facebook page, get your website up and running, and post regularly across social media platforms.

It’s important to master typical marketing channels so you can get your first 10 customers. Ask your local digital marketing expert to help expand your reach. 

7. Deciding Your Target Audience 

Before you can launch an online marketing campaign, you must know who you’re targeting. Sure, your ideal client will have overgrown lawns, desperate for mowing, but you need to dig deeper.

Outline your target clientele so you know the best way to target them. For example, your dream client may live within a certain distance so set a radius from your headquarters to save fuel costs.

Think about what clients you want to work for, including the most lucrative jobs, and how to approach them to guarantee a long-term working relationship.

8. Generate Word-of-Mouth

Offline marketing is as important as online.  You can create posters, print fliers, and pass out pamphlets in your neighborhoods. Why not turn your vehicle into a billboard with advertising for your business?

Word-of-mouth is also crucial in marketing your landscaping business. Ask friends and family to spread the word, not only is it cheap but it will keep your business running smoothly. 

9. Build a Team of Employees 

Be sure to get employment law liability insurance before you establish your team.  

As your employees are an extension of your business (and reputation!) they must be trustworthy and have your clients’ best interests at heart.

Consider running a background check on successful candidates to ensure the safety of your customers and other employees. You should also consider hiring someone who has a background in horticulture or gardening, so you can branch out into other services. 

Be meticulous with every application so you know what type of worker they are.

Also, decide what qualifications are needed for your prospective employees. Most landscaping businesses can handle the basics such as cleaning up the debris afterward, but if you have a niche service, ensure they can do this with no problems.

And That’s How You Start a Landscaping Business!

It’s possible to build a thriving landscaping business when you understand your niche, what equipment you’ll need, and how to target your dream clientele. Not to mention the relevant licenses and permits!

When you’ve established a good foundation, hire employees to help branch out and potentially offer more services.  Good luck!

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