Small Business Brief


A Basic Guide to Starting a Landscaping Business

If you’re interested in starting a new business and you enjoy working outdoors, you might want to start a landscaping business. Yet if you don’t know much about the landscaping industry, you might not know what it takes to start a successful landscaping business.

Thankfully, starting a landscaping business does not require for you to be a genius.

Keep reading and I’ll share some tips that’ll help you start a thriving landscaping business. Take action on what you learn and it won’t be long before you’re earning a full-time living as a result of your landscaping business.

Let’s begin!

What Is the Purpose of a Landscaping Business?

If you don’t know much about landscaping, you probably know that it entails working outside.

But that might be where your knowledge of landscaping ends.

For the most part, the job of a landscaper is to help people design their gardens or pretty much any ‘green space’ that might be on their property. When you’re working as a landscaper, you can work with either residential clients, or you can work with businesses.

When working as a landscaper, you’ll need to work closely with your clients. They’ll often have a vision for what they want from their outdoor space and it’s down to you to make this vision a reality.

Of course, the more you know about landscaping, the more you’ll be able to guide this vision.

That’s because you’ll be able to bring your expertise to the table, thereby helping your clients enjoy your knowledge.

We’ll discuss this in more detail later, but if you’re going to run a landscaping business, keep in mind you’ll need to invest money in tools. You’ll also need to think about spending money on staff since you’ll need people to help you get the work done. Especially if you’re working on a large project.

Do You Need Qualifications?

You don’t necessarily need any qualifications to become a landscape gardener. But it helps to have some knowledge of horticulture and plants. Because of this, it’s a good idea to take some courses that’ll help bring you up to speed.

If you’d like to start a landscaping business, but you have doubts about your skills, that is fine.

You can always work with another landscaping business for a short period of time. During this period you should be able to learn what you need to focus on if you want to run a landscaping company.

You may even just want to study existing landscaping companies. For instance, if you’d like to learn more about landscaping, this company is a good example of what is possible.

Dealing with Equipment

As mentioned earlier, you’re going to need to invest in equipment if you’re running a landscaping business. The equipment you’ll need will depend on the kind of services you’re going to be offering.

If you don’t have a lot of startup capital you might want to start by offering fairly basic services, to begin with. This will help keep your capital costs low and will make your startup costs more manageable. Basic services might include lawn cutting but also planting flowers and shrubs.

If you’re keen on providing a wide range of services from the beginning, you might want to look into renting equipment. In the short term, renting equipment can be a very cost-efficient way of doing things.

That’s because you can rent the equipment once you’ve actually secured a job. This means you can price the rental costs into the price of the job. You’ll, therefore, be able to manage your profit margins better.

In the long term, though, renting equipment might work out to be more expensive. It might also mean you have to charge your clients more money, which can mean you’re going to be less competitive.

You may also want to look into buying second-hand equipment. If you’re going to take this step you need to be careful. You don’t want to invest in equipment that is faulty.

Using faulty equipment is going to put you in a lot of danger. So make sure you get a good look at any equipment before you decide to spend any money on it.

Hiring Staff for Your Landscaping Company

The work involved in running a landscaping company often requires a lot more physical work than you realize.


You might think that you’ll be able to handle a project on your own, but you need to be careful.

Taking on too much work can lead to a project taking a lot longer than it should.

This can annoy clients, who might need you to stick to the deadlines you have provided them with. For smaller projects, you might be able to get away with doing things on your own. But for anything that’s larger in scope, you’re going to need to hire some help.

It’s important you’re aware of the work required for a project before you take it on. This will give you enough time to hire people so that you don’t hire people in a rush.

Hiring people in a rush can lead to you hiring individuals who might not be best suited to the role. This can lead to poor quality work. You then may need to take extra time to refine the poor work, or you might lose the project altogether, because of the unhappy client.

It helps to hire people who have some experience in the landscaping world. You can also check the references of people, to assess the quality of their previous work.

Sometimes, experience isn’t the end all be all. As long as someone is a hard worker and they have a good attitude, you can often teach them the rest. This is opposed to working with someone who knows everything but causes you a lot of problems.

Take Care of the Formal Stuff

Like any business, there are going to be a few formal pieces of paperwork you’ll need to deal with before you can actually start trading.

For one, it helps to make sure you set up a business entity. If you need help with this it can be a good idea to consult with a legal firm. They’ll be able to tell you which kind of business entity is best suited to your needs.

You’ll also want to think about investing in some insurance. This will help protect you, your business and your employees in case something happens.

Again the kinds of insurance you need will depend on your specific situation. At the very least you’ll need something like ‘liability’ insurance and some kind of general workers compensation insurance.

You may even need to get some permits or licenses. What you need is definitely going to depend on the location you find yourself in.

Some regions are more strict than others about the paperwork required by a landscaping company. Make sure you check in with your local permit authority, to ensure you’re covered.

Getting Your First Clients

A landscaping business is not a business until you have your first clients.

As discussed earlier, the first thing you’ll need to think about is whether you’re going to deal with commercial clients or residential clients. Your decision here is going to have a big impact on the services you offer and how you’re going to market your services.

If you’re running a residential business, then you can perform a leaflet drop.

This will let people know that you’re offering landscaping services. When you perform a leaflet drop, think about offering a discount for first-time customers. This will help encourage people to get in touch.

If you do a great job, then you might be able to turn these individuals into long-term clients, thereby making that initial discount pay off.

A commercial landscaping business can also use the same approach. But you might also want to consider marketing your business on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is home to a primarily ‘business’ audience.

So, if you market your services the right way, you’ll be able to generate interest from commercial clients. You can market your business on LinkedIn using LinkedIn Ads.

The good thing here is you can target your ads with a lot of precision. This means you can market your services to people only in your local area.

Thinking About Starting a Landscaping Business?

If you like working with plants, then a landscaping business can be a good thing for you to look into. But if you’ve never dealt with the landscaping industry before, you may not know how to get started.

In this post, we’ve reviewed some of the things you need to think about when starting a landscaping business. You need to focus on sourcing equipment responsibly. You should also think about how you’re going to hire talented staff.

It’s also worth putting some thought into the kind of clients you’re going to deal with. Remember, you can work with either residential clients or commercial clients.

The option you choose is going to depend on your own personal preferences. Whichever option you choose, just make sure you take a marketing approach that works well for your chosen option.

Want to learn how to lease equipment? Check out this blog post to learn more!