There are many good reasons to start a landscaping business. Maybe you’ve gained experience working for a lawn care company and now want to break out on your own. Perhaps you see a need for more landscaping services in the particular community where you live. Or, maybe you’ve just always dreamed of being your own boss and have decided that landscaping best fits your skills and abilities.
One great thing about starting a lawn care business is that you can start off very simple and then later if you want, build it into something much more complex. Many lawn care businesses start with just one guy or gal and a mower.
However, even if you’re planning to start small, you need to get clear about your business plan. It’s worth spending some time considering what services you want to provide, how much you’re going to charge, and how you’re going to go about getting clients.
#1 Decide what services to provide
Lawn and landscaping businesses can provide a vast array of services ranging from mowing and weeding to building decks and walkways. If you’re looking into starting a landscaping business, you probably already have some idea of the services that you feel confident offering.
But, your knowledge and experience with different services aren’t the only things you should keep in mind when deciding what kind of work you want your new business to do. What tools and equipment do you already own? How much are you prepared to invest in additional equipment? Depending on how much you feel comfortable investing upfront, you may want to start by just offering services you can complete with the equipment you already have. You can always buy new equipment later as your business grows.
Look into your local market to get an idea of what services you can be competitive in, as well. For example, you might observe that no one in the area is known for planting trees, flowers, and bushes. You could market yourself as the tree planting expert and carve out a niche in the market.
Finally, if you’re not planning to immediately hire employees, you should consider which tasks you can easily accomplish alone and which really need a team to get done.
#2 Figure out how much you need to charge
When transitioning from employee to business owner, you need to think carefully about how much to charge for your services to run a profitable business. Even if you’re not planning to hire employees right away, there are several costs that you need to take into account when figuring out your pricing.
Equipment is one of the highest costs that you’ll have. You might need to buy or rent equipment so that you can get started. Virtually all landscaping businesses eventually purchase a truck, too, to transport their tools. Equipment maintenance is also a cost you need to factor in.
Gas for your service vehicle and vehicle maintenance is important to consider, as well. And, you might take out insurance on your business or on your equipment, so you’ll have to make those payments. And, don’t forget taxes!
Lastly, though there are many great free marketing tools, it’s worth investing in your marketing through paid ads to build your initial client base.
So, to set your prices, you need to first add up all the business costs. Then you’ll have an idea of what you need to charge per hour or per service. After you’ve done this, compare your prices with those of local competition just to make sure yours aren’t too high or too low.
#3 Build a client base
Once you’ve determined your services and prices, you should start marketing your landscaping business. Some of the easiest and best ways to get your company’s name out are to open Facebook, Instagram, and other social media accounts.
Register your company on Google My Business and fill out all the information needed for your Google listing. For example, you can add your phone number, hours, and price information right there. You can also use your Google listing to start collecting customer reviews.
Not all great marketing practices are digital, though. Many beginning landscaping businesses have found success by partnering with real estate agencies or suppliers like garden stores.
Running ads, whether they’re online or in local media, is also a good way to attract your first clients. If your costs are low at the beginning, you’ll probably be able to offer very competitive rates, motivating people to give you a call.
Remember that attracting customers is just the first step. You must maintain professionalism throughout your interactions and deliver excellent service if you want people to keep coming back.
Successful business management leads to successful businesses
As you can see, there are many different moving parts involved to start a landscaping business and run it successfully. And, things only get more complicated when you hire more employees and serve a larger number of clients.
Fortunately, ServiceWorks can take care of all those details for you. ServiceWorks allows your clients to book online instantly and sends out your invoices. It can also manage your client list, send estimates, track the costs of your materials, and more. You can try ServiceWorks for free for 14 days to see what it can do for you.