Starting your own landscaping business can be a full-time career or a great way to make some extra money,. There are a few things you need to do in order to get started on the right foot.
Here are the 10 steps you can take to get started on building your very own landscaping business.
10 Steps to Launching a New Landscaping Business
1. Choose Your Type of Landscaping Business
The first step in launching a landscaping business is to identify the type of landscaping business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- Residential landscaping businesses provide services to homeowners.
- Commercial landscaping businesses provide services to business owners and commercial property managers.
- Industrial landscaping businesses provide services to factories, warehouses, and other types of industrial properties.
2. Name Your Landscaping Business
Give your landscaping business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your landscaping business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your landscaping business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that potential customers will be more likely to use your services.
3. Determine Your Landscaping Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a landscaping business including:
- A full-service landscaping business provides a variety of services such as lawn care, tree trimming, and landscape design.
- A maintenance-only landscaping business focuses on providing regular lawn care and other maintenance services.
- A landscape design-only business focuses on designing outdoor living spaces but leaves the implementation to the customer or another company.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the services you offer.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your landscaping business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your landscaping business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common landscaping business structures.
5. Write a Landscaping Business Plan
All landscaping business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
When developing your landscaping business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What services do you offer?
- What is the cost of your services?
- Do you have any discounts, specials, or promotions that I can take advantage of?
- Do you offer any discounts for seniors, military, students, or other groups?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you have any references or pictures of previous work?
- What kind of warranty or guarantee do you offer?
- What are your business hours?
- Do you have a physical location? If so, where is it located?
- How can I contact you if I have questions or need to schedule an appointment?
- What are your policies (e.g. payment, cancellation, etc.)?
- Do you have any brochures or other marketing materials that I can take with me?
- Would you be able to provide a quote for the services I am interested in?
- Is there anything else I should know about your company or services?
Answering these types of questions in your business plan will give potential customers a better understanding of what to expect when they use your services.
Read our article about how to write a landscaping business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your landscaping business.
For example, if you will be applying pesticides, you will need to obtain a license from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You may also need to obtain a state pesticide license. If you plan on starting a lawn care business, you will need to obtain a business license from your city or county. You may also need to get a sales tax permit if you plan on selling products.
You must also register your landscaping business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper landscaping business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your landscaping business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your landscaping business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your landscaping business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a landscaping business to help you determine if funding is needed.
Read our article about how to fund your landscaping business.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your landscaping business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in a GPS system for your truck or van, as well as a smartphone so you can be available to answer customer questions and schedule appointments.
Other software programs that may come in handy for your landscaping business include QuickBooks, Scheduling Software and Google Apps.
Read our article about the technology and software you need to run a landscaping business.
9. Market Your Landscaping Business to Potential Clients
Before you start selling your services, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your services and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the landscaping industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Landscaping businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Sponsoring a charity event or nonprofit organization
- Offering a free consultation
- Distributing flyers and coupons in the community
- Creating a website with before-and-after photo galleries
- Entering landscaping contests
- Offering a seasonal discount
- Being active on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Instagram)
- Creating a blog and writing articles about the landscaping industry
- Speaking at local events about the landscaping industry
- Exhibiting at local trade shows and home improvement fairs
- Hosting an open house event
- Creating a portfolio of your previous work
- Creating an e-book or guide about landscaping
- Offering free tips and advice on your website or blog
- Participating in local business networking groups
Read our article about how to market your landscaping business for more tips.
10. Get New Clients & Grow Your Business
When you promote your services, you’ll start to get interest from potential clients.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these clients. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your landscaping business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your landscaping business to learn more.
Starting a Landscaping Business FAQs
There are many reasons to start a landscaping business. Perhaps you have a passion for horticulture and love working outdoors. Or maybe you’re looking for a business that you can operate seasonally, which gives you more time to pursue other interests during the winter months. Whatever your reasons, starting a landscaping business can be a great way to earn a living while doing something you love.
To start a successful landscaping business, you need to have a strong understanding of the industry and what it takes to succeed. You also need to be able to market your business effectively and build a loyal client base. Additionally, it’s important to have the right technology in place to help you run your business efficiently.
If you’re looking to start a landscaping business from home, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you need to make sure you have the right equipment. Second, you need to have a dedicated space where you can store your equipment and supplies. Finally, you need to create a marketing plan to promote your business.
There are a number of ways to market your landscaping business online. One option is to create a website where people can learn more about your services and the benefits they offer. After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Also, consider networking with other people in the landscaping industry through social media and online forums.
Another option is to create a blog where you can write articles about the landscaping industry, share tips and advice, and showcase your work. You can promote your blog through social media and by guest blogging on other websites.
If you’re thinking about starting a landscaping business, here are a few tips to help you get started:
Research the market: Before you start your business, it’s important to do your research and understand the industry. What are the current trends? What businesses are successful? What do you need to do to be successful?
Create a business plan: Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to create a business plan. This document will outline your business goals, strategies, and how you plan on achieving them.
Choose the right location: When starting a landscaping business, it’s important to choose the right location. You want to be sure you have enough space to store your equipment and supplies, and that your business will be visible to potential customers.
Invest in quality equipment: In order to provide quality services, you need to invest in quality equipment. Be sure to purchase the right tools and supplies for the job, and that your equipment is well-maintained.
Find the right employees: As your business grows, you’ll need to hire employees to help you with the work. Be sure to take the time to find people who are skilled and reliable, and who will be a good fit for your company culture.
Promote your business: Once you’ve got everything up and running, it’s time to start promoting your business. There are a number of ways to market your business, including online and offline methods.
Keep learning: In order to be successful in the landscaping industry, it’s important to keep learning. Attend industry events, read trade publications, and talk to other landscapers to stay up-to-date on the latest trends.
A simple checklist to use when starting a landscaping business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Landscaping Firm: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Landscaping Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Landscaping Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Landscaping Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Landscaping Business to Potential Clients: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the services they truly need.
- Get Clients & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your services.
Starting a landscaping business can be a great way to turn your passion for plants and outdoor spaces into a profitable enterprise. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before getting started, such as choosing the right business model, investing in quality equipment, and promoting your business effectively. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to starting a successful landscaping business.