How To Start Your Own Landscaping Company

How To Start Your Own Landscaping Company

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Anyone who has a yard knows that maintaining it is a lot of work. So it’s no surprise that there are plenty of landscaping businesses out there that help eliminate the need for mowing, weeding, treating, and more lawn maintenance.

How To Start Your Own Landscaping Company

How To Start Your Own Landscaping Company

However, if you’re one of those people who loves doing yard work and loves the smell of freshly cut grass or a newly weeded garden, you may be wondering how to start your own landscaping business.

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The landscaping business is booming; And if you live somewhere with a warm climate, you may be able to work almost year-round. According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the landscape services industry generates $93 billion in revenue each year and employs more than 1 million people.

If this sounds like the right move for you, keep reading to learn how to start your own landscaping business.

Considering the range and depth of landscaping – from residential to commercial, from maintenance to removal and designing to tree care – the economics of starting your own landscaping business are remarkably simple. It can be as simple as renting a lawn mower and knocking on doors.

“My previous company was a lawn care business that I grew by myself and built a push mower for over 125 employees,” says Brian Clayton, founder of GreenPal, an online lawn care ordering service that’s like the Uber of landscaping. .

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“Most customers have to deal with shoddy and unprofessional competitors,” says Clayton. “Building a successful landscaping business is almost easy if you simply answer the phone when your customer calls, return their voicemails promptly, and do the work you agreed upon with your customers.”

Sounds simple enough, right? But what else can a landscaping business owner do to move beyond the basics? Here are some tricks of the trade to keep in mind when you start your own landscaping business.

The first step to starting a landscaping business is to acquire your own arsenal of landscaping equipment. Once you’ve decided what actual services you want your landscaping business to provide, you’ll know what equipment you need. Then it will be time to decide whether you want to buy it outright or go for the cheaper option of renting.

How To Start Your Own Landscaping Company

In the beginning, you have the option of renting your equipment or purchasing low-grade equipment. But as your landscaping business grows, so will equipment needs and costs – and you can easily spend the same amount of money on maintenance of cheaper equipment as it would cost to purchase higher-end machines.

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“Most landscape contractors will first need to spend five to 10 hours a week maintaining their equipment by sharpening blades or changing oil, spark plugs, air filters, fuel filters, etc.,” says Clayton.

So what are the basics of good landscaping equipment that you need to know when starting a landscaping business?

Any good landscaper should have a handful of manual tools: shovels (such as square-mouth, hoes, and ditchers), wheelbarrows, tillers (such as rear-tine tillers or cultivators), and more powerful items like chainsaws and drills. But the real expense does not lie here. The cost of larger appliances may surprise you.

“Most people don’t know this, but commercial landscape operators who run riding lawnmowers cost more than $12,000,” says Clayton.

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“Landscape contractors also need to purchase or finance a good truck, which costs at least $10,000 to use, and a trailer, which costs $5,000+,” says Clayton. “Also, for landscape construction, you will need a front-end loader in most cases, which itself will cost $10,000 to $50,000.”

All told, Clayton estimates that landscape construction and maintenance businesses need to bring $40,000 to $50,000 worth of equipment to a client’s property. That’s why you might want to start with rentals — according to Clayton, who puts set-up costs at the more reasonable ballpark of $3,000 — but don’t always rely on them.

There are some essential forms of business insurance that you must obtain in order to operate a business. The most important is general liability insurance, which covers everything from repair costs to legal fees and damages that you have to pay if you or an employee accidentally causes damage. Accidents – for example, a mower running over a sprinkler head – happen, and when they do you want them covered.

How To Start Your Own Landscaping Company

You may also need workers’ compensation insurance, depending on which state you’re working in, although as Clayton says, “many states require both insurances to operate a legitimate business.” It happens whether you have employees or not.” Workers’ Compound covers you from medical expenses to court costs if an employee is injured on the job.

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Other forms of insurance that are not required, but may come in handy, include inland marine insurance (for coverage of goods damaged in transit), commercial auto insurance (for most things you can’t use your personal vehicle for which you carry with you and your personal policy will not cover your commercial vehicles) and commercial umbrella insurance (which extends your coverage in case you are hit by a major settlement).

Additionally, if you are looking to use pesticides as part of your services, most states have a pesticide charter that needs to be obtained. Clayton calls it “a very involved process” and doesn’t recommend it until you’re well established in your field.

Before you begin operating your business, make sure you also have the necessary business licenses for the state where you are operating and that you have registered to pay taxes and obtained your Employer Identification Number. , also called a business tax ID number.

The rules regarding what business licenses you need and where to obtain them vary from state to state, so before starting your landscaping business, check the specifics of the state where your business will operate.

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Another form of insurance that you will need when starting a landscaping business is employment law liability insurance, which covers your business if a mistake is made in calculating overtime and wage and hour violations.

Considering the uncertainty about the future of overtime pay and the fact that many small-business owners go it alone without the help of a lawyer or accountant first, this insurance could be a lifesaver – or more accurately , a business-saver.

“In 2009 my company was audited by the Department of Labor and they determined that our crew leader managers could not be paid – they needed to be paid as hourly wage employees,” he says. “This, in turn, resulted in additional overtime charges that were payable to 80 employees, and resulted in a $450,000 fine that my company had to pay.”

How To Start Your Own Landscaping Company

Not having that insurance almost ruined Clayton’s company. Take their experience as a lesson that putting that insurance in place – especially before you get bigger – is important for your landscaping business.

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When it comes to marketing your landscaping business, you already know where to start: Facebook and other social media, as well as SEO tactics, will increase your search visibility on Google and other search engines.

Of course, word-of-mouth marketing is always best, especially in hyper-local markets, but it comes with doing a good job overtime. So while you wait for the enthusiastic reviews to pass around town, consider setting up your social accounts first when starting your landscaping business.

Clayton says mastering all the specific marketing channels, and having a starting budget of $500 to $2,000 to get your first 10 to 100 customers, is the best way to get started. Once you expand your landscaping business you may need a digital marketing specialist to bring your game to the next level.

When you’re first starting your landscaping business, you should also price your services so you can incorporate them into your marketing efforts. Any potential customer will want to know how much they will be charged for the various landscaping services your business offers.

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When you’re setting your rates, it’s a good idea to check out the competition and see what prices similar businesses are offering, then go from there. But remember, you can always adjust the rates.

When you are starting a landscaping business, it is important that you get your finances in order. And we’re probably long past the days of using pen and paper to keep track of all your business expenses, schedules, and accounts. Even spreadsheet applications, although capable of handling large amounts of information, have become a bit outdated.

Luckily, there are plenty of business apps out there that can help your landscaping business operate more smoothly. There are apps and software to help with everything from inventory management and payroll to employee timesheets so you can focus on what’s important – like the actual landscaping work.

How To Start Your Own Landscaping Company

Clayton

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