Have you had summers when you pushed lawnmowers in your backyard or your neighbors to earn a few pennies? You were sweating profusely, but you didn't care because you needed extra money to buy that concert ticket you wanted to go to with your friends.
However, lawnmowing is not for teenagers anymore. If you have killer lawn care and landscaping skills and are reading this article, then this is probably the sign you're looking for to start a landscaping business.
Do note, however, that starting a lawn care and landscaping business can be nerve-wracking and sleep-depriving, like any business. Starting one will require a lot of your time, commitment, money, and sometimes a lot of luck.
Why Start a Landscaping Business
If you have a yard or a friend who has one, you should know that maintaining one is a lot of work. It's not surprising that a lot of landscape companies are popping out everywhere because people are either too busy or too tired, but they want the perfect lawn. Here are a few reasons why starting a landscaping business right now is perfect:
1. The landscape business is booming.
In the US alone, there are an estimated 10,000 individual lawn care service providers and 12,000 landscapers. The numbers are estimated because more people are offering lawn care and landscaping informally and on a cash basis.
The IBIS World Landscaping Services Industry Report also indicates that the industry for landscape services has a considerable market size--$105.1 billion in 2021--and that was during the pandemic. As a matter of fact, the number for 2021 increased by 4.9 percent from the previous year (2020).
On average, the landscaping business increases by 5.3 percent per year. A landscaping business can offer flexibility and financial independence.
You would definitely want to tap on that.
2. Starting a landscaping business gives you the freedom to work outside and improve your outlook.
If you're over and done with working at your desk for 8 hours per day, starting a landscaping business will give you the freedom to work outside and breathe the fresh air.
Several studies show that when we spend that our moods are more optimistic when we spend more time outside. There are also several studies indicating that spending more time with nature reduces the risk of anxiety and depression.
Isn't this something that everyone wants?
3. A landscaping business is rewarding.
You can be your own boss and set your own hours. You can decide how, when and whom you do business with and choose where to source your materials.
It's solely your decision how you want to treat your vendors and customers. You don't need to follow a particular script or protocol. You manage your marketing and every other aspect of your business.
When you work with lawn care and landscaping, the rewards are immense. You can see your project come to life right before your eyes. When people appreciate your landscape art, the feeling is priceless.
Of course, starting a landscaping business is a huge plus if you're really passionate about nature. Just like they say, if you love what you do, you don't have to work a day of your life.
How to Start a Landscaping Business
Now that you know how starting a landscaping business benefits your mental health and financials, let's start digging into what you need to start a landscaping business.
Here are a few questions that you need to answer:
1. What services will you offer?
A lawn care business has two categories: landscaping and lawn maintenance. Most landscaping companies offer both, but you can provide just one. Here's something that will help you decide:
- Landscaping requires designing the layout and placing plants, rocks, etc., for a home or business.
- Landscaping also involves updating existing landscaping designs.
- Landscaping improves "curb appeal," especially for houses going to the market.
- Hardscape means designing rocks, waterfalls, and sculptures. This is an optional service that you can offer.
- Lawn maintenance includes sod installation, weeding, trimming, lawn aeration, and plant care.
- Lawn maintenance also includes applying fertilizer, mowing, bug and pest treatments, and irrigation system maintenance and repair.
It's a pretty long list, huh? You can offer all the services listed above or provide just a few. Again, it's your call since it's your own landscaping business.
2. Are you going to rent or buy equipment?
When you know what services you'll offer, you can create a list of equipment you need to provide the services on your list.
Here are a few recommended pieces of equipment that you should have when starting a landscaping business:
- Gardening gloves
- Ear and eye protection
- Lawn aerator
- Leaf blower
- Clippers/pruning shears
- Fertilizing equipment
- Hedge trimmer
There is also optional landscape design software that you can purchase to help you out with designing the perfect landscape for your landscaping business clients.
Now that you have the list, should you rent or buy your landscaping business equipment? If you're starting and don't have enough capital to make the purchase, start by renting. Renting is also perfect for equipment you will not use all the time for your landscaping business.
Suppose you will offer a lawnmowing service when you start a landscaping business. It would help if you bought a lawnmower. It will make your job easier, and while it may come with a cost, it's something you're offering as part of your core services. Renting can be expensive in this case.
3. Who is your target market?
When you start a landscaping business, it will be very tempting to cast a wide net to capture a broad range of clients. You must know that casting a wide net also involves a larger pool of competitors.
You can start targeting a specific niche of clients that most of your competitors haven't or rarely captured. Niching down narrows your competition and makes it easier for you to offer your services to your target market.
4. How much will you charge?
It can be difficult to find the right price for your landscaping business. Prices depend on your location, experience, and services. As a first step, you can look at your competitor's pricing--and don't worry, it's not cheating.
Try to price your service to be as close as theirs to remain competitive while considering your experience level. As you get more experience and happy clients, you can start to increase your rates.
By the way, it's always best to consider when you should charge per hour and per project. You should also decide how much you want to get paid upfront (to prevent cancellations) and upon completion of your landscaping project.
5. Do you have reliable transportation?
A landscaping business requires reliable transportation because you will lug around heavy equipment, plants, soil, rocks, and probably, statues. Obviously, your clients may be located in different locations that are miles away from your business office or home.
A dependable truck that can easily haul dirty equipment should be your perfect companion. This is an investment for your landscaping business that can definitely help you in the long haul.
6. How would you brand your company?
When you are niching down and choosing your target market, you should establish a strong brand identity that will set your landscaping business apart from your competitors.
To brand your company, here are a few things you need to consider:
- Brand name. Your brand name should be unique so you stand out. Try to make it short so it's easier to remember. Before taking a brand name, make sure that your name is not taken by other businesses.
- Mission statement. Your mission statement defines what you do and why you're doing it. It tells your landscaping business clients what your business is all about and gives you a general direction on how you're going to serve your clients.
- Unique selling points. Your unique selling point (USP) is one that defines you from the rest of the landscape companies. Do you offer the best customer service? Do you offer luxury landscapes only? You have to define what makes your company unique.
- Attractive logo. Logos grab attention and create a good first impression. This is the foundation of your brand identity and should always be memorable so it sticks to your potential and existing clients.
Professional website. Building your own professional for your landscaping business will definitely put your business on the map. Your clients can easily find you and you can attract more clients online. You can create a gorgeous website with Strikingly--with us--so you can get online as fast as possible.
Image taken from Strikingly
7. Do you have all the business licenses required to start a landscaping company?
Starting a landscaping business requires standard licensing requirements which vary depending on your location. Be sure to check with your local business licensing office about the requirements, forms, and fees to get your landscaping business license.
8. How will you market your landscaping business?
This is the fun part! You don't really have to spend a lot to market your business. Here are a few suggestions to kick off your marketing plan:
- Be on social media. Everyone is on social media and your business should be there too. Create a post and upload it on your social media pages. You can share informative articles related to your business or post beautiful photos of your projects.
- Do search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is utilized by companies to drive traffic to their website. If you do SEO well, you can target your niche audience using the right keywords and get a broader audience.
- Network. Network. Network. When you start a landscaping business, it is essential that you build relationships online and in your local community. This approach can open opportunities for you and perhaps, earn a few referral clients.
- Aim for word-of-mouth marketing. People will always shar their best experience with your landscaping business. Networking is a good way to get referrals but aiming for satisfied clients is the best way to get repeat clients and new customers.
Landscape Companies: Website Examples and Templates
Here are a few examples of landscape companies that you can check out:
Fox Lawn Care - Strikingly Website template perfect for your landscaping business.
Image taken from Strikingly
- Exotic Gardens - Company website with inverted navigation menu
Image taken from Exotic Gardens
- Green Options Nationwide Landscape Management - Company website from Australia
Image taken from Green Options
Elizabeth Peña Landscape Designer - Landscape designer from San Francisco, USA
- Top Landscaping Things - Blog post for a landscaping company
Now that you have a working knowledge of how to start a landscaping business, know that the overall success of your new endeavor will always depend on the quality of your work. Always shoot for keeping your clients happy with great work and amazing landscapes.