Starting your own business and generating an income from your particular skills has many advantages, especially if you plan to do it in a thriving sector like landscaping. The average US household spent $503 on lawn care and gardening activities in 2019.
Opportunity plus your skills and talents plus your hard work: will this add up to success? Yes, but … yes, there is always a but … but what will you do first? Follow our 5 step checklist to start your successful landscaping business.
STEP 1: Plan Your Work to Work Your Plan
Draw up a clear business plan outlining the specific scope of work you will be offering. Remember a landscaping business differs from that of a basic lawn maintenance business.
Set out your start-up costs, such as purchasing the necessary equipment, supplies, vehicle expenses, operating expenses, and labor costs for staff hired. Don’t forget to factor in ongoing maintenance costs for equipment and vehicles as well as insurance coverage.
STEP 2: Comply with Legislation
- Ensure your business is registered and legally compliant with all state laws.
- Familiarize yourself with fertilization and pest control chemicals and all the laws and licenses applicable to them.
- Also, open a bank account for your business at this stage.
STEP 3: Invest in Protection
To ensure you are not held personally liable for damages to customers or public property if an accident should occur, invest in a Business Owners Policy. This type of policy is especially helpful for small businesses, as it can be customized to your specific industry needs and will save you time and money in the long run.
Reasons to invest in a Business Owners Policy:
- Your business has a base from which it is run. This could be your home, garage, or even rented property.
- You have moveable assets such as tools, office furniture, or cash.
- You stand a high chance of being sued for negligence or damage to a client’s property due to the nature of your industry.
Typically, a Business Owners Policy will include the following:
- GENERAL LIABILITY covering instances of bodily harm, property damage, and liabilities which your business can be held responsible for.
- PROPERTY INSURANCE for your office space, as well as moveable equipment and inventory items used for business purposes.
- BUSINESS INCOME INSURANCE for those unexpected events that suspend business operations. This insurance helps replace your loss of income and enables you to continue meeting your monthly financial obligations.
There are certain exclusions that a BOP does not cover, which could be added on at a later stage as your business starts to make traction in the landscaping industry.
STEP 4: Get Noticed
Time now to turn your attention to your marketing. Put effort into creating business logos, advertising flyers, business cards, portable site signs for on-site activity, and an online media presence (a website and social media) for getting your brand name out there.
STEP 5: Target Clients
- Long-term clients who sign up for ongoing garden maintenance on a monthly fee basis are best as they offer return business. Look to local businesses in addition to residential clients.
- If you have an add-on service such as installing new grass or preparing gardens for winter put it out there. A large part of repeat business comes down to building a rapport with your clients where you are known for being consistent in honoring work commitments at the agreed-upon price.
- Also, keeping abreast of industry trends can help you improve your skills and knowledge and ultimately give you the edge over your competitors.
Get Your Landscaping Business Up and Running
So, get out there! Follow this 5 step plan to start your own landscaping business.