How to Start a Landscaping Business? (Expert’s Guide)

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Idea with execution achieve success. Get insights on how to start a landscaping business by going through this blog. It briefly describe the initial procedures as well as the start-up cost.

Anything precious is costly. So is your lawn care. In order to maintain the original beauty of those fascinating lushy bushes, the smell of freshly cut grass or a newly mulched garden, and the outdoors itself , you need to make some extra efforts. And who better than a landscape technician can do that. What if those extra efforts, taken by the landscape technician, rewards back in the incredible profit margins?  

As per the reports of IBISWorld’s Landscaping Services in the US Industry Report, the landscaping sector has expanded at a rate of 2.5% over the past five years. Future projections indicate that the landscaping services industry is expected to keep growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5% per year. Additionally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of landscapers is expected to rise by 10% between 2019 and 2029.

So, if you are intrigued by the lawn care business, here is a guide to help you how to start a landscaping business.

How to Start a Successful Landscaping Business?

There’s more to starting a landscaping business than just looking at the industry statistics. 

You should follow these steps to start a successful landscaping business from scratch:

To get your landscaping business off to a good start, let’s discuss these steps in detail.

1. Identify your target market and decide on your services

A strong understanding of your local market is one of the keys to starting a successful lawn care company. Few things are to be taken in consideration

  • Firstly, it is best to find out what the customers want in your area and what your competitors offer.
  • Make a list of landscaping services you wish to offer based on your knowledge and expertise as well as the likes and dislikes of your target market. 
  • Take a look at your competitors’ prices as well and decide the unbeatable pricing strategy. 
  • Check out the local market to see if there are any gaps in services, which you can fulfill. 
  • You might also want to survey homeowners and businesses about what they need. 
  • You can encourage responses by offering discounts in the future.

Here are some landscaping and lawn care ideas that may be helpful:

  • Mowing and lawn care
  • Fall and spring cleaning
  • Design, gardening, and architecture
  • Pruning and removing trees
  • Watering
  • Fertilizing
  • Mulching grass

Once you’ve figured out your target market, check out the demographics. You can narrow your focus and develop your landscaping business plan and marketing strategy as you get more information.

2. Choose a business name and register your business

You need to choose a business name and register your business entity with the state before you can start operating it officially. If you are a sole proprietor, a “doing business as” (DBA) name doesn’t protect you from liability. In this case, the ideal option can be forming an LLC or corporation.

Register your business

When you have decided on the business name you wish to use, you will need to file the paperwork with the secretary of state. Ensure that no one has already claimed your name. It is usually the articles of incorporation that contain an LLC’s documents.

3. Buy or rent the required equipment

Deciding on whether to rent or buy lawn care equipment early on is critical. A one-person operation might find renting equipment to be more cost-effective. 

If you are short on budget, you do not have to stay updated by purchasing the latest equipment or technology. Don’t be afraid to start small, then scale up as your customer base grows. Many landscaping companies started this way. This will also help you manage startup costs. 

However, if your business grows, you might get a better deal on equipment. Keep track of your rental costs to know when you should buy.

As a service provider, you may need the following:

  • Vehicles, pickup truck, and trailer
  • Commercial lawn mowers
  • Edgers and weed eaters
  • A rototiller
  • Specialist tools

You should include these costs in the lawn maintenance and repair budget. When you have the right equipment, your customers don’t care where you bought it or whether it’s new or used.

4. Create a business plan

Creating a business plan for your landscaping business will direct you towards the successful implementation of your business idea. It provides a way to your efforts to successfully get the desired outputs. A strong business plan will guide you on:

  • The resources you require
  • What services you offer
  • How can you beat the existing customers in the market
  • What are the tools & equipments that you will be in need of
  • A general idea on how to market a business and lastly, 
  • How will manage the finances and hire the crew

5. Decide your landscaping rates

Now you need to figure out how much you’re going to charge. To find out what the standard landscaping costs are in your area, check what other landscaping companies charge. Make sure you’re not undervaluing your landscaping services because your competitors are.

Decide your landscaping rates

The price for smaller landscaping jobs can be charged as low as $50, while labor-intensive landscaping jobs require work that cost of up to $7,000.

Type Landscaping Cost
Average Landscaping Cost $700
High Landscaping Cost $7000
Lowest Landscaping Cost $50

Make sure your charges cover your overhead costs. The overhead comes from the costs of fuel, fertilizer, and workers. A worker’s compensation policy is required for employers to compensate the costs of their employees. The rates you charge should cover your costs and make a profit for you. Ever thought of what is the average labor rate for landscaping? Read this article and get answers to your question.

6. Market your business

You can begin marketing when your business is set up and you have determined what services and prices you’ll be offering. There are traditional as well as online marketing methods to create awareness about your brand among people. Remember the credibility of your landscaping business will only get known by implementation of a strong marketing plan. Otherwise, no matter how robust your business model will be, it will be of no use if people are unaware about it. 

Promote your business

You can hand out business cards on doorknobs to spread the word about your services. By doing so, you’ll be able to get weekly clients in the same neighborhood, reducing commuting costs and travel time for you.

Listed below are some marketing ideas for landscaping businesses:

  • Ensure that you have a user-freindly professional landscaping website and is searchable online
  • Make your business visible in Google My Business
  • Get on social media (like promote your Facebook business)
  • Get listed in relevant online directories (like Yelp and Yellow Pages)
  • (Local) newspaper ads
  • Paid search (like Google Adwords or Bing Ads)
  • A word of mouth marketing

Bryan Clayton says mastering all of the typical marketing channels, and putting a starting budget of $500 to $2,000 in place to grab your first 10 to 100 customers, is the best way to kick start your business.

7. Hire employees

As your business grows, hiring landscape professionals becomes a necessity. A great team starts with good people, whether you’re hiring someone part-time to handle paperwork or expanding your team.

When you hire employees (whether full-time or part time employees) make sure they have a background check before starting work for you. You shouldn’t settle for anyone less than the best when hiring people who embody the traits you know will make your landscaping business succeed.

8. Optimize your business operations

Automation catalyzes business growth. When you scale up your business, you can focus on the revenue-generating parts of it by automating your operations. As a side benefit, automated estimates and invoices for landscaping contractors improve customer service and saves money and time.

Here’s what you can automate:

  • Invoicing– If you automate your invoicing, you will never have to worry about forgetting your landscaping invoice and wondering if your payment went through.
  • Scheduling– Using scheduling automation makes the process of allocating resources in real-time very smooth and error-free.

This leading landscaping estimating and invoicing software can automate and streamline work orders, dispatching, estimating, timesheets, and more. To make things easier, you can use InvoiceOwl to automate your estimating & invoicing processes. By using the software, you don’t have to waste your time making manual estimates & invoices, create purchase orders and memos, get reports, etc.

Create automated estimates and invoices in minutes.

InvoiceOwl help you get rid of traditional methods of creating estimates and reports, wasting your time in persoanlization and generating reports

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You can simply create an estimate in a few clicks, send it to the client, get it approved, and convert it into an invoice with a single click. Moreover, you don’t even need to physically sign the document.

Try InvoiceOwl and use the e-signing feature, saying goodbyes to the old methods of signing manually by pen & paper.

You can even request payments from clients and get financial reports automatically created in the software.

Why Start a Landscaping Business?

Landscaping industry is lucrative in many ways. Not just financially but environmentally, and personally as well. Want to know how? Here’s is your answer. 

  • Being your own boss in the landscape industry, working as per your mood, requirement, and schedule is a major flexibility we can have. 
  • Apart from this, you get to meet, and interact with new people which will ultimately strengthen your customer base.
  • Plus, you can have the whole business profit for yourself without sharing with anyone else. 
  • On top of this, when you start your new business of landscaping, you are benefiting the environment as well.  When you preserve the lawns and gardens around you, the number of CO2, consuming tress and plants increases. Along with this, you can make a place for bees and butterflies to survive. 

How Much Does it Cost to Start your own Landscaping Business?

Costs must always be taken into account when establishing any service-based business. We’ve done the expense research and gathered some general, approximate figures for the establishment costs of a landscaping service for you.

To start a landscaping business, the start up costs always varies depending upon the size of the business and scope of your business operations. 

If you are a single person operating the whole business, and undergoing only basic maintenance and mowing services, then $5,000 or less than that, as a start up costs will be okay. 

If you are a homeowner, it’s likely that you already have it all you require to get going, but you might need a few more tools as you go. An example to this is, switching towards digital estimating and invoicing software like InvoiceOwl, a leading estimating and invoicing software for your landscaping business. It can automate your few landscaping business operations like:

Make Digital Estimates & Invoices in Minutes

InvoiceOwl is the leading time-saving software helping us to make accurate estimates & invoices with professional-looking templates that can be customized in minutes.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  1. How profitable is a landscaping business?

    The operating profit margins of a landscaping business typically range in between 15% to 45%. The operating profit margin is what you actual receive after deducting the operating expenses.

    However, it also depends on:

    • what profitable landscaping services you are offering,
    • the area in which you are offering,
    • and to whom you are offering, whether commercial or residential.

  2. How do I start a landscaping business?

    If you’re interested in starting your own landscaping business, there are many things to consider from scratch:

    • Identify your target market and decide on your services
    • Choose a business name and register your business
    • Buy or rent the required equipment
    • Create a business plan
    • Decide your landscaping rates
    • Market your business
    • Hire employees
    • Optimize your business operations by investing in modernized softwares

  3. Is it necessary to have qualifications to start a landscaping business?

    Success comes from being one of the best! Regardless of whether there are minimum requirements to start a landscaping maintenance business, you should pursue formal training to set your business apart from well-meaning amateurs.
  4. How do you charge for landscaping?

    Residential jobs aim for a margin of 15 to 20%, and commercial jobs aim for a margin of 10 to 15%. A high gross margin can be achieved by marking your total cost by a percentage higher than your gross margin.
  5. How much can a landscaping business make in one year?

    Owners of landscaping businesses can make between $25,302 and $147,577 per year in income, according to Payscale statistics.

    Also, as per the reports of IBIS World Landscaping Services Industry Report, the landscape service industry makes $105.1 billion revenue in 2021, employing more than 1 million people.

Conclusion

That’s all that you need to know, in the initial phase of your start in the landscape industry. Without any further ado, all you need to do is just implement all those stages mentioned above and participate in this lucrative business. 

The toughest part of everything is always the beginning, but the journey is what makes it worthwhile.

With the right tools and equipments, take baby steps and grow as you draw in more happy customers and increase your earnings. InvoiceOwl can help you make your journey smoother by helping you get over the manual methods of estimating, invoicing, generating reports, getting online reviews, and generating POs and credit memos for your next landscaping job.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel
Founder

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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