A step-by-step guide on how to start a landscaping business in 2022. From getting your license to picking a market and implementing the right tools, these tips have you covered.
Full disclosure, I do not have a green thumb. I never have and I doubt I ever will – even when I’m retired and there’s nothing better to do. But as I currently look out at my yard and weeds are seemingly taking over, there has to be a better method than breaking my back to pull these monsters out.
So, while I am on the hunt for a landscaping professional, I got to thinking that it must be a lucrative business to get into. Think about how many yards need work and people just don’t have the time or even the passion to do what’s needed. A little TLC isn’t always enough, or so I’ve learned.
For anyone who’s already a seasoned landscape professional, starting a landscaping business of your own is surely an enticing proposition.
It’s an opportunity to focus on the type of landscaping work that you enjoy the most. It can also be rewarding to develop relationships with return customers and watch your business grow. On top of that, there’s the freedom of being your own boss and being able to manage your business the way you want to.
Of course, it also helps to know how to start a landscaping business. After all, a lot can change when you’re the boss rather than an employee. Things tend to get complicated quicker than you might realize.
However, if you’re prepared and understand how to start a landscaping business ahead of time, the process can be a lot smoother. Let’s take a look at the most important steps to know about when starting a landscaping business of your own.
Get Your License and Insurance Straightened Out
It’s usually best to get the boring stuff out of the way when starting a landscaping business. That means taking care of any licenses and certifications you need to perform this kind of work. This shouldn’t be difficult if you’re a seasoned landscaper already, but it’s also not something that you want to overlook.
Next, you’ll want to look into making sure your business is properly insured when you start performing landscaping work for customers. Depending on where you want to open your business, it’s possible that workers’ compensation insurance and general liability insurance will both be required. This is a step that cannot be overlooked when starting a landscaping business.
Other forms of insurance may be required as well, so you’ll want to shop around and talk to different providers to find the plan that will work best for you.
Pick the Services You Want to Offer
As mentioned, part of the fun of starting a landscaping business is deciding what services you want to offer to your customers.
What do you want to be the focal point of your business? This will likely be determined by what work you like to perform and what services aren’t being offered to potential customers in the area.
Are there other landscaping companies that don’t do what you can do?
It’s important that you get this settled relatively early in the process because it will impact some of the things you do moving forward. For instance, the work that you perform will dictate the type of equipment that you’ll buy. This will also have an impact on the type of customers you go after and the market that you want to target. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t pivot to other things later, but it’s best to set an initial plan and stick to it.
Learn About Your Competition and Pick a Market
Once you have decided what services you would like to offer, the next step in starting a landscaping business is to research the competition.
- Are there other landscapers in your area that perform similar work?
- Is there something you can do to stand out from those competitors?
Based on that information, it’s important to decide the market you want to target.
- Do you want to focus on a small area that isn’t being serviced by other landscapers?
- Will you need to travel throughout a larger area to find enough customers to be sustainable?
These are the types of questions that you’ll want to have answered before you launch your business.
Create a Business Plan and Get Financing
Before you go too far in starting a landscaping business, it’s important to write up a business plan. This is where you’ll describe the business you’re trying to create, the market analysis you’ve done of your competition, and the strategy you have for how you’ll attract customers. It’s also where you will start to project how successful you can be and the revenue you plan on amassing in the years to come.
It’s critical to have all of this information written down in a formal plan when you start to look for financing.
If you go to a bank or credit union looking for a loan, they will want to see that you have thought about everything and have a plan. No matter the industry, starting a business will always have challenges. But if you show financial institutions that you understand these challenges and have a plan for them, you will be more likely to receive the financing to get your business off the ground.
That being said, banks and credit unions aren’t the only place to go for capital when starting a landscaping business.
It’s possible to pursue private investors who believe that you can open a successful business. Most people begin with asking their friends and family, but it’s possible to find other investors who are willing to be silent partners.
If all else fails, you may have no choice but to bootstrap your business and get it started using your own money. While this is possible, it’s far from ideal, which is why you need a strong business plan that can convince banks or private investors to get behind you.
Hire the Right Team
You’re not planning on running a one-man business, right? At some point, you need to hire people to help you. So ask yourself:
- What will you need other people to do?
- How many people do you need?
- What kind of compensation will you offer them?
- Do you want to perform the landscaping work yourself? If so, then you need someone to handle the business side of things. The other option is to manage the business yourself while finding others to perform the landscaping work.
Either way, you will need to find competent employees. The good news is that there are enough job ad services nowadays that finding candidates shouldn’t be a problem. However, you’ll have to decide the traits that you value in an employee. Otherwise, you may not hire the right people for the business that you’re trying to build. Ask behavioral questions as you interview the candidates to truly understand if they’re a good fit or not.
Pick the Right Tools
One of the key components you will need to consider as you ask how to start a landscaping business is picking the right tools.
For starters when you’re running the business solo, you will need invoicing software like Wave, appointment scheduling software like Appointy, a weather app, and a communication tool to chat with clients like WhatsApp (although that’s not totally recommended!)
As your business grows, you will need more from the tools you utilize. That’s why hundreds of landscaping professionals implement Connecteam’s all-in-one landscaping software.
Day to day operations are that much easier with a single software. For example, GPS time tracking for accurate payroll (and easily exporting timesheets to Quickbooks Online), job dispatching and shift scheduling, a social feed to keep everyone on the same page, on the go reporting and forms, quick task management, and so much more.
Additionally, Connecteam makes it easier to handle the following:
- Add information per shift or job like address, files, images, notes, tasks, etc.
- Color code jobs like commercial vs. residential
- Social feed for sharing policies, regulations, maintenance, safety procedures, etc.
- 1:1 or group chat for better engagement and to keep everyone aligned
- In-app knowledge center for quick onboarding and continued training
- Share manuals and guides in doc, PDF, video format, or as a link
See How Hundreds Of Landscaping Professions Use Connecteam To Scale Their Business
Set Your Prices
Next on our list of how to start a landscaping business is setting your prices.
Once you’ve started to attract investors and have some of your finances a little more settled, it’ll be time to set your prices. This might be one of the more complicated parts of starting a landscape business because there are many factors at play. For starters, you have to consider some of your overhead costs, including the equipment you need to perform your services and the salary you’ve promised to your workers.
Finding the right price points will also depend on the prices that your competitors are charging and how your services compare with theirs. This is another reason it’s critical to perform market research on your competitors to understand who you’re up against.
Of course, that doesn’t always mean that you need to undercut their prices. Your prices should also be consistent with the experience you have in the industry and the quality of the work you provide. Most customers will be willing to pay more for quality work, but it has to be a fair price for the service you offer. If you’re still not sure, read our full guide on how to estimate a landscaping job.
Wrapping Up Our Tips On How To Start A Landscaping Business
By this point, you fully understand what you need to do when wondering how to start a landscaping business. So what’s next? What’s the last step? Ah, that’s the best part!
Find Customers and Do a Good Job
Once your prices are set, you’ll be ready to go out into the world and start finding customers. Hopefully, you’ve done your due diligence in your business plan and will know the types of customers that you want to target. From there, it’s all about finding the best way to market your company so that people know what you can do for them.
Once those first customers start rolling in, the best thing you can do is perform as best as possible for them. Like so many industries, word of mouth and positive online reviews are critical – especially when starting out. If you do a good job, it will help you find more customers, and in turn, get your successful landscaping business off the ground.
Set Your Landscaping Business Up For Success
Connecteam offers all the right features to efficiently run your landscape business.