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Anyone with a garden knows it’s a lot of work. Not surprisingly, there are many landscaping companies that help eliminate the need for do-it-yourself mowing, weeding, treating and more lawn care.
Starting Lawn Care Business Tips
However, if you are someone who likes to do yard work and love the smell of freshly cut grass or a freshly mulched garden, you may be wondering how to start your own gardening business.
How To Start A Landscaping Business (and Make $58k/month)
The landscaping industry is booming; If you live in a warm climate, you can work most of the year. According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the landscaping services industry generates $93 billion in revenue annually and employs more than one million people.
If this sounds like the right decision for you, keep reading to learn how to start your own landscaping business.
Considering the range and depth of landscaping from residential to commercial, renovation to demolition, and design to tree care, the economics of starting your own landscaping business are pretty straightforward. It can be as simple as renting a lawnmower and knocking on doors.
“My previous job was a lawn care business, and I outgrew it and started a push mower business with over 125 employees,” said Bryan Clayton, founder of GreenPal, an on-demand service. It’s a bit like the Uber of landscaping.
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“Most customers have to deal with bad, unprofessional competitors,” says Clayton. “It’s almost as easy to build a successful landscaping business if you just answer the phone when your customer calls, return their voicemails promptly, and do what you agreed to with your customers.”
Sounds simple enough, right? But what else can a landscaping business owner do to go beyond the basics? Here are some tricks of the trade when starting out in the landscaping business.
The first step to starting a landscaping business is to acquire an arsenal of landscaping equipment. Once you’ve decided on the actual services you want to offer your landscaping business, you’ll know what equipment you need. Then it will be time to decide whether to buy it outright or opt for the cheaper rental option.
First, you have the choice of renting your equipment or buying substandard equipment. But as your landscaping business grows, so do the equipment requirements and costs, and you can easily spend as much on maintaining cheap equipment as you would on buying a quality machine.
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“Most landscape contractors will initially spend five to ten hours a week maintaining their equipment by sharpening blades or changing oil, spark plugs, air filters, fuel filters, etc.” Clayton explains.
So what are the basics of good landscaping equipment that you should know when starting a landscaping business?
There are a few hand tools that every good landscaper should have on hand: shovels (like square mouths, spades, and trenchers), wheels, forks (like back forks or cultivators), and stronger items like chains. .and drilling. But the real costs are not there. The cost of larger equipment may surprise you.
“Most people don’t know this, but the mowers used by commercial landscapers themselves cost upwards of $12,000,” says Clayton.
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“Landscaping contractors should also purchase or finance a decent truck costing at least $10,000 and a trailer costing upwards of $5,000,” says Clayton. “Also, for landscaping, you’ll need a front loader in most cases, which alone will cost $10,000 to $50,000.”
In total, Clayton estimates that landscape construction and maintenance companies must bring between $40,000 and $50,000 worth of equipment to a client’s property. That’s why you might want to start with a rental—which puts installation costs at a more reasonable $3,000, according to Clayton—but don’t depend on them forever.
Running a business requires several types of business insurance. Most important is general liability insurance, which covers everything from repair costs to legal fees to pay if you or an employee accidentally causes damage. Accidents like running over a sprinkler head with a lawnmower, for example, happen, and you want to be covered when they happen.
Depending on the state you work in, you may also need workers’ compensation insurance, though as Clayton says, “many states require both to legally run a business, whether you’re employed or not.” Workers’ compensation covers you from medical bills to legal costs if an employee is injured on the job.
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Other types of insurance that aren’t mandatory but can be helpful include inland marine insurance (to cover goods damaged in transit), commercial motor insurance (you can’t use your own vehicle for most of the things you’re transporting, and your personal policy covers the insurance). cover your company’s vehicles) and company umbrella insurance (which expands your coverage if you’re hit with a large settlement).
Additionally, if you want to apply pesticides as part of your services, most states have a pesticide statute that must be purchased. Clayton calls it “a very complicated process” and doesn’t recommend it until you’re well established in your field.
Before starting your business, make sure you register for all business licenses and taxes required for the state you are operating in, and obtain your ID.
Rules about what business licenses you need and where to get them vary from state to state, so check the details of the state where your business will operate before starting your landscaping business.
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Another form of insurance you’ll need when starting a landscaping business is employment liability insurance, which covers your business in the event of errors in the calculation of hours, overtime, and wage and hour violations.
Given the uncertainty about the future of excess payments and the tendency of many small business owners to go it alone without the help of a lawyer or accountant first, insurance can be a lifesaver, or rather a business. .
“In 2009, my company was audited by the Department of Labor and they found that our supervisors could not be paid – they had to be paid as hourly employees,” he said. “This, in turn, resulted in 80 employees being paid overtime, which resulted in a $450,000 fine that my company had to pay.”
Lack of insurance nearly killed Clayton’s business. Take his experience as a lesson that having insurance is essential for your landscaping business, especially before you scale it.
Pros And Cons Of Starting A Lawn Care Business
When it comes to marketing your landscaping business, you already know where to start: Facebook and other social media, along with 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 with that comes a good job search. So, while you wait for the rave reviews to hit town, consider creating your social media accounts first when you start your landscaping business.
Mastering all the typical marketing channels and setting a starting budget of $500 to $2,000 to get your first 10 to 100 customers is the best way to get started, Clayton says. Once you’ve grown your landscaping business, you may need a digital marketing expert to take your game to the next level.
When you start a landscaping business, you should also determine the prices of your services so that you can include them in your marketing efforts. All potential customers will want to know how much they will be charged for the various landscaping services your business will provide.
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When deciding on your rates, it’s a good idea to check out the competition and see what prices similar companies are offering and go from there. But remember that you can adjust the rates whenever you want.
It’s important to keep your finances in order when starting a landscaping business. And we probably don’t need to use pen and paper anymore to keep track of all your business expenses, schedules and accounts. Even though spreadsheet programs can handle large amounts of information, they are somewhat outdated.
Fortunately, there are many professional programs that can help your landscaping business run more smoothly. There are apps and software to help you with everything from inventory management and payroll to employee timesheets so you can focus on important tasks like landscaping.
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