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Anyone who has a backyard knows that maintaining it is a lot of work. So it’s no surprise that there are many landscaping companies that can help eliminate the need for mowing, weeding, plowing, and other lawn maintenance.
How To Start Your Lawn Care Business
However, if you are someone who enjoys gardening and you love the smell of freshly cut grass or a freshly covered garden, you might be wondering how to start your own landscaping business.
Best Tips For Starting & Growing Your Lawn Care Business
The landscaping business is booming; And if you live somewhere with a warm climate, you can work most of the year. According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the landscape services industry generates $93 billion annually and employs more than 1 million people.
If this sounds like the right move for you, read on to learn how to start your own landscaping business.
Given the breadth and depth of landscaping—from residential to commercial, from maintenance to tree removal and care—the economics of starting your own landscaping business are pretty straightforward. It can be as simple as renting a lawnmower and going door to door.
“My previous company was a lawn care company that I created to grow the mower to over 125 employees,” says Brian Clayton, founder of GreenPal, an online lawn care ordering service that’s like the Landscaping Uber.
How To Start A Lawn Care Business
“Most consumers find it difficult to deal with low-quality, unprofessional competitors,” says Clayton. “Building a successful landscaping business is almost as easy as answering the phone when a customer calls, returning voicemail, and doing the work you agree with your customers.”
Sounds simple enough, right? But what else can a landscaping entrepreneur do beyond the basics? Here are some tricks of the trade when starting your own landscaping business.
The first step to starting a landscaping business is to get your arsenal of landscaping equipment. Once you’ve decided what actual services you want to offer your landscaping business, you’ll know what equipment you need. Then it’s time to decide whether you want to buy it right away or go for the cheap lease option.
For starters, you have the option of renting your own equipment or purchasing low-cost equipment. But as your landscaping business grows, so will your equipment needs and costs—and you can easily spend as much to maintain cheap equipment as it costs to buy state-of-the-art machinery.
How To Start A Lawn Care Business
“Most landscaping contractors spend 5 to 10 hours a week maintaining their equipment sharpening blades or changing oil, spark plugs, air filters, fuel filters and the like,” says Clayton.
So what are the basics of good landscaping equipment you should know when starting a landscaping business?
Any good landscaper should have a few hand tools: shovels (like square blades, shovels, and bulldozers), wheelbarrows, hoes (like backhoes or cultivators), and other powerful items like chainsaws. and practice. But that’s not where the real costs lie. The cost of large appliances may surprise you.
“Most people don’t know this, but you see lawn mowers that commercial landscapers are selling for upwards of $12,000,” says Clayton.
Best Online Marketing Ideas For Lawn Care Businesses
“Landscape contractors should also buy or finance a decent truck that costs at least $10,000 used and a trailer that costs more than $5,000,” says Clayton. “Also, for landscaping, you will need a front loader in most cases, which will cost between $10,000 and $50,000.
Clayton estimates that a landscaping construction and maintenance company must bring $40,000 to $50,000 worth of equipment to a client’s property. So you can start with a lease — which Clayton says has more reasonable $3,000 park-installation costs — but don’t depend on them forever.
There are several basic forms of business insurance that you will need to run a business. Most important is general liability insurance, which covers everything from repair costs to legal fees that you must pay if you or an employee is accidentally injured. Accidents – like one lawnmower hitting another – happen, and you want to be protected when they do.
You may also need workers’ compensation insurance, depending on the state you work in, although, as Clayton says, “Many states require both insurance to run a legitimate business. You need it whether you have employees or not.” From medical expenses to legal costs, workers compensation will cover you if an employee is injured on the job.
Tips To Increase Lawn Care Operator Productivity
Other forms of insurance that aren’t required but can be helpful include inland marine insurance (to cover goods damaged in transit), commercial auto insurance (you can’t use your personal vehicle for most things you’re moving, and your policy personal does not cover your commercial automobile) and commercial umbrella insurance (which extends your coverage if you are involved in a serious collision).
Also, if you want to use pesticides as part of your services, most states have pesticide statutes that you must obtain. Clayton calls this “a very complicated process” and doesn’t recommend it until you’re well established in your field.
Before you start operating your business, make sure you have all necessary business licenses in the state you operate in and are registered to pay taxes and identify your employer. A number also known as a business tax identification number.
Rules for which business licenses you need and where to obtain them vary from state to state; therefore, check the specifics of the state your business will operate in before starting a landscaping business.
How To Market Your Lawn Care Business
Another form of insurance you’ll need when starting a landscaping business is workers’ liability insurance, which covers your business if you make mistakes in calculating overtime and wage and hour violations.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the future of overtime wages and the fact that many small business owners are working alone for the first time without the help of a lawyer or accountant, this insurance is a lifesaver. It can be – or rather, a business economy. .
“My company was audited by the Department of Labor in 2009, and they found that our team leaders couldn’t get paid – they had to hire hourly workers,” he says. In turn, 80 employees were billed for additional overtime and this resulted in a fine of $450,000 that my company had to pay.
Without that insurance, Clayton’s company almost went bankrupt. Take his experience as a lesson that having insurance—especially before climbing—is critical to your landscaping business.
Step By Step: How To Start A Lawn Care Business Successfully
When it comes to marketing your landscaping business, you already know where to start: Facebook and other social media as well as SEO strategies will increase your search visibility on Google and other search engines.
Of course, word of mouth marketing is always better, especially in hyperlocal markets, but it comes with overtime. So, while you wait for the rave reviews to spread around town, consider setting up your social accounts before starting your landscaping business.
Clayton says mastering all the common marketing channels and starting with a starting budget of $500 to $2,000 to get your first 10 to 100 customers is the best way to get started. Once you’ve scaled your landscaping business, a digital marketing expert can be essential in taking your game to the next level.
When starting a landscaping business, you will also need to decide on pricing your services so that you can factor them into your marketing efforts. Any potential customer wants to know how much they will be charged for the various landscaping services your company offers.
How To Market A Lawn Care Business
When you’re deciding on your rates, it’s a good idea to check out the competition and see what prices similar companies are offering, and then go from there. But remember that you can always adjust the rates.
When you’re starting a landscaping business, it’s important to keep track of your finances. And we’re probably past the time of using paper and pen to keep track of your business expenses, schedules, and bills. Even spreadsheet applications, while capable of handling large amounts of information, are somewhat outdated.
Fortunately, there are many business apps that can help you run your landscaping business more easily. There are apps and software to help with everything from managing inventory and payroll to employee spreadsheets, so you can focus on the important things like landscaping.
How To Price Lawn Care Services [pricing Chart And Formula]
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