How To Start a Landscaping Business? A Complete Guide

The market size of landscaping businesses will increase at a CAGR rate of 4.5%  and it is expected to grow more during the period of 2020-2025? Isn’t it exciting?

By looking at the substantial growth of the landscaping service market, if you’ve set your mind to start your new lawn care business, then it’s a perfect time and decision to start a landscaping business. 

However, starting a new landscaping business from scratch involves challenging things like perfect planning, deciding the landscaping services to incorporate, grabbing legal documents, and even getting clients.

To make it easy for you, we have come up with a complete guide that shows how to start a landscaping business from scratch. So, let’s get started.

Why Start a Landscaping Business?

As landscaping business has good profit potential. The landscaping industry market size has grown 2.5% annually since 2016. The industry is worth $105.1 billion as of 2021. If you are hoping for a business idea with good demand, the landscaping business is worth pursuing.

Moreover, the business has low barriers to entry, and you can get started with a few pieces of equipment and reliable transportation. 

Finally, the landscaping business offers a lot of freedom, and you will be able to set your hours, choose your clients, and even provide the services you want.

How to Start a Landscaping Business with No Experience

Now let us highlight a step-by-step guide to starting your own landscaping business from scratch.

1. Decide the Landscaping Services You Want to Offer

The first step to building a successful lawn care company is understanding your local market.

Learn about your competitors and determine your consumer’s needs in the locality. You can use this information to decide which landscaping services your business will be offering.

Research your rival’s offerings and prices. Identify any service gaps in the local market that you could fulfill. You can also survey homeowners and other companies about their current or future landscaping and lawn care needs. One way to get responses is to offer discounts on future services.

You can provide many landscaping and lawn care services, including:

A market analysis can help you identify potential consumers. Figure out your target market, and then look at the demographics in your area. This information will help you narrow your focus and develop your immediate and long-term marketing plans.

2. Get the Required Landscaping Equipment According to Services

Here are seven pieces of equipment you will need to start your lawn care business. Most landscape contractors will need to spend five to ten hours a week maintaining their equipment.

  • Vehicle ($27,000 – $36,000) – You will need a reliable vehicle to transport your equipment from different landscaping jobs.
  • Utility trailer ($800 – $5,000) – A trailer can be helpful when hauling heavy equipment that you don’t want to hoist into a flatbed. A steel-mesh trailer can cost up to $1,200, but you can get by with a simple, single-axle trailer for about $800.
  • Storage Space ($50 – $200/month) – You will need space to store your equipment when you’re not using it, which you can rent for a monthly cost.
  • Commercial lawn mower ($1,000 – $2,600) – There are several types of lawn mowers available, such as ride-on mowers, walk-behinds, and both for mowing lawns. Start with at least one versatile mower and invest in more as you grow to handle a wider variety of lawns simultaneously. You can even invest in a robotic lawnmower if you want to go high-tech.
  • Trimmers, Edgers, Blowers ($200 – $500 each) – These tools allow you to not only trim hard-to-reach places but can also help you clean up your work to ensure a neat appearance for homeowners.
  • Spreaders and sprayers ($35 – $70) – Many potential customers will ask for fertilizer or pesticide spraying to keep their lawn looking healthy, so it’s good to have these tools on hand to handle these jobs.
  • Landscaping tools ($5,000 – $6,000) – These include digging tools, cutting tools, grading, measuring, and marking tools.

3. Create a Landscaping Business Plan

For your landscaping business to be successful, you need a plan. A complete full-proof business plan helps you raise funding and improve the chances of success in the competitive market. So, wondering how to write a landscaping business plan. Here are the few things you need to consider for planning a successful business.

  • Executive Summary
  • Company analysis
  • Industry Analysis
  • Customer Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Marketing Plan
  • Operational Plan
  • Financial Plan
  • A Strong Management Team

4. Get The Required Business Insurance, Licenses, and EIN

  • Obtain an employee identification number

    You will need to apply for an Employee Identification Number or EIN for hiring employees. The IRS uses this number for identifying employer tax accounts, and banks also require an EIN to open a business bank account.

    You can apply for one online with the IRS. The process is straightforward. Print out the confirmation page and note down the number. You will not be able to access it later.

  • Apply for proper landscaping business licences

    Everyone needs a landscape license to operate their lawn maintenance company. The Small Business Administration has all the information on state licensing requirements. Consult it before starting your own company.

    There may also be local licensing requirements in your area. Again, I recommend checking with your county clerk and the state department of business regulation. You can also consider consulting a lawyer to ensure all your licenses are in order.

  • Other Licences You May Require

    Some states require you to obtain permits for other practices in lawn care. For example, if you plan to use pesticides or apply fertilizer, check with your state to see if a lawn care license is necessary. Some states also require you to have a contractor’s number.

  • Business Insurance

    Having the right insurance policies is highly recommended for landscaping businesses. There are several policies that you should have:

    • General liability insurance
    • Worker’s compensation insurance
    • Property insurance
    • Commercial auto insurance

    General liability insurance protects you if something goes wrong on the job. In addition, worker’s compensation insurance is a requirement in some states, and it protects you if one of your workers gets injured on the job.

    Get property insurance too, which covers all the equipment.

    You should also have commercial auto insurance. The employees will drive vehicles to transport the landscaping tools they need to the consumer’s residence, which also requires coverage.

  • Register Your Business

    Register your business as a legal entity. It means the company is separate from your assets. Registering it will protect you if the company is issued. Your other assets will also have protection from business debts.

    There are a few different business structures you can choose from, including sole proprietorships, limited liability corporations(LLCs), and S-corporations. However, most lawn care companies are LLCs, which provide a higher level of protection than sole proprietorships.

5. Open a Business Bank Account

Opening a business account is an essential step in making your business legal. In doing so, keep your personal and business expenses separate and make bookkeeping and tax filler easier. 

Getting a credit card allows you to start building credits and increase your company’s purchasing power. Also, it’s an excellent idea to obtain a credit card. Having a credit card is often marketed as an attractive alternative to a traditional line of credit. Like any source of financing, a business credit card comes at a cost and must be carefully managed.

6. Decide Pricing of your Landscaping Services

The long-term success of your landscaping business service depends on solid finance management. While considering the pricing of your lawn care business, find out how many competitors in your areas are charging.

If you are offering the same price as your competitor, try not to charge too much more than 15% above their price. That’s usually the tipping point for potential customers to choose the cheaper option.

However, remember that you shouldn’t be the cheapest landscaping service provider in your area; instead, aim for the highest quality of service, know the USP of your business, and set the price accordingly. 

This will set your reputation as a reliable business owner and help you attract the customer you want.

Here is the formula for calculating the pricing of landscaping business services:-

(Labor hours x hourly labour cost) + overhead + equipment + taxes + profit margin.

7. Start Marketing your Landscaping Business to Get More Customers

Branding or marketing your brand is like giving life to your business to be more attractive to potential clients.

Let’s now discuss some exciting ways to apply the marketing strategy to your small business online and offline.

  • Social media

    Building an audience is a challenge for any company. Advertise your business on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. People can find out about your company through these platforms. Add the logo to your email signature, letterhead, invoices, trucks, uniforms, advertising, etc.

  • Use Flyers and Brochures

    Using flyers and brochures to promote lawn care services is a long-standing practice. The cost of physical advertising is similarly low, and it may help you establish your brand early on.

  • Referrals

    Sharing the referral links with your friends and family to enhance the performance. It is one of the best ways to get started with your new company.

So, you can include these essential steps in your business plan to quickly enhance your business strength and employee productivity. Also, you can use various mobile apps that help you strengthen landscaping business performance to a great extent.

8. Use Landscaping Software to Schedule and Dispatch Jobs

Use landscaping business software to automate your business completely. If you think you cannot operate your landscaping business from anywhere, then you are wrong! FieldCamp- an industry-leading landscaping scheduling software that fully automates your business and allows you to schedule and dispatch jobs anywhere. With an app like FieldCamp, you can:-

  • Assign and dispatch lawn mowing, leaf blowing, and walkway and driveway edging services on a real-time basis
  • Trace and plan your technician’s activity by observing their statuses – ‘Job Scheduled’, ‘On the way,’ Staff Reached’, ‘Job Started’, ‘Job Finished’, ‘Generate Invoice’, and ‘Invoice Paid’
  • Store customers’ data and record unique needs requested for their lawn care
  • View job history and track job status to plan upcoming landscape tasks
  • Avail reports on profit and loss incurred at your selected time range

Additionally, it keeps your work done on time, assists you in keeping track of critical data, and informs you of the amount of work you have on the go.

With landscaping software such as FieldCamp, you can keep track of all the daily activities that keep your business running—all in one location.

Don’t Just Take Our Words. Experience Yourself.

FieldCamp is a field service scheduling software to automate your Landscaping business operation like job scheduling, payment processing, reporting, and creating invoices in a few clicks!

No credit card details required

9. Put Customer Experience First

Putting customer experience first is an undeniable need to get ahead of the competition. No matter what you are selling.  

According to a study conducted by the super office, 86 percent of consumers are prepared to spend more for a better experience. Additionally, the Temkin group discovered that firms earning $1 billion yearly might expect to earn an additional $700 million on average within three years of investing in customer experience.

So what are the ways to create a great customer experience and increase revenue? Let’s look at ways to create a great customer experience strategy.

  • Understand your customer

    Understanding your customer is the first and most important step to connecting and sympathizing with your customer’s situation.

  • Create a clear customer experience vision

    Once you understand your customer dilemma, the next is to create a clear customer vision that you can communicate with your organization so that they will be able to create an emotional connection with your customer and work accordingly.

  • Capture customer feedback in real-time

    How do you know if you are delivering customer-oriented service or not? You have to ask and capture customer feedback in real-time. It will make your relationship with customers stronger and provide excellent customer service.

  • Use a quality framework for the development of your team

    Now you know what your customer thinks about the quality of your service. The next step is to keep the customer feedback in mind and identify the training needed for each organization member.

  • Use Field Service Scheduling Software

    By using Field service scheduling software, you will be able to increase the customer experience by keeping them informed about the service you are delivering.

The typical startup costs for a landscaping business range from $15,000 to $20,000 if you start from scratch.
The minimum average earnings paid in the landscaping industry comes to an hourly rate of $17, and the average salary of landscaping business owners is approx $46.3 per hour. Therefore, the owner of a small landscaping business may get an average payment of $59,200 annually.
The most common reason for landscape company failures is a lack of knowledge of what it takes to operate the venture financially. Working out the costs is an important activity that can separate your business from other landscape companies.
  • Build a landscaping referral programme
  • Invest in time-saving and damage-reducing equipment
  • Leverage Facebook and Instagram advertisement
  • Brand your stuff
  • Get involved in your community
  • Use your landscaping website for lead-generating
  • Ask clients to review your clients

Ready to Start your Landscaping Business

That ends the discussion—a comprehensive guide to starting your own landscaping business from the ground up. The beginning is often the most challenging portion, but the trip is the most gratifying.

So, before starting a business, keep the following points: grow your landscaping business by continually honing your talents, developing a great brand, and offering excellent customer service and value to your community.

As a landscaping business owner, you must go through a lot throughout the day. From planning to scheduling to finding the right people for your landscaping business.  So to make your work easier, a field service job scheduling software like FieldCamp is here for your help.

It will allow you to take complete control of your landscaping business and fully automate your business. From scheduling to dispatching to finding the right people for your business, you will be able to nurture your landscaping business from anywhere. So, don’t wait and

Author Bio

Gaurang Bhatt

Gaurang Bhatt is a techie in himself with an ability to solve problems technically and present solutions in the form of a product. He is one of the pioneers to curate FieldCamp with his 15+ years of knowledge and expertise in providing solutions to home service industries. Gaurang aims to overcome challenges faced by service business owners through software solutions and blogs.