How To Start a Landscaping Business? A Complete Guide

Do you know that the market size of landscaping businesses will increase at a CAGR rate of 4.5% during the year 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 the perfect time and decision. However, starting a new 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.

How to Start a Landscaping Business from Scratch

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

8 Steps on How to Start a Landscaping Business

  1. Learn About The Market and Select Your Services

    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 about 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:

    • Lawn mowing and landscape maintenance
    • Spring and fall cleanups
    • Gardening, landscape design, and landscape architecture
    • Tree and shrub pruning and removal
    • Irrigation
    • Fertilizing
    • Edging
    • Mulching

    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. Plan Your Landscaping Tools Accordingly

    Here are 7 pieces of equipment that you will need for starting 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 mowers available, such as ride-on mowers, walk-behinds, and a combination of both for mowing services. You can even invest in a robotic lawnmower if you want to go high-tech. Start with at least one versatile mower and invest in more as you grow to handle a wider variety of lawns simultaneously.

    • 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 customers will ask for fertilization or pesticide spraying to keep their lawn looking healthy, so it’s a good idea 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. Streamline Your Landscaping Business Operations

    FieldCamp is a premier FSM software that helps you automate your business operations. Gain complete business mastery with our software.

  4. Select The Business Name and Structure

    Branding plays a significant role in your business presence. The business name is the first thing that many people notice to see or hear when you start your landscaping company for the first time.

    So, you need to spend more time searching and select an attractive business name. You need to keep in mind the following essential tips for choosing the best name.

    • The name of your landscape business must be such that it matches your business domain name.
    • The name should be unique and attractive that stands out from the crowd. Just make sure that the company name must be generic or something that makes it easy for people to read.
    • Keep it simple, short, and to the point. This is because people struggle more to read the long and complicated names.
    • Try to include in the name what your business does. For example, by having “lawn” or “landscape,” your customers can easily understand the business.
    • Don’t ever try to bluff or include your name in the business name.

    For starting a new landscaping company, choosing its business structure is an essential process.

    Generally, a small business can opt for one of the following options:

    Sole proprietorshipPartnershipLimited liability company (LLC)
    A business owned by a single individualBest for two or more people together forming a landscaping businessGrab the advantages of both corporations and partnership structures
    Handles all the information related to business financialsLimited Partnerships (LP): One professional landscape partner with unlimited liabilityDelivers the structural simplicity of a sole proprietorship and liability protection of a corporation
    An excellent option for low-risk businessesLimited Liability Partnerships (LLP): Each partner possesses the same liabilityLLC owners are responsible for filing a tax return and pay the tax directly at an income tax rate
  5. Get the Required Business Insurance, Licenses, and EIN. Register Your Landscaping Company

    • Obtain an Employee Identification Number

      For hiring employees, you will need to apply for an Employee Identification Number or EIN. 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 note down the number. You will not be able to access it later.

    • Apply for Proper Landscaping Business Licenses

      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 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 Licenses 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 lawn care 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 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.

  6. Get Your Business Financials in Order

    For starting a new landscape industry, you need to take care of constraints related to startup costs.

    You may need to know about the common startup expenses involved in landscaping companies. Apart from the necessary landscaping equipment costing factors, other gardening tools are included in your business expenses.

    • Mobile device with internet access
    • Business license and business insurance
    • Powerful pickup truck
    • Gas cans
    • Trimmer, edger, and blower
    • Gardening shovel
    • Shears
    • Grass clippings
    • Rakes
    • Master toolbox for simple repairs
    • Fertilizers and pesticides
    • Equipment with security measures
    • Noise-canceling headphones
    • Safety goggles
    • Steel-toed boots
    • Sturdy gloves

    You must always be ready to overcome calculating work overtime and wage and hour violations by including employment law liability insurance.

  7. Opt for Business License & Legal Requirements

    For starting a landscaping business, you need to obtain a business license. After that, it is just a relatively simple process of authorizing various business factors.

    Apart from having a business license, you must have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) that allows you to set up business commerce accounts to receive tax breaks for business expenses.

    Want to know how to get a license?

    You just need to contact the county clerk’s office that helps you get the complete information about the licenses you need and without any error or potential restrictions.

  8. Hire Best Resources for Your Business

    For building a new landscaping business from the bottom line, the essential step is to hire a small crew that can quickly handle more customers.

    However, for hiring the best resources in your business, you should keep in mind the following consideration:

    • Hire the cheapest resources: To enhance your business strength, you need landscape professionals with higher salaries and strong experience.
      It does not mean that a person with a lower salary will not reflect your service quality, just that you need to be careful about the work.
    • Be careful when hiring friends or family: If you have decided to include your friends and family members as your resources, you need to be ready to control your tense situation when some conflict arises.
      Moreover, you need to control your full emotions and personal queries out of the scope of landscaping work. So, just be professional with your dear ones.
    • Look for an amiable person: Client services play a vital role in running a landscaping business or hiring the best individuals for your business.
      You need to select an individual who performs the job work as expected and is solely responsible for enhancing your business performance to a great extent by delivering the best customer service.
  9. Market Your Landscaping company

    Branding or marketing your landscape business 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 in both online and offline mode.

    • 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, and anywhere else you can.

    • Get Your Business On Listing

      Ensure that your landscaping business gets mentioned in some of the well-known listing sites. People come to these websites to search for the right services. Hence, your chances of getting hired are even higher on these platforms.

      The listing includes websites like Google, Yelp, Thumbtack, Houzz, Home Advisor, Angie’s List, and Porch.

      Get listed in local consumer directories too. While listing on these platforms, pay attention to your business profile. Update it with new photos of your landscaping projects.

    • 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.

Pros & Cons of Starting a Landscaping Business

Pros
  • Work schedule: You can easily organize your work schedule as per your time and availability. For example, planting and lawn maintenance require special attention in the morning and evening so that landscape architects can work on that particular task. This brings insurance to business owners to concentrate more on other tasks and workers.
  • Painless business model: You have an option to easily copy, grab a franchise, or scale your business area more efficiently. It just needs a small list of equipment, a lower cost of labor, and very few transportation costs.
  • Clientele: You have complete freedom to select your client lists. So, you can choose the lawn care services to your nearest client location, which in turn saves your time and fuel costs.
  • Happy customers: The landscape business is a stable and repeat business that allows an impressive way to deal with customer base solutions.
Cons
  • Fierce competition: It is the primary conflict to start a new landscaping business. Nowadays, you will find many lawn care professionals and lawn care companies providing a list of their business services to grab more attractive customers.
  • High labor costs: Landscaping business is labor-intensive as you may require workers like an expert gardener, landscaper, and cost-effective materials. Apart from these costs, you also need to consider the training costs to train more employees to get your business more excellent resources.

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FAQs

Starting a landscaping business without any work experience is possible using the following steps:

  • By initiating with maintaining a garden, rather than opting for landscaping
  • Spending a few hours helping people at local allotments
  • Analyzing what you see in existing lawns and makes keynotes on it

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 a landscaping company owner is approx $46.3 per hour. Therefore, the owner of a small landscaping business may get an average payment of $59,200 annually.

Conclusion

The lawn care industry nowadays is involved in enhancing the customer base by delivering the best cleaning services.

We have seen the step-by-step guide through which you can include the necessary metrics in your marketing plan. Starting from deciding your company name to target market your landscape business, everything is included to enhance your business growth to a great extent.

When it comes to managing your landscape business without any hassle, then you can use FieldCamp, a field service management software that allows you to create and manage the task for your cleaners. This software solution helps you automate your landscaping business operations with ease and enhance your business productivity. To know how it helps your business, start your FREE trial today.