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 own landscaping business, then it’s the perfect time and decision. However, starting a new business from scratch involves challenging things like perfect planning, deciding the 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.

The Basics of Landscaping and Lawn Care Business

What is Landscaping?

Landscaping is nothing but an activity that makes your yard or piece of land more attractive by performing various alterations to the visible features of an area of land.

  • Living elements: vegetation, plant, plant life, Flora-and-Fauna, lichen
  • Natural elements: water, earth forms, stone, timber, stone, and elevation
  • Abstract elements: weather and lighting conditions

Commercial vs. Residential Landscaping

Commercial and residential landscaping are the two key components or parts of landscaping industries that work differently. Let us now highlight the fundamental difference between them that helps you get a basic idea.

Commercial LandscapingResidential Landscaping
Enhances the aesthetics, appeal, and value of the commercial spaceUsed by inmates of the house
Built explicitly for money generation, so the scope is highThe scope is low and is more cost-efficient
Features are more extensive, like a waterfall or fountainFeatures are less like a small garden, flowers
Require high budgetRequire low budget

8 Steps to Start a Landscaping Business from Scratch

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

    1. Define Business Plan and Goals of Your Business

      One of the first and foremost steps in starting your landscaping business is to define your business goals. You must ask the following questions yourself:

      • What is the primary reason to start a lawn maintenance business?
      • How many working hours do you need?
      • How do you want your first customer to be?
      • What will be your vision and mission statement?
      • How will you find your first customer?

      A proper and robust business planning is a must when looking to start a landscape business or enhance your existing landscaping business. A business plan helps your lawn care business services to

      • Raise funding
      • Plan out the business growth of the lawn care industry
      • Improve the chance to achieve landscape business success

      Finally, it’s a living document that needs yearly updates as the company grows and adapts to multiple changes.

    2. Select the Business Structure to Apply

      If you want to start a new lawn care or landscape company, the essential thing is that you need to select the business structure.

      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 landscape professional 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
    3. Choose The Best Name for Your Landscaping Business

      Branding plays a significant role in your landscape business. 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 stand out from the crowd. Just make sure that the business 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.
    4. Identify the List of Master Services to Incorporate

      When you plan to start your landscaping business, you must know what your competitors are up to and what customers are showing more interest in.

      Based on the above constraints mentioned, you need to identify the list of services to offer to your potential customers. In addition to it, you need to do detailed research on competitors’ offerings and pricing sets.

      One of the best recommendations to select the best services is to perform surveys on homeowners and businesses about current landscaping needs. Moreover, you can also offer impressive discounts available for further maintenance services.

      Below is the list of landscaping services that help your lawn care or landscape industry:

      • Lawn or landscape maintenance
      • Spring and fall cleanups
      • Gardening
      • Landscape design
      • Landscape architecture
      • Tree and shrub pruning and removal
      • Irrigation
      • Fertilizing
      • Edging
      • Mulching
    5. List Startup Expenses

      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
      • Leaf blower
      • 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.

  1. Opt for Business License & Legal Requirements

    For starting a new landscape 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.

  2. 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: For enhancing your business strength, you need landscape professionals with higher salaries who possess 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, then 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 landscape business or hiring the best individuals for your business. You need to select an individual that performs the job work as per the expectation and is solely responsible for enhancing your business performance to a great extent by delivering the best customer service.
  3. Market Your Landscaping Business

    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 of the exciting ways to apply the marketing strategy to your small business in both online and offline mode.

    • Paid ads: To attract new customers, you can opt for paid ads on Google, Facebook, and other social media platforms.
    • Referrals: One of the best ways to get started with your new business is to share the referral links with your friends and family to enhance the performance.
    • Search engine optimization (SEO): The best way to organize your direct traffic from Google directly to your company website.
    • Social media: Make your business more popular using Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, and more by sharing website content with your target audience.

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 Lawn Business

Pros
  • Work schedule: You can easily organize your work schedule as per your time and availability. For example, planting and lawns require special attention in the morning and evening so that landscapers 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 labour, 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 landscape 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: Landscape 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.

After having a look at the essential pros and cons, you need to understand the concept of the tools that are mandatory for your business to operate.

Which Tools Do You Need to Start A Landscaping Business?

For starting a landscaping business, you need to include essential tools as mentioned below:

What Tools Do You Need to Start A Landscaping Business

  • Well-maintained lawnmower: Your lawn mower should be wholly robust and reliable for your new landscape business. The best recommendation is to opt for a commercial lawn mower rather than home usage as it will be used daily.
  • Collection of gardening tools: For any landscaping industry, various gardening tools help a landscaper get rid of a manual landscaping job. A cleaner makes use of a gardening shovel, stiff-toothed rake, and even a weed puller.
  • Leaf blower for grass and leaves removal: Grass and leaves from the driveways and sidewalks are easily removed using a leaf blower rather than a rake. In addition, leaf blowers are also used to gather leaves in the yard and even remove loose debris.
  • Core lawn fertilizer: For your landscaping industry, you must have lawn fertilizer to take care of client’s lawns during the spring and late fall seasons.
  • Safety gear and equipment: The landscape architects/employees must wear safety gear when dealing with hazardous plants like poison ivy. Also, the landscapers/employees should wear full-sleeve shirts and long pants to minimize the amount of exposed skin.
  • Truck or trailer: For transportation purposes, the landscapers use trucks or trailers to transfer the supplies or materials from one location to another. A landscaper must have a valid license to operate the vehicle.

You need to bring insurance about the proper equipment maintenance and make sure to provide better security to every piece of equipment required.

However, many questions arise in your mind concerning the landscaping business, so we have come up with a few questions in the next section.

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

Generally, the cost for building a landscaping business depends on the essential factors like

  • Business registration
  • Landscaping equipment
  • Labor rates
  • Products/supplies
  • Buying or renting office space
  • Marketing

Building a new landscaping business by having no money in hand is to apply a good idea of using a push mower broom and homeowner trimmer for cleaning purposes. In short, you can try using the home materials that are available for free or are used regularly.

Conclusion

Landscaping industries are nowadays 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 business name to market your landscape business, everything is included to enhance your business growth to a great extent.

You can also make use of FieldCamp, a field service management software that allows you to create and manage the task for your cleaners to perform on a client’s location. This software solution helps you automate your landscaping business operation with ease and enhance your business productivity. The software is available on both Android and iOS platforms.