Starting your own business is the best way to take control of your financial future. If you’re good at working with your hands and don’t mind hard labor, starting a landscaping business can be a great way to build a future. Unfortunately, most people who start this kind of business don’t go in with a good plan. If you want your business to thrive, you should consider these three tips when starting your own landscaping business.
Know the Industry
If you want to be competitive as a landscaper, you need to start by getting to know the industry. Running this kind of business is far more complex than just knowing how to mow a lawn and you’ll likely have a great deal of competition before you know it. If you are really dedicated to making the business work, you’ll need to do a little bit of research and scope out the competition.
Try to remember that you’re building a business, so you’re going to need to jump through many of the same hoops that any other business owner would have to jump through. This means talking to an accountant, figuring out a viable business plan, and figuring out the kind of legal entity that your business will be. You’ll also want to spend some time figuring out how other businesses price their services, how you can compete, and how you can effectively market in an area that might already be served.
Get the Equipment
Equipment is a huge part of your landscaping business. You will likely need to spend a fair bit of money to get things going, with more investments necessary as your business grows. The more specialized landscaping gear you have, the more services you can offer and the more money you can make. At first, though, you’ll want to make sure you have the kind of basic gear that will accomplish the most common jobs your customers want to be done.
Don’t forget that your equipment will need to be hauled from yard to yard. This means either investing in a new vehicle or modifying a truck, with additions like truck bed rail caps, to stand up to the rigors of hauling landscaping equipment every day. As you grow, you’ll probably want to look into multiple vehicles and trailers to handle several jobs at once.
Come Up With a Survival Plan
Finally, you’ll need to come up with a survival plan to deal with the lean months. While the spring and summer can be great for business, you’ll notice a downturn as the weather starts to turn. Generally speaking, most landscaping businesses have some kind of plan for making it through the winter. While you might get a few jobs here and there in your normal line of work, expect to find something else to do when the grass begins to die off.
If you live in a colder region, consider driveway plowing as part of your long-term plan. If you don’t, you may want to look into cleaning gutters, deck repair, or even household maintenance as a method to supplement your income. Landscaping is very much a seasonal business, though, so you’ll want to make the money from the warmer months last as long as you can.
If you’re willing to put in the research and planning time starting a landscaping business can pay off. While not all landscapers are successful, those who know what they are getting into have a much better chance of staying in business. If you can figure out how to get through your first few years, you may well be able to create a business that can stand the test of time.