Landscaping and lawn care are two fundamental aspects of maintaining a property. Not only does it make the property look nicer, but it also helps to keep it healthy. If you're looking for a business venture that is both profitable and enjoyable, then starting a landscaping or lawn care business may be the perfect option for you! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lawn care and landscaping industry employs over 1 million workers. The industry is expected to continue growing at a rate of 8% between 2020 and 2030.
Starting your own small business can be an exciting and overwhelming time. Before starting your own business, there are many things to consider, like startup costs, equipment costs, and even business structure. This article will discuss the basics of starting a landscaping or lawn care business, including what equipment you'll need and how much money you can expect to spend upfront. We'll also provide tips on getting started in this exciting industry!
What Does a Landscaper Do?
A landscaper is responsible for designing, installing, and maintaining landscapes. This can include planting trees and shrubs, laying sod and installing irrigation systems. Landscapers may also provide other services such as snow removal, leaf raking, and landscaping consulting. Landscapers design outdoor spaces and can work with a firm, independently or with a civil service operation—landscapers who also design often have advanced degrees in architecture or business.
A lawn care specialist is responsible for the upkeep of lawns. This can include mowing, edging, fertilizing, and watering. Lawn care specialists may also provide other services such as aeration, dethatching, and landscaping consulting. Lawn care can include the lawn of any property, such as public property or private property. Some lawn care specialists work with a business or for the property owner directly.
Starting your own lawn care business doesn't have to be difficult, but there are some aspects you should consider. The risk of injury is a significant consideration for lawn care and landscapers. They work with landscaping tools and chemicals that can be harmful. Landscaping tools like chainsaws can seriously harm if not used properly. It is essential to always follow the directions on the chemical containers and to wear protective clothing, including gloves, long pants, and closed-toe shoes.
Equipment Necessary for Landscaping and Lawn Care
The services you offer will dictate the type of equipment you need to purchase. Some landscaping and lawn care businesses only offer primary services such as mowing, edging, and leaf removal. In contrast, others offer more specialized services such as landscaping design, irrigation installation, and tree trimming. It's important to consider what services you want to offer before investing in equipment. It's important to consider what properties you'll be working on. If you're working on residential properties, you will need less equipment than if you were designing a new outdoor space.
Some essential landscaping equipment includes:
If you plan on offering additional services such as snow removal, you'll also need to purchase additional equipment such as a snow blower or plow. The cost of landscaping and lawn care equipment can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the type and quality of the equipment. For instance, a ride-on mower can cost up to $12,000, so if you're only working on small yards, that would be a poor upfront investment. Nerd Wallet says you can also rent equipment when starting your new business. This can take startup costs from tens of thousands to a few thousand dollars.
In addition to purchasing landscaping and lawn care equipment, you'll also need to invest in a reliable truck or trailer to transport your equipment to and from job sites. The cost of a used truck or trailer can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, depending on the size and condition of the vehicle.
Lawn Care Business Plan and Structure
Now that you know what landscaping and lawn care businesses do, as well as the equipment necessary to get started, it's time to start planning your business. The first step is to choose a business structure. Will you operate as a sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation? The type of business structure you choose will affect your business's legal and financial liability.
The most common landscaping and lawn care business structures are sole proprietorships and LLCs. Sole proprietorships are the simplest and most common type of business structure. They're easy to form and don't require any special paperwork or filings with the state. The downside of a sole proprietorship is that the business owner is personally liable for all debts and liabilities incurred by the business. This means that if the business can't pay its debts, the owner's personal assets are at risk.
An LLC offers limited liability protection to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally liable for the debts and liabilities of the business. LLCs are more complex than sole proprietorships and require filing paperwork with the state. The upside of an LLC is that it offers its owners limited liability protection.
Once you've chosen a business structure, you'll need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits to operate your landscaping and lawn care business. The type of licenses and permits you'll need will vary depending on the state in which you're operating and the type of services you're offering. For instance, if you're providing landscaping design services, you may need to obtain a landscaping license.
You should also consider getting liability insurance for your landscaping and lawn care business. This type of insurance will protect you from financial loss if your business is sued for damages. The cost of liability insurance will vary depending on the size and scope of your business.
Marketing a Lawn Care Business
The next step in starting your landscaping and lawn care business is to create a marketing plan. This will help you attract customers and grow your business. There are a number of ways to market your landscaping and lawn care business, including:
Creating a website: A website is a great way to showcase your work and attract new customers. Be sure to include plenty of photos of your work and a list of the services you offer. You want to ensure your contact information is easily found so that potential clients can reach you. Consider using a chat feature on your website. Experts say a chatbot can significantly improve the conversion of leads.
Creating a social media presence: Social media is a great way to connect with potential customers and promote your business. Be sure to post regularly and interact with your followers. Use different platforms for different marketing strategies. Facebook is great for content; think of helpful or valuable things to share with your followers, like tips for preventing weeds or the best garden hoses available. Instagram is perfect for showing off your manicured lawns. Make sure to take before and after shots of your handiwork; people love transformations.
Advertising in local publications: Local newspapers and magazines are a great way to reach potential customers in your area. Consider offering a coupon in the local newspaper to entice new clients to use your services. This approach works well with first-time businesses and can really get the word out about your new endeavor.
Distributing flyers and door hangers: Flyers and door hangers are an inexpensive way to promote your business. Be sure to distribute them in high-traffic areas. Consider trying the old-school approach of going door to door. You may be surprised to find new clients by simply asking.
Looking for more marketing tips for your new small business? Check out our blog on content marketing strategies for small businesses.