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How to start a landscaping business

How to start a landscaping business

Shannon Ketchum // April 11, 2023

Wondering how to start your own landscaping business?

Starting a landscaping business can be a great way to make money while doing something you love. However, there are many steps you must take to ensure your business is successful. From determining your target market, to obtaining necessary licenses and certifications, to creating a business plan and securing funding, this guide will provide you with the essential steps for starting a landscaping business.

How to determine target market for a landscaping business

The first step for starting a landscaping business is to determine the type of work you want to specialize in. Common landscaping services may include lawn maintenance, garden installation, and hardscaping. Research the competition in your area and try to identify a niche or underserved market. Also think about where your skills currently lie and what types of employees with various experience you might be able to hire. Knowing what you want to specialize in and who you want to target will help you create a successful business plan. High end hardscaping projects can be lucrative, but also have more demanding clients, higher material costs, and more requirements than more simplistic lawn maintenance.

Obtain the necessary licenses and certifications

Once you have decided on the type of landscaping services you want to offer, you must obtain the licenses and certifications needed for landscaping businesses. Check with your state or local government to find out what licenses and certifications are required for a landscaping business in your area. Additionally, enrolling in a landscaping training program or apprenticeship can help you gain the necessary skills and experience.

How to create a business plan and secure funding

Creating a business plan is essential for ensuring the success of your business. Outline the necessary components of a business plan for a landscaping business, such as estimated start-up costs and projected profits. Think about your target clients, areas you want to serve, as well as marketing costs required to reach these clients. Then build a plan that allows you to grow into your costs as you acquire customers. You will need to invest upfront in equipment before you get started to generate revenue, and you need to plan for that. Additionally, create a budget and financial plan and determine whether you need fundraising to get your business off the ground.

Formally establish your landscaping business

Once you have created a business plan and secured the necessary funding, it is time to formally establish your business. This is an important part of starting your landscaping business. Choose a business structure, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC. Obtain any necessary permits, insurance, open a business bank account and set up accounting systems, and purchase any necessary tools and equipment.

Sign your first landscaping customer

Now that your business is established, it is time to sign your first customer! Create a website and social media presence to showcase your services. If possible, share photos and videos of projects you have completed, and be sure to create a personal connection by sharing information about yourself. Additionally, network with other professionals in the landscaping industry and join local business organizations to get your name out there. Partner with realtors, property managers, and join networking groups in your local area. You can also consider offering promotions or discounts to attract your first client. Once you land a new client, don’t forget to ask for referrals!

Managing and growing your landscaping business

Managing and growing your business is essential to its success. Hire employees or subcontractors as needed, keep up with industry trends, and consider continuing education to stay competitive. Watch out for seasonal trends so you don’t over-hire or invest at the wrong time of the year. As you grow, it's important to keep track of how quickly you respond to clients, provide them estimates, complete jobs on time, and bill in a timely fashion. It's inevitable there will be some growing pains but if you keep track of these critical areas it will help. Additionally, review your business plan regularly and make adjustments as needed; in staff, costs, which clients you target and more.

Implement technology to scale a landscaping business

Implementing the right technology for your landscaping business can help you scale your business quickly and efficiently. Pick something too complex and you are spending too much time figuring out software and not getting jobs completed. Kickserv field service management is a powerful software that can help you streamline operations, manage projects, and track time and expenses. Kickserv’s integrated platform provides everything you need to manage your landscaping business, from scheduling and invoicing to customer management and reporting. Appointment reminders, a customer center and easy online payment tools make it a great experience for your customers.

Started hiring staff in the field and can’t keep track of them?

If you are hiring technicians in the field, it can be difficult to keep track of them. Kickserv’s mobile field service app helps you keep track of where employees are, getting them to the right job at the right time, and giving them the tools to track time, expenses and record important job details from their phone.

Starting a landscaping business can seem overwhelming, but with the right knowledge and resources, you can be successful. Determine your target market, obtain the necessary licenses and certifications, create a business plan and secure funding, formally establish your business, sign your first customer, manage and grow your business, and implement technology to scale your business. With Kickserv, you have access to all the tools you need to manage your landscaping business, from tracking time and expenses to managing employees.

To learn more about Kickserv, visit our Tools page and start a free trial.

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