One of the best ways to add value to a home or business is to increase its curb appeal. The first sight that someone has of a property will last with them. If it has spectacular landscaping, then it will be visually attractive and make people want to spend time there. This is where knowing how to start a successful landscaping business can lead to consistently good earnings.
Before beginning this business venture, you must be able to do one of two things: hire qualified laborers who can landscape for you or know how to landscape on your own and be able to teach others. The best landscapers build retaining walls, install patios, and even create landscape designs for property owners. These skills will set you apart from other landscapers in your community.
1. Make sure you’ve got all of your paperwork sorted.
Landscapers are considered contractors in many jurisdictions, which means you’ll need a separate license from the general business license to be in business. Many jurisdictions also require that landscapers be bonded in case an error is made on the property. Bond amounts can range from $6,000 to $50,000 depending on the type of work that you do. A final requirement may be to prove you or your employees actually have the skills to professionally landscape.
2. Secure the resources you’re going to need.
Landscaping in basic terms means removing some items from a property and adding items to it. You’ll need to secure suppliers for any bark, soil, rock, and plants that you will want to use in the designs you’re hired to create. You will also need a way to dispose of unwanted items that are removed from a property. Get costs now so that you can include them in estimates later.
3. Think about how you can recycle items.
Landscaping often means bringing back items that could be recycled into sellable items that can expand your general revenues. You might be asked to clear out several trees and dispose of them. How could you turn that wood into lumber for other projects? Is there a sawmill that would buy the wood? Could you turn the wood into benches, chairs, or rustic tables? There’s always a way to make some extra money if you just look for it.
4. Your website isn’t as important as you might think.
Having a website is a good thing, but it isn’t the most important thing. Get your domain ready, but focus on getting jobs first. Market your services through giving demonstrations of your skills. People don’t just hire landscapers they don’t know. Without any reputation, your skills will set you apart. Make sure to film your demonstrations so that you can put them up on your website later – as long as the video production quality is good.
5. Consider putting in add-on services to create a regular schedule.
Landscaping jobs are going to be few and far between for the first 6-24 months you are in business. Instead of hanging around the office with nothing to do, consider offering supplemental services to your landscaping business that are more in demand. You could mow lawns, shovel snow, clear ice, pick up trash, or have a woodworking shop. Some landscapers even have a secure shredding business in their office to have revenues come in during the slow times. Keep in mind, however, that each additional service may also require an additional license.
6. Invite the press.
Whenever you complete a good landscaping job, invite the press to cover the event. Most of the time they won’t come, but you never know what may happen. Sometimes a property owner might be an influential member of the community and the press coverage of your work can vault you into the spotlight quickly.
7. Don’t just love your customers and then leave them.
Landscapers generally install products, but then don’t come back to the property ever again. Consider adding free maintenance services for a period of time as an additional piece of value to your work. This way if your flagstone path crumbles for some reason, you’ll be able to fix the issue without having an angry customer complaining about the inferior quality of your work.
Knowing how to start a successful landscaping business means putting in long hours, following up with customers to pay their bills, and giving your 100% with every task. If you can do all of that and follow these tips, then you can have a prosperous business opportunity.
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