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Anyone who owns a lawn knows that maintaining it is a big job. So it’s no surprise that there are many landscaping companies out there to help eliminate the need for weeding, weeding, maintenance and more lawn care yourself.
How To Start Your Own Small Lawn Care Business
However, if you are someone who likes to do housework and the smell of fresh green grass or a fresh garden is your favorite, you may be wondering how to start your own gardening business.
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The gardening business continues; If you live in a warm climate, you can work almost all year round. The landscape industry generates $93 billion in revenue annually and employs more than one million people, according to the National Association of Landscape Professionals.
If this sounds like the right move for you, read on to find out how to start your own landscaping business.
Given the variety and depth of gardening – from residential to commercial, maintenance and landscaping – the economics of starting your own gardening business are very simple. It can be as simple as renting a lawnmower and knocking on doors.
“My previous company was a lawn care business that I grew on my own with over 125 employees,” says Brian Clayton, founder of GreenPal, an online lawn care service that looks like the Uber of gardening.
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Clayton says, “Many clients are faced with competitors who are dismissive and unprofessional. “Building a successful landscaping business is easier if you only answer the phone when your client calls, return their voicemails promptly, and perform a service you believe in with your clients.”
It’s simple enough, right? But what else can a business owner do to go beyond the basics? Here are some tricks of the trade when starting your landscaping business.
The first step to starting a gardening business is to get your gardening equipment arsenal. Once you’ve decided what type of services you want your landscaping business to provide, you’ll need to know what equipment you need. Then it will be time to decide if you want to buy it outright or choose a cheaper rental option.
To begin with, you have the option of renting your equipment or buying low-cost equipment. But as your landscaping business grows, so will your equipment needs and costs—and you can easily spend the same amount of money maintaining the equipment as cheaply as the cost of purchasing a high-end machine.
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“Most landscape contractors will spend five to 10 hours a week keeping their equipment in top condition by painting or changing oil, lights, air filters, filters,” says Clayton. oil and so on,” says Clayton.
So what are the basics of good gardening equipment that you need to know when starting a gardening business?
There are several hand tools that every good gardener should have: shovels (such as spades, spades and trenchers), wheelbarrows, cultivators (such as cultivators or cultivators) and powerful tools such as chainsaws. and education. But this is not where the real expense lies. The cost of a large vessel may surprise you.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but the lawn mowers you see commercial lawn mowers running cost over $12,000 themselves,” says Clayton.
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“Scenic campers should also buy or finance a good truck, which costs at least $10,000 used, and a trailer that costs $5,000+,” says Clayton. “Also, for landscaping, you’ll need a front-end loader in most cases, which will cost $10,000 to $50,000 on its own.”
In total, Clayton estimates that a home remodeling and repair company needs between $40,000 and $50,000 worth of equipment at a customer’s home. That’s why it’s a good idea to start with a loan—which puts the installation cost well over $3,000, according to Clayton—but don’t rely on them forever.
There are several types of business insurance that you need to have in order to do business at all. The most important thing is general liability insurance, which covers everything from repair costs to legal fees to reducing the amount that will be paid if you or an employee causes damage in an accident. Accidents—like a sprinkler head running over with a fire engine, for example—happen, and you want to be covered when they happen.
You may also need workers’ compensation insurance, depending on the state you work in, though Clayton says, “Most states require both insurances to be in place regardless of whether you have employees or not. You don’t.” Workers Compensation covers you if an employee is injured on the job, from medical expenses to legal fees.
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Other types of insurance that aren’t required, but can be useful, include marine insurance (to cover goods damaged in transit), commercial vehicle insurance (you can’t use your personal vehicle for as many purposes as you move around and your personal policy won’t cover your commercial vehicle) and commercial umbrella coverage (Which extends your cover if you have a major repair).
Additionally, if you intend to apply pesticides as part of your operation, most states have a pesticide license that must be obtained. Clayton calls this a “frontier approach” and he doesn’t recommend it until you’re well established in your field.
Before you start your business, make sure you have the business licenses you need for the state you’re operating in and that you’re registered to pay taxes and get your employer identification number, also called a business tax number.
The rules of what business license you need and where to obtain them vary from state to state, so check the specifics of the state where your business will operate before starting your landscaping business.
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Another type of insurance that you will need when opening a gardening business is legal liability insurance, which covers your business if you make a mistake in calculating working hours and wages and hours.
Given the uncertainty in the future of overtime pay, and the fact that many small business owners are going it alone at first without the help of a lawyer or accountant, this insurance can be a life saver – or rather, a. financial security.
“In 2009, the Ministry of Labor investigated my company and they determined that the team leaders cannot be paid a salary – they must be paid as hourly workers,” he said. “This, in turn, resulted in additional lost wages due to 80 employees, and resulted in a $450,000 fine that my company will have to pay.”
This lack of insurance nearly killed Clayton’s company. Take his experience as a lesson that having this insurance—especially before you measure—is critical to your landscaping business.
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When it comes to marketing your business, you already know where to start: Facebook and other social media, along with SEO techniques, will improve your search visibility on Google and other search engines.
Of course, word of mouth marketing is always best, especially in hyperlocal marketing, but it comes with being more effective over time. So while you’re waiting for glowing reviews to be passed around town, consider creating your first social media account when starting your landscaping business.
Clayton says learning all the common marketing channels, and making an initial investment of $500 to $2,000 to get your first 10 to 100 customers, is the best way to get started. A digital marketing specialist may be needed to take your game to the next level once you expand your landscaping business.
When you first start your landscaping business, you will also need to determine the cost of your services so that you can include them in your marketing efforts. Every customer may want to know what will be charged for the various landscaping services your business has to offer.
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When deciding on your rate, it’s a good idea to check the competition and see what prices similar businesses are offering, and go from there. But remember, you can adjust the rate on the fly.
When starting a gardening business, it is important to save money along the way. We may be past the days of keeping all your business expenses, schedules and bills with pen and paper. Even spreadsheet applications, while capable of handling large amounts of information, have been around for some time.
Fortunately, there are many business tools that can help your landscaping business run more efficiently. There are apps and software to help with everything from inventory and payroll management to employee timesheets, so you can focus on the important stuff—like the actual landscaping project.