Starting My Own Lawn Care Business

Starting My Own Lawn Care Business – Do you like to be outdoors and work with your hands? What about the idea of ​​being your own boss?

If your answer to these questions is a resounding “Yes!” Then starting a landscaping business may be the perfect career for you. It certainly was for Brian Linson, founder of BL Landscapes.

Starting My Own Lawn Care Business

Starting My Own Lawn Care Business

Brian started BL Landscapes in 2014 with just one truck and a crew of 2. Six years later, the company has become one of the leading professional landscape services, not only on Whidbey Island, but also in the Pacific Northwest.

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You don’t need a lot of money or resources to start a lawn care business. As you will see in Brian’s journey, if you are willing to work and are committed to quality and customer satisfaction, you can start a successful and profitable professional landscaping business.

Landscape companies design, build, and maintain outdoor spaces for homes and businesses. They can range from basic gardening and lawn mowing services to full landscaping of elaborate gardens complete with water features, patios and lighting.

A landscape business can be as small as a single person with a lawn mower and a few shovels, or a large company with many teams capable of providing a variety of landscape services.

A lawn care professional is not just a handyman. They are also experts in which plants are suitable for your climate and how to make them thrive. There is also a creative aspect to the job, working with clients to design their ideal outdoor environment.

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Basically, anything that involves the land around a home or business is the domain of a landscape professional. While the larger landscaping companies will offer all of these services, others specialize in one area, such as lawn maintenance or flower bed design.

Brian didn’t wake up one day and decide to start BL Landscapes. His love of landscape design (and his experience in the field) grew from years of working in the industry.

My first two jobs were in nurseries and public gardens, and [landscape] has always been a passion of mine. I got to a point where I had to go out on my own to achieve something more than average and take it to the next level.

Starting My Own Lawn Care Business

For context, BL Landscapes was founded 6 years ago, but Brian has over 25 years of experience designing, installing, and maintaining outdoor spaces. The knowledge and skills acquired at that time were crucial in opening and growing his business.

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That doesn’t mean you need decades of experience to be successful in the lawn care business. However, if you’ve been keeping your own lawn or gardening as a hobby, you should spend at least a few months as a landscaper before taking the plunge to open your own business.

Keep in mind that there are aspects of running a lawn care business that have nothing to do with how well you build paths and care for plants. A good landscaper knows how to estimate the cost of materials and how long it will take to complete a given project.

Without this knowledge, you’ll find yourself navigating early customer reviews by trial and error, and those mistakes can be costly, both financially and to your reputation.

Mike Andes, owner and founder of August Lawn care, has found podcasts and YouTube videos to be his biggest help. He gave him the knowledge and advice he needed in his landscaping business. You can find our interview with him here.

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If he starts working for an established landscape service, he too can determine if he’s a good fit for the lifestyle. Brian’s workday typically starts between 6 and 7am, and this is not unusual in the industry.

Many people like the idea of ​​working outdoors, but the reality is often less than pleasant. Until you’ve spent 4 hours moving rocks on a hot summer day, you won’t really know if you’re cut out for the landscaping business.

As he saw earlier, there is a wide variety of services that fall under the general term “landscaping.” For a new small business, it’s often better to focus on a single specialty, such as lawn care or landscaping, rather than trying to launch as a full-service landscaping business.

Starting My Own Lawn Care Business

Choosing a specialty will also help you save money on your initial budget. He can only buy the specific equipment that he needs, for one thing. He may also use a smaller team if he doesn’t need people with a wide range of skills and experience.

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In addition to deciding on the specific services that he will offer, it is also a good idea to consider what type of clients he will be working with. BL Landscaping focuses on residential landscaping for two main reasons:

Commercial landscaping also has its advantages. You may have fewer clients, as commercial projects are often larger in terms of area and client budget. It can also provide a more stable income, especially in lawn care and maintenance.

One of the most difficult things for new landscaping companies is knowing how much to charge for services. Brian’s advice:

Different regions have standard price ranges for landscaping services, so this is the first thing to look for when deciding on your prices. However, every project is unique, and there is certainly a learning curve when it comes to bidding on projects.

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Many new landscaping businesses have a tendency to underbid on projects. They want all the work they can get and they don’t want to be turned down by the client. To combat this, Brian says:

Get out there and crunch the numbers when you’re launching projects. Don’t be afraid to walk around and measure everything. Take your time when you’re bidding because the last thing you want to do is go back to a client and tell them you need more money to complete your project. This is something that nobody wants to hear.

Once you’ve determined what kind of services you’ll offer, you’ll be better able to handle the logistics of starting a business. This includes:

Starting My Own Lawn Care Business

It is important to think about choosing your business name. This is the first impression customers will have when they first learn about your business, so you want it to accurately convey the services you offer.

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Once you’ve chosen a business name, it’s hard to change, so there’s more motivation to get it right the first time. If you’re having trouble finding a business name, a business name generator can help you get started.

The best business name is short, simple, and tells people exactly what your business does. It should be easy to remember, but also unique enough to stand out from the competition.

Keep in mind that most of a company’s presence in modern times is online. Check available domain names before choosing your name to get one that matches, at least enough to prevent your customers from getting confused. You can use WhoIs LookUp to see if a domain is available.

A business plan is a living document that plans the future of your business. You’ll definitely need one if you plan to apply for small business loans or other financing, as both bankers and investors will want to see it.

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Even if you are starting the business with your own savings, a business plan is a useful document. It’s where you’ll outline your company’s mission statement and long-term goals, along with details of your initial and ongoing expenses.

If you’ve never written a business plan before, take a look at a sample business plan for more guidance on what to include and how to write it. Things your business plan should include include:

Not all business plans include all of these sections, but the more you include, the better the document can serve as a roadmap for the future of your business.

Starting My Own Lawn Care Business

Any new business must register before it can legally operate. This starts with registering your DBA, or doing business as a name, with both the state and federal governments. Trade names must be unique, so you should consult this database before starting the registration process.

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You will also need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is your company’s federal tax ID, which you’ll need to open a bank account, hire employees, or apply for a local permit. You can apply for an EIN through the IRS website.

The specific licenses and permits required for a landscaping business vary by state. Check with your state business license association to find out what is required in your area.

The types of landscaping services you will provide will determine what specific equipment you will need. Once you’ve decided on a niche, you’ll be better able to list all the tools you need.

If your initial budget isn’t enough to cover everything on your list, you don’t need to worry. Start by renting more expensive tools, and then buy them as you go. This was Brian’s focus when BL Landscapes was starting out. Even now, he says,

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We buy the tools we need for the job, and when you sign on for another job, you take some of that money and buy the tool you need.

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