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Anyone who has a garden knows that maintaining it is a lot of work. So it’s no surprise that there are many landscaping practices that help eliminate the need to mow, plant, treat and maintain more of your lawn.
What Do I Need To Start A Lawn Mowing Business
However, if you are an avid gardener and the smell of freshly cut grass or a newly manicured garden is your passion, you may be wondering how to start your own gardening business.
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The gardening is flourishing; And if you live somewhere with a warm climate, you may be able to work most of the year. The landscape services industry generates $93 billion in revenue each year and employs more than 1 million people, according to the National Association of Landscape Professionals.
If this sounds like the right move for you, keep reading to find out how to start your own landscaping business.
Considering the scope and depth of landscaping—from residential to commercial, maintenance to removal, and design to tree care—the economics of starting your own landscaping 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 from myself and lawnmowers to over 125 employees,” says Bryan Clayton, founder of GreenPal, an online lawn care ordering service that’s like the Uber of gardening.
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“Most customers have to deal with terrible and unprofessional competitors,” says Clayton. “Building a successful landscaping business is almost as easy if you just answer the phone when your customers call, return their voicemail right away, and do the work you agreed with your customers.”
Sounds simple enough, right? But what else can landscape business owners do to go beyond the basics? Here are some tricks when you start your landscaping.
The first step in starting a landscaping business is to get your arsenal of landscaping equipment. Once you’ve decided on the actual services you want the garden company to offer, you’ll know what equipment you’ll need. Then it’s time to decide whether you want to buy it outright or choose the more affordable option of renting.
To begin with, you have the option of renting equipment or buying cheap equipment. But as your construction business grows, so do the needs and costs of equipment – and you can spend as much time maintaining cheap equipment as the price of buying a high-end machine.
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“Most landscape contractors will spend five to 10 hours a week maintaining their equipment initially by grinding or changing oil, spark plugs, air filters, fuel filters, etc.,” says Clayton.
So what are the basics of good landscaping equipment that you need to know when starting a gardening business?
There are a few manual tools that a good landscape gardener should have at their disposal: shovels (like square mouths, spades and trenchers), wheelbarrows, tractors (like tractors or cultivators) and more powerful items like chainsaws. and exercise. But this is not where the real cost lies. The cost of large equipment may surprise you.
“Most people don’t know this, but the riding mowers you see at commercial landscapers cost more than $12,000 themselves,” Clayton said.
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“Landscape contractors also need to purchase or finance the right trucks, which cost at least $10,000 used, and trailers, which cost $5,000+,” says Clayton. “For landscaping, in most cases you need a front-end truck, which will cost $10,000 to $50,000 by itself.”
All told, Clayton estimates that construction and landscape maintenance businesses must bring between $40,000 and $50,000 worth of equipment to a customer’s property. That’s why you might want to start with a rental — which puts setup costs in the more affordable ballpark of $3,000, according to Clayton — but don’t rely on them forever.
There are some important forms of business insurance that you need to run any business. The most important thing is general liability insurance, which covers everything from repair costs, legal fees, damages that must be paid out if you or your employees accidentally cause damage. Accidents — like running over a sprinkler head with a lawnmower, for example — happen, and you’ll be covered when they do.
You may need workers’ compensation insurance, depending on the state you operate in, although Clayton says, “many states require both insurance to legally operate a business whether you have employees or not.” Workers’ Comp covers you in the event an employee is injured on the job, from medical expenses to legal costs.
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Other forms of insurance that are not required but may be useful include marine insurance (to cover goods damaged in transit), commercial motor insurance (you cannot use your personal vehicle for your journey and. Your personal insurance does not cover your commercial vehicle) and commercial umbrella insurance (which extends your coverage in the event you are hit with a larger settlement).
Additionally, if you wish to use pesticides as part of your service, most states have a pesticide license that requires obtaining one. Clayton calls this a “very involved process” and doesn’t recommend it until you’re established in your field.
Before you start doing business, make sure you have the business license you need for the state you’re doing business in, and that you’re registered to pay taxes and get your employer identification number, also known as a business tax number.
The rules for which business license you need and where you can get it vary from state to state, so check the details for the state where your business will operate before starting your landscaping business.
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Another form of insurance you need when you start a landscaping business is workers’ liability insurance, which covers your business if you make mistakes when calculating overtime and wages and time breaks.
Considering the uncertainty about the future of overtime pay, and the fact that many small business owners often go it alone in the beginning without the help of a lawyer or accountant, this insurance can be a life saver – or more accurately, a. Business savings.
“In 2009, my company was audited by the Department of Labor and they determined that our crew chiefs could not be paid – they had to be paid as hourly employees,” he said. “This again started paying extra overtime because of 80 employees and it cost my company $450,000.”
Not having that insurance nearly killed Clayton’s company. Take his experience as a lesson that having that insurance in place — especially before you scale — is critical to gardening.
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When it comes to marketing your landscaping business, you already know where to start: Facebook and other social media, as well as SEO tactics, will increase your search visibility in Google and other search engines.
Of course, word of mouth marketing is always the best, especially in hyperlocal markets, but it comes with a fair amount of overtime. So while you’re waiting for rave reviews to be sent across town, consider setting up social media accounts first when you start your landscaping project.
Clayton says mastering all the usual marketing channels and setting aside an initial budget 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 as you expand your geographic operations.
When you first start your landscaping business, you should determine the price of your services so that you can include them in your marketing efforts. Potential customers will want to know what they will be charged for the various landscaping services your business will offer.
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When deciding your price, it’s a good idea to check out the competition and see what prices similar businesses are offering, and then go from there. But remember that you can always adjust the price as you go.
When you start a construction business, it is important that you keep track of your finances. And we can pass our days using pen and paper to keep track of all business expenses, schedules and accounts. Even spreadsheet applications, while capable of handling large amounts of data, are somewhat outdated.
Fortunately, there are many business apps out there that can help your landscaping business run more smoothly. There are apps and software that help with everything from managing inventory and payroll to scheduling employees so you can focus on the important things, like the actual decorating.
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