When you think about the early summers of your life, you might remember mowing lawns only for a few bucks. Well, we all did it to buy a few comic books or baseball cards.
But have you ever thought of starting your landscaping business?
If you’re one of those who dreamed of having your own lawn care business but have no idea how to start it. Then, good news for you.
We’re here with our complete guide on how to start a landscaping business with no experience. After reading this article, you’ll know everything from starting a landscaping business to how you can grow it.
So, without further delay let’s start.
How to Start a Landscaping Business with No Experience?
Starting any kind of business means hard work and effort. Moreover, when you’re thinking about starting a business like this, you have to be both hard-working and smart.
However, for starting a landscaping business there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Let’s discuss them one by one, shall we?
How to Set Up Your Business?
Manage the Legal and Finances
First things first, you have to figure out a good business plan for managing legal and finances. The most concerning thing is getting financing for starting the business and how you’ll be paying the taxes.
It’s a good idea to list your business as an LLC(limited liability company). By doing this, your personal finances won’t be affected if someone decides to sue you.
Another thing is, managing the money. You need money to buy equipment for your new business. Also, you need it to survive before getting new customers. Figure out how much all of these can cost and take a loan from a bank or an investor.
However, if you’re not so sure how these things work, you can always consult an accountant. You see, seeking advice from a professional can give you other insights.
Set the Pricing
In order to set up a business, you need to figure out the pricing. Most customers would want to know how much your service would cost, don’t you think?
However, when you’re figuring out the pricing keep a few things in mind. Set the pricing according to your skill and efficiency. Also, don’t forget to include the cost of the materials, equipment, and labor.
Manage the Licensing
In order to smoothly run a business, you need to get proper licensing. Even though each state has its own rules and regulations, you still need some business and professional licenses.
Fertilizers and Pesticides
As these chemical products can contaminate water sources, local jurisdictions control the usage of fertilizers and pesticides. So, if you want to use these for your business, you’ll need a license.
Water is scarce in most of Southwest America. That’s why you need to explain to the local authorities how and why you’ll be using water.
Landscaping can produce a ton of waste such as extra dirt, grass, and old branches. You’ll need to know how your local authorities deal with this kind of waste.
Most landscapers work as contractors. So, depending on which area you’ll need to know what type of licensing you’ll require.
Get a Landscaper’s License
American Society of Landscape Architects(ASLA) regulates the licensing of landscapers. A lot of states require this licensing if you want to practice landscaping.
Landscape Architect Registration Exam (L.A.R.E.) is the exam for landscaping. In order or pass it, you need to have knowledge and skills about maintaining safety, health, and welfare measures.
ASLA gives extra information about the exam. Moreover, you’ll also know how to
take preparation for it.
The Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) administers the exam and you can contact them to schedule your exam. Although, there is an application fee of $150.
You have to continue your education if you want to keep the license valid. The ASLA's Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) offers excellent courses for landscapers for a fee of $195.
Prepare Tax Information
Every legal business needs to pay taxes. So, you have to get a tax identification number for the federal and state offices.
You have to get your Employer Identification Number(EIN) from the IRS website or by mailing a filled-up SS-4 form. Although you should do online as it’ll get you the EIN immediately. Whereas mailing or faxing can take several days.
After incorporating your business as a corporate and registering in your state, you’ll get your TIN. Note that every state has some different laws, so make sure you're following the rules and regulations of your state.
A lot of people are looking for someone to landscape their yards. Land mowing and other related industries are flourishing because of Baby Boomers.
This group of 74 million people has disposable income for paying lawn mowing and landscaping services. Most of them don’t have the time or they’re unable to do this kind of hard work.
On a different note, people who are buying or selling a home, modifying a property, or don’t have the person might require your service.
It’s better to know that landscapers don’t work all year. You’ll mostly work in the spring and summer. So, if you want to earn money throughout the year you’ll need to do off-season work. This may include collecting leaves, shoveling snow, etc.
Even though it’s tough to get information on all of your customer segments, it'll help you figure out the services you’ll want to offer.
How to Become Successful in Landscaping?
Select a Niche
You’ll need to stand out in the market. Select some special sectors of landscaping or garden work in which you’re skilled.
After that, marketing yourself as a specialist. Well, even though this is not enough but it’ll make you stand out to your targeted customers.
Buy the Right Equipment
Most people don’t own all the equipment required for becoming an expert landscaper. So, you’ll have to buy them.
Although, you don’t need to buy brand-new equipment. Just make sure that they are quality equipment. You can also buy them at a cheap rate from yard sales and auctions.
Another thing is, don’t go out buying every equipment there is. Chances are you’ll never even need most of them. It all depends on individual needs.
However, here are some basic equipment required for day-to-day operation.
Most of the time you’ll be cutting grass, so a top-quality lawn mower is the first thing you should buy. You can buy a riding mower if you have a lot of large yards to cut. However, riding mowers are more expensive.
On the other hand, if you’re working on a regular garden or a steep hill, a push mower is enough for you. Moreover, a push mower is safe too.
Gas-powered edgers are used for trimming the edges of any type of lawn. It’s quite useful for walkways and driveways.
You’ll be needing gardening tools if you plan on doing any kind of gardening work. Shovels, rakes, and weed pullers are mostly needed for this purpose.
As you’ll be working with heavy machinery, safety gloves and glasses are a must for you and your employees. Moreover, you should use ear protection when using some heavy machinery.
You need some sort of transportation for carrying your equipment and crew. Although transportation really depends on the size of your crew and equipment. You may need anything between a truck and a trailer.
Try to buy items you’d use on a daily basis. Watering cans, extension boards(for power tools), knee pads made of foam to plant comfortably, etc are some of the items you should have.
Mow Laws Properly
Despite being properly built up, you’ll always find some grass to cut. Use your lawnmower to cut the grass that’s overgrown. Also, use an edger to keep the sidewalks and driveways neat.
Implement Natural and Creative Designs
What makes landscaping different from lawn care is the way landscaping transforms a property implementing natural and creative designs.
You should use natural items such as trees, rocks, and flowers. Moreover, you can also use advanced artificial items such as lights.
Although you have to do it in a collaborative way with the approval of your client. So, make sure you know what your customer wants. You can put in designs that go with the weather and pattern of the property.
Another thing to keep in mind is, stay honest with your client. You discuss with him about the time you’ll need to implement these designs.
But most importantly, clearly tell him about the cost of the project. Otherwise, it’s you who’ll be in trouble. You see, no one wants a surprise when it comes to paying money.
Create Plans for New Materials
It’s your job to make the plans for designing and installing new materials on a property. So, make the plans accordingly and discuss with your client about how long it’ll take.
Most importantly, ensure that you have the equipment for your plans. Otherwise, you won’t be able to finish it perfectly.
Maintain the Creations
Make schedules with your client for taking care of the creations. Your client might not be an expert in this sector, so it’s better to explain to him how many times they’ll need a servicing.
Moreover, if the weather drastically changes in your area, you need to figure out a plan for maintaining the landscaping.
Take Preparation for Unexpected Weather
As a landscaper, you’ll be working in the outdoors most of the time. So, it’s better to keep some space in your work schedule for these unexpected weather conditions.
The good thing is, you can catch up with the paper works of your business when it rains.
How to Grow Landscaping Business
In the early stages, you can use fliers or go door to door. But as your business grows, you’ll need to rely on advertisements. You can advertise your business using social media in an effective way.
The best part is, your friends and other connections can help your advertisement reach more people.
First of all, you should create a Facebook, LinkedIn page and Google My Business to showcase your work. Although Instagram is also a great social media for posting photos of your work.
Moreover, make sure to have a positive image on service review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List. You should encourage your client to give positive reviews of your work.
Stay Connected with Business Organizations
Join local business groups or any other larger trade association. These groups are a good way to stay connected. You never know when another business will need landscaping services.
So, it’s better to let them know about your business offers and services.
Look for a New Niche
Always continue to look for new niches for expanding your business. There are plenty of niches for building your skills.
Although, make sure to learn the ins and outs of a niche before you dive into it.
Continue Your Education
You can learn about advanced landscaping architecture by getting enrolled in a program. This way you'll be able to do complicated and more expensive projects. Thus, you’ll increase your demand.
As a business owner, you won’t be able to design and implement all the works of your business. You’ll have to depend on your employees for this.
However, you should always keep business design and processes. It’ll help your employees properly do their work.
Lastly, make sure to find the best employees and keep them. You see, your entire business depends on the service you provide. So, find ways to keep your employees happy.
So, that’s all we had to say about how to start a landscaping business with no experience. We hope you answered all the questions regarding this topic.
Before wrapping up, we have a piece of advice for you. Never rush when starting a new business. Having a well-planned business model will take you a long way.