Whether you’re thinking of looking for a landscaping business for sale or you just want to start your own, it’s important to understand what you’re getting yourself into. After all, there is much more to being in the landscaping business than just mowing grass and trimming shrubs.
You’ve got to not only know how to do landscaping, but you’ve also got to do things all business owners must do, like keep books, report their taxes, and probably hire some employees.
So if you’re looking for ways to make money, landscaping may be a good alternative, but here’s what you need to know before you dive in.
First you’ll need to begin doing research on competitors. What are they charging for various services these days? You need to know this so that you can price your own services accordingly.
You also need to make a list of the services you offer. Landscaping businesses run the entire gamut, from those that only offer basic lawn cutting, to those that offer entire landscaping remodels, including the design and construction of stone fixtures.
At this point you probably know what services you are comfortable offering, so use that as your list. Also look for ways to keep this from being a seasonal business. Offering snow removal, tree removal, and other services that don’t require warm weather are great ideas to keep your business going all year round.
After you begin getting a plan in place and you’re positive that you will move ahead with it, file the papers necessary to get started. Learn about the various business forms like LLC, sole proprietor, S corporation, and C corporation.
You’ll need to create the business on paper with the state attorney general’s office before you can do anything. Don’t forget to secure all the necessary local licenses as well when the time comes for you to start doing business.
Next it’s time to make a list of all the things you’ll need to run this business. You’ll need basic items like mowers, trimmers, and shovels, but you also may need other items, depending on which services you intend to offer.
And don’t forget the office supplies! Make sure you have an adequate computer for record keeping, invoice creation, and all of the office equipment you would need for any self-employed business ideas.
You’ll probably need to hire employees as well. Build a list of qualifications. If you need some help with this, you can look online to see what other companies are looking for in landscapers.
If you hire employees, it’s a good idea to hire a book keeper. This will free you up to actually work in the yards of your clients. A book keeper will make sure that everyone gets paid on time, payroll taxes are paid, and handle other financial details that you should learn about before you begin running a business at all. You can easily outsource such tasks to full time or part time help using some of the outsourcing companies available online.
In order to get all of the equipment and help you need, you’ll require some initial capital. If you don’t have your own money to invest to start your business, then you should hire a professional business plan writer to craft a business plan.
You can then take that business plan to investors in order to secure a business loan. The Small Business Administration is a great source for those looking for small business opportunities but who don’t have the financial means to make it happen right away. A better option for some might be to find a partner with capital to invest, and work out a deal with them that works for both parties.
Finally, you’ve got to be able to market your business. Use social media marketing or contract a freelancer to do it for you – it’s not as expensive as you might think. Hand out flyers around your community to let people know you’re in business.
Also, use other marketing strategies to promote your business. The best time to start advertising is in the spring when people are thinking about the upcoming lawn care season.