Sculpting Your Business: The Ins And Outs Of Opening a Company – You love to be outside, you don’t mind hard work, and you’re good with tools. Those could be a few of the reasons you’ve decided to open a landscaping company. It could also be money-making potential. Landscapers do make more than the minimum wage, by far, in most states.
Regardless of whether you’ve decided to open a landscaping company for one of these reasons, or something else entirely, you’re not alone. There are an estimated 10,000 lawncare services currently operating in the U.S. and at least 12,000 landscapers. 1 out of every 4 of those is self-employed.
You’re joining the ranks of many other professionals, and that means there’s a lot of information already available to you. So, let’s talk a little more about how you can use the ins and outs of landscaping to sculpt your new business into a masterpiece.
Starting A Business: The Basics
Starting your own business is an exciting adventure. You get to take on brand new challenges and responsibilities, while actively building the life you want. The personal freedom that comes with that is why over half a million people open their own business every year.
When starting your own landscaping business, or any business for that matter, there are a few steps you must take. Those include:
- Deciding on an area you have some knowledge or expertise in. It’s ok to learn some things on the job, but you shouldn’t be learning everything that way.
- Setting aside enough start-up money to cover your first year. Just over 20% of start-ups fail in the first year, and financial issues are one of the biggest causes.
- Researching the market in the country, and your specific area. Is there a spot for your company to fill, and how will it stand out from competitors?
- Creating a detailed business plan, complete with marketing, budgeting, and operations plan.
- Finding investors or loans to help support your start-up costs.
Taking these steps before you start your mowers will help keep you in business for the long-term, not just the season.
Seeds Of Success: The Tools You Need To Grow
Every business requires a unique set of skills, knowledge, and tools. In this section, we’re going to focus on the tools you need to grow your landscaping business and how you can get them cost-effectively.
The first thing you need is a truck to haul all of your other equipment around in. You’re going to have some big equipment, like mowers, coming with you so a truck with a towing package will be ideal. That way, you can haul any equipment you need without worrying about damaging it, or the vehicle.
The average pickup truck costs about $50,000. If that isn’t in your starting budget, you can rent a pickup truck with a towing package at a considerably better rate. The rentals are long-term, so you’re free to use them for as long as you need to while you’re building up your business.
This way, if the business doesn’t work out, you’re not out the cost of a brand new truck that you now have to sell.
Once you have your transport vehicle, you need the items you put in it. The standard tools for a landscaper include mowers, hand tools, shovels, rakes, pruning shears, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers, lawn aerators, and protective equipment like gloves and masks.
As your business grows, you can pick up any extra specialty items you may need. If you don’t have the cash upfront for large items like mowers, you can rent them as well. Be sure that the price you’re paying to rent them isn’t eating too much into your profit to be worth it.
Growing Your Potential: Tips And Tricks Of The Trade
Every business has tips and tricks that make the process go smoother, and landscaping is no exception. Here are a few of the trade secrets you should know when you’re setting up shop.
- Use a tarp to move lightweight bulky items like leaves.
- Put weed barriers under gravel or mulch walkways to keep weeds from intruding.
- Use a starter fertilizer whenever you plant something to give it an extra growth boost.
- It’s better to invest in good tools than constantly be replacing cheap tools that break.
- Shredded or mulched leaves make excellent fertilizer.
- Create a design plan before you get started so you know what look you’re going for.
- When possible, choose plants that grow naturally in the area. They’ll need less intervention than uncommon plants.
Keep these tips and tricks in mind as you go and add to them to create your own unique list.
Now that you know some of the ins and outs of the business, you’re ready to open and sculpt your own landscaping company. Happy planting!