Have you ever thought about starting a landscaping business? Wondering if there is money in a lawn care business right now?
The fact is, landscaping can be a year-round source of income if you live in certain climates. Those that live in cooler climates might consider adding a snow removal service in the winter months. The late fall period can be a good time to offer leaf removal services.
While landscaping isn’t a super complicated business to start, it helps to have a plan of what you hope to achieve from your endeavour.
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Is There Money In Lawn Care Business Start-Ups?
First of all, let’s talk about the money. How much can you expect to earn with your own landscaping business in the first year?
After all, if earning a part or even full-time income is what you are hoping for then, you need to make sure you will make enough money.
Research from a 2008 Enterpreneur Magazine article shows that lawn care and landscaping business owners anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 in their first year, and as much as $160,000 to $250,000 once they were in business a few years.
Starting Your Own Landscaping Business
Step 1: Research
Before starting your landscaping business, it’s important to do some research.
Consider these items when researching the viability of your landscaping business:
What services are being offered by your competitors?
Take a look at what’s being offered in your area. Can you offer something different than competing companies? Are there required services that would be difficult for you to offer?
How much is your competition charging?
If you can’t readily find out how much your competition is charging, call some of your competitors and ask for some quotes for various services.
How do other companies present themselves?
Are they professional in appearance with new trucks and logos on all their vehicles? Or is the competition primarily a single person with a rusted pick-up truck from the 1970’s?
How are other companies marketing?
Consider how other companies are making themselves known to potential clients.
What is your plan?
Now you have done your research, it’s time to formulate your own plan. In order to compete you will need to be as good as if not better than the best landscaping company in your area.
Remember, you will not have the years of reviews and word of mouth referrals that established companies have so you might want to consider offering promos and offers to attract new customers.
Lawn Care Business Plan
Spending some time on a business plan for your landscaping business can pay off in dividends. It will stop you from wasting money and time on things you haven’t planned for.
Here are some factors to consider:
How much money can you invest?
Landscaping doesn’t require a great outlay of funds to get started, but it’s important to assess your financial situation. Do your best to avoid taking on any unnecessary debt.
Of course, you will need to get the proper equipment:
- Vehicle (pick up truck most likely, consider getting magnets or branding out on as a form of free advertising)
- Fertilizer spreader
- If you’re short on funds, a lawnmower and trimmer are enough to get started.
The Legal Side Of Your Business
If you’re just mowing a few lawns, you might consider not formalizing your business at all. A sole-proprietorship can be a viable option for small operations, especially if you have limited assets.
A limited-liability corporation will be the best option for most. Your personal assets are protected from any legal actions resulting from your business operations. This will cost a few hundred dollars to get started, however.
Consult a local attorney for advice in how to structure your business.
Getting paid is the most important part. It’s relatively easy these days to accept debit and credit cards with a smart phone using an app such as Square but remember to factor the fees into your prices.
There are many good options. The easier you can make it for customers to pay you, the more likely you are to get paid.
If possible, avoid any co-mingling of business and personal funds.
Again, if you’re just mowing a few lawns, putting your earnings into your personal bank account is unlikely to be an issue.
However, realize that it’s possible to have the bank account you use for business purposes to be frozen in the event of any legal issues.
For that reason, separate bank accounts are probably a good idea.
Companies like PayPal make it easy to set up recurring payments. This can be great because you minimize the amount of time you spend collecting your fees.
However, be aware that these online companies typically charge high-fees for their services.
Remember to provide an invoice for your clients.
Invoice forms can be found in your local office supply stores. There are many free forms available online, as well.
Advertising and Marketing
Figure out how to advertise.
- Place advertisements in the local newspapers. Print off some flyers (Vistaprint is a good option) and put them up at Starbucks and local grocery stores. Depending on where you live, you could also put them up on mailboxes or telephone poles.
- Tell everyone! You want to get as much buzz going as possible to offer referral discounts and promo rates to friends and family.
- Get online. Create a website or at the very least, a Facebook business page. Promote your business on local Facebook groups to your neighbours and consider paying $30+ a week to boost your posts.
Tips For Running A Successful Lawn Care Business
Respond to potential customers as quickly as possible. Few things shout ‘unprofessional’ more than not answering your phone and not responding to calls and emails in a timely fashion.
Be professional. Make an effort to sound and appear professional. Landscaping has a relatively low barrier to entry. It’s important to do what you can to rise above the competition.
Be on time. If you say you’ll mow a lawn or plant a tree at 2:00 pm on Thursday, make every effort to abide by that schedule.
Ask for referrals. This is the cheapest advertising around. It doesn’t require time or money. There’s no better endorsement than word of mouth.
Evaluate. Regularly assess your operation and seek ways to make your business even better.
So, is there money in lawn care business start-ups and should you give it a go?
Yes! A landscaping business can be a lucrative part-time side gig that can be expanded to full-time once a suitable customer base is in place. If you enjoy the outdoors, consider spending more time outside, making money in your landscaping business.