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How to start a landscaping business?

How to start a landscaping business?

Starting your own landscaping business is a relatively low-cost venture. All you need is some landscaping experience and a drive for being outside. Becoming a landscape architect could be the right career move for you:

  • Do you love the outdoors? 

  • Are you practical and have a good eye for aesthetics? Do you want to be your boss? 

This guide will share tips for beginners, including cost estimates and online courses. We'll help you break into the landscaping industry and start a successful business.

What does a landscaping business do?

Landscaping is the act of improving the aesthetics of a garden or outside space. A lawn care or landscaping business does everything from designing, building, and maintaining outdoor areas. 

They could offer anything from straightforward lawn maintenance to installing elaborate vertical gardens with water features. They can work for residential or commercial clients.

A landscaping company might be as small as one person with a push mower or a team with a range of services. A successful landscaper is more than a manual laborer. As a landscaper, you should be an expert on plant selection and have a creative streak to design practical garden styles. 

Some jobs you might do as a landscaper include:

  • General garden maintenance (e.g., mowing, fertilizing, and weeding).

  • Grooming golf courses.

  • Planting flowers, trees, and bushes suitable for the climate.

  • Designing gardens applicable to customer specifications.

  • Installing walkways, benches, or shelters.

  • Creating water gardens.

Landscaping ideas 

Landscaping or lawn care professionals should stay updated with garden trends. Here are the top landscaping ideas in 2022:

  • People are using more natural materials — including ceramics, colored glass, practical plastics, textiles, raffia, and granite.

  • Sustainability is an essential factor to many right now. Many are opting for plants that require little maintenance, especially in areas vulnerable to droughts.

  • Naturalistic planting is another top trend. Less formality around your flower beds is also more sustainable. 

Why become a landscaper?

There are many reasons why starting a lawn care business is a good choice. You won't be stuck behind a desk or in a vehicle. Working with horticultural management is an excellent way to stay outside if you like outdoor living. 

Furthermore, you'll get to work with machinery and materials. Each project will offer new and exciting prospects. As every garden is different, every customer wants something different. No two projects are the same.

Moreover, some love the challenge of facing an unusual or challenging landscape project. Whether it's working with a small garden or a significant commercial space, you'll love tackling problems in landscape architecture.

 Finally, it's a great way to stay physically fit. With fresh air and manual labor, you'll remain in excellent shape. Start your landscaping business, begin with home gardening or take a certificate program. 

Any downsides to being a landscape business owner?

No job is for everyone. Before pooling all your resources into your landscape business, you should know the drawbacks.

Unfortunately, working outside means working in all weathers. It doesn't matter if it's cold, wet, or windy. You'll have to put up with the climate.

Accordingly, landscapers get most of their work in the spring and summer when clients are eager to clear up their gardens. Therefore, you should plan to budget for the seasonal changes.

Finally, if you own your lawn care or landscape business, you'll need to put the hard work in to attract customers. You'll be the project manager, marketing team, and laborer. 

How to start a landscaping business in six steps

Not put off by the cold weather and responsibility? Then follow our six easy steps to starting your lawn and landscaping business.

Landscaping experience

You need to assess your experience level. If you've been mowing the lawns of a friend or family for years, then you might feel prepared. 

However, if you've never even read any articles on landscaping, then you need to brush up on design tips: research plant selection and establishment and landscaping trends.

Consider studying certificate courses on gardening and landscaping. If you want to specialize in a specific area, try to find a course aligning with your desired fields of study. 

You can either go to technical college or receive a continuing education online with a certificate in horticulture landscaping. Qualifications aren't necessary. However, they will help you attract clients.

What services do you want to offer?

You should establish the services you want to offer. The first decision is whether you opt for commercial or residential landscaping. When starting, it's best to focus on just one. Commercial and residential landscaping have very different needs.

Take a look at existing landscaping companies in your local area:  

  • What's missing? Can you fill that niche? 

  • What type of landscaping will you offer?

  • Have you got any specific skill sets that might help decide your target market? 

For example, if you have expertise with specialist plants, market yourself as a botanical garden professional landscape business. Or perhaps you're interested in interior design. Interior landscapers maintain plant life inside.

Don't worry if you don't have any specialist knowledge or design ideas. Many lawn care companies start out mowing lawns. It's a lucrative way to learn about landscape construction on the job. Alternatively, take an online class to broaden your skillset.

Do you need insurance?

Every landscape designer will need business insurance. General liability insurance is a must, covering everything from repairs to legal fees. If you have employees in your team, you might need to consider other landscaping insurance, such as workers' compensation insurance. Also, consider workplace safety. 

Furthermore, think about business licenses. You don't need specific landscaping licenses, but most states require a business license. When you register your landscaping business, make sure you apply for your license. If you have a criminal record, poor tax history, or fill out the paperwork incorrectly, they may deny your application.

Have you made a marketing plan?

So, you have your landscaping business ready to go. Now, you need to establish your brand identity and marketing plan. Firstly, determine a name for your landscaping business. Business names should be catchy and memorable. You might also want to indicate what services you offer. 

Along with the name, it's time to sort out a logo, website, mission statement, and how you'll attract potential clients. Coming up with a plan for marketing your landscaping business is crucial. 

Once you have an established customer base, you might rely on word-of-mouth marketing. However, in the beginning, you'll need to advertise your services to start a successful landscaping business. 

How do you sort your finances?

As with any startup business, you must keep your finances in order. Your landscaping business plan should detail how you manage your expenses, schedules, and accounts. It would be best if you established how you will budget for landscaping equipment. 

You could choose to use a spreadsheet for running your business. However, many business apps are available that can help you begin landscaping professionally. Many management apps do all the inventory management, payroll, and timesheets for you. You may also want to invest in accounting software to sort out your invoices.

The software may add to your startup costs. However, it's worth it if you want to find time for actual horticulture landscaping and not at your desk doing the math.

Building your team 

Once you have broken into the landscape industry, you may think about scaling your business. It's perfectly fine if you wish to remain a solo operator. However, if you're considering hiring employees, you'll be able to take on more extensive operations. 

To attract landscape professionals to work for you, offer competitive pay, flexible hours, and opportunities for professional development. Starting with part-time employees is an excellent way to grow a team. 

What are the startup costs of a landscaping business?

The startup cost will vary depending on the size and scope of your business. A one-person company doing simple landscape maintenance might be able to begin for $5,000 or less.

However, most landscaping businesses are a more considerable investment. The cost to start could be somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000. That said, there are ways to avoid spending money in large quantities. 

For example, buy or rent used lawn care equipment. You can hire lawn mowers for as little as $100 a day. While leasing is less cost-effective long term, it's an excellent way to lower initial expenses for your first landscaping project. 

How much does a landscape business owner earn? 

The yearly salary of garden designers depends on the scope of your projects, what services you offer, and the specificity of the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, someone working in the lawn care industry will earn an average of $33,800 a year at an hourly wage of $16.25.

Most landscapers will charge an hourly rate or a total cost for a whole project. When starting your landscaping business, deciding how you charge will be one of your initial considerations. 

Where to learn to landscape?

Anyone can learn to be a landscaping contractor. Start by reading landscape magazines to get an idea of trends. Or learn to design gardens and start your business with online landscaping courses. 

At Courses for Success, we offer a home study certificate in landscaping with our Landscaping Online Certificate Course. At the end of the course, prove your knowledge with an assessment exam. 

Why Courses for Success? 

Courses for Success offers over 10,000 online courses, all of which aim to help you in your personal development and career progression. Not only that, but you can also study them anywhere and at any time, and take them at your own pace, too.

You don't need career diplomas or specific experience to get started. From our coding courses and trading courses to design courses and developer courses, every course we offer will help boost your prospects, no matter who you are.

Beyond just the education itself, students will be issued a certificate online after completing each of the learning courses they do. Our online landscaping courses are no exception and are recognized by industry leaders. You could make a name for yourself by signing up for a Courses for Success short course today.

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