Setting up a landscaping business can be very attractive for someone who’s already working in the industry or anyone with a limited budget who doesn’t mind the work that comes with it. This is a business with a moderately low barrier to entry and one with great demand. It doesn’t mean that it’s easy to succeed as a landscaper, however. This is a very competitive space, and unless you are prepared, you might have trouble surviving. Let’s take a look at a few things you need to know before you start offering landscaping services.
Know the Challenges of the Industry
Before you start planning, you have to know some of the challenges of the landscaping business. If you’re totally green to the business, we would strongly suggest that you start as a worker first. We assume that you’re going to be handling part or all of the job yourself, so you first have to see if this is something you could see yourself doing full time.
You should also know that landscaping is a seasonal business, so you will need to make enough during the high months to sustain yourself when business is low. You should also know that it can be a very dangerous job at times, and you will need to get coverage for yourself, your employees, and your clients. You should start looking for landscaper insurance right away to know how much you can expect to pay.
Even though the landscaping business does not have the highest barrier to entry, it still requires a significant investment. You will need to pay for vehicles, specialized equipment, and will probably have to hire a few people. So, you need to sit down and know exactly what your initial costs will be.
Start Small First
Do not give in to temptation and take the first big contract you come across. It’s much better to fail on a small project than on a bigger one. Take the time to learn the ropes and start by working on smaller projects. This will give you the chance to make errors, but to also gather a list of referrals and testimonials if you do your job well.
One common mistake people make when they first get started is offering too many services at once. This is another area where it’s often better to start small. You could start by only offering lawn care services at first, for instance. This will allow you to reduce your startup costs, but will also allow you to build a reputation while earning money that you can invest in expanding your business later on.
The Competition is Tough
Since it’s not that difficult to start a landscaping business, you can expect to see a lot of competition where you are. This is why you need to run a thorough market analysis before you start. You have to see who your direct competitors are and look at their scope of service. Look at your target market and how many searches are performed per month for landscaping services in your area. You also need to check if there’s more demand for residential or commercial services.
The two things that will allow you to stand out are your reputation and how you market yourself. If you want to establish social proof fast, you could offer discounts to your first clients or even offer to perform some jobs for free. Having a few testimonials on your website could be enough to sell your services.
You will also need to look at alternative marketing methods like social media and local SEO. Local SEO in particular can be a great tool to get a steady stream of clients to your website without having to constantly pour money into it.
Note that reviews will play a very important role when it comes to local SEO. The higher the ratings on your reviews, the higher up in the results they will appear. You also have to make sure that you have plenty of local keywords on your website, that your NAP (name, phone, and address) is consistent everywhere they’re posted online, and that you find ways to get your brand mentioned on local sites and media as much as possible.
Starting a landscaping business is not that difficult, but it’s still a challenge. You should study the business model in close detail before you make the jump and speak with a few people who have done it before you.