You might already consider yourself as having a green thumb. Why not turn this hobby into a viable income-generating venture? One important factor for anyone opening a new business is having the right education. You don't need to go for a full degree to start a landscaping business, but some classes in business management or accounting will help you get your business off on the right foot.
Here are some other useful tips to help you start a landscape business of your own:
- Learn more about the craft. Carrying out landscape service is a craft, so it’s highly important that you get a lot of practice before you start charging for your services. Apart from the basic garden maintenance skills that you probably already know, make sure that you also have knowledge of other aspects of landscaping such as the latest techniques of weed control, safe and effective chemicals to use, artistic landscaping designs, etc. It would be good for your business if you have certification; you can acquire this through enrolling at Professional Landscape Career Training that’s usually available through online courses or through your local community college.
- Have a business plan. Apart from honing your landscaping skills, it’s highly important that you create a business plan. Things you should take into consideration include the following: your start-up capital, your needed equipment and supplies, your fee, your office, your advertising strategy, etc. A tip is to look around existing landscaping companies to know more about the competition. Very important also would be knowing about the licenses, permits and certifications that you would need to acquire before starting your business.
- Create a niche market. A major part of your business plan will include determining your target market. It is recommended that you start small; it’s not a feasible idea to want to cater to everybody. By limiting your target customers, you’d better be able to know how to provide excellent services for that particular field of specialization. Some examples of areas you could specialize in include residential or commercial gardens, public parks, resorts, golf courses etc. You could also consider going in the tree business, maintenance business, irrigation business, specialize in landscape grass services, etc. Get additional training on the particular specialization that you have decided upon. Also, you’d be able to know your advertising strategy by determining first your target market. For example, if you’d like to cater to your immediate community then a small-scale advertising strategy would do. Advertise at your local newspaper, print up ads and post them at community centers, even do house-to-house if you feel so inclined.
- Provide landscape services all year long. Part of the challenges of having a business would be to rise up among the competitors. That’s why it’s important that you think of incentives that customers could enjoy: discounts, free estimates and landscaping follow-ups, premium rates for loyal customers and referrals, etc. Another tip would be to make sure to maintain a solid customer base by being aware of the different services needed depending on the time of the year: snow plowing services, spring and fall cleanup, and tree services.
Having your own business definitely has its ups and downs, but the sense of accomplishment over being your own boss and running your own successful business (one that you sincerely enjoy and which helps other people too) is certainly worth all the effort. Don't forget to keep yourself in the loop when it comes to new marketing and business trends by taking online classes in business management from time to time. Good luck!