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Landscaping Business Idea

Ready to put your green thumb to work by starting a landscape business?

Look around you—most homes, businesses and schools, not to mention parks and recreational areas, and you’ll see potential business opportunities.

Landscapers can design and create walkways, paths, decks, patios, and gardens.

They can care for trees, grass, flowers and other vegetation. There are even indoor landscaping opportunities – jobs that design indoor fountains and lush atriums.

They can install sprinkler systems that use water efficiently while saving the owner time and effort.

What To Know When Starting A Landscape Business

In this, as in most businesses, you need a combination of technical knowledge and business skills. Not enough of either is a sure recipe to make your business shrivel.

Have you always been a gardener, or had a love of flowers? Enhance your education by reading as much as you can about plants. Working at a gardening center or on the crew of a landscape designer would be an excellent introduction.

Are you comfortable with all aspects of landscaping or will you need backup for some areas? For example, you may be a whiz at garden landscaping, but may need someone with more electrical expertise to help with landscape lighting. Know where you may need help, and get those resources lined up.

For more structured education, you can find classes at local colleges. You can even pursue a master’s degree in landscape design.

Once you have the technical background, you need to make sure you have the skills to run a business. Planning and budgeting will be essential as you estimate the costs of running your business, and how much you will charge your customers.

As you plan your investment, you’ll need to factor in lawn equipment. You will need a truck or trailer for your landscape equipment. Experienced lawn professionals caution against buying every possible tool right away. You may end up with too much debt. Instead, buy used tools when you can, and rent tools needed for short-term jobs.

Because landscaping is a service business, treating your customers well is especially important. It is much easier and cheaper to keep a current customer than to find a new one.

Advertising Your Business

You’ve got the experience and the equipment, now it’s time to find some customers. Experts suggest that new small businesses target residential versus commercial customers. Why? Residential customers pay upon delivery of service, while commercial customers pay on a cycle, up to 120 days after the job is completed.

To advertise to residential owners, place ads in local newspapers and upscale community magazines. When starting a landscape business, keep in mind that word of mouth is actually the most effective form of advertising. Maintaining a friendly, professional and proactive relationship with your customers will keep them coming back and telling their friends.

If you are interested in attracting the commercial crowd, advertise in the Yellow Pages, local business magazines and by sending out direct mailings to businesses.

For all of your jobs, take good digital pictures of before and after. Create a design book that you can show customers, as well as one on your website.

Thorough preparation for both the technical and business aspects will help when starting a landscape business.

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