Starting a venture isn’t always a simple decision to make, much less a garden landscaping business. However, if you are a lover of the outdoors, the smell of a freshly mowed lawn, or are fascinated by the colors and patterns of flowers, then you have a much better chance of running a successful business. Read on to gain a better understanding of the various factors to consider when going into the landscaping business.
Before you embark on this path, it’s a wise choice to understand the in’s and out’s of the trade first. It will require a lot of discipline from you. Even if you love it as a hobby, you can’t treat it like that again if you want to make money. You will need to work in adverse weather, meet up with clients’ schedules, learn how to negotiate with suppliers and customers, adapt to a labor-intensive job, and keep learning about various plants, trees, flowers, and designs. These are all things you need a resolute mind to carry out successfully.
While operating in the industry doesn’t require a certificate, it’s best to sign up for courses online to help you stay relevant with the best practices. If you have some extra cash, invest in getting a certificate to act as an extra layer of trust for your clients.
The reason you started landscaping may be because of your love for gardening, but it isn’t enough reason to stay on the job. Without a business plan, it’s easy to lose focus. The business plan includes the mission statement, the aim, long and short-term assets, list of services with their prices, market research, financial and marketing strategy. The assets are the essential gardening tools used when working on a client site. A reason to remind yourself is so you know the importance of maintaining and upgrading them. While a van may last a couple of years, some of the other tools will barely last two years. The plan can help develop a roadmap on how to get better equipment as the business grows, keeping you focused on what you need to do to grow the business.
When you begin, it’s best not to be too picky with clients, but it’s also good to know the type of clients you want to patronize. We can broadly divide clients into two sections- private homeowners and commercial clients. The homeowners are families that want to look neat and classy, while commercial clients are small and big businesses.
If you’re starting with relatively small capital and little experience, begin with homeowners. When you have accumulated more experience and money, you can then add commercial clients to your list. You can land clients if you join landscapers groups and advertise there or can attend events and hangouts. If all this doesn’t work, you can also offer discounted services for a short period.
The legal aspect of your business is critical and should be one of the very first things you handle before operating. You can pick between a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and if you’re unsure, consult a professional.
After Deciding on what legal structure you want your business to run under, register it with HMRC for tax, VAT, and National Insurance – if you are expecting to employ people, then also PAYE. Doing this will save you from legal headaches in the future.
The hunt for clients is never easy when you begin, and therefore you will need to either hire the services of an expert or choose how you get the word out to people. Using newspapers and handing out flyers around the neighborhood can be effective. Naming your services in a popular landscape magazine can also be helpful, but in recent years the internet has become a powerful tool you can use.
Creating a website, having a company email, and social media accounts on various platforms can significantly increase your exposure. Writing blog posts to advise, teach and review can be a great way to build an email list.
A business portfolio is an effective tool to have with you. It does the talking by showing your clients your past work. It’s usually photos of your jobs so far. A before and after picture helps the client see how skillful you are. Pictures aren’t the only things in a portfolio. Reviews, recommendations, and positive feedback by happy clients can also be present in your portfolio.
Garden landscaping is labor-intensive and stressful but can also be satisfying and fulfilling. It requires little to no qualification to start, and the industry is expanding. Although seasonal, if you plan well, you can make a decent living off it.