Growing a Landscaping Business

Want to start a landscaping business? Here’s how you can get started.

Dear Janet,

I have owned my own landscape contracting business for two years and I have been fairly successful to date. I have a degree in landscape architecture and horticulture and over 15 years of experience, but the only thing that seems to matter in obtaining leads and jobs is service, service, and more service. Do you have any suggestions for growing this type of business?


Dear BB,

There are several things you can do. One is to encourage your satisfied customers to give you referrals. Chances are they have already bragged about your work to friends and business associates. Call them and ask them for referrals to those friends and associates. Or, offer them a free service in exchange for referrals.

Another useful tactic: “work” the neighborhoods you’ve worked in. Chances are neighbors or other business owners noticed your truck and the ongoing progress of jobs. Send a mailing to those neighbors so they have your phone number handy when they decide their property needs tender loving care, too. Don’t send just one mailing. Send several during the year.

Look for neighborhoods that you haven’t been in yet, but which are old enough or new enough to need your services. Send a mailing to the homeowners in those neighborhoods, too.

Network with home builders, and people who do siding, kitchens and remodeling. Exchange mailing lists and leads, or sell each others services for a commission on sales. New construction needs landscaping, of course, and people remodeling may be ready to redo their landscaping, too.

Get permission to take and publish before and after photographs of job sites, then put those up on a web site. Promote your web site in any mailings, ads you place and on your business card. The web site give potential customers a way to evaluate your work before having to subject themselves to a sales call.

Finally, if you need employees, contact local trade schools, school-to-work programs and the local department of labor to see if they can help you find workers you can train.

Good luck!

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