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How to Start a Landscaping Business: 9 Easy Ways to Start

Published on May 30, 2024

Do you have a green thumb and a passion for transforming outdoor spaces? If so, you may be considering how to start a landscaping business.

Landscaping is a thriving industry that offers the potential for significant growth and profitability.

However, like any business venture, it requires careful planning, dedication, and a solid understanding of the industry's intricacies.

In this complete guide, you’ll explore how to start a landscaping business using:

  • Proven expert strategies
  • Insider industry knowledge
  • Solid financial and legal insight

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1. Leverage Your Industry Experience

Like any great business owner, if you want to know how to start a landscaping business that’s successful, then you’ll need industry experience.

The types of certifications you’ll need (if any) depend on your state’s requirements.

For example, these are a few requirements made by some states:

  • Business insurance
  • Set years of experience
  • Landscape contractor license
  • College degree in a related field

Therefore, before you explore how to start a landscaping business, it’s crucial to check your state’s requirements.

Additional Benefits of Industry Experience

Even if your state doesn’t have certification or experience requirements, it’s still important to have experience in the industry.

With your industry experience, you’ll have the power to:

  • Easily manage everyday tasks
  • Keep clients happy with streamlined operations
  • Establish a reputation for offering premium landscape services

Additionally, you can use your field experience to gain the skills needed to be successful in the long-term.

Plus, your experience allows you to build relationships and networking opportunities with other professionals, vendors, and industry experts through your workplace and conferences.

In turn, you can leverage these vital resources in order to gain a local competitive advantage by identifying gaps and opportunities (e.g. specialized services).

Don’t Forget: Licenses and Permits

Before you can legally operate your landscaping business, you'll need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits required by your state and local government.

These may include:

2. Choose a Business Name

As you choose a business name, consider these elements:

  • Memorability and brevity
  • Specific service area (if applicable)
  • Niche services (e.g. landscape lighting, commercial, etc.)

Remember, before finalizing your chosen business name, you’ll need to verify the name is available in your state’s registration base.

Additionally, you’ll have to verify the domain name is available too.

3. Consult With a CPA

CPAs (i.e. certified public accountants) can aid you in:

Determine Financing Requirements

As you’re exploring how to start a landscaping business, you’ll find that getting started requires a significant upfront investment in equipment, vehicles, and supplies.

Having adequate financing in place will ensure that you can purchase the necessary equipment and cover operational expenses during the initial stages of your business.

CPAs can help you determine your start-up costs as well as explore financing options, such as small business loans, investors, and more.

Plus, CPAs can provide pricing advice based on overhead costs, labor expenses, and desired profit margins. In turn, this can ensure your profitability and stance against the competition.

Remember, the upfront cost of a reliable CPA is well worth the long-term success and profitability of your business.

4. Develop a Business Plan

A well-crafted business plan is the foundation of any successful enterprise, and a landscaping business is no exception.

Take a look at this basic business plan outline:

  • Cover page: logo, business name, contact information, business address, and stakeholders
  • Executive summary: company history, mission statement, business goals/objectives, and competitive advantages
  • Business overview: company summary, company ownership, start-up summary, etc.
  • List of service offerings: list of necessary equipment and local high-demand services
  • Market analysis summary: demonstrates your ability to have success in the local market despite the competition
  • Business strategy: detailed overall business strategy and pricing structure
  • Implementation summary: explanation of how you'll meet goals and be successful in your local market
  • Management summary: payroll, sales revenue per hour, etc.
  • Financial plan: detailed demonstration of your business' scalability based on financial projections as well as any funding requirements

Use your business plan to stay focused on your goals, remain organized, and be prepared for the unexpected.

5. Get Business Insurance ASAP

Despite whether or not your state requires business insurance, this is one of the most crucial aspects in discovering how to start a landscaping business.

Use business insurance to protect yourself and your business from legal and financial implications. Plus, protect your valuable assets and equipment.

At a minimum, these are a few policies every new business should consider:

  • General Liability Insurance
    • Protects you and your employees from property damage where you’re at-fault.
  • Workers Compensation Insurance
    • Protects you if one of your employees gets hurt on the job. It’ll pay anything from lost wages, doctor’s visits, hospital stays, to other medical bills.
  • Property Insurance
    • Protects anything from equipment to the computers at your office.

Also, these are a few other policies to consider:

  • Business Owner’s Policy
  • Cyber Liability Insurance
  • Commercial Auto Insurance
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Commercial Property Insurance

As always, discuss these options with an insurance agent to develop an insurance policy that meets the specific needs of your business.

6. Purchase the Right Equipment

Investing in high-quality equipment is essential for any successful landscaping business. However, the equipment you need will vary depending on your service offerings.

Here are a few common essentials every landscape business should consider:

Also, here are a few pro tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid leasing equipment and/or vehicles
    • Many leases won’t allow leases for personal use anyways
    • Leasing leads to empty ROI (whereas purchasing provides an ROI)
  • DO NOT purchase used equipment for your business
    • Time is money—you need reliable equipment you can count on 100% of the time
    • You’ll be purchasing commercial (not residential equipment) so any used equipment will likely have already been heavily used in another business
  • Consider standardizing your fleets (e.g. vehicles and equipment)
    • Streamline the training process
    • Work with the same dealer for the same types of equipment
    • Keep spare parts on hand for easy in-shop maintenance and repairs

Pro Tip! Starting Small

When you’re first discovering how to start a landscaping business, you might be tempted to offer a wide variety of services. However, it’s best to start with a few small niche services.

As you establish a reputation for providing premium high-quality services in those areas, then you can consider adding more services.

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7. Start Getting Clients

By effectively marketing your business, you can attract the right clients for your business.

Take a look at a few ways you can develop a strong local presence:

Don’t forget, building a solid reputation through excellent customer service and quality work is also a powerful marketing tool.

Pro Tip! Keep Your Best Clients

Did you know, by automating client communications you can instantly:

  • Increase lead close rates
  • Improve client satisfaction
  • Decrease manual office tasks

Using Service Autopilot’s automations, you can easily automate your lead and client communications to streamline your daily tasks and operations.

Automations is the  #1 way to follow up  with clients. If you’re not using it, your business might still be successful - but it won’t grow. 

Start Automations Tour

In Service Autopilot, our automations send emails and texts to:​

Every lead after an estimate is completed
Clients after their property has been serviced​
Remind leads and clients to send you customer feedback​
Update outdated or declined payment information​
Inform them when a service can’t be completed due to unforeseen circumstances (i.e. weather)​
Remind them of maintenance tips (i.e. putting a cover on the outdoor faucet before the winter)​
Start Automations Tour

8. Hire the Top Local Talent

As you discover how to start a landscaping business that’s successful, you’ll realize building a strong team is one of the ultimate keys to long-term success.

Even though you likely won’t do much hiring in the beginning, you’ll eventually add to your team to meet your business’ growing demands.

For your first few new hires, look for individuals with relevant experience. While experienced landscapers might require a higher wage, their experience is crucial in the early days.

Experienced landscapers minimize the training time while maximizing your quality of services. Then, you can consider taking a chance on less experienced individuals once you’ve built a solid team that’s consistently meeting profit goals.

9. Leverage the Best Software

The right software is one of the biggest secret weapons to successfully discovering how to start a landscaping that’s wildly successful.

With the best lawn care software, you can:

Take a tour of Service Autopilot to see for yourself how the top lawn care software can transform your landscaping business into a long-term, profitable success!

Grow Your Landscaping Business... Faster 
(and with Less Stress)​

Instant invoicing

Better scheduling

Manage your clients and employees all in one system

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BONUS: Stay Up-to-Date with Industry Trends and Best Practices

By staying informed on the latest industry trends and best practices, you can enhance your expertise and credibility with clients.

These are a few great ways to keep up with the industry:

How to Start a Landscape Business With Long-Term Success

Starting a landscaping business requires hard work, dedication, and a commitment to providing exceptional service.

By following these steps and continuously refining your approach, you can build a successful and thriving landscaping company that brings beauty and functionality to outdoor spaces while generating a profitable income!

Related: 13 Most Profitable Landscape Services to Start Selling

Alyssa Sanders

Alyssa is the Team Lead of Creative Marketing at Xplor Field Services. When she's not writing or creating content, you can find her watching a new sci-fi series or shoving her nose into a book.

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