Learn the basics and see what it takes to get your landscaping business off the ground.
As a current or aspiring landscaping professional, you’re faced with an uphill battle when it comes to industry misconceptions. How much time do you spend explaining to people that mowing lawns is only a small fraction of what you do?
Not only does the role of a landscaper change based on the geographic area you’re based out of, but you wear the hat of a botanist, an artist, and an environmentalist all at once.
From managing snow removal in the Northeast to managing droughts out West, the job of a landscaper is a year-round adventure.
As anyone in the industry can tell you, it is hard work to manage your own landscaping business. But with 78% of landscaping contractors saying they’re confident the industry will continue to grow, there’s still opportunity for new players.
So, let’s break down everything it takes to not only make your landscaping business possible, but a standout success among the competition.
How to Start a Landscaping Business
Some of the ingredients for a successful lawn care company include equipment, staff, insurance, and a marketing plan. Whether you’re targeting commercial or residential landscaping, these four elements are a necessity no matter what.
We connected with SimpleTexting customer and 27-year professional landscaping veteran Adam Tocci to learn about what it takes to build a landscaping business from the ground up.
Now General Manager at Waverly, Adam and his brother Paul started their business back in the ’80s thanks to a great deal of grit and a little Chevy dump truck named Loretta.
When it comes to getting your start, the best piece of advice Adam has is to “start small and secure at least one commercial contract in your portfolio. This will give you guaranteed income as well as prestige.”
For Adam and Paul, that first contract was an apartment complex called Siena Village in Watertown, MA. That served as their foundation and, with plenty of time in between, they grew on to add clients as large as Gillette Stadium (home to the New England Patriots) to that same portfolio.
Mastering the Landscaping Basics
We went over the four pillars of landscaping (equipment, staff, insurance, and marketing) with Tocci. For someone just looking to get their start, here is what he suggests for how you should tackle each approach.
- Don’t be afraid to lease over buy when you’re just getting started. There’s plenty of opportunity for gently used or second-hand equipment as well. Not to mention leased equipment is a tax write off!
- When it comes to what you should have in your “toolbox” he suggests a deck mower, aeration equipment, weed wacker, small dump truck, and an open-ended trailer (or enclosed if you don’t have a physical place to store your equipment).
- Ensure you’re offering something like snow removal, or whatever’s appropriate for the environment, and make sure you equip yourself appropriately. For Adam, that was a fleet of plows.
- For a landscaping business just getting their start, three people is a perfectly adequate starting point.
- Make sure you surround yourself with hard workers who don’t shy away from long, sweaty days. As a bonus, try to seek out people with a degree in landscape architecture or with specially developed skills in trimming/pruning.
- With landscaping, you’re going to be looking at workers compensation coverage, auto insurance, property damage coverage as well as liability insurance.
- Make sure you shop around and find an agent who specializes in landscaping insurance (yes, they exist!)
- Join a local associate to find helpful tips and tricks.
- As his business evolved into the age of the internet, Adam has come to see the benefit of investing in online reviews. Landscaping as a service benefits from peer endorsement.
- Join a local chamber of commerce. This will give you amble networking opportunity.
- Communication is key. You want to go above and beyond for each client. Maintaining contracts is just as important as creating new ones.
How Text Marketing Can Take Your Landscaping Business to the Next Level
At SimpleTexting we may not be dedicated landscaping experts, but we do know a thing or two about communication. When it comes to making your clients feel valued and tapping new potential leads, we’ve got the goods.
Texting gives you a competitive communications advantage with its ability to reach anyone, anywhere. Not only does it make it easier to stay in touch with customers, but you can automate your marketing tasks giving you more time to go out and secure new leads.
Some ways you can start utilizing text marketing in your landscape marketing strategy include:
- Use a text-to-book appointment system (complete with scheduled reminders)
- Collect customer feedback and encourage online reviews
- Deliver coupons or deals to subscribers
- Send out relevant weather alerts
- Write landscaping tips to your customers to help educate them on proper lawn care
To spread the word about your text marketing program visibility is key. Pepper all your properties with lawn signs including your number and keyword and watch the leads roll in! You can also include a web sign up form on your site as well as pin information to the tops of all your social media pages!
Want a lawn that looks this good? Text FRESHCUT to 555888 to learn how!
Making the decision to start a business isn’t easy, so we want to make sure you feel supported from start to finish. That’s why we offer 14 days free here at SimpleTexting for you to get your feet wet. We anticipate you’ll be reaching more customers and locking down more contracts in no time.
Questions? We’re available seven days a week. Just hit the blue chat button in the corner of your screen.
Send your first message in minutes. Try SimpleTexting free for 14 days. No credit card required.