6 Tips to Becoming a Successful Landscaping Contractor

Landscaping Contractor - Complete Controller

Becoming a landscaping contractor can be a profitable business that is relatively easy to start. Though the equipment can be expensive, most people have enough basic equipment to start, and other equipment can be rented as needed until you can afford to purchase the needed equipment on your own. You do have to have a passion for this type of business to make it a success. Outside of knowledge of landscaping, here are six tips to having a successful landscaping business. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Make a Business Plan

Though you will be spending 80% of your time as a landscaping contractor doing manual labor, maintenance, and installation, 20% of your time will be spent doing paperwork and building the business. It is important to develop and maintain a great business plan from the start and throughout the business plan. Here are the seven basic parts of a good business plan.

  • Executive Summary – This is the first thing anyone reading the business plan sees. It includes the basic summary of the business. Though it is first in the business plan, it is written last since it summarizes the entire plan.
  • Company Description – This is quite simply the mission statement and the company’s basic description, and what its goals are going forward.
  • Market Analysis – This is where you will analyze the landscaping market and break down everything about it.
  • Organization and Management – This is the breakdown of your business structure. If you are the sole proprietor and have no employees, this will be unnecessary or minimal.
  • Services Offered – This is where you will give a detailed accounting of the services your landscaping business will offer. If there are any products you will sell, you would include them here also.
  • Marketing Plan – This is where you will break down the marketing plans and costs.
  • Financial Plan – This is a detailed accounting of your financial plans, both short and long-term. If you are new, this will require other companies’ research. If you are expanding, you will use your financial data. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Money Management

Managing the money of your landscaping business will require that you have a strong accounting system in place. Whether you hire a bookkeeper or accountant, contract out the services, or use software to do it yourself, you will need to ensure you have a money management plan.

One of the more difficult aspects is pricing and billing. You will have to decide whether you will charge per service or for a lump sum. You will also have to decide if you will expect payment upon completion of the job or if you will allow payments. If you choose to take payments, you will need to develop your terms of service.

Make Marketing Plans

As with any business, your landscaping business must have a strong and clear marketing plan. This marketing plan should include both free and paid marketing initiatives and should also include social media. In your business plan, you should have a marketing plan. When it comes to marketing, you can implement traditional marketing strategies and what is trending or current. The key to a great marketing plan is that you are flexible and understand what works today may not work tomorrow. You should always have your fingers on the market’s pulse and understand what you need to change to keep your landscaping business thriving.

Having the Right Tools

There are specific tools that a landscaping business needs to be successful. You will need to assess what equipment you will need for each job. If you don’t have the equipment and can’t afford to purchase it, you can rent equipment. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Hand tools such as rakes, handsaws, shears, and shovels are generally bought as these are the backbones of any landscape business and are used more commonly. Power tools like blowers, chainsaws, tree trimmers, and power washers are required according to the job’s need.  On occasion, you will need heavy equipment like backhoes or skid steers that you could exclusively rent unless you find you use it enough to justify the purchase of this heavier equipment.

Build a Strong Team

Though some landscaping contractors will always work alone, you may need to hire subcontractors to help you complete the project for bigger jobs. It would be best to build your subcontractors pool based on trust and those that will complete the project at the same level of quality you would. If you hire employees to work with you, it should be a team representing you and the company well if they are doing work on sites without you. Whether employee or subcontractor, every team member should be a good representative of your company as it will be your reputation on the line.

Cultivate Customers

Landscaping businesses are unique in the customer base. When it comes to maintenance, you are often dealing with regular customers who do not have time to take care of landscaping. In the installation case, sometimes it is a one time job, and other times it is ongoing maintenance after installation.

It is important that you encourage customers to use you regularly and not just one time. You also want to try to cultivate referrals through your loyal customers. The best way to build your customer base is from word of mouth and marketing efforts.

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