Starting a business during a global pandemic might sound inadvisable because of social-distancing rules, curfew restrictions and suspension of non-essential services but the draw-back does not quite apply if it is landscaping.
Lawn care and landscape businesses have largely remained active throughout the crisis. In fact, in several states, these businesses have been deemed essential services.
Also, many green industry experts would argue that now is the optimal time to get into the ownership game. Before you decide, ensure it is a business you are familiar with. It can be seasonal and labor-intensive.
One of the first and most important things you need to do is to identify and cater to your target market. Typical landscaping businesses like Smith’s Tree Service usually provide services such as Complete Tree Removal, Trimming, Topping, Grading and Lot Clearing, Fertilizing, and Stump Removal. However, the market available to you might slightly differ in terms of the services they desire. You can think of target customers to possibly include high-end clients, busy people, hotels, or even horticulture aficionados. When you know your target market, you will be able to tailor your services, branding, and marketing to suit them.
The next step has to do with pricing. You will need to provide estimates to clients that are both affordable to them and profitable to you. Since you will be new to the market you might consider it useful to under-cut the prices of more established businesses but that might not even be profitable for you in the short or long term so it is much better to come up with a fair price. For the type of business, a good formula is to come up with per square foot rate for each service that covers all your costs and then have a profit margin worked in.
Next, you will need to build a team of skilled, reliable workers. It is up to you whether to start off with experts or trainees that you will invest in and develop. In either case, be sure that your employee feel valued being a part of your business.
Get your administrative system set up as you will need to take care of your bookkeeping processes, invoices, payrolls and other essential legal tasks like insurance and the business’ legal structure. There are a few necessary forms of landscaping business insurance you need to obtain to conduct business at all. The most important is general liability insurance, which covers everything from the cost of repairs to legal fees to damages that need to be paid out if you or an employee accidentally causes damage. You can either choose to hire a professional to delegate this responsibility to or find software and tools to help you complete these kinds of tasks.
The next step is marketing. One of the most efficient ways to market lately is to have a good online presence. You can begin by promoting your business through social media and an SEO optimized website for your business.Later you can develop a more robust strategy to include ads and marketing campaigns.
Starting any business is difficult but it is always an opportunity. If you still unsure how to begin, you can look at other similar services like Smith’s Tree service to see their offerings and how they are presented. Be sure to build a solid reputation once you land your first client. After this, business is sure to start rolling in.