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How to start a landscaping business | Cloodot
How to start a landscaping business | Cloodot
How to start a landscaping business | Cloodot

How to start a landscaping business 


Published on October 9, 2023

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Maintaining a yard is undeniably hard work, and that's why there is a thriving market for landscaping businesses. These businesses take care of tasks like mowing, weeding, treating, and lawn maintenance, sparing homeowners the effort.

However, for those who derive joy from hands-on yard work, the scent of freshly cut grass, or the satisfaction of a well-mulched garden, the idea of starting their landscaping business may have crossed their minds.

The landscaping industry is experiencing significant growth, especially in regions with warm climates where work can continue nearly year-round. According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, this industry generates a staggering $93 billion in revenue annually and employs over 1 million individuals.

If this is the path you want to pursue, read on to learn how to start your landscaping business.

However, certain starting problems can make us halt as business starters because there is a great array of questions concerning the business at hand. And let us give you a hint about those questions.

  • What types of services will my business provide?

  • How will I secure funding for my venture?

  • What will be the organisational structure of my business?

  • Do I possess the necessary equipment for my operations?

  • Who is my target customer base?

  • What licenses and certifications must I obtain?

  • Is an office space necessary for my business?

  • What strategies will I implement to expand and develop my business?

How to start a landscaping business 

What services you will be offering 

When deciding on the services you'll offer in your landscaping it is essential to list down the services that you are going to offer. While landscaping encompasses a wide range of outdoor improvements. Here's a breakdown of each:

Landscaping Services:
  • Planting

  • Sod installation

  • Hardscaping (e.g., water features, pavers, concrete, retaining walls)

  • Foundation planting

  • Ponds and outdoor patios

  • Garden sculptures

  • Driveways

  • Mulching

  • Landscaping design

As a startup, it's often advisable to focus on your services initially, depending on your expertise and the local competition. Assess your skills and consider your local market to determine the best fit for your business. Specialising in services aligned with your strengths can set you up for success. Additionally, researching your local market's demand and profit potential can help you make an informed decision.

Also read: how to optimise your website for local search 

How much does it cost to start a landscaping business?

Starting a small, one-person landscaping business starter can have a minimal initial cost, sometimes as low as $500. 

However, startup costs for large-scale business ventures that involve equipment, marketing, and staffing are typically higher. In such cases, the typical range for a landscaping business starter falls between $15,000 and $50,000, not including the cost of a truck.

It's important to note that startup costs can vary significantly based on various factors such as business size, the number of employees, equipment quality, and more. 

To give you a clear picture of the costs associated with starting a small landscaping business with 34 employees, 

It's worth mentioning that these costs are provided for illustrative purposes and may not fully align with your specific situation. 

These costs can be categorised into two types: startup costs and operating costs.

Operating CostAmount (per month)Office/ Warehouse Lease DepositDeposit $12,000Equipment cost $5000$8000Vehicles 20,000$ loan License and legal costs $2500$3500Total 39,500$49,500$

Equipment costs 
  • Pickup truck: $30,766

  • Mower: $350 to $1,499

  • Trimmer: $169 to $249

  • Edger: $109 to $119

  • Blower: $109 to $409

  • Two gas cans (one for regular fuel and one for mixed fuel for trimmers and edgers): $25

  • Shovels: $13 to $34

  • Shears: $13 to $32

  • Rakes: $12 to $28

  • Work gloves: $12 to $15

  • Noise-canceling headphones: $89

  • Safety goggles: $3 to $13

  • Steel toed boots: $76 to $83

More tools may be required if you have employees, such as multiple blowers, edgers, and various types of rakes.

Allocate funds for materials and products, including fertiliser, pesticides, plants, and flowers, depending on your customer's specific needs.

Typically, it's advisable to budget around $10,000 for the initial landscaping business starter. This amount may vary depending on the equipment you already own and should cover equipment acquisition, business formation, insurance, website development, and an initial marketing campaign.

Obtaining Your Business License

Starting a landscaping company typically requires a business license, which varies by state and can have additional city or county-level requirements. While special industry licenses may not be necessary, securing a proper business license is crucial. Here's what you need to know:

Local Business License:
  •    Most states mandate a business license.

  •    Certain cities and counties may have their unique licenses.

Licensing Process:

Acquiring a landscaping business license is usually straightforward. However, factors like a criminal record, tax delinquency, zoning violations, or paperwork errors can lead to rejection.

Local Resources:
  • Contact your county clerk's office to determine the specific licenses required for your area.

  • Be sure to inquire about any local restrictions or regulations.

Interstate Operations:

Ensuring you have the necessary licenses is a crucial step in establishing a legitimate and compliant landscaping business.

Obtain your tax identification number (TIN)

Once you receive the necessary paperwork from the secretary of state, you can proceed to obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the IRS. The TIN serves as your business's equivalent of a Social Security number and is essential for opening a business bank account.

You can obtain a TIN at no cost by applying directly through the IRS. This can be done conveniently through an online application process.

Financial planning for taxes, insurance, and other costs

Ensure you calculate your annual business expenditures and responsibilities, encompassing taxes, business license renewals, and related items. Depending on your business's nature, it's crucial to consider landscaping business insurance policies for safeguarding your operations. 

At the very least, allocate a budget for premiums on general liability insurance. This type of coverage handles expenses in case of injuries to third parties or damage to others' property.

Additionally, consider the potential need for commercial auto insurance for company-owned vehicles, workers' compensation insurance if you have employees, and hired and non-owned auto (HNOA) insurance, which applies when personal vehicles are used for business purposes.

Marketing Your Business
  • Establish your business, define services, and determine rates.

  • Implement grassroots marketing by distributing business cards locally.

  • Target neighbourhoods for weekly clients to minimise travel costs.

  • Create an online presence

  • Build a website.

  • Set up a Google My Business account for local visibility.

  • Establish social media profiles (e.g., Facebook Business Page).

  • Register on online business directories (e.g., Angi , Yelp, Yellow Pages).

  • Explore local advertising through newspapers.

  • Consider pay-per-click advertising like Google Ads or Bing Ads.

  • Leverage word of mouth.

  • Attend local networking events and engage with business associations.

  • Reach out directly to local businesses if they offer commercial landscaping services.

Also read: 10 Ways Google My Business Experts Can Help You Succeed

Setting your service rates

When establishing your pricing structure, consider the following steps:

1. Market research:

Investigate local landscaping companies to gauge the average service rates in your area.

Distinguish rates for different services, e.g., weekly maintenance vs. landscaping projects.

2. Pricing range:

  • Weekly maintenance (e.g., mowing and blowing) can range from $45 to $100, depending on yard size.

  • Landscaping costs typically average between $4 to $12 per square foot.

  • Complex landscape design work may cost $7,000 or more, contingent on project size and intricacy.

3. Covering overhead:

  • Ensure your rates encompass overhead expenses such as fuel, supplies (e.g., fertilizer), and labor (if you have employees).

  • If you employ workers, obtain workers' compensation coverage as required.

4. Profit margin:

Set rates that not only cover costs but also generate a profit for your business.

Also read: 10 best invoicing software for small businesses 

Starting a landscaping business isn't overly challenging; you mainly require the right budget, equipment, and insurance for safety, including your equipment. However, as you acquire more clients, you'll need a customer management tool to handle inquiries, chats, and reviews efficiently. With AI-driven automated responses and the ability to showcase your 5-star reviews,

We introduce you to the perfect solution: Cloodot.

Cloodot is an all-in-one CX management tool that streamlines customer chats, reviews, and inquiries and provides insightful cross-channel reports. It even allows you to expand your business by managing over 1000 locations on Google Business Dashboard, enabling you to respond to Google Maps reviews through Cloodot.

This is just the beginning—there's much more to discover about Cloodot. Sign up or schedule a call with us to explore all that Cloodot has to offer.

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