Updated December 6, 2021
This article is about starting a landscape and hardscape construction business.
If you're thinking of starting a lawn mowing or lawn care business, see our guide here.
I interviewed three people who got started in the landscaping business years ago, and asked them what you should know about how to get started in the business, and how to run and grow your landscaping business.
First, I wanted to know what background they came from – do people usually work in the industry first, before starting a landscaping business? Or is it common to just get started and learn as you go?
So I asked my three founders – how did you get started in the landscaping business?
did you work with someone doing landscaping before? or did you just get started on your own?
I wondered if there is a specific set of skills you need to operate a landscaping business, or, is it as simple as it sounds?
What training, what skill, and what experience is needed? Could you hire experienced people to help you?
I asked the three successful landscaping business owners:
can you start a landscaping business with no experience? can you learn everything as you go?
is it an expensive business to start? what equipment do you need as a minimum, to start earning money?
Once you get your equipment – whatever you need to start – and you hire a crew, you'll be taking on jobs and getting paid.
But, how much exactly? How much can you expect to earn in the landscaping business?
I asked the three successful landscaping operators how much you could expect to earn as you get started in this business, and as you get more established.
is it a profitable business to run? can you expect to earn a good income quite quickly?
The landscaping business can bring you a good income, but it's not 'easy money'. You'll be working to earn it.
Generally, the answer seems to be – you can expect to earn anywhere from $5,000 to well over $10,000 a month with a landscaping business – depending on what part of the country you're in, and what you're charging for your services.
It all starts with getting your first one or two clients, then repeating that process to get more and more.
I asked my three successful landscaping business operators:
do you advertise? do you buy leads? is there something that works really well?
As you're getting established in the industry, you'll have phone calls and customer enquiries coming in. People will be enquiring about your services, and will be asking you to help them.
Turning those enquiries into paying clients is the next task.
Usually, that's pretty simple – just be helpful and answer their questions, and they'll use your services. If you do a good job, they'll probably use your services over and over again, as well as recommend you when their friends and family ask if they know someone.
I asked my three industry experts – how do customers choose which landscaping business they'll hire?
what do clients really care about? what are they looking for in a landscaping service provider?
As soon as you start advertising your services, you'll probably get calls and emails from companies selling you advertising and other types of marketing.
Some of those services are great, and some of them are a complete waste of money.
I asked my three successful founders what their experiences were with methods of generating new business. I wanted to know what had worked well for them, and what had been a waste of money.
regular advertising? door hangers? online advertising? what works, and what doesnt?
The general idea seems to be – try everything at least once, but don't assign much budget to it. In an industry with a good number of high-ticket customers and jobs, it doesn't take much to get your landscaping business established.
It can be tempting to start buying things – new computers, or services, or things to use in your business – once the cashflow starts coming in.
I asked my three founders whether there was
is there something that sounds like a good idea, but is actually a bad purchase?
All three of the landscaping business owners I spoke to have built nice businesses for themselves, and, they each seem to have plenty of working and are bringing in reasonable amounts of money.
I wondered what a typical workday looks like for someone running a landscaping business.
I asked my three founders – what is a typical day for you now?
is it busy all day every day? is it an enjoyable business? how's the work/life balance?
The balance between work and rest seems to be 'up to you' in the landscape business. If you want to work more hours and make a better income, that's what you can do – but even working shorter 5 or 6 hour days, you'll be earning a very good income for yourself.
I wanted to know if the industry had a reputation for bad operators, or if other landscaping businesses were taking nasty shortcuts.
I asked the experts:
are there shady operators doing things the wrong way? or is the industry mostly full of professionals?
The basic principles of do a good job (and that starts with only taking on work you know you can do well!), charge a fair price, and treat the customer fairly seem to stack up in the landscaping business as well. Just don't try to be the cheapest – it won't lead to a growth in business, it will just lead to financial problems for you. Customers are already paying more, so why not stick with what they're willing to pay.
In landscaping, as in most other industries, it's always easier to get more from your existing customers than it is to find new customers.
I asked my three experts what other services they can offer, in addition to just landscaping, to increase revenue?
are there extras and add-ons? what do customers often request?
the three successful founders share their keys to success in this industry, based on their own experiences
I have spent over 100 hours learning everything there is to know about starting a landscaping business, by talking to industry experts and landscaping operators. I have compiled it into the worlds most useful guide on the topic, How to Start a Landscaping Business. You can check it out here.
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