Starting your own lawn care business can be a rewarding experience. The landscaping industry is one that has definite benefits and unique challenges. In this two part blog series we will discuss the industry and suggest steps that you should consider taking before starting a lawn care or landscaping business and give you ideas of things you might need in order to start the business successfully.
Snapshot: Industry Overview
- According to the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), an international association serving lawn care professionals, there are an estimated 10,000 individual lawn care service providers and approximately 12,000 landscapers in the U.S.
- A 2005 survey by Irrigation and Green Industry magazine concluded that the U.S. green industry, which includes lawn and landscape maintenance, landscape contractors, landscape architects, irrigation contractors, and lawn and landscape product suppliers, generates $67 billion to $69 billion annually. Additionally, PLANET estimates that the landscaping services sector alone generates 704,000 jobs and $35.6 million in value-added services annually.
- According to a 2010 study by the National Gardening Association, consumers spend an average of $363 per household on lawn and garden activities.
What steps should you follow before starting a landscape business?
While there is no definitive answer and this blog post is definitely not meant to be a how – to, here is a list of things you should consider adding to your checklist of necessary tasks:
- Prepare a detailed business plan. Define your customers and include the services offered, marketing, advertising, and start-up and operational finance information.
- Apply for all necessary permits, licenses and registrations. Your county clerk, state department of business regulation and tax revenue office will advise you what is required in your area.
- Speak to a business adviser, or an attorney or accountant, to find out how to start a lawn business legally. You’ll want to find out how to set up your tax structure, get the necessary licenses and permits, and deal with accounting and taxes. Your local government offices can advise what licenses you need. Remember to register your business with the IRS. Research, research, research.
- Learn how to handle business basics like accounting and marketing. Use office software and a printer to handle orders, professional correspondence and other business tasks. Consider hiring an assistant to take care of administrative tasks. You’ll need an office space with a computer and printer, as well as room for storing files and paperwork.
While rewarding, starting a business is scary and complex. Instead of taking all of these steps on your own, you might be interested in purchasing an existing model to work from, there are many proven and reputable lawncare franchise opportunities, such as The Grounds Guys ®. Additionally, you can consider purchasing an existing business, which will provide you with an existing customer base and equipment.