Make your new Landscaping Business the One They Call
If you are considering starting your own landscaping business, you need to differentiate yourself – make yourself stand out! You know that demand is growing for landscaping services, and start-up costs are low, but those same reasons create a competitive environment where marketing is the key to standing out and getting business.
Many first time business owners skip this crucial step and live to regret it. When starting a landscaping business, you should have a viable business plan, in writing, to help you work through things like naming your landscaping business, legal matters, insurance, licensing requirements for contractors, and target customers. If you intend to borrow any startup funds, such a plan is imperitive to getting approval. You can find blank business plan templates, and instructions at SCORE’s website (http://www.score.org/template_gallery.html) .
There are two broad classifications for landscapers, and most new landscapers will choose one or the other. Residential landscapers work for homeowners and can provide services as simple as mowing the lawn once a week, or as complex as ornate garden design and hardscaping. Commercial landscapers are typically hired to keep a company’s grounds looking neat and manicured, and their services usually include mowing the lawn, mulching, and planting flowers on a seasonal basis. Both types of landscapers might offer plowing and snow removal services in northern areas.
When starting a landscaping business, there are a few options available. You can buy an existing business, take over a landscaping route that has already been established, or invest in a franchised landscaping company, like Lawn Doctor (http://www.lawndoctorfranchise.com/). Of course, building your business from the ground up will be the least expensive way to get started.
Getting Set Up
Understanding financial matters and knowing your costs for expenses, labor, and taxes can help you set up your budget. Research pricing and information on area landscaping companies so that you’ll have some idea of market pricing and will know the right amount to charge to attract the most business while still making an ample profit. Equipment needs vary based upon which type of landscaping you intend to do, and what types of services you will offer. Certainly, basic lawn care tools, hand tools, and hauling and cleanup equipment are all important. There are a number of ways to acquire the equipment for a lower cost. One way is to lease your equipment rather than purchase it outright, and this strategy can often get you the latest equipment with the smallest monthly outlay. Alternately, you might consider looking for used equipment, which you can often find refurbished in equipment repair shops. If you do have the funds to purchase outright though, this can be a money saving strategy, as there will be no monthly cost for equipment.
Make your Business Stand Out
With competition from many other services, some landscaping business marketing is crucial to the success of your new venture:
Branding your business is the most important thing you can do, and you should do it right from the beginning. Have someone create a simple logo for the business, and use that on every business card, flyer, piece of advertising, on your website and Facebook page, and even on the company vehicles. You should also invest in shirts with the company logo on them as well. Customers will see a consistent message from your company no matter where they look. This type of branded message makes you look professional and trustworthy.
Make customer satisfaction a priority. In every interaction with customers and potential new customers, it is vital to under-promise and over-deliver. For instance, if you believe you can work a new client in on Wednesday of next week, tell them you will get to them by the following weekend. Imagine their delight when you show up ‘early’ to take care of them. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to do an excellent job for your customers and make their yards or business locations look awesome. Your goal should always be for them to rave about your work so much that their neighbors hire you as well.
When hiring staff, look for those who enjoy landscaping work and are personable to interact well with customers. Have them wear shirts with the company logo. Consider offering bonus incentives for well done work. Surprise a team member with some extra money in their paycheck for taking care of your business, and they are apt to repeat that process. Setting things up properly and continually monitoring how they are going, especially in the first year, are imperative to continued success in landscaping or any other business.
Find new customers online! Do you have a local business? Demandmart offers an automated platform that makes it affordable, easy and effective to get started marketing online. It can help you get exposure in search engines, create online coupons, schedule appointments online and automatically follow-up with your customers via email. Discover demandmart’s online marketing platform for small business today! For more free small business marketing strategies, check out demandmart’s local search marketing tips.
Go to www.start-lawncarebusiness for info on starting and running a lawn care business. This video teaches you how to price a lawn.
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