Skip to content

How to Start a Landscaping Business

We all want to live in a beautiful environment, and part of that is ensuring our yards and gardens are properly designed, maintained and looked after. This provides landscape business entrepreneurs with a great opportunity — if you can provide excellent yard and garden services, you can build a thriving local landscaping business.

On this page

Business Startup Guides

    Plan Your Landscaping Business

    Before you start your business, there are a few key areas you need to focus on. You will need to establish whether there’s a demand for your landscaping business services, look at potential benefits and pitfalls, understand how your business finances might work and ensure everything is in order. In short, you need a business plan — here’s how to think about your business idea.


    Do Market Research and Validate Your Landscaping Products and Services


    Before you launch your landscaping business, you need to understand if there’s a demand for what you’re selling. That means carrying out market research and “validating” your products and services. Here’s how to go about it:

    1
    See if there are any market research reports for landscaping businesses

    Search locally, nationally or internationally.

    2
    Look at who your competitors are in the space

    Having competitors is a good thing as it shows there’s a market. You will want to find out what local competitors offer the same services you do.

    3
    Talk to clients

    Speak with potential customers to understand what they want from your landscaping products and services. Narrow down the types of clientele you want to serve and talk to them about landscaping needs.

    4
    Identify your business’s unique selling points (USPs)

    These are the areas that will set you apart from competitors and encourage customers to come to you. You might have better pricing, a higher-quality service, faster delivery or some other special feature. Early on, think about offering work at a better price so you can start to build up a portfolio.

    5
    Get involved with business communities and discussion groups

    Ask questions about landscaping businesses. You can find links to some excellent discussion groups later in the article.

    Understand Your Landscaping Business Model and Financial Projections


    All businesses need a business model, which is how you will generate sales, provide services and make money. Think about your business model now, because it’s better to have that in place so you can start acquiring customers and generating revenue from day one.


    You will also need to look at financial projections for your landscaping business. What are your expected sales and revenues? What is your profitability? How much money will you keep in the business to grow it? How much will you pay yourself and others? If you can, try to plan your revenue for the next month, three months, year and two years.


    One of the best ways to build a successful financial future is to sign clients on for recurring services, so you can bill them on a periodic basis. This is especially useful if you provide regular lawn care and yard maintenance.

    Write a Business Plan for Your Landscaping Business


    Finally, you should put your business plan together. Business plans do vary slightly, but they should cover the following areas:

    01

    An executive summary with the most important points from your business plan

    02

    Your goals and what you hope to achieve with your landscaping business

    03

    A description of your business, background information and context

    04

    A market analysis and likely demand

    05

    An overview of how your business is structured

    06

    Your business model

    07

    How you will market and sell your offerings

    08

    Financial projections, revenue and profitability

    09

    Appendices

    Right Business Structure

    Setting up Your Landscaping Business

    Once you've legally created your landscaping business, you’ll need to get some other things in place.

    LOCATION OF YOUR BUSINESS

    Where are you going to run your business from? Will you work from home, get an office or something else? At the very least, you will need space to store equipment, consumables and stock.

    MARKETING

    You will probably need to build a website, and you will definitely need excellent local marketing expertise.

    Business maintenance

    Most states require businesses to file an Annual Report once a year. You will also be expected to pay estimated taxes on what you plan to earn in the current business year. Your federal, state, regional and city business licenses and permits may need to be renewed on a regular basis, typically once a year.

    Software

    Special software exists to make it easier to run your landscaping business.

    Equipment

    What equipment do you need to manage your landscaping business? Depending on the types of services you offer you will need tools like lawnmowers, weed whackers and trimmers. You may also require construction tools, especially if you are doing design and installation. Make sure you understand exactly what you need to spend so you can write it off against business expenses.

    Finances and taxes

    What kind of bank account will you get? Do you need a business credit card? How will you pay your business taxes? These are important questions to consider so your landscaping business stays in the green. Here at Bizee, we can even help you file your taxes.

    Employees

    It’s unlikely that you will need to hire employees in the early days of your business. Instead, you might work with freelance designers, marketers and similar.

    The Complete "Start Your Business" Checklist

    A Clear and Comprehensive Guide to Starting Your Business the Right Way

    Hire Landscape Employees

    If you’re just running your landscaping business solo, you don’t need to worry about employees. If you are hiring people to work for you, you will need to know what to do. See our 10 tips on hiring employees.

    01

    Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

    Contact the IRS and let them know you will need an EIN for your cleaning business. This is a number you will use to file and pay your taxes. We put together this guide to getting your EIN.

    02

    Make Sure Your Employees Can Work in the U.S.

    Your employees must be legally able to work here. Carry out background checks and ensure they have all necessary legal documentation

    03

    Report Employees as “New Hires”

    In most cases you will need to report the hiring of employees to your state.

    04

    Withhold Income and Payroll Taxes

    You will need to calculate and keep back income tax so you can pay the appropriate bodies. You will also need to pay the employer portion of the payroll tax.

    05

    Get worker's compensation insurance in place

    As listed above, you will need to make sure you have proper workers’ compensation insurance to cover injuries, illness, medical costs and the like.

    06

    Pay Employees on a Regular Basis

    You will need to run payroll and compensate your employees on a regular frequency. Your state may mandate how often employees need to be paid.

    07

    Learn About Legal Requirements and Responsibilities to Employees

    You do have certain responsibilities and requirements for hiring employees. In addition to getting a proper employment contract in place with them, you have a duty to provide them with a safe working environment, proper training, regular pay and certain other criteria. OSHA covers your health and safety requirements, while the U.S. Department of Labor provides information on other responsibilities.

    Social Media and Discussion Groups for Your Landscaping Business

    Connecting with other business owners in your industry can be incredibly helpful. Here are some of the best social media and discussion groups:

    Useful Online Tools for Your Landscaping Business

    Here are some really great online tools for managing your landscaping business. They will reduce the time you spend on administration, help you collaborate with others and free up your time to grow and manage your new venture.

    Project Management

    Productivity

    Marketing Automation

    Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

    Customer Support

    Human Resources

    Website Development

    Please note: This post contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

    Conclusion

    As you can see, there are several different types of landscaping service, and with the right approach and expertise you can make a splash in your local marketplace. Look into the types of maintenance and design you want to offer, and you can build a sustainable, thriving business that helps clients keep their grounds looking beautiful.