Landscaping is one of the fastest-growing and most profitable industries in the world. In 2021 alone, the landscaping industry's market size was over $105 billion according to the National Association of Landscape Professionals. Whether residential or commercial landscaping, it's a business used daily for various reasons.
Starting a lawn care business is easier than you might think. You don't need to have a team of people on your side to get started. You can become a business owner and start your one man landscaping business. If you're considering opening your one-person landscaping business, here's what you'll need to consider!
Why should you start a one man landscaping business? There are several reasons why you should start this venture. Landscaping and lawn care businesses combined comprise over a billion-dollar industry, and many of those people contributing to that number are small business owners with very few employees - and many others are run by a sole proprietor.
Landscaping can be very profitable, and you'll be able to earn an income, work the hours you want, and even expand your business eventually to where you don't need to do the landscaping yourself unless you want to.
People will always need landscaping services of some kind, so even though there are a lot of companies out there, so going out on your own as a landscaper or a lawn care service company will still provide you with plenty of business opportunities.
There are many reasons you might want to start a one man landscaping business, but with everything in life, there are also cons that need to be considered. The pros of starting a landscaping business are:
It Can be Challenging to Scale a One Man Landscaping Business
Now for the cons of starting a lawn care business:
Once you've decided that starting your one man landscaping business is the right move for you, it's time to get to work! Before you can begin servicing the lawns of people in your area, there are several things you'll need to do to get your business off the ground. Here's an overview of what you'll need to do when it comes to starting your lawn care company.
First things first, you'll need to think about as a landscape professional is what kind of landscaping service offerings you'll be providing residential customers. Since you're a one-person operation, you'll want to be realistic about your abilities and what you can do well for your customers. It would be best to start with basic services because you can always expand later.
Some of the most basic landscape maintenance you can provide for customers in your town or area include:
You don't need to offer all of the above services when you're just starting out, but those should give you plenty of ideas on what you want to provide to get you started. You should always include lawn mowing and maintenance since that's the leading service most people need when hiring a landscaping business.
Once you've decided on the services you want to offer, you need to determine what you'll charge for each. Coming up with competitive prices will help you boost sales and give your customers a more accurate total cost for a landscaping job.
The best way to come up with how much you should charge for your landscaping services is to do some competitor research in your area. You can do this easily by Googling landscaping companies in your area and seeing what they charge for similar services. You can choose similar prices or lower them to entice more people to use your services.
For the most part, you shouldn't need any licenses to start your landscaping business. Most residential lawn companies don't need licenses with their state, but before you begin marketing your services and performing lawn care, it's best to check with your local jurisdiction.
If you're considering offering pesticide services now or in the future with your lawn company, you'll need a license. Most states require lawn companies performing pesticide services to hold a specific business license.
You can't perform lawn care without the proper equipment. Once you've decided on the services you're interested in offering, you can make a list of the equipment you'll need to do a high-quality landscaping job.
First, you'll need a vehicle that can transport all your equipment to and from your customer's property. The vehicle can be a truck or a car with a trailer where you can load your equipment. If you already have something, then you don't need to worry about this, but if you don't, this can be a very costly investment.
When you're getting started, renting might be your only option initially, but purchasing equipment will be the most cost-effective option in the long run when your business is more established and you can afford everything you need. Some of the equipment you'll need to start your one man landscaping business may include:
You might need more than the tools listed above, but that should give you an idea to get you started. If you choose to expand, you'll need to invest in more equipment, but at least one of each of those tools should be enough to get you going since you'll be a one-person operation.
As a one man business, you'll need to craft the schedule carefully you're willing to work for your customers. If you know you're only available on certain days and times, you'll want to ensure that you advertise that so your customers know what to expect from you.
Something we suggest if you're starting your one man landscaping business is to be available as much as possible in the beginning. This way, you can gain as many customers as you can realistically take on while building your business.
Remember, while you want to fill your schedule with customers so you can gain a positive reputation and earn an income, you don't want to spread yourself too thin. You're only one person, and you need to make sure you set a realistic schedule.
You'll want to take into consideration the services you're providing and how long it will take you to perform those services on various size yards realistically. This way, you can budget your time better and provide excellent customer service by being realistic with your customers about when you'll be able to do their landscaping.
As with any business, there are going to be startup costs. Luckily, your startup costs for a sole proprietorship company should be minimal, especially if you already have the majority of the equipment you need and a vehicle that can transport the equipment. If you're starting from scratch, here are some costs you'll need to plan for:
If you already have the necessary equipment and a vehicle capable of transporting you and your lawn maintenance tools, your startup costs will be much lower than if you don't have either or both of these components.
Your exact startup costs will vary depending on your needs, where you live, and which equipment you choose to purchase or rent. Purchasing will be a better long-term investment, but if you cannot buy the equipment you need right away, renting is an excellent option to get you on your feet.
You can find affordable lawn equipment, but you might want something else. If anything, starting with more affordable equipment and then upgrading later might be your best option.
Depending on where you live, winter and early spring may cause you to shut down your operations. If that's the case for where you live, you'll need to plan ahead. If your landscaping business is your only source of income, you'll need to make sure you set aside money to get you through that time or have some plan.
Besides winter weather, you have to consider days where the weather is so bad you cannot safely perform the tasks you're hired for. Considering the weather and when you are able to work is essential when planning so you can budget accordingly.
After you've planned what services you'll provide and your prices and gathered all the equipment you'll need to perform those services, it's time to promote your landscaping company. Proper promotion will help you build your list of customers and start growing your landscaping business. Here are a few ways you can promote your business.
Online Marketing is by far the most effective way to scale your landscaping business in an effective manner. The two main tools to get more business online are search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine advertising. The goal is to get your landscaping company in front of a homeowner at the moment that they’re searching for the services that your landscaping company offers. Both search engine advertising and SEO require the use of using keywords to attract customers. We have a large list of landscaping and lawn care keywords which you should find extremely helpful.
Creating flyers with your company name, services, and contact information and passing them around can help get the word out about your company. You don't need to hand them out to people personally, but you can print them and hang them around town where you're allowed to. It's best to do this in high-traffic areas so more people see the flyers.
Another way to promote your business is through social media. Even if you don't have a business social media account yet, you can use your personal one for advertising your services and sharing it with the internet. Word about your business will spread quickly, and people can even reach out to you to ask questions via social media.
By far, one of the best promotion tactics is word of mouth. With the help of your friends and family, they can spread the word about your company to those who might be in need of your services. Once you start getting customers and building trust, they'll likely refer you to their friends and family, allowing you to expand your landscaping business.
There's nothing wrong with keeping your lawn service as a one man show, but if you start building a larger book of business and are thinking about expanding, there are some other things you'll want to consider.
Expanding your business can be a great thing, but with that comes hiring people that you know will do as good of a job as you and trusting them to do that every time. When hiring people to help you grow your landscaping business, you'll want to ensure that they know what they're doing and that they're trustworthy.
Finding people with lawn care experience is also essential. You want to save time by not having to train new employees when you could be out there helping customers.
While the startup costs of a sole proprietorship landscaping business are minimal, expanding will bring on plenty of additional expenses. You'll need to consider the cost of paying your new employees a rate that is competitive with what other lawn care companies are offering. You'll also need to procure (or rent) additional landscaping equipment as your company grows.
You'll need to sit down and look at your business earnings and then determine what you can realistically afford to do. It can be exciting to expand your beloved business, but if you try to grow too much too soon, it can backfire and cause you more problems.