What Is a Landscaping Business?

The Many Facets of Landscaping

Have you thought of starting a landscaping business? If you are qualified in a landscaping field or around those who are, a landscaping business is a great idea. Here is what you need to know about the landscaping business.

A landscaping business can cover a wide variety of outdoor businesses. It can be a simple grass mowing company or a business that handles all landscaping needs including design, architecture, and plant care.

States in the USA have different regulations around what you can call your business based on the services you offer. Depending on your state, you may not be able to call your mowing business a landscaping business. Check local regulations before you name your business and choose the services you want to provide.

What Services Can a Landscaping Business Provide?

Your landscaping business can focus on providing a specific set of landscaping services. As you grow your business, you can choose to provide additional services. Here are the major types of services your landscaping business can provide:

Basic Landscaping Services

Most people in the landscaping industry start by providing basic landscaping services. With less capital and only one or two people you can work with, you may not have much to offer. But, there is a lot you can do in the landscaping industry with just a mower, leaf blower, edger, and shears.

Providing basic lawn maintenance services is a lucrative business that requires little starting capital. It involves mowing lawns, edging driveways and walkways, and blowing and clearing leaves.

Lawn Care Services

You can expand your simple landscape business to include lawn care services. As a lawn care expert, you will prune and transplant shrubs and trees, deal with weeds, and manage flowerbeds. These services go beyond moving plants and cutting them.

Lawn Care is a Type of Landscaping Focused on Lawn Maintenance - Rather Than Performing New Landscaping Installations

You need knowledge and understanding of different plant needs. Things like when to apply fertilizer, when to thatch, and how to aerate are learned through apprenticeship or schooling.

You can also bring in more landscaping professionals as your landscaping business grows with other areas of expertise like paving, electrical, and lighting. This comes in handy when installing yard and path lights or creating and installing pathways.

Yard-Scaping Services

Creating yard scapes is another way to be a part of the landscaping industry. It involves installing irrigation systems, sod, golf holes, and pergolas among other tasks.

You can also choose to join the green industry and install fish ponds and wildlife habitats that are certified by the National Wildlife Federation. Integrating natural habitats into man-made yard spaces is a growing part of the landscaping industry that many landscapers enjoy.

For such services, your landscaping business will need to employ a landscape architect and a landscape designer. You will also need to rent, lease, or buy major landscaping equipment like earth movers to take this step.

Commercial Landscaping Services

With more starting capital or experience in the landscaping industry, you can choose to provide commercial landscaping services. Commercial properties like athletic fields, malls, corporate campuses, and government compounds need landscaping services.

Specializing in commercial landscaping services in a lucrative but demanding business opportunity.

Commercial Landscapers Service Private Businesses, HOAs, and Government Facilities

As a commercial landscaping company, you will provide the same services you would provide homes but on a larger scale. You will have to submit bids and prove you have the experience, equipment, and manpower to handle the job.

Limitations on Landscaping Businesses

Each state in the USA has different laws (see PA as an example) and regulations regarding landscaping businesses. You may find that you are unable to register a landscaping business without getting certain certifications and licenses. Some states have higher taxes and licensing fees than others.

Additionally, there are different environmental laws across each state. Certain fertilizers and pesticides are banned in some states. You may also be prohibited from using some titles without passing the required exams to certify them.

Talk to other landscape professionals as well as lawyers to familiarize yourself with the legal requirements for owning a landscape business in your area.

How To Build a Profitable Landscaping Business

To start a landscaping business, follow these simple steps:

Decide What Landscaping Services You Want To Provide

Before you look for funds or clients, you need to be clear on what specific landscaping services you can provide. As a new business, it is easy to get excited and take on projects you cannot realistically complete. To avoid stretching yourself thin and underdelivering, be clear on what services you are going to provide.

Residential Landscaping is a Primary Target of Many Landscaping Companies

Remember, it is ok to start small. You do not need a 15-person team and commercial landscaping contracts to start a landscaping business. It is smart and reasonable to start by providing basic lawn care services. You can always scale up as you build revenue and clientele.

1. Have a Business Plan

Once you have a solid idea of what landscaping services your business will provide, come up with a business plan. A business plan acts as a roadmap for your business. It will help you hire the right people and take on the right jobs.

A business plan will also help you secure funding from banks or investors. Institutions and people do not like to put their money into vague dreams and abstract ideas. Having a written down business plan will help you show your commitment to building a profitable and thriving landscaping business.

When writing your business plan, focus on your main goal. Outline how you plan to achieve it including funding, teams, and expansion details.

2. Get Licensed

Ensure you obtain the needed paperwork before you launch your business. Consult a lawyer on what the regulations in your state are regarding landscaping businesses. You may have professional licenses and charters. You also need to register to pay business taxes.

It is advisable to get the legal and licensing requirements done as soon as you have committed to building your business. These things usually take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to come through. Starting the process early will ensure you don’t derail the opening of your landscaping business.

3. Sort Out Insurance

There are several necessary forms of business insurance you need to launch a landscaping business. General liability insurance is the most important one as it covers everything your business could be liable for. This includes legal fees, employee damage, accidents, and the cost of repairs.

Employment law liability insurance is another important form of business insurance you need. It covers your landscaping business in the event you make mistakes calculating overtime wages.

Workers' compensation insurance is equally important as it covers you if an employee is injured on the job.

You may also want to consider other forms of business insurance like commercial umbrella insurance, commercial auto insurance, and inland marine insurance. Do some research and way the costs to see what you can comfortably afford as you launch your landscaping business.

4. Invest In Good Tools and Equipment

You can’t have a landscaping business without the needed equipment. You will need different equipment depending on what services you decide to offer. Basic equipment includes edgers, mowers, and shears.

You can rent, lease, or buy the needed equipment for your landscaping business. Way the pros and cons of each option and decide which is best for you. Remember that the quality of tools makes a big difference in the services you provide your clients. Choose to invest in good ones, even if it means you rent them in the beginning.

5. Decide on Pricing

Do some research on what other landscapers are charging in your area. Price yourself carefully to effectively break into the market. If you have already hired staff, ensure you factor in their pay in your cost.

You can always change your pricing as your business grows. With changes in the market, more team members, and equipment, you will need to adjust your prices. Don’t feel like the prices you decide on at the beginning are set in stone.

6. Learn To Market

To have a profitable landscaping business, you must get and retain customers. It is important to have solid marketing from the get-go. Word of mouth is the best way to get your business off the ground.

Once you have launched, leverage your network of customers and get new ones through referrals. You can also use different social media platforms to showcase your work and book new clients.

If you have room in your budget, hire a marketing professional or agency. With their experience and expertise, you can build a profitable landscaping business faster.

7. Build a Solid Team

Many green industry companies struggle to find professional employees. Having good help will help your landscaping business excel. Take your time and build a qualified team of landscape professionals.

While there are not many qualified and professional people available in the landscaping business, you can build a capable team. You can start by subcontracting work as needed which will help you save time and money as a new landscaping business.

As you grow, offer on-the-job training and competitive salaries. Learn to communicate effectively with your team and treat everyone fairly. In time, you will build a solid team of landscape professionals.

8. Manage Your Cashflow

Learning budgeting and basic accounting will enable you to manage your business cash flow. Effective money management is crucial to building a profitable business. Many small landscaping businesses run into money problems that cause them to shut down. Hiring a contract accountant can help greatly.

Different Types of Landscape Professionals

There are many kinds of professionals involved in the landscaping business. Here are the most commonly confused landscape professionals:


A landscaper is a person that designs outdoor spaces like yards, parks, and gardens. Landscaper usually refers to those without formal training and accreditations, unlike landscape designer. However, the two titles can be used interchangeably.

What Do Landscapers Do?

Landscapes come up with designs for outdoor areas. They understand plants, plant care, and lawn care. Using their knowledge they maintain the beauty of outdoor spaces like parks and yards.

Landscape Designer

Similar to a landscaper, a landscape designer helps design residential landscaping projects like patios and home gardens. While some landscape designers have a degree, it is not a requirement.

You can learn the skills needed to be a landscape designer through apprenticeship and on-the-job training.

What Do Landscape Designers Do?

Landscape designers spend their days designing and beautifying outdoor spaces. They decide on what plants to use, how to move them, trimming and pruning, and adding decoration features like rocks. They spend the majority of their days outside.

Landscape Architect

To be a landscape architect, you’ll have to have a degree in landscape architecture or a related field. They design outdoor spaces by using skills like site analysis and planning, land planning, and site inventory.

Landscape Architects Typically Have a Degree in Landscape Architecture or a Related Field

What Do Landscape Architects Do?

A landscape architect uses software to design beautiful lawns and landscapes for personal and commercial use. They have an understanding of how climate affects different plants, designing water features, and sun movement throughout the day and across seasons.

Landscape architects do not usually have sole proprietorship of a landscaping business. They usually start the business with other landscape professionals like yard scrapers, lawn care specialists, and electricians.

A Landscape Architect Can Plan Elaborate Installations Like Water Features That Fit in Seamlessly with the Local Environment Based on Climate and Local Requirements

Landscape architects typically spend most of their days in an office. Their day-to-day tasks include creating designs, planning landscapes, preparing models, and curating preliminary cost estimates. They also meet with clients and other landscape professionals involved in a project.

You will also find landscape architects at job sites after projects have launched. They maintain an active role in the implementation of landscape plans.

Landscaping Business Owner

A landscaping business owner is anyone who owns a landscaping business. They are the brains behind a landscaping business are do not necessarily need landscaping experience although that helps.

What Does a Landscaping Business Owner Do?

The typical tasks of a landscaping business owner include hiring workers, securing funding, and implementing the business plan. They also obtain and update business licenses and insurance.

Landscaping business owners deal with every aspect of running a business. They can choose to outsource this to another person or firm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Any landscape professional can start a landscaping business. Even those without professional landscaping experience can build a landscaping business by starting with basic lawn care like mowing lawns.

What are people who do landscaping called?

People who do landscaping are usually known as landscapers. However, there are many kinds of landscape professionals, including landscape architects, landscape designers, and landscape business owners.

Can landscaping make you rich?

Yes, landscaping can make you rich. While it isn't easy, with a smart business plan and great follow-through, you can scale your landscaping business to millions of dollars of revenue a year.

What is the meaning of business landscape?

Business landscape has nothing to do with the landscaping business. It refers to a representation of the most crucial things needed to make a business work.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I've been helping small businesses - including home services contractors - get more business online for over 17 years.


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