Running your landscaping business leads to all sorts of questions, especially when trying to grow and increase your revenue. The National Association of Landscape Professionals tells us that this industry generates around $93 billion annually.
So, wanting to increase your revenue makes sense. And we’re about to show you how to accomplish becoming a significant contribution to this statistic. Keep reading!
Is Starting a Landscaping Business Hard?
With roughly a million landscapers in the industry right now, it’s easy to see that this field is booming. But don’t let the abundance of landscapers scare you away from how challenging– yet rewarding– this work can be.
There are many landscaping businesses. Some are large, with a team of employees and many years in the business. Others are just starting out, run by a single person or a small group of partners. No matter what size landscaping business you have, it takes a lot of hard work to be successful.
Creating and following a landscaping business plan is essential to your success. This plan should include your goals for the business, how you’ll achieve those goals and what landscaping services you’ll offer.
It’s also important to research the landscape industry and your competition before starting your landscaping business. This research will help you understand the market and what your customers truly value.
Once you have created a landscaping business plan and researched the industry, it’s time to start marketing your business. Marketing landscaping services can be done through online channels. That includes creating a website or blog or through offline media, such as flyers and billboards. You must find ways to stand out from your competition and attract the most potential customers.
Starting a landscaping business is a lot of hard work, but it can be gratifying. Seeing the results of your hard work in the form of beautiful landscapes is a great feeling. Need help growing and scaling your landscaping business? Want a fool-proof way to do so?
Book a call with Landscape Marketing Hero now, and we’ll help you every step of the way.
How Much Does a Landscape Business Owner Make per Year?
There’s much speculation about how much you should be making– and paying your crew– running your business. And your capacity and income are just a few things that rely on many factors in the industry. This includes factors like how much you have to spend on equipment, labor difficulty, number of crew members, etc.
Lawn & Landscape’s 2016 State of the Industry Report survey shows many landscape owners make below average.
However, it does not have to be this way…
The reason this is happening is that you tend to underprice and undervalue your work.
On average, here’s a median owner’s salary if you have:
- Been in business less that 5 years: $40 thousand
- Been in business 5 to 10 years: $56 thousand
- Been in business 20 years or more: $67,500
- Less than $100 thousand in gross revenue: $30 thousand
- $100 thousand to $999 thousand in gross revenue: $55 thousand
- More than $1 million in gross revenue: $95 thousand
I’d imagine you base your salary on your landscaping design and how many landscaping businesses you own. Or basing it off of how big your landscape jobs are and how much competition you have in your area.
Depending on these factors, most landscaping business owners make around 50 to 60 thousand dollars a year. But with a little knowledge and business acumen, you can earn upwards of 100 thousand or more per year.
However, many first-time business owners may find themselves barely scraping by in the early months or years. It takes them time to build up a clientele and perfect their landscaping craft.
Ultimately, it’s advised and encouraged that you pay yourself more of a salary from your overall income. Cutting corners in your own salary to stay afloat isn’t going to get you where you want to be. Paying yourself less salary then you deserve challenges your motivation in making your business the best it can be.
What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Landscape Business?
Starting a landscaping business is a great way to turn your love of landscaping into a profitable venture. But before you get started, it’s important to understand the costs involved.
The first cost you’ll need to consider is the cost of supplies. Landscaping businesses require a variety of tools and materials. You’ll need tools like mowers and trimmers for plants and mulch. You’ll need to purchase these items if you don’t already have them. Supply costs can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, depending on the size and type of jobs you take on (commercial or residential)
Legal and Structural Costs
- Business License – Limited liability companies (LLCs) in the U.S. protect their owners from personal liability for their debts and liabilities. A limited liability company combines the characteristics of a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship. A limited liability company costs around $100. In order to do business under a name other than their own, sole proprietors often file DBAs. A DBA may be registered by John Smith as “Smith Plumbing.” DBAs, also known as fictitious names, cost approximately $50 in some states. Creating a corporation may also involve legal fees.
- Taxes – Registration with the federal government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is also required to get a number for withholding taxes. This is why it’s important to properly file your taxes yearly. Otherwise, you’ll face chances of fines and such. Additionally, most states require you to collect and pay sales tax on services rendered. It’s important to find out what your state’s taxation department requires.
- Insurance – If you hire staff, you also need to have insurance. It is mandatory to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The workers’ compensation rate ranges from $0.50 to $2.00 per $100 of covered payroll. In addition, you have to pay the premiums for your company’s and your employee’s insurance. These are usually based on an estimate of income.
You also need to open a business bank account for your company in order to pay bills with business checks. A cash-only policy would severely limit your customer base and prevent you from providing expensive services.
Supplies and Equipment
Depending on what services you plan to offer, you’ll need different equipment. As your business grows, you can always expand your services.
Transporting your supplies from job to job will also require a truck and/or an equipment trailer. You can expect to pay between $5 thousand and $8 thousand– or more– for all these items.
Getting from one job to another will require you to spend some time on the road. To complete their work, many pros travel a great distance outside of their neighborhood. The cost of gas can easily exceed hundreds of dollars per month for large trucks and heavy equipment.
In addition to finding fuel-efficient trucks, one way to reduce this cost is to build effective routes.
For lawn mowers and other gas-powered equipment, you’ll also need fuel. Mowers powered by gas cost about $10/hour to run.
Pass out flyers, display signage locally and on your truck and rely on word-of-mouth referrals to begin marketing.
It is also possible to market online relatively inexpensively. In order to create a simple website, you first need to set up a basic WordPress or Wix site. This can cost as little as $100 to $500.
You should advertise your site using Pay-Per-Click (PPC), social media marketing, local internet advertising and/or Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Even with a relatively low marketing budget, we recommend a starting budget of around $200 to $2 thousand a month for online marketing if you can.
Operations – Costs vary based on whether you work alone or with a network of contractors. Set up dedicated office space and get a business phone number/answering service. It’s also a good idea to establish a base or headquarters.
Manage operations like scheduling, budgets and customer payments using spreadsheet software, such as Excel.
Equipment maintenance – Short-term equipment maintenance is not typically expensive, but repairs require budgeting as well. Usually, a mower repair costs $60 to $100.
Use an app that can handle much of the management for you to save on management costs.
9 Ways to Begin Boosting and Growing Your Landscaping Revenue
To grow your landscaping business, you need to start by boosting your revenue. There are many different ways to do this, and it can be tricky to know where to start. We’ve put together this list of nine ways to get started. Keep reading for all the details!
Strengthen Your Client Base
There are several landscaping companies out there, so it’s crucial to ensure that you offer something unique that will set you apart from the competition. To achieve this, you need to focus on providing an exceptional customer experience. This means delivering quality work promptly, responding to customer requests and providing fair pricing.
Another way to develop your landscaping business is to offer additional services that your clients may be interested in. This could include lawn care, tree trimming or even snow removal. By providing a variety of services, you can attract new clients and keep your existing clients happy.
Referrals are another great way to strengthen your clientele base. If you have happy customers, they’ll likely recommend your landscaping business to their friends and family members.
Offer Add-On Services
As a landscaping business, offering add-on services is a great way to increase revenue. Providing services like lawn care, irrigation and landscaping lighting give your customers an experience that keeps them coming back.
Providing a full range of services ensures that your landscaping business constantly grows and attracts new business. Offering these services can attract new customers who may not have considered using your landscaping business. It could be just what you need to take your business to the next level.
Consider Bundling Products or Services
By grouping together items that complement each other, you can create packages that offer more value to your customers. This will help you boost sales and increase efficiency by reducing the need to constantly market and sell individual items.
So, what should you bundle together? An excellent start is by considering what your customers need and want. For example, if you offer lawn care services, you could bundle mowing, fertilizing and weed control together. Or, if you sell landscaping supplies, you could put together a package of mulch, soil and plants.
Start Offering Landscaping Courses and Seminars
If you’re looking for ways to grow your landscaping business, one option is to offer landscaping courses and seminars. You can use this to attract new clients and generate additional revenue. Here are a few tips for making landscaping courses and seminars successful:
- First, make sure you have a clear target audience in mind. Who do you want to attend your courses and seminars? Landscaping businesses targeting homeowners? Landscaping businesses targeting other companies?
- Next, consider what format would be most helpful for your attendees. Would they benefit from lectures and demonstrations? Are they looking for hands-on training?
- Finally, determine how much you’ll charge for your courses and seminars. Will you offer discounts for early registration or group rates?
Maintain Customer Retention
As a landscaping business, customer retention is key to boosting your revenue. Here are a few ways to maintain customer retention:
- Keep your landscaping services affordable. Many customers will switch landscapers if they feel they are being charged too much. You can encourage customers to stay with your business by keeping your rates competitive.
- Offer a variety of services. Customers are more likely to stick with a landscaper who offers a wide range of services. This way, they can depend on you for all their landscaping needs.
- Provide excellent customer service. This includes returning phone calls promptly, showing up for appointments on time and being professional and courteous. Providing excellent customer service ensures customers will choose to do business with you again in the future.
- Offer discounts for loyal customers. This is a great way to show appreciation for customers who have been with you for a long time. You can offer discounts on their next landscaping project or give them a freebie from time to time.
Consider Expanding Your Offered Services
If you’re in the landscaping business, you’re always looking for ways to grow your revenue. One way to do that is by expanding the services you offer. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
First, think about adding lawn care services. This could include mowing, edging and fertilizing. You could also offer more specialized services like aeration and dethatching.
Another idea is to add landscaping design services. This could involve helping customers design and install new landscaping features like gardens, paving stones or water features.
Finally, you could also add maintenance services. This could include pruning shrubs, raking leaves and clearing gutters.
Strategize on Off-Season Services
For landscaping businesses, the off-season can be a tough time. With fewer landscaping projects to work on, many companies see a decline in revenue. However, you can boost your revenue and growth by strategizing on off-season services.
Maintenance and repairs are one way to achieve this. Many landscaping features, such as irrigation systems and outdoor lighting, need regular maintenance to function correctly. Offering these services during the off-season can keep your crews busy and generate much-needed income.
You can also use the off-season to plan for the upcoming year. By developing new marketing strategies, you can ensure you’re prepared for a busy season and able to win new projects.
Some more ideas for the off-season can be:
- Snow Removal Services
- Snow Plowing
- Holiday Lighting
- Watering and Maintenance
- Aeration, etc.
Hold Inventory Over as Short of a Period as Possible
By keeping inventory low, you can save on storage costs and reduce the risk of damage or theft. In addition, holding stock for a shorter time can help you take advantage of seasonal demand fluctuations.
For example, if you know that spring is your busy season, you can order inventory accordingly and avoid the need to overstock. Strategizing inventory management can keep your landscaping business running smoothly and efficiently– and boost your bottom line.
Boost On-Site Efficiency Using GPS Tracking
If you’re in landscaping, you know that efficiency is key to boosting your bottom line. After all, the less time you spend on a job, the more jobs you can take on. That means more revenue for your business.
But what if there was a way to take your landscaping business’s efficiency to the next level? That’s where GPS tracking comes in. Using GPS tracking to monitor and manage your landscaping crew’s movements ensures they’re always on task and never wasting time.
GPS tracking can also help you to better understand your workflow, identify bottlenecks and improve your overall efficiency. It’s a great way to increase the efficiency of your landscaping business.
If you’d like for more help with anything we’ve discussed above– and more– book a call with Landscape Marketing Hero!