So you’re ready to leave behind the life of working for someone else and own your own business. Congratulations! Being a business owner is one of the most rewarding things you can do for a career, and even better when you are working in landscaping. Being outside, spending time with hard-working employees, and making something beautiful are all perks of working in landscaping.
Starting a landscaping company doesn’t happen overnight. That’s why we have put together this comprehensive guide for the first four steps that you need to take to start your business.
Step One: Residential Vs. Commercial
First things first: deciding whether you want to go into residential or commercial landscaping will set the tone for the rest of your business decisions. As you get started building your business, you will need to build a business plan that includes goals, revenue projections, prospective clients, and more. Making these decisions is easier when you know which side of the market your business is going to target.
If you are looking to build a large, scalable, and sustainable business, commercial landscaping is the way to go. There are three main advantages of going into commercial landscaping services:
- Larger clients: Commercial clients generally have larger properties that need landscaping services than residential clients do, which adds up to higher revenue. In many cases, having just a few dozen clients can make your commercial landscaping business the same size and revenue as hundreds of residential clients. How many customer relationships can you effectively manage?
- Higher budgets: Simply put, commercial clients spend more on their landscaping services than residential. Even better, commercial clients have landscaping written into their budgets, so it is not a service that gets cut. Compare to residential clients, who see professional landscaping as a luxury that can be cut from the budget at any time.
- Ongoing revenue: Commercial clients have an image to uphold, and the state of their landscaping often reflects that. Working with clients who schedule regular maintenance means ongoing revenue for your business.
The bottom line is, if you are looking for a way to build a sustainable business with lots of growth potential, go with a commercial landscaping franchise.
Step Two: Pricing
Once you have determined what part of the market you want to join, it is time to start thinking about how to charge for your commercial landscape services. A big mistake that landscapers often make is setting up an inefficient pricing system, or worse, no system at all. Pricing jobs accurately and competitively has a huge impact on both your customer service and your bottom line.
It is not by accident that U.S. Lawns is the #1 commercial landscape franchise in the country, because we take pricing very seriously. We have developed a proprietary system that our franchisees use to price work so that they are accurately and fairly charging each client. Based on production rates, measurements, and a handful of other factors, our unique pricing system keeps our franchisees competitive in the marketplace.
Step Three: Clients and Customers
After you have determined how to price your commercial landscape services, the time has come to find clients. First, find the commercial accounts that are worth pursuing and build relationships with the decision makers. Take the time to show that your business is unique in the marketplace, both through the service you give your customers and the landscaping services you offer.
Marketing your business is a key part of attracting clients and customers, so be sure to use every channel available to you.
Step Four: Equipment
It may seem counter-intuitive to wait until after you have secured clients to invest in landscaping equipment, but that is some of the best advice we can give someone starting a commercial landscaping business. Waiting until you know the kind of jobs you will be doing, where they are, and what equipment you need will save you from purchasing unnecessary equipment. As time goes on and you get new clients with new needs, you can continue to invest in more equipment as the need arises.
U.S. Lawns has the training, brand awareness, and support that you need to get a commercial landscape franchise started. Contact us to learn more about our franchise opportunity!