How to start a landscaping business with low overheads

Peyton Duplechien • 11 Jan 2022 • 5 min read

When it comes to some of the biggest trade industries in America, landscaping is right up there alongside big names in the HVAC and electrician market. In fact, even as of 2021, the landscape services industry had a market size of $105.1 billion!

Since then, landscaping has been a steadily growing market, which means there’s no better time than now to start thinking about getting into this sought-after industry and starting your own landscaping business.

However, while owning a small business is incredibly exciting and fulfilling, running a landscaping business also comes with its own set of unique issues, including no small amount of landscaping business startup costs.

From finding experienced staff to navigating government regulations, learning how to run a landscaping business properly takes time, but one way you can make the process easier is by forming a landscaping business plan and learning a bit about business growth.

Keep reading to learn exactly how these areas can save you time and money as you start your new business venture.

What do you need to start a landscaping business plan?

No matter what business you’re in, creating a detailed and thorough business plan is an absolute must if you want to succeed. But how do you do this if you’ve never made a business plan before?

Well, the good news is that business plans are actually rather simple to create and are an ideal way to highlight your business idea, your goals, potential problems you might face, your predicted overheads, and markers you can use to measure your progress and growth.

Best of all, there are countless free templates out there that you can download and use as a basis for your own plan, making them easy to put together even if you have no experience in this area.

Alongside this, a good business plan will also look at how you can market your business to attract the customers you want. Why not check out our guide to business marketing for more tips on this area of business?

Tips for how to grow a landscaping business customer base

With your business plan covered, let’s now look at a few essential tips for how to grow a landscaping business from scratch so that you can readily overcome many of the common problems that new businesses face:

1. Attracting all customers

One of the common obstacles that often prevent new landscaping businesses from getting off the ground is the difficulty of building up a new and consistent customer base to begin with. After all, attracting new customers and growing your number of regulars is a huge part of creating a reliable monthly income for your business.

At the end of the day, you need customers so that you can plan, hire, and budget your business accordingly, but finding those customers in the early stages of your business is an uphill battle without the right knowledge.

Fortunately, one easy way to expand your client base in 2024, outside of referrals, is to make yourself accessible for non-English-speaking clients. The U.S. is the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world and is home to many potential customers who are underserved by landscaping businesses that only cater to English speakers.

Essentially, by targeting these customers with a bilingual answering service, you can tap into an entirely niche market not being served by your competitors. Before you know it, you could be the leading landscaping business in your area with customers of all languages.

2. Minimize expensive overheads

While attracting new customers can be a difficult task in its own right, often, the most daunting potential issue for many a small business owner is the expected costs of your overheads.

Simply put, landscaping business startup costs can be expensive, and while there are ways to calculate your fixed, variable, and semi-variable costs so you at least have an estimate of what you’re going to have to spend, it’s also vital to the success of your new business that you reduce these costs as much as possible.

For example, it might be smarter to hire only the essential staff you’ll need to begin with in order to save on additional wages, while also looking for a smaller office to work out of – after all, you won’t be spending much time here anyway, so why pay more than you have to on rent and bills?

However, while you might be tempted to skip out on hiring a receptionist and taking all the calls yourself, eventually, you’ll probably find you’re missing a lot of potential customers while away from your phone.

But instead of hiring a dedicated receptionist, you might want to consider working with a live answering service, such as VoiceNation. Not only are our packages tailored to meet the budgets of small businesses, but our virtual receptionists can be on hand for 24/7 call answering, so you never miss a customer request while working or away from your desk.

3. Conduct a landscape market analysis

As part of your landscaping business plan, you should ideally look to carry out a landscape market analysis at the earliest opportunity. Doing this will force you to look not just at your business as its own entity, but as part of the market you’re entering as a whole.

The right market analysis will tell you how saturated the market is in your area, the supply of contractors and the demand for lawn services, and most importantly, what your market competitors charging on average for the same services that you offer so you can be competitive.

By conducting thorough research, you can then target your services to the areas where the need is greatest, boosting your reputation in these service areas and making an early profit as well.

4. Don’t neglect advertising and marketing

At the end of the day, one core business area you can’t ignore is your marketing. The public face of your business, without good advertising, you simply won’t attract as many customers as your competitors.

But the good news is that advertising and marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or time-intensive. In fact, it can be quite the opposite, and there are many easy advertising options out there you can try.

First, make sure you have branded company clothing and signs on your van. After the initial cost of purchase, these can essentially act as free marketing materials as you’re out and about working, not to mention making your business look that much more professional.

On top of this, start getting active on social media. The modern-day form of word-of-mouth, an active social media presence that shows off your work and the positive reviews of customers will go a long way to providing social proof and boosting your business’s reputation.

Finally, make sure your website looks great, or build one if you aren’t already planning to. Your online business card, websites are a must-have tool for any business big or small. Even if it’s only a simple setup, having a website at your disposal will again go a long way to building trust with new customers.

What are the average utility costs for a landscaping business?

Finally, no successful discussion of business planning would be complete without a finance section that touches on the core areas of your business finances you need to be thinking about.

For example, when you use your small business plan to analyze your financials, you’ll be able to see before you even start your business the funding you’ll need, the startup costs you can expect to encounter, and the general viability of your project. This in turn will then let you budget effectively going forward.

While it can be intimidating to dive headfirst into the books, taking the time and energy to do a full financial analysis of your landscaping business plan will save you endless time, energy, and money in the long run.

Save on business overheads with VoiceNation

Hopefully, you should now have a much greater insight into how to start a landscaping business from scratch. And if you’re tempted by the idea of hiring a live answering business to help you take customer calls to begin with, then VoiceNation is your best option.

With flexible costs and package deals, as well as a free trial period for all our potential customers, our team are ready and willing to help your new business get off the ground and deliver excellent customer service.

Get in touch today to find out more!