Running a landscaping business is challenging because it’s a multifaceted industry. On the one side, someone might call you in to trim the hedges a bit, while other clients will request a complete landscaping makeover of their backyard.
Learning how to respond efficiently to all quotes means that you are ready for the top challenges the landscaping industry throws at you.
Abiding by state regulations
Luckily, the landscaping industry is regulated in most countries, like in Australia, where certain states require you to have a license to undertake certain landscaping jobs. In order to run your business legally, you are expected to follow these rules and regulations.
This means that professional landscapers have to have lawyers to help them with legal issues. In most cases, regulations and bylaws pertaining to the types of equipment allowed or the pesticides, you are forbidden from using.
Finding good staff is hard nowadays. The two best ways to hire great landscapers are either to lure in seasoned professionals or to train aspiring candidates. Namely, most landscapers have no intention of working for others, since landscaping businesses often employ two or three people.
That is why taking in people willing to learn is always a good way to allocate labour. Once you deem they have learned enough skills, you can let them complete tasks unsupervised, to see whether they are worth keeping.
For this reason, make sure you constantly invest in staff training, as loyal and reliable landscapers are hard to come by. These investments aren’t cheap but are among the best ways of ensuring your business has a future in today’s competitive market.
Dealing with competition
Since it doesn’t take much to start a landscaping business and there are many enthusiasts out there, you have to be ready to take on fierce competition. Things are further complicated when we take into account the large companies that aren’t going to make your life easier.
The trick to staying afloat is having loyal clients that will spread the word about your efficiency and affordable prices. Once people hear from their friends and family that you’re a solid landscaper, they are bound to give you a ring.
Investing in equipment
You cannot run a successful landscaping business without proper tools. From an automatic hose reel for pros to heavy-duty pruners, the equipment you purchase should be better than the gardening tools used by laymen. These tools are truly the tools of the trade for every landscaper.
Apart from quality, the stress should on quantity as well. You need a wide variety of tools that will ease every landscaping task. For instance, your staff won’t weed out a garden by hand but use a weeder tool in combination with non-toxic weed killers.
However, if you’re a startup, i.e. a solopreneur, then you needn’t invest much. The basic starter’s kit to landscaping includes lawnmowers, shovels, buckets, spades, scoops, the aforementioned garden hose, trowels, etc.
Excellent business contacts
Starting a gardening business is hard because you won’t be able to meet increased demand with the resources you have. However, you can outsource a lot of work if you know the right people. For instance, you can always rent a lawnmower from a business partner who is willing to give you a good deal.
The same applies to seeds, fertilizer, and plants, as the respective manufacturers and sellers will give you a discount if you bulk-buy them. Since allocating labour is troublesome, you can even lease workers during periods when your company is the busiest.
Design in winter, work in spring and summer
The “busy hour” for landscaping is the period from April to October. This is the time when landscapers are most sought after but you need work in winter as well.
For this reason, start a small planning bureau that would design gardens in winter, and then you would execute the projects in spring and summer. This way, you will successfully avoid the seasonal snare of landscaping and ensure a steady income all year long.
Now that you know which challenges a landscaping business faces, you can respond to them better. From getting high-quality equipment to finding reliable staff, there are many actions you can take to turn your landscaping business into a success.