Useful Tips for Starting a Landscaping Business

You should have some idea about the type of equipment you will need to buy, the level of liability insurance you might want to carry, and what licenses are required in your state for this type of business. It is also important to know how much work is involved in running a landscaping company, so be aware that it can be quite demanding on your time outside of your own home and yard. Let’s explore all of the things you need to take care of before you start your new business.

Insure The Business

You should ensure your business as soon as it is started. If you have a large enough budget, you will want to look into getting both general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. General liability will cover issues such as injuries on your property that were not the fault of your crew members, or any damages that might be caused by a fallen tree branch. You can also buy additional coverage for personal injury claims against you specifically with another type of policy called “umbrella” insurance. The most important factor, however, is to invest in landscaping insurance that is specific to this business. For those who have a lower budget, there are still many options available! There are companies out there that cater to the needs of new businesses by providing very affordable insurance plans for smaller budgets. Make sure to check out several quotes from different insurance companies before making your decision.

Once you have an online presence and you are generating jobs, the next step is to create a logo for your business. This will set your company apart from the competition and make it memorable to customers and potential employees because you will have your branding and marketing set. When designing a logo, be sure that it includes both text and an image; this ensures that customers who see only the image or only the text can still identify your brand. There is no “one size fits all” design when it comes to logos – please look at examples of other landscaping businesses’ logos before creating one yourself!

Learn How Much Equipment You Need

There are many types of equipment needed for landscaping work such as tractors, brush cutters, edgers, lawnmowers, trucks, and so on. You will also need an assortment of hand tools to help you with carpentry tasks. Keep in mind that there are different types of insurance depending on the size of your machinery. If your equipment is classified as being “big” then you will need a larger policy than if it is smaller.

Basic Landscaping Equipment

It is important to know what equipment you will need for your landscaping business. A good starting point would be the necessary basic equipment that should be available in or near your company’s work area. You may want to purchase more specialized items as time goes by, but these are just a few of the basics needed at first. The following are some of the most common pieces of landscaping equipment found on many different job sites: 

  • Garden trowel – This small tool has a pointed blade and can be used for digging holes, planting bulbs, dividing plants, cutting out weeds, and transplanting flowers.
  • Pruners – A pruner is useful for trimming branches off shrubs and trees with the use of a long-handled cutting tool. 
  • Leaf blower – A leaf blower is useful for blowing leaves off the lawn, driveway, and sidewalks.
  • Shovels – A shovel can be used in place of a garden trowel when digging holes for larger plants or shrubs. A shovel is also good for scooping up grass clippings, dirt, gravel, or other materials on the job site. 

Paperwork

Most cities require a permit for any type of business that goes beyond basic home maintenance work. This includes mowing lawns and removing weeds from driveways and sidewalks. Check with your city’s zoning office before beginning land clearing or construction improvements – they may have specific requirements such as erosion or dust control plans for new structures or large-scale landscaping. If you are earning money as a business, yet claiming those earnings as “self-employed” on your tax return, you will need to make sure that your paperwork is in order. You should keep accurate records of all money made and deductions are taken – otherwise, you could find yourself facing an audit! A good rule of thumb is to use an accounting software program like FreshBooks to track everything from invoices and expenses to project timesheets and mileage logs. This information can then be expanded into your end-of-year taxes (given that it has been properly organized).

Depending on the size of your landscaping company, you may be required to get a business license from your state. To do this, simply visit your Secretary of State website and look for a “Business Services” section. Follow the information provided to apply for a new business name or check that yours is still being used legally. You will also need to register with your city’s treasurer to pay any taxes owed. On top of these two requirements, you will most likely have to carry minimum amounts of insurance to stay protected while running your business. Of course, it is important not only to have liability coverage but also to keep in mind that employers are responsible for withholding Social Security and Medicare taxes from employees’ wages and matching the amounts paid. 

It is important to be aware that a landscaping business can become a full-time job in itself, especially when you are just starting and trying to build a clientele. You may find yourself working long hours outside of your own home if you have not yet built up enough jobs from the beginning. It may take some time before you have enough work coming in regularly, so remember this when setting goals for your landscaping business. In the meantime, try to enjoy each project as it comes along while keeping an eye out for larger opportunities. Keep good records along the way and don’t forget that there are several expenses involved with running this kind of business. Once you start, you will see how rewarding running your own business can be.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan