You’ve had a few different jobs and changed career paths more times than you can count. It’s why you’ve decided to give up on corporate America and go into business for yourself. You love the outdoors and you find a special satisfaction from landscaping and lawn care, so you got up and started your own landscaping business.
The first step is already done and some might even say it was the hardest part. Finding what you want to do in life and going into business for yourself are two things that most people never get to experience, so congratulations. Before you get too far though, there are a few tips you should keep in mind when operating your new business.
Think about equipment
Chances are, you don’t have a lot of capital to start with which means you probably aren’t working with state of the art equipment. That can put a pretty big damper on your ability to get various jobs done. Technically speaking, your business relies on equipment and if you don’t have it, then your business will ultimately fail. Even if you have the capital to buy new equipment, you might need to have it shipped. Unless you opt for overnight or 2-day, which can cost you significantly more (50% or higher than standard delivery fees), you still won’t have the necessary equipment right away. That’s why it’s important to think about this aspect well before you gain too much momentum. If you don’t have enough capital for equipment right from the start, you’ll need to figure out a way to borrow equipment until you have enough revenue to purchase your own. You can borrow a Kubota tractor from your neighbor for only so long before he’s going to want it back. Consider renting one from a dealer instead. Kubota has been making agricultural equipment for over 100 years and there are numerous dealers you can work out a deal with.
Consider your clientele
Who are you trying to target with your services? Affluent homeowners? Middle-class homeowners with small to medium sized yards? It’s important to focus on a demographic when you’re first starting out so that you can start marketing as effectively as possible. Consider the fact that roughly 6.8 million Americans use assistive devices to help them get around, which means they probably have a hard time doing their own yard work. While you might only want prominent homeowners, you might have better success with a different demographic, so think realistically as well. After you’ve had some experience, you can change up your strategy.
Figure out logistics
How are you going to get yourself, your staff (if any), and your equipment to and from jobs? How are people going to get ahold of you to schedule servicing? Will they pay you in person? You’ll need to nail down all of these aspects of running a business before you ring your first customer’s doorbell. Consider renting a truck and tow-behind to get everything to each job. Maybe add a “schedule a service” option to your website and allow people to pay in advance or after you’ve completed the job. It’s important to have a scheduling service and set prices established so that when your business takes off, you’re not missing appointments and losing customers.
As you continue to work and gain experience, you can start to measure certain metrics that you can use to grow your business. You might end up hiring a full staff, purchasing brand new equipment, implementing new business practices, and more. Luckily for you, three out of every four households in America have some type of lawn or landscaping, so if you play your cards right, your business can keep on growing.