What is a landscaping business?
Landscaping can include designing, engineering, and building an outdoor space, as well as lawn/plant maintenance. Those who work in creating outdoor spaces for leisure, sport or personal accommodation fit within the landscaping category.
Drafting a Strategic Business Plan
An important starting point is drafting a solid business plan. This plan is invaluable, as it indicates a snapshot of your business and maps out your plan for growth in the future. This business plan can be used to raise funding and help you stick to milestones.
Your landscaping business plan should have ten sections:
1. Executive Summary: an introduction to your business plan.
2. Company Analysis: overview of business type and background
3. Industry Analysis: an overview of the industry
4. Customer Analysis: the customer base and their needs
5. Competitive Analysis: identify potential direct and indirect competitors
6. Marketing Plan: outline how you’ll reach new clients
7. Operations Plan: go over your long-term and short-term goals.
8. Management Team: introduce your team and why you chose them
9. Financial Plan: your five-year financial statement, including income, and balance sheets
10. Appendix: evidence regarding the points above
Conduct Market Research
Market research analysis is crucial as it gives you a structured way of studying your competition to outsell and outlast them.
This market research should look at the following topics:
1. Identify the immediate competitors for your business sector
2. The products and services these competitors offer
3. The strengths and weaknesses of these competitors
4. The ways your competitors are achieving their goals
5. The overall outlook in the landscaping market
Equipment You Need to Operate Your Business
When starting a landscaping business, you will need a specific range of tools to operate. Thankfully, the money spent on these tools will be vital for your profit and income down the line.
These tools will of course vary depending on if you specialize in a specific form of landscaping. These tools will be hand tools (shovels, rakes), powered tools (lawnmower, lawn aerators), safety equipment (gloves, goggles) and carrying equipment (buckets, wheelbarrows).
Maintaining your Premises and Related Costs
One of the hardest aspects of business ownership is the knowledge of what costs are required to maintain your business.
Even if you work from home, there are still costs to consider. The most important is landscaper insurance. This covers property damage, product liability and can help if your tools suddenly stop working or there is any damage to your workplace. If you remember to keep your costs as low as possible until there are returns, you’re likely to see financial gain.
Acquiring Licenses and Customer Regulations
According to the Australian Government, all people working in the construction industry, including landscaping, need to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The date this needs to be completed varies from state to state.
In addition to the above, licensees are required to practice as a professional landscaper (and you’ll need to register them). These vary from state to state.
For example, in NSW (New South Wales), working on projects costing over $200 require a NSW Fair Trading License. If you want to create walls or pavement, a Structural Landscaping License is required.
Registering Your Business
When starting a landscaping business with no experience, it’s important to consider the cost of registering your business. On average, this cost is $500.
During this process, you must pay for:
- Business Name Fee: Starting at $35 a year.
- Company Registration Fee: From $475 a year.
- Australian Business Number: Free.
Although this number is relatively low, it can add up when considering the costs of tools, marketing, and other variables.
Marketing Your Business
One of the easiest ways to attract new clients is through effective marketing. This can be social media marketing, email marketing, in-store/door-to-door marketing and more.
We suggest primarily starting an email campaign and social media campaign as well as making sure your company is listed everywhere it possibly can be, so new clients find you easier!
Financing Your Business
While making sure your landscaping business is run for profit, it’s also important to be aware of financing opportunities should you need them. Some of these financing options include:
- Equipment Loans: Loans to cover your machinery, such as trailers, blowers, and other specialized machines. These loans are often quite pricey
- Business Credit Card: Business credit cards are a great option for smaller expenses that come up such as petrol, and smaller tools and materials. These can help track expenses too
- Term Loans: These require a lot of paperwork but can be the best option for those needing a lot of money. However, it’s not a quick process
Staffing and Recruitment
Finding the right people for you and your business is hard work, so here is what we deem to be important.
- Know what your workload will look like
- Try keep the recruitment external (avoid hiring family members)
- Always take time to complete background checks
When you decide to sell your landscaping business, you’ll need to research factors that will affect the sale. It’s not as simple as buyers asking, ‘how much does your landscaping business make?’. The value of your business depends on the following factors:
- Owner involvement: The more involved the owner is in the business, the less valuable it is. We recommend eventually backing out of daily operations and focusing on making your business tick on without you. For this to work, your employees need to be top tier
- Keep records clean: If there is any discrepancy and lack of record-keeping, this reduces your business value significantly. Make sure you understand the ins and outs of business valuation.
- Clientele: If you only rely on one or two large clients, this can affect your value. A diverse range of clients is more effective. If you also focus solely on residential landscaping, this can alter your value too.
- Contract lengths: Buyers love to see long-term contracts, the more you have, the better your value.
- Reputation: No buyer will want to waste time in fixing your brand reputation, so make sure you have plenty of great reviews online.