The business of landscaping has a low barrier of entry, making it easy to start but highly competitive. There are only so many properties in a given area, and you want your business to be working as many of them as you can reasonably handle—and next year, you’d like to keep growing. You know it’s going to take good, honest work, but here are a few more tips to help you succeed in the landscaping business.
Make your Prices Competitive but Profitable
It’s not unusual for someone getting started to undercharge a client. This can be an expensive learning experience. It literally pays to give realistic estimates that leave you room to profit. Experience of course plays a role in quoting an estimate, but you can fill in the cracks with knowledge and the right tools. It also helps to find out what other landscapers in your area are charging. Perhaps your friends and family could make inquiries on your behalf.
There are numerous software products out there that can help you plan a bid in seconds. You’ll also be able to track materials, which should help you avoid costly waste. Some of these tools, such as HindSite Solution, will also handle scheduling. If you’re working enough, you’ll need a reliable way to track where you’re supposed to be and when.
Invest in What’s Important
Your business is only as good as the equipment you use and the people you employ. That doesn’t mean you have to own a fleet of the most expensive mowers—but it means that you use quality equipment and you keep it in tip-top shape. As for your workers, remember that they will represent you and your business. Hire dependable, hardworking individuals, whether it’s to work for you full time or as subcontractors.
Offer Superior Products and Services
It’s important that you stand out from the pack. If you can find a source for hardier plants, more innovative designs, or more effective fertilizer treatments, it could make your reputation. Never stop looking for opportunities to improve on the service you deliver.
One product you can offer, regardless of the size of your business, is AquaSmart Pro. This impressive polymer can be added to turf while laying sod, overseeding, or aerating. By absorbing up to twelve times its weight in water and nutrients, it keeps a lawn healthier with less water. When a forty-pound bag can cover one-thousand feet of turf, you’ll be able to wow your clients with a miniscule effort and investment.
Hard work in this business isn’t always done with a shovel in your hand. Never stop looking for ways to expand the services you offer. Rather than hire a subcontractor or pass a job off to a competitor, is there a way you could do the job in-house? If it’s a matter of purchasing a piece of equipment and training in its use, it may be worth the investment.
You’ll of course put in hours, not only on the lawns, but on drumming up business. Practice good customer service, because word of mouth can make or break a business. Advertise effectively—ask customers how they found out about you. And always work hard on maintaining relationships. Building and maintaining a dependable client base could keep you afloat, even in the toughest times.