Starting a Landscaping or Mowing Business

Starting a Landscaping or Mowing Business

To start a successful landscaping or lawn mowing business, it is important to research the local market, create a solid business plan, invest in quality equipment, and establish a strong online presence to attract potential customers. Additionally, building relationships with clients and providing exceptional customer service can help grow the business through positive word-of-mouth referrals. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The size of the landscaping industry was valued at $105.3 billion in 2020, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2021 to 2028 due to the increasing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly landscaping practices.” 
  • The average annual revenue for a landscaping business in the United States is around $200,000 to $500,000,though the amount of money that landscaping businesses make per year varies depending on several factors such as location, size of the business, and services offered.
  • Forming an LLC can help protect your personal assets in case of any legal issues, while business insurance can provide coverage for property damage, injuries, and other unexpected events that may occur in the course of running your landscaping business. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your business. 

From where to get your tools to how to structure your business, we’ll help you accomplish your new landscaping business goals faster with this guide. So read on, and apply the tips to save money and avoid the common problems that newcomers face.

How to Start a Landscaping or Mowing Business

When starting a landscaping business, you should consider renting equipment instead of buying it to save money on upfront costs. However, it’s important to factor in the cost of renting over time and determine if it makes more financial sense to eventually purchase the equipment. 

There are a number of places to find used lawn mowers and other tools, from the local tractor supply to various websites like Beware when buying used mowers, blowers and other tools from pawn shops. If the owner won’t allow you to fire it up for a few minutes and test it out, you won’t truly know its condition or if it’s ready for the job.

The good news is, you can start cheap with landscaping and work your way up gradually.

Starting a Mowing Business With $1,000

A lawn mowing business is relatively easy to start and can be both practical and profitable. People will always need services to help them maintain their lawns and gardens by cutting grass, trimming edges, and removing debris. The business can be operated on a part-time or full-time basis, and can be scaled up to include additional services such as landscaping and garden design.

Landscaping also means you’ll be getting more into the aesthetics and design that take a normal lawn and turn it into something truly memorable. Landscape designers and architects will always be in high demand because their work is so specialized and often requires formal drafting, engineering, construction, and other skills.

Landscaping Services You Can Offer

Here is a list of all the services that you can eventually perform and provide to clients:

  • Landscaper
  • Landscape Designer
  • Landscape Planner
  • Landscaping Specialist
  • Landscape Architect
  • Landscape Manager/Foreman/Supervisor
  • Gardener
  • Arborist
  • Botanist
  • Horticulturist

As long as you truly love to help people design the perfect natural home, whether it’s a front yard, backyard, patio, pool area, or porch, you’ll always see the opportunity to excel for the customer—and increase your bottom line earning power.

What Every Landscaping Business Needs to Have Before Your First Job

Getting started really can be as easy as dropping off 500 flyers around town offering to mow people’s lawns to get started. But to really get going, you’re going to have to think big and plan ahead. Here’s what you’ll need to succeed:

  • Business Plan: The average cost to start a landscaping business varies depending on the scale and scope of the business, but typically ranges from $5,000 to $50,000. This includes costs like equipment, licenses, insurance, and marketing. Knowing your initial costs to get started will help you decide whether or not to pursue a startup loan.
  • Safety Protection: Because landscaping businesses are so dangerous, they need to have proper safety protocols in place to ensure the well-being of their employees and customers. This means giving them the right safety gear, giving them regular training, and following the rules and standards of the industry.  Be aware of OSHA’s requirements for landscaping businesses to avoid penalties, fines, and other forms of general government harassment.
  • Legal Protection – Landscaping businesses all need the following types of business insurance: These include general liability insurance to protect against property damage and bodily injury, workers’ compensation insurance to cover employee injuries, and commercial auto insurance for company vehicles. That also means forming your business as an LLC or corporation to protect your personal assets from any lawsuits resulting from your business.
  • Operations Plan: In order to build your client list, you’ll need to scale your business with employees and become a master at scheduling and labor management. Staff and labor issues can be complicated, which is why you’ll want to automate it. 

Landscaping software built especially for landscaping businesses can help you scale your business from a one-man show to an outfit with 30 employees with ease.

And remember, reviews will be the lifeblood of your business, since more and more people rely upon a Google search when seeking out services in their area. Make sure that your Google My Business Profile is up to date and adheres to best practices. Just because it’s free, don’t underestimate its power. It is one of the top ways service-based businesses acquire new clients.

Niche Landscaping Markets to Tap to Get More Clients

There is no one-size-fits-all landscape design. But that’s not a bad thing. That’s just another chance for you to differentiate and offer your customers more. As you develop your skills, consider offering some of the following niche services, since they’ll make great case studies of your successes to show off to potential clients:

  • Garden landscaping – the process of designing and creating a visually appealing and functional outdoor space. It involves the use of various elements such as plants, hardscaping features, lighting, and water features to transform a garden into a beautiful and functional space
  • Small landscape design –  the art of designing outdoor spaces on a smaller scale, typically for residential properties or small commercial spaces. It involves creating functional and aesthetically pleasing outdoor areas that are in harmony with the surrounding environment
  • Urban landscape design – the process of designing outdoor spaces in urban areas such as parks, plazas, and streetscapes. It involves creating functional and aesthetically pleasing environments that enhance the quality of life for city residents
  • Japanese landscape design – also known as “nihon teien,” is a traditional style of gardening that emphasizes the beauty of nature and the balance between man-made elements and the natural environment. It often incorporates elements such as water features, stone pathways, and carefully pruned trees and shrubs. 
  • Terrace landscape design – a type of outdoor design that involves creating a multi-level garden or outdoor living space on a sloping terrain. It typically includes the use of retaining walls, stairs, and terraces to create functional and visually appealing outdoor spaces
  • Permaculture landscaping – a design system that mimics natural ecosystems to create sustainable and productive landscapes. It involves using techniques such as companion planting, soil regeneration, and water conservation to create self-sustaining environments that benefit both humans and the environment. 

What will you create as your own trademark style of landscape design? With a reputable brand and versatility in style, you’ll be making your own unique designs come to life for happy clients before you know it.

Conclusion: Starting Your Landscaping Business

The amount of money that landscaping businesses make can vary depending on factors such as location, size of the business, and services offered. IBISWorld did a survey that found that landscaping services in the United States bring in an average of $93 billion each year.

With numbers like that and an aging population to boot, the professional landscaping business will continue to be a lucrative industry for those who can provide great service at affordable costs, or capitalize on upper middle class landscaping and niche design trends.

Frequently Asked Questions – How to Start a Landscaping or Mowing Business

How much money do landscaping businesses make in their first year?

The amount of money a landscaping business makes in its first year varies depending on several factors such as location, size of the business, marketing strategies, and competition. However, according to industry reports, the average revenue for a new landscaping business in its first year is around $50,000 to $100,000.Starting a Landscaping or Mowing Business

Is starting a landscaping business easy?

Starting a landscaping business requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and knowledge of the industry. It’s not an easy task, but with the right mindset and resources, it can be a rewarding and profitable venture.

How many landscaping businesses are around after 5 years?

According to industry statistics, about 50% of landscaping businesses fail within the first five years. Therefore, it is likely that approximately half of the landscaping businesses that started five years ago are still operating today.