If you’ve always loved working in your garden and don’t mind harsh weather conditions, then landscaping might be a business you’d consider going into. It allows you to work outdoors and be creative, designing and creating gardens for all sorts of clients.
Landscaping isn’t for everyone, but if this sort of work sounds appealing, then here’s how you can start your own business.
Landscaping is more than just mowing lawns and planting flowers, it can be hard, grueling work and requires a skill set all of its own. You can find out a bit more about landscaping by reading job descriptions of the role, but it’s worth trying it out before you invest a lot of money in starting a business and getting work experience to see if you really do enjoy it, especially in the winter months.
Some landscapers are already keen gardeners, and have a lot of the skills required, but may need to learn more about:
- Paving and stonework
- Drainage and irrigation
- Installing water features
- Decking and fencing
The more skills you can bring to the table, the more potential clients you can get on-board. Keep in mind, in some states, you’ll need a contractor’s license to work as a landscaper.
The right tools
The tools you use to work on your own garden are probably not going to be useful in a professional environment. You need hard-wearing equipment, but don’t go overboard and buy lots of expensive tools up-front, and instead add to your collection as you garner larger clients.
You’ll need to invest in good protective equipment, from hi-vis clothing to strong gloves and a face mask for when you’re using dangerous chemicals. You should also ensure you have a reliable, rugged vehicle to carry your tools.
It’s also worth thinking about getting a few supplies. While you’ll stock up before any jobs, it’s worth having a few extra items around for small, last-minute requests. Some things just make your life easier, such as buying fence posts to make installing fences simpler than ever, so it’s worth keeping them in your truck.
Insurance and licenses
Insurance is important as it protects you, your employees and your customers. For example, if someone is injured because you left a sharp item unsafely laying around, then liability insurance will help cover your costs. Depending on the area, you’re likely to need state and local licenses, each of which have their own requirements. Check whether your state has a landscapers’ association, as their website will usually have a checklist for those starting a business.
A website and social media page
There’s no point having all of the best tools and equipment if you don’t have customers – obviously. Start building your social media following and take inspiration from other landscaper’s websites to build your online presence. Most customers will find you through your website first, so it needs to make an impact and look professional. When you complete your first few projects, consider asking clients if you can have professional photographs taken, as this will help you build your online portfolio.
Landscaping can be a tough, yet rewarding, career involving working in all weathers and requiring tough, physical labor, but, if you love the thought of leaving your desk behind far behind you, then it might just suit your needs and purposes.