The essential landscaping tools list
- Lawn mower
- Weed eater
- Hand edger
- Safety glasses
There’s a solid chance that you have many of the items on this list in your garage right now. They’re enough to get you started. If you think you need to add something to your equipment collection, consider waiting to buy it until you’ve booked a job that requires it so you can be sure it’s earning you money.
How much is all this going to cost? If you have these tools already, nothing! But if you need to purchase some items, consider looking at used sources such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or local message boards before paying full price. Used items, especially lawn mowers and other power equipment, can be had for a fraction of the new price.
And if you need something really expensive that you might only use once for a big job, rent it! Home Depot is great in a pinch but you can also look for a professional tool rental service in your area, which is likely to have bigger and better tools. No need to spend thousands of dollars on something in the early stages of entrepreneurship just to make a few hundred dollars.
Now build a website
So you’ve got your shears and rakes together and you’re ready to start working. Stop. Before you do anything else, you need to build a website. Your website is going to your homebase for everything you do from now on and it needs to be ready when you start looking for clients. If people are searching for landscapers in your area, your website will be there. If happy clients want to refer their friends and family to your company, your website is there. If over-the-moon customers want to leave positive reviews so all can bask in the glory of your mowing skills, your website is there. Get it?
The easiest and faster way to build your website, no coding or design skills necessary, is with Durable’s AI website builder. Using the power and convenience of artificial intelligence, Durable will write text, select photos, choose fonts, pick colors, and lay out your website so it’s beautiful and functional. It takes just 30 seconds, so you can get back to planting flowers as fast as humanly possible. Want to see some samples of what Durable can do? Check out the landscaping website template.
Start promoting your landscaping business
When it’s time to start looking for work, don’t worry too much about fancy ivy league marketing tactics. Just put yourself out there and build a client base that appreciates your hard work. Cast a wide net and take whatever jobs you can handle.
- Share your website with anyone and everyone in your network
- Look for leads on Angi Leads
- Spend small amounts on targeted digital ads on Facebook and Google Ads—learn how with this guide
- Post on services like Craigslist, Nextdoor, Thumbtack, and Angi
- Set up social media accounts (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), post frequently, and make sure you respond to comments
- Knock on doors in your area and have real conversations with homeowners
- Ask satisfied clients to leave great reviews
Make sure you can get paid
You’re not raking leaves for the exercise, you need to get paid. So make sure you’re ready to receive payment before you go asking for gigs. Durable’s invoice tool ensures that your clients receive easy-to-understand bills that can be paid quickly and conveniently, with very little effort on your part.
It’s also a good idea to keep your business money separate from your personal finances, especially when you get to tax season. Durable Money gives you an online business bank account that works hand-in-hand with invoicing and your website, automatically keeping you on top of your finances.
Once your landscaping business starts to grow
You’ve got some jobs under your belt, you’re gaining experience, and you have a base of loyal customers. What should you do next?
Brand your landscaping business
As you start to find clients beyond your immediate network, it can be helpful to have a recognizable brand that sticks in the minds of potential customers. Consider developing a name for your business that isn’t just John Smith Landscaping or whatever. If you need some help getting creative, try out this AI business name generator. A simple but memorable logo and brand colors can also do wonders for customer recognition on your website, lawn signs, door hangers, etc.
Boost your marketing strategy
Once you’ve got the basics of promotion under control, it’s time to GO BIGGER.
- Competitive analysis: start looking at what types of services competitors in your area are offering, how much they are charging, and how they are promoting their businesses. Use that information to tweak your own strategy.
- Understand your customer: look for commonalities between your regular customers. Are they wealthy homeowners, condo dwellers, property developers? As you work more you’ll naturally gain an understanding of who your ideal customer is, which allows you to target more clients in the same category, or adjust your strategy so you can branch out.
- Send email: you’ve got contact info for previous customers, visitors to your website, and people in your network, so send them email. It’s way more effective than social media and you can talk to them about anything that benefits their yards and your business—seasonal reminders, promotional rates, new services, anything!
- Set up a CRM: client relationship management software that is. This is like a superpowered digital address book that captures data about your clients and prospects so you can manage and market to them more effectively.
Invest in equipment and supplies
Now that you know how long it takes to complete different landscaping tasks, it might be time to level up your equipment so you can do more jobs faster, earning you more money.
Equipment with MORE POWER
- Zero-turn riding mower
- Hedge trimmer
- Power edger
- Leaf blower
- Power pruner
- Spreader/sprayer (for fertilizer, pesticide)
- Lawn aerator
- Snowblower (remember think seasonally!)
The key here is to only add items that will increase revenue for your business. If you don’t mow that many lawns, maybe save the $5,000 you we're going to spend on a riding mower for something that will earn more cash.
Cover your butt
The truth is, no matter what industry you’re in, accidents happen and customers get grumpy. Liability insurance can protect your and your business in the case of personal injury claims, damage to property, and more.
There are plenty of different insurance offerings on the market so do your research in advance of writing any checks. If you need some help, check out our in-depth guide to business insurance.
Planting the seeds for future success
Don’t get ahead of yourself. Get that second hand lawn mower and start raking in green without trying to plan a landscaping empire.
But, once you’re established, it can’t hurt to sit down and have a think about where your business is going. Here’s some steps you can take to ensure that your landscaping business stays on the right path.
Write a business plan
A business plan can help you set goals and build a strategy that will achieve them. It doesn’t have to be an encyclopedia, just a simple document that will keep your eyes on the prize. If you need help writing one, the U.S. Small Business Administration offers a handy template.
Register your business entity
Most small business owners start out as sole proprietors, which is an informal business type that doesn’t require any paperwork in most states. But there are advantages to registering a formal business structure for your operation, such as protection from liability, increased funding options, and tax benefits. You should work with a business attorney or CPA to choose the right business structure for you.
Scale your landscaping business
Growing your business can help you to earn more money without having to work a lot harder. Small boosts to capacity and productivity can result in big profits, so it’s worth it to have a look at what you can do to expand your business.
- Add more landscaping services that appeal to a broader range of clients
- Hire employees so you can service more customers
- Secure financing for major purchases, such as company vehicles
- Open your company to investors to increase capital for significant expansion, such as franchising or offices in multiple locations
Just remember that scaling comes with the same advice as the earliest days of your small business: spend carefully, only take on what you can handle, learn as you go, and build relationships.