how to start a landscaping business

How To Start a Landscaping Business: Step-by-Step Guide

At first glance, learning how to start a landscaping business may seem like a daunting task. But, by dividing the process into distinct stages and taking it one step at a time, you may find that it’s a lot easier than you thought.

In this article, we’ll discuss the three general stages of starting a business — learning, building, and working — and the specific steps within those stages that can help you get organized on the road to starting your own landscaping business.

Table of contents

How to start a landscaping business: Learn

Learning How to start a landscaping business

1) Get experience in the industry

One of the best ways to learn how to start a landscaping business is to get experience in the industry before you go all-in on the idea.

There are many ways to gain such experience, but some of the easiest ways are to:

  • Conduct all manner of landscaping jobs on your own property
  • Volunteer to help friends and family with their landscaping projects
  • Get a job (or intern at) an existing landscaping business

However you choose to do it, pay attention to how long it takes to get things done, what equipment makes the job easier, and whether or not you need special training for the work you want to do.

This information can help make things easier in the later stages of starting a landscaping business.

2) Research the details of the industry

If you’ve been working in a landscaping business for a while and you want to venture out on your own, you may already be familiar with the details that can help your company be successful.

If you’re new to the industry, though, take the time to do a bit of business-focused research in order to find out things like:

  • Whether or not there’s a need for the services you intend to offer in your area
  • Your target customer base
  • Sources for soil, stone, and other essentials
  • How to care for the flora in your area (if you don’t already know)
  • What permits and licenses you’ll need

3) Settle on landscaping services

When considering a landscaping business, you might be tempted to go all in and offer every service under the sun. But doing so can make things more expensive and more difficult.

Some services absolutely demand special equipment (and even special training), and offering them right out of the gate can put a serious dent in your startup capital.

Keep in mind that you can always expand into other areas once your business gets going.

4) Investigate landscaping tools and technology

As we mentioned, you may need some serious equipment to get your business going.

But, even if you’re just installing plants and flowers, you’re going to need shovels, rakes, and wheelbarrows (just to name a few). You’re also going to need to know how to take care of those items so you can get the most bang for your buck.

Take the time to investigate which tools you’re going to need to get started and how to go about maintaining them once you have them. This can actually result in savings down the road by helping your tools last longer.

Sling app for running a landscaping business

It’s also a good idea to investigate tools and technology that can help you run the business side of things (e.g., employee management, scheduling, task management, time tracking, communication, and payroll).

Incorporating the right suite of tools (such as Sling) from day one can help relieve a bit of the pressure that comes with learning how to start a landscaping business and building it into a success.

How to start a landscaping business: Build

5) Register your landscaping business

Whether you’re cutting lawns or moving dump trucks full of dirt, you must register your landscaping business with local, state, and federal authorities.

The first step in the process is deciding which business structure to operate under (i.e., sole proprietor, DBA, LLC/LLP, S-Corp, C-Corp, etc.). Each has its own unique pros and cons, so be sure to read up on all of the options.

Once you’ve decided on the right structure for your business, register your business name with the IRS, the federal government, and any state and local offices that the law requires.

It’s also a good idea to seek legal guidance as you establish your business.

6) Open a business bank account

Before you do your first paid landscaping job, open a business bank account to handle the money coming in and going out.

In most cases, a checking account will give you the access and flexibility you need to run your business. But, in some cases, other types of bank accounts may better serve your needs.

Talk to an account manager at your local bank if you have questions about which option(s) are right for you.

7) Arrange for business insurance

Landscapers often work around expensive buildings, vehicles, and other structures/utilities. If your activities do damage of some kind, without business insurance, you could be personally liable for repairs.

That could be an expensive disaster for your business and even drive you to bankruptcy if you don’t have the funds to cover the expense.

You can prevent this from becoming an issue by arranging for business insurance before opening your doors.

8) Purchase equipment

You may have spent some money registering your business, opening a bank account, and arranging for business insurance, but this step in the process is where your credit or debit card will really get a workout.

Purchasing equipment for your landscaping business can get very expensive very quickly if you just go out and buy brand-new tools.

You can control the cost by starting small, purchasing only the essentials, finding deals on used tools, and renting tools on an as-needed basis to get you started.

You can always purchase new equipment and tools as your business grows.

How to start a landscaping business: Work

Landscaper working

9) Refine your rate

As you learned how to start a landscaping business in the previous steps, you likely had a rate in mind that you wanted to charge your customers.

That’s good, but don’t be afraid to refine your rate once your business actually gets going. You may find that you need to lower or raise your prices slightly to stay competitive within your niche.

10) Advertise

Advertising your landscaping business doesn’t have to be an expensive prospect.

Effective ways to get the word out without spending a fortune include:

  • Putting your business name on your vehicles
  • Wearing branded clothing/uniforms
  • Investing in yard signs to post in customer’s yards
  • Talking about your business to everyone you meet
  • Carrying (and handing out) business cards
  • Starting a business Facebook page

11) Hire a crew

Even if you start off doing the work all by yourself, you may eventually want to hire a crew to help out to get more done in a day, do two jobs at the same time, or tackle more complex projects.

Before you do, be sure to talk to an attorney or an accountant about payroll taxes and the like.

12) Focus on customer service

Regardless of the services you offer and the number of crew you hire, focus on doing a good job at all times and providing the best customer service possible.

Likely, there are any number of landscaping businesses in your area, but the one that provides a quality experience at all times (yours!) may be the one that sets itself apart from the rest.

Keep yourself and your crew organized with Sling

Crew of a landscaping business

Whether you choose to do all the work yourself or hire a crew to help you out, you’ll absolutely need to track appointments, project progress, and time on task for your business.

Sure, you can rely on pen and paper for all of that, but there’s a reason software is everywhere these days: it makes things easier.

Keep yourself and your crew organized and position your business for growth and success by incorporating the right software into your workflow.

The Sling app gives you the power to organize, manage, and optimize a crew of any size with powerful tools, including:

Try Sling for free today to get a better idea of the many ways it can help you learn how to start a landscaping business and build it into a success.

Then, for further business management resources and help scheduling your employees, visit

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This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal, tax, HR, or any other professional advice. Please contact an attorney or other professional for specific advice.

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