So, you’ve decided to take your love for lawn-care and landscaping to the next level and turn it into a small business. Building it on a solid foundation and treating it as a real business, not as a hobby, are critical to achieving success.
What does the foundation consists of, you may ask?
Here are the seven seeds you need to plant if you want to start and grow a successful business in the landscaping industry.
1. Set Your Goals and Mission Statement
The first seed you need to plant is to define who you are as a landscaping professional. Take a step back, look at the bigger picture and give a higher purpose to your business.
Your mission statement should answer questions like:
- What do you do?
- How do you do it?
- Who do you do it for?
- What makes you different than your competition?
Next, write down what you hope to accomplish. What pushed you into starting this business? What type of landscaping do you want to do? How many hours do you want to work? How much do you want to make in a year?
The mission and goals are like a compass always telling you if you’re approaching your destination. You can always change them, though, if you feel like taking another path.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Your customers are the life and blood of your business, so you need to make sure that you are targeting the right ones. Nothing sets up a company for failure faster than not knowing who your audience is.
Ask yourself, who do you plan to sell your services to – corporate clients or regular homeowners? What are their landscaping needs and how can your small business meet them? What type of services do they prefer?
Try to learn as much as possible about your audience if you want to develop the right experience for them.
3. Choose the Right Equipment
The success of your landscaping business depends on the tools you use.
First, look at your objectives and the type of service you want to provide. Choose the equipment that will help you achieve your goals and deliver excellent services to your customers.
Pay attention to how easy it is to use the tools, how much maintenance they require, and how durable they are. Make sure to gather information about warranties, how easy can you find replacement pieces, where you can service them, and so on. Also, does it make more sense to buy or lease? These are all questions you must ask yourself, and will directly impact the long-term success (and cash flow) of your business.
4. Reach Out to Your Customers
You need to let your customers know you’re there and ready to serve them. So, start building your online presence. Develop a professional looking website where you can present yourself to your audience and list your services. Get started with social media and try to build a community around your small business by creating and sharing content that adds value to your prospects’ lives.
Don’t shy away from getting on the streets to talk with your customers or handing out flyers. That way you can learn more about your audience’s needs and put a face to your business.
5. Track, Measure, and Adapt
If you want to know how your business is performing and where it needs improvements, you need to monitor and measure data. Invest in service field software that can help you collect information and make your operations more efficient.
Use this system to schedule jobs and manage your employees, keep track of your current and potential customers’ information, send data to and from your employees on site, and automate your billing.
Regularly check your metrics and make adjustments where needed.
6. Build Your Team
As your business grows, you can’t take care of every aspect of it on your own. In fact, you’ll probably spend most of your time scheduling jobs, ordering supplies, promoting your small business, and taking care of other organizational aspects. You’ll need a team of trusted employees to help you grow your landscaping business.
Pay close attention to the hiring process. You want friendly, professional, and reliable team members who can offer a great experience to your customers. Get references and always do background checks to avoid unpleasant situations since they can affect your business’s reputation.
Hire slow, and fire fast. A bad choice in hiring can lead to disaster for your operations, profitability, and most importantly, your reputation.
7. Ask for Referrals
One of the best and most cost-effective ways to reach out to new customers is through referrals. When someone recommends your business to a friend, the chances of them inquiring your services are significantly high. That’s because you come with a stamp of approval and prospects don’t have to worry whether they’re making the right choice or not.
Ask your customers to review your business or tell their friends about you on their social media channels. Encourage them to do it by offering incentives (gifts, discounts, etc.) to the person who generates the most referrals.
We don’t have to tell you that a seed doesn’t sprout overnight. So, don’t expect your small business to blossom the next day after you’ve implemented these ideas. Give it time and nurture it, and soon you’ll reach the success you’ve hoped for when starting the company.