In an era of company downsizing and layoffs, you may consider going into business for yourself. Many businesses have staggering start-up costs, but you can start a landscaping business for very little on-hand cash. If you are familiar with both current trends and horticulture and have the grit to handle the hot weather and manual labor, this may be the perfect business option for you. For less than $350, you can get your landscaping business off the ground.
Things You'll Need
- Weed eater
- Hedge trimmers
- Garden rake
- Yard rake
- Extension cord
- Lawn clippings bags
- Leaf blower
- Wheel barrow
- Utility trailer
- Business cards
- Yard signs
Spread the word with fliers,business cards and word-of-mouth. You can create fliers on your computer and print them to pass out to prospective clients. Ask your friends whether you can mow their lawns and request that they plug your business to their friends, neighbors and family members. Pass out your business card, also printed from home on card stock, which typically costs $4 per package.
Purchase four small yard signs for less than $15 each that list your business name and contact number. Offer homeowners a discount for allowing you to display the advertisement on their front lawns. As you build your clientele, purchase more signs.
Buy an inexpensive lawn mower during the late fall months, when they are marked down to clearance prices. A lawnmower with a 20-inch blade can be purchased for as little as $100. Even in peak seasons, inexpensive brands wont cost more than $125.
Stock your supply of landscaping tools. Buy rakes, gas cans, extension cords, a wheel barrow, and manual hedge clippers at pawn shops, yard sales and flea markets. Use your profits to upgrade to higher quality tools later, but for now, settle for ones that help get your business off the ground. The combined cost of these items will total about $80. While weed eaters and electric hedge clippers can also be purchased second hand, stick to buying these items new for between $60 and $80. They usually come with 90-day warranties, saving you money in the long run should they malfunction.
Borrow a trailer. If you don't own a long bed truck you need a trailer to haul your equipment. The cheapest new trailers cost $1,000. You'll be lucky to find a used one for less than $500. Borrow this important piece of equipment until you can afford to purchase your own.
Create a portfolio. Even if you've only landscaped your own personal yard and that of a family member or single business owner, these lawns are valuable tools to use when garnering new business. Take before and after pictures to give potential clients a clear visual of your capabilities and expertise.
Set reasonable rates. Research the going rates in your area by acting as a prospective client. While you don't want to undervalue your business with rates that are too low, consider working 5-10% below going rates. Build your business quickly by offering new customers free work when a given number of their referrals become clients.