When we hear New York, our minds automatically reach out to the skyscrapers seen through drones. Sometimes it is the bustling streets with yellow cabs and pedestrians walking in a hurry.
One might wonder how one can have a lawn in a city aside from the vast Central Park. You are quite wrong there if this is the NY version you are familiar with.
Your career path as a landscaper might turn into a successful road, but you need to know the basics of how to start a landscaping business in NY.
There should be a marketing strategy alongside the registration steps to consider. You must have a financial backup as well. Although not much risk is involved, getting insurance for several fields is necessary before claiming the license.
I will explain everything in detail below. Are you with me?
Starting A Landscaping Business: 7 Easy Steps
I spent most of my youth mowing lawns for the whole neighborhood for side income, which got me to love landscaping in a broader spectrum.
Honestly, the pay is great when people love your work, and the certified business is continually a booming one. There is always the need for trimming, tilling, mowing, cutting, etc., in various aspects of the job.
Are you willing to take in tasks that might involve more than just plain old mowing? If you are serious about building your career in this field, I suggest reading through the steps carefully and gaining some perspective.
Step 1. Decide the Type of Landscaping Business You Will Want
The landscaping business includes versatile services. New York offers golf courses, parks, school fields, suburban areas, stately homes, villas, and thousand other ways to make your landscaping talent put to work.
However, you have to excel at the given task before spreading your wings. So, decide on the type of services you wish to take first. It can be residential, commercial, or agricultural (the city is full of surprises).
I suggest starting small but professionally. For instance, you are asked to till the field after mowing. You are perfect at the latter but lack expertise in the first.
This job may end with shoddy results due to the wrong way you cultivate the ground.
So, start with what you know. If you plan on adding employees with further know-how, go for the full package projects.
Step 2. Buy or Rent the Equipment?
This business is a no-show without the equipment within your scope. The question is – should you buy them or rent them?
- When to Rent
An experienced landscaper will recommend you renting the equipment as you begin the journey. Because it is far less expensive than purchasing them right away.
There are heavy equipment units to consider, which may cost plenty. Besides, you cannot use a personal vehicle to transport them to project areas. A truck is inevitable.
The overall expense can reach up to $50,000.
Still, you must at least have the basic manual tools at your disposal, like shovels, drills, rear tine tillers, etc.
- When to Buy
Once you notice a steady success rate in your landscaping business and believe you are ready to purchase the larger equipment (riding lawnmower, tiller, etc.), simply opt for it.
Remember that you will now be responsible for looking after these units and paying for maintenance.
Step 3. Register for Your Business
It is time to register the business legitimately. This is where everything gets serious, and I hope you are prepared.
Here is what you ought to do:
- The first task involves going to the official website of NY state and registering the well-thought-out business name. You can do it here.
- In what structure does your business fall? Is it a Corporation, Partnership, Sole-proprietor, or LLC? Choose your option based on how you wish the landscaping business to grow.
- Now you can register the business with the selected name right here.
- Next, open a bank account for the lawn care business using the name you chose.
- It is better to hire an accountant to edify you about the taxes so that you are always up to date.
Step 4. Acquire the Essential Insurance and License Titles
Accidents, settlements, damages, etc., might take place during an operation. You will need good coverage to avoid counting losses after every job.
Whether you have employees or not, there are certain insurances to get as well. Below is a list to comply with:
- Get Liability Insurance at all costs. It covers pretty much everything – legal fees, various repairs, and damages.
- Obtain the Worker’s Compensation whether an employee works for you or not.
- Get Health Insurance for yourself and the employees.
- Do not forget to register as a contractor after checking the proper requirements with your county.
- You may need City License to allow your landscaping business to operate in a certain location.
- Some fertilizers or chemicals for lawns require special certification and a license-holding user. You may want to get them as well.
Step 5. Decide on the Price Factor
This is a simple task but should be undertaken after meticulous market research. A starting budget should be out there for future clientele to pick from.
To attract the first hundred customers, you may begin with $500 to $2,000, which may consist of a package offer or first-time discount rates.
Step 6. Come Up with a Marketing Plan
Now you can include the price ranges for each task in your landscaping business into motion by marketing it.
Spreading the word is one way of advertising your lawn care service. However, social media has a huge impact on our lives, and you should take advantage of it.
Create a page and share it with friends and families. Encourage them to widen the sharing aspect further.
Meanwhile, try to grasp SEO techniques a little so that Google allows your site visibility at the top. Aim for other search engines similarly.
Most importantly, offer overtime and candid professionalism to gain positive reviews. This will help gain more clients than just advertisements.
- Spread The Word About You
The visual nature of landscaping makes social media marketing ideal for landscaping companies. Build a following online.
You can also share images of your landscaping work on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. Before you begin working on the area, take pictures of it. Rather than reading a written testimonial, customers love to see “before and after” comparisons.
Are you new to social media? That’s fine! Udemy and Coursera offer online courses that can help you make better use of it. If you have the budget, hiring a social media marketing agency can also be a great option.
Step 7. Ensure Quality Of Work
A well-executed project is the best advertising for a landscaping company. You will secure repeat business if you provide long-lasting, beautiful landscapes. The happy customers you serve will refer their friends to you.
A huge part of this is the ongoing service and after-installation coverage. After the warranty period expires, you will often continue to help customers fix problems.
Landscapers can help clients envision the space’s full potential when they don’t know exactly what they want. Your confidence will increase as you complete more projects and can suggest something the customer didn’t even know they wanted.
Step 8. Put Together A Team
For larger jobs, you’ll need some help, but some landscaping companies operate one-man operations. Owning a business is challenging, and while there’s plenty of advice available about this topic, experience isn’t a substitute.
Your company can attract top talent by offering competitive pay. It’s not just pay that matters to employees. Employees can benefit from flexible work hours that allow them to maintain a healthy work/life balance. It comes down to the fact that if you take good care of your employees, they’ll reciprocate by giving their best effort.
Job marketplace like LinkedIn or Monster is always an option when looking for quality employees. You can also find candidates looking for work at trade schools and colleges, especially in the late spring when students typically graduate.
Step 9. Track Your Business Financials
Always use modern apps to track your finances. It will let the payroll and inventory management go smoothly, as you will not be calculating those with pen and paper. Digital invoices are more accurate than manual ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is landscaping a good business?
Yes, on average, the earnings could be between $16,000 – $61,000, depending on your skills, bonuses, tips, expertise, etc.
2. Do I need a License in NY for the landscaping business?
You cannot operate the lawn care business without the proper registration for sales tax and a valid license for the service.
3. How Much Does a Landscape Business Owner Make Per Year?
Several factors influence the salary of a landscape business owner, including the company’s location and the type of landscaping services they provide. According to Lawn & Landscape Magazine’s State of the Industry Report, an average landscape company owner makes $31,000-$69,000 per year.
Entrepreneur.com interviewed lawn care business owners who reported earning between $5,000 and $50,000 in their first year of operation. As you become established, your income will increase. After a few years in business, those same owners earned between $160,000 and $250,000 annually.
In truth, earnings aren’t limited to these averages. In 2019, BL Landscapes earned around $700,000, and they expect to earn $800,000 in 2020. As you take on and complete more projects, your earnings will increase.
4. How Much Does it Cost to Start a Landscaping Business?
There is a great deal of variation in the initial costs associated with landscaping companies, depending on their size and scope of operations. It’s possible to get started with just $5,000 or less if you’re a one-person operation.
It is important to note, however, that most landscaping businesses require a larger investment. Depending on your business model, starting from scratch can cost up to $20,000.
However, these start-up costs can be reduced. You can significantly reduce your expenses by buying used equipment instead of new. Many of the equipment can also be rented from home improvement stores for around $100/day.
You can save on initial expenses if you have limited financial resources, although it is less cost-effective in the long run.
The other option is to buy an existing business if you don’t want to start one from scratch. For a first-time entrepreneur, this can be a good option since you won’t have to do as much legwork up front.
Once you set your mind to this sector, knowing how to start a landscaping business in NY should not be teeth grinding task. I say this to any fresh entrepreneurs, start on a small scale instead of throwing all in.
In conclusion, starting a landscaping business in New York can be a rewarding and lucrative venture.
By following the steps outlined in this article, such as creating a business plan, obtaining the necessary licenses and insurance, and building a strong network of clients, you can set yourself up for success in the competitive world of landscaping.
With hard work, dedication, and a passion for beautifying outdoor spaces, you can turn your dream of owning a landscaping business into a reality.
It delivers profitable growth with healthy revenues per year, even after paying all the overheads. My sincere wishes to you!