Is there money in landscaping? Well, consider this. Every spring, gardeners and homeowners begin to take care of their lawns and gardens after the winter months. Often times it is difficult for people to maintain all of this property alone, so they hire landscapers to come out and help them with yard work. For those who live in an area where the weather keeps them indoors most of the year, having a green thumb can be more than just recreational; it could also make you money in the landscape industry.
If you have some free time on your hands and would like to make money as a side hustle, then becoming a landscape business owner could be for you. In this article, we will go over how to get started with your first landscaping job and how to turn it into a profitable landscaping company if you enjoy the work.
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Is a Landscaping Side Hustle Right for You?
The first step to making money with your own landscaping business is figuring out if you are well suited for this type of work. Some people may have the perfect personality for the job, while others may not be cut out for it. Ask yourself a few questions about your abilities and interests to see if you will enjoy being a landscaper.
- Do you enjoy working outdoors?
- Do you have a green thumb?
- Do you enjoy physical labor and the resulting physical fitness benefits?
- Is there a good opportunity for advancement if this is something that I want to turn into a business?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, then there is a good chance that having your own full-service landscape company is a good fit for you.
What is Landscaping?
When most people think of a landscaping company, they’re not thinking about mowing lawns and planting flowers. The term “landscape business” actually refers to all sorts of different maintenance tasks that are done to improve the appearance of property. Different landscape business owners and landscape professionals can specialize in different areas or do a little bit of everything. For example, some landscape business owners might focus on lawn care (like cutting grass) while other landscape businesses might focus entirely on building stone walls and walkways.
A landscape business often combines physical labor with problem solving skills. Some tasks involve using heavy machinery like power tools or shovels; others require creativity and design skills; while still other tasks are more physical, involving pulling weeds or carrying large bags of mulch around the yard for hours on end or using a pressure washer to clean a driveway.
How to Get Started in Landscaping
Once you have decided that being a landscaping business owner is for you, it’s time to get started. The first thing you need to decide is what kind of landscaping services you want to provide. For example, do you want to only offer lawn care services? Or do you want to be a general landscaping company that does everything from mowing lawns, planting flowers, building stone walls, landscape design, and more?
Whichever landscaping business services you decide to provide will have an impact on the equipment you decide to purchase. For example, if you only plan to offer lawn care services then all you really need is a lawn mower, weed whacker, and a spreader. However, if you’re going to perform multiple jobs in your landscaping business, then it’s probably worth it for you to purchase a truck with a utility trailer that can accommodate several types of equipment in it, especially if you plan on doing landscape features.
Who Is Your Target Market?
Before purchasing any equipment or signing any contracts with clients, it’s important to identify who your target market is with your landscaping business. Customers love when they receive personalized landscape services, so it’s important that you know who your customers are and what types of services they need. For example, younger families might not mind spending the extra money to get their lawns mowed every week. On the other hand, older couples may be looking for a cheaper option where you only cut their grass once per month (or less).
Acquiring the Right Equipment
The next step in starting your landscaping business is acquiring the right equipment (make sure they use high-quality materials). You don’t need to have new equipment. Buying used equipment when you’re self-employed can help you save money and is a fantastic way to spend less money while increasing your total revenue and net profit. Some of the most important tools include:
Most guys will need something to move dirt, mulch, and tree stumps around the yard to perform tasks correctly. If you are using a pickup truck to haul your equipment around, then you should be able to get by with maybe one or two of these tools.
This is the only vehicle that will probably allow enough space for all of your landscaping business tools and equipment. You can use a car as well, but it may require purchasing a trailer (which costs extra money). A pickup truck or SUV will usually be less expensive than a trailer, which means more money for you in the end, generally speaking.
Here are some more side hustles with a car you can do to make money.
A shovel is one of the most important things that any most landscaping businesses need. The best kind of shovel to buy is one that has both a sharp edge (for digging) and flat edges (for leveling dirt and moving it around).
Lawn and Garden Rake
A rake is great for pulling out weeds, grading soil, and even giving your lawn that final haircut (if you’re a lawn care company). Look for one with tines (the sharp bits that stick up) that are long enough to reach into hard-to-reach places like between plants.
One of the most underrated pieces of equipment in any landscape owner’s toolkit. A pitch fork allows landscape owners to move large piles of mulch, grass cuttings, or anything else you can think up very quickly without strain on your body. Most people will spend hours trying to move small amounts at a time using their hands; if you have a pitch fork available then it only takes about 5 minutes to move an entire wheelbarrow full of mulch.
This tool is great for cleaning up around the edges of your flowerbeds. If you are thorough, then weed whackers can also let you quickly mow down all of the weeds in your yard without having to pull them out first.
Flower Bed Edgers
These small tools may not look like much but they can go a long way towards giving your landscaped garden that professional touch. They allow you to make crisp corners and straight lines, which are important if you are trying to impress potential customers or if you plan on entering any landscaping competitions.
One of the best investments to make if you have shrubs hanging over your sidewalk or driveway. Hedge clippers allow you to cut these unwanted plants back quickly and easily. These are especially useful in the Pacific Northwest since many homeowners have lots of greenery around their homes.
This may seem obvious, but the right lawnmower is extremely important for your business. You should look for one that has several height settings so that you can accommodate every customer’s needs, as well as a bagging system so you don’t have to stop mowing at a job site just because it isn’t time to empty your grass clippings yet.
Spreaders are great for giving fertilizers or weed killers an even distribution over your entire lawn or garden bed, especially if you own a lawn care business. This process ensures that all of the product is absorbed into the soil and not wasted by being left on top of the ground where children or pets might come in contact with it later on.
Professional Landscaping Uniform
Since you will be representing your landscaping business when you go out on jobs, it’s important to put some thought into what you wear. Guys should never wear sandals or shorts in public while working in their yard because this projects a negative image to the homeowner. Try finding an inexpensive pair of pants that you can use only when working with clients, then keep them clean and folded in your car at all times so they’re always ready to go when needed.
What Kind of Work Can I Expect?
Before you start working as a landscaper, it’s important to decide what kind of work you want to do. The two most popular options for those who are just starting out or those looking for a side-hustle are:
This is where homeowners will call you up and ask you to maintain their yards, flowerbeds, trees, etc. Each home is different so sometimes you might have a large yard that requires a lot of attention while other times the job may only be for a small area in front of their house. You can probably expect to make somewhere between $20 – $35 per hour depending on how much time the project takes and how many people they have hired to help them with it.
Landscapers that work in commercial settings tend to have special skills or training. For example, if you’re good at keeping up with plantings you could find a job working for a company that maintains gardens inside of large office buildings. You might also be asked to take care of the trees and vegetation on top of these buildings, which is an extremely difficult but very profitable type of landscaping work. You could also work for commercial properties (such as golf courses) on your own. Expect to make anywhere between $30 – $45 per hour depending on how skilled you are at your craft and what types of projects they give you to work on.
Marketing Your Landscaping Business
You need to find customers and new clients for business growth. And to do that, you need to make sure your landscaping business has a business plan and website. At the very least you will want to have a Facebook business page so potential commercial customers can find you and see pictures of all of your previous work with other clients.
Designing Your Website
Landscaping is certainly not for those who are artistic, so unless you know someone who can put together a decent looking website on your behalf, this task might just fall onto your shoulders and require some time and patience until you start getting positive feedback about it.
Don’t forget that most websites now come equipped with mobile versions as well because more people than ever access the internet using smartphones and tablets these days. If new customers or existing customers visit your site from their phone but they only see an incomprehensible jumble of text and broken links, chances are they will just move on to the next landscaping business that looks more professional.
You can also take advantage of email marketing which is becoming more popular by the day. This works great because you only need to design once for all types of devices and then people can access your site from their phone or computer whenever you send them a message. Plus, since most people check their emails at least once per day, this ensures that you’ll be top-of-mind when it comes time for them to hire someone to help with spring clean-up or fall lawn maintenance.
This may be the only option that those who are just starting out have as a way to get their name out there. Landscaping is all about establishing trust, so it’s important to start building your customer base as soon as possible. Going door-to-door can definitely make a positive impact if you target the right neighborhoods and know how to earn trust and respect.
When you go door-to-door as part of your business plan, it’s important to have flyers and business cards with your contact information so you can stay in touch with everyone who was interested in what you had to say that day. You might think that this is a hassle but the more leads you get, the better chance you have of landing a job that will help you generate more revenue. In other words, you can’t have too many business cards.
Picking Up Extra Work
If you’re already out mowing 4 – 5 lawns every weekend in your lawn care business and you’re not tired of it yet, then you’re obviously a very hard worker and chances are good that you will be able to pick up extra projects as your word-of-mouth reputation grows. You might even want to think about buying an older mower or tractor just for commercial use so you can increase the number of potential jobs available to you at any given time.
Once you start accepting jobs it’s important to be very professional with your landscaping business. You should always show up on time, work steadily throughout the day, and clean up your workspace before you leave for the day. It’s also good practice to bring a small notebook with you so that every customer has something to write down notes about their experience with you in case they want to hire you again or recommend your services to friends or family members at some point in the future.
How Can I Turn Landscaping Into a Full-Time Gig?
If having your own company sounds like it could be right for you, then there are several options that might allow you to turn this into a full-time landscaping business. Some landscape professionals go back school and get degrees specific to this type of work while others do it the “traditional” way and learn on the job by helping other landscaping companies get their projects done. You can also purchase older equipment and get a contractor’s license so you can get hired to work on even more commercial jobs such as these:
Once you get your foot in the door and use some of these techniques, chances are good that you will be able to successfully transition into a full-time landscaping business.
FAQ – Is There Money in Landscaping?
A lot of people are interested in the idea of starting their own landscaping business but they don’t think it can actually make them any money. To get an idea of how profitable this type of gig really is, here’s a list of some frequently asked questions:
What kind of experience do I need to be successful?
The short answer is none. That’s the beauty of this type of work: anyone who wants to can get started and decide where they want to go from there.
Is it necessary to have my own equipment?
No, you can rent or purchase equipment when you want to start taking on larger jobs that require it. However, if you are just getting started then it’s best to have minimal equipment that can get the job done.
What kind of money can I expect to make?
There is no exact amount. Landscape companies differ. It all depends on how much time and energy you put into your business. The more customers you get and the more projects you’re hired for the more revenue potential there is. Your hourly rate (or hourly wage) will go up and you will be making money and better pay as you work harder on your new business.
When should I start looking for commercial jobs?
As soon as possible, especially if you’re out mowing multiple lawns every weekend already. Commercial work has the potential to generate more revenue in a shorter amount of time so it’s definitely worth pursuing early on in your new business venture.
Is there much competition as a landscaping business?
The amount of competition varies depending upon which city/neighborhood you are in but if this is something that interests you then there’s likely no reason why you can’t be successful. With a good business plan, a systematic approach, and even a tiny amount of knowledge of the landscaping industry where you live, you’ll be able to have a solid profit margin and more money left in your bank account
How can I make enough money in landscaping?
In order to make more than just spending money (over a few hundred dollars) in landscaping you need to have a strong work ethic and an ability to be flexible when necessary. You also need some basic but functional equipment and the knowledge of what tools and supplies you’ll need for each specific job. Finally, it never hurts to have a positive attitude because that can help you get more commercial jobs and potential customers.