Landscaping can be a rewarding career. For many, working outdoors, creating beautiful spaces is a dream job. And it was probably yours when you started your Landscaping Business. But, like many entrepreneurs, you could find yourself increasingly stuck behind a desk.
Avoid repeating the mistakes of those that have gone before you with these tips;
Tip #1 – Put in Systems Before You Need Them
Entrepreneurs across industries agree that the best time to put in management systems is before you need them. Pen and paper may be fine at the start. But if your business grows, you’ll need better ways of scheduling and recording time, processing invoices and payroll, and communicating with clients.
Tip #2 – Buy Quality Tools, then Store and Maintain Them Properly
Good quality tools are a smart investment. Over the lifetime of your business, the cost of replacing cheaper items will far exceed the initial purchase price of quality brands. And when tools fail mid-job, the costs can be exponential. Store and maintain your tools according to the manufacturer’s directions. An organized storeroom where everything has its place also prevents theft because it’s immediately apparent when something is missing.
Tip #3 – Build a Strong Team
People are your greatest tool of all. They also need to be “maintained.” Win the loyalty of your staff by investing in their growth. Having employees with recognized certifications will allow you to delegate with confidence. Then consider an incentive scheme that motivates employees to look out for the business’s best interests.
Tip #4 – Make Safety a Priority
Ensure you’re compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) regulations for Landscaping and Horticultural Services.
Tip #5 – Regularly Review Your Pricing
Pricing correctly can be the trickiest part of landscaping. Cater for contingencies when quoting for projects and review your rates at least annually. If you stick to the same month each year, clients know to expect it and can plan accordingly. Also, keep an eye on overheads and consumables costs. A significant change in input costs might mean you need to introduce a premature price adjustment.
Tip #6 – Plan for the Slow Times
Landscaping fluctuates seasonally. It is also regarded as a discretionary spend that can be cut if times get tough. Protect yourself by planning for these slow times and make sure the business is insured for whatever claims it can face during difficult times. To know more about the most important policy a Landscaping business must have, it is best to read on this Must-have Landscaping Insurance Policy article to avoid wasting resources getting unnecessary coverage. Build up resources to keep employees on the payroll if it’s likely more work will come in in the short-term. Have an established policy for when weather conditions halt work. That way, clients and employees know when the job will be picked up again. You could also consider diversifying your offering to include work that can be performed indoors or under cover in winter.
Tip #7 – Ensure You Have the Right Insurance
Landscapers have a duty of care to their clients. Despite every precaution, accidents do happen, and you could find yourself being sued by an injured party. Landscaping Contractors insurance will protect your business by paying damages if you lose. You can also insure your assets, rental premises, and get medical coverage for employees which is discussed in this Workers Compensation Insurance article.