How to Start and Run a Landscape & Garden Maintenance Business

Written by Jack Stone

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long asrepparttar bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

How to Start and Run a Landscape & Garden Maintenance Business Article by Jack Stone Copyright 2003 by ProGardenBiz

Own your business, own your job, own your life.

Statistics show that nine out of every ten new businesses fail. Most of these businesses fail withinrepparttar 117372 first year. The rest don't make it past their third anniversary. Given such dismal odds why would you want to start a landscaping or interiorscaping business?

First of all becauserepparttar 117373 odds are better than you think. Landscaping and interiorscaping are service businesses. A service business isrepparttar 117374 most easy business to start and be successful. The "statistics" usually do not include small service businesses. So, one would hope, your odds are better than you think.

There are other reasons that make starting a service business easier than others. You can start out with low capital investment. You can run your business with low overhead. If you manage your business properly, slow periods will not cause financial hardship.

The reason for most business failures is that they cannot survive slow periods or cash crunches. Other types of businesses have large overheads that require a constant influx of money. Such expenses as employees, rent, loan payments, etc. You can design your business to survive these problems.

These guidelines for starting your own service business are for those who have little or no money to start with. If you have plenty of money (start-up capital) than you can follow these guidelines much easier thanrepparttar 117375 rest of us. So before we get started, remember we are assuming that you have no start-up capital, but are willing to work hard and take a few risks.

First you need to know what you are doing in your new field. A little business knowledge would not hurt either. But you probably do not have time to go back to school. Also, I would imagine you are interested in getting started right away. So, visit your local book store.

If you know nothing about gardening and landscaping pick up a couple of books that coverrepparttar 117376 basics. A good book for everyone is Sunset's Western Garden Book. Not only does it cover allrepparttar 117377 basics and more, it also has a complete encyclopedia of plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers. Each description tells you whatrepparttar 117378 plant is, how to plant it, care for it, requirements, etc.

If you lack a business background buy some good books on business basics. There are many books on running a small business. Remember, most gardeners, landscapers, or interiorscapers that fail do so, not because they did not know their trade, but because they did not understand how to manage their business. In fact, it is almost more important to understand good business techniques than it is to know about plants.

After you have purchased your small library set aside at least one hour a day (morning, evening, lunch-hour, anytime) to study them. Give yourself as much time as you can to read and study. Be sure to divide your time equally between your business and trade books.

Now, I presume you are currently working at another job to support yourself and possibly a family. Rule Number One: DO NOT QUIT YOUR JOB! Start your business part-time. You need your income to survive on while you build your new business. Your new business will take time to develop torepparttar 117379 point where it will support you.

If you have debts (credit cards, auto loans, etc.) try to get them paid off or paid down as much as possible before you start your new business. There will be rough times ahead and you want repparttar 117380 decks cleared for heavy weather. In other words, when cash gets tight you do not want to lose your car or be hauled into court.

Acquirerepparttar 117381 basics you need to get started.

Gardener: A truck or trailer to carry your equipment and debris (although some enterprising people have even started without this). A lawn mower, rake, broom, and other small hand tools. Buy your equipment used if necessary, but shop carefully.

Landscaper: Basically you need hand tools and a truck or trailer. To start with most other tools you can rent.

Interiorscaper: A car or truck is necessary, watering cans, and assorted small hand tools.

Fromrepparttar 117382 basic requirements to start it would seem that interiorscaping requiresrepparttar 117383 smallest capital outlay. This is correct, but starting an interiorscape business is more difficult in other ways. It requires a better understanding of repparttar 117384 trade. Indoor plants are much more difficult to maintain. Also, acquiring accounts is not as easy as in outdoor work. Most, if not all, interiorscape accounts will be commercial, as opposed torepparttar 117385 residential work of gardeners.

For gardeners and landscapers a truck or trailer is a must, but as I mentioned earlier it is possible to start without one for some work. If you are doing maintenance you may be able to get accounts that will allow you to use their equipment and not require you to haul away debris. You will be expected to work very inexpensively, though. If you can get a truck do so.

For both gardeners and landscapers another source of income is from clean-ups. This is simply a one-time job of cleaning up an overgrown landscape. These jobs are hard work, but can be quite profitable.

In every business you have to contend withrepparttar 117386 government. Service businesses are no different. Before you get started investigate what is required in your area. Most likely you will need a business license from your city. The state may require a contractor's license or certification for landscape contractors. Most likely your state will require a pest control license if you intend to apply pesticides. Check out allrepparttar 117387 city, state, and federal rules before you start.

If you can afford it, you should get insurance before you start. If you can not afford it when you first start your business (remember, some activities, in some states, require insurance) then plan on getting it as soon as possible. It is for your own protection. One lawsuit could ruin all your hard work.

I Survived the Landscape Industry Trade Show

Written by Henry Siegel

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long asrepparttar bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

I Survivedrepparttar 117371 Landscape Industry Trade Show Article by Henry Siegel Copyright 2003 by ProGardenBiz Summary: Humorous story about attending an industry trade show. Designed to entertain, but also to encourage trade show attendance.


This isrepparttar 117372 city. Any City, Anywhere. Once a year thousands of professionals from all fields ofrepparttar 117373 Green Industry descend uponrepparttar 117374 Convention Center forrepparttar 117375 Anywhere Landscape Contractor Industry Trade show. In every state, every year, gardeners, landscape contractors, nurserymen, lawn care and grounds maintenance professionals will fillrepparttar 117376 Great Halls of Commerce.

My name is Joe Friday. This is my partner Pete Gannon. Our job? To surviverepparttar 117377 Landscape Industry Trade Show.

Wednesday, April 23rd

10:00am: The doors open. We walk in. We pass through a short hall pleasantly decorated with plants. Several landscaped displays with fountains, waterscapes, and ponds linerepparttar 117378 hall. We turnrepparttar 117379 corner and are face to face withrepparttar 117380 Show Information Booth. Here they are eagerly handing out maps ofrepparttar 117381 showroom. We ignore them and pass intorepparttar 117382 showroom unprepared. Our first mistake.

10:05am: A whirling, twirling display of color and people confronts us. A beautiful girl places a Hawaiian lei around my shoulders. Another is confronting Pete. Someone is explaining repparttar 117383 virtues of a large piece of lawn mowing equipment. I keep my eye on Pete. They've got a pen in his hand.

11:15am: We managed to break away from Hawaii, but it was expensive. Our new lawn care equipment trailer arrives next week. Unless they check Pete's credit. My saving grace.

11:45am: I am spinning a large wheel with numbers on it. To either side of me Las Vegas type dealers are throwing cards out to players at a "21" table. Is this legal here?

11:46am: Pete is shouting "Blackjack, Blackjack!!" Someone is stuffing a package of some kind in my arms. They have my card. I'm told they will call me next week. Pete is signing some papers. I grab his collar asrepparttar 117384 salesman informs him thatrepparttar 117385 lawn mower and edger will be delivered on Monday. I sigh relief as I seerepparttar 117386 salesman putting awayrepparttar 117387 credit agreement. I check for Pete's wallet. It's still there.

12:00pm: We get into line for lunch.

1:00pm: We pick up our lunch and head for a table. We sit down. The face acrossrepparttar 117388 table is familiar. A salesman! I eat fast. As I gobble my last bite I notice Pete smearing mustard on his shirt as he is franticly grabbing at his pen. I grab him byrepparttar 117389 ear and leave.

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