Many homeowners hire professional landscapers to keep their yards looking great, making it a reasonably secure industry. If you dream of starting a landscaping business, the following tips can help you get it off the ground.

1. Develop a Business Plan

It doesn't matter if you have been mowing lawns since high school; any serious business should have a formal business plan. A business plan is a roadmap for your business, where it will go, and how it will get there. Even micro-businesses can benefit from having one and referring to it regularly.

Be sure to consider everything from your business name to your target market to how you will finance it. There are numerous resources available to help you develop a business plan. For example, you will find a template that fits your needs online. You can also turn to local Small Business Administration offices for one-on-one assistance.

2. Protect Your Assets With Insurance

Landscaping insurance is an essential part of your operations. Many landscape business owners find they need several policies to be fully insured. For example, you may need workers' compensation and liability insurance depending on where you operate. Equipment and business property coverage are a couple of others.

When shopping for insurance, look for a company with experience covering your industry. This will help ensure you get the coverage you need. Otherwise, you could find out too late that your policy doesn't cover commercial mowers or injuries while performing work-related tasks.

3. Invest in Professional Grade Equipment

Speaking of professional-grade equipment, this is one area where you want to ensure you get everything right. Visit commercial dealers and ask about their most popular brands. Compare everything from prices to reliability to warranty coverage before making a decision.

If you know other landscapers, ask their opinions about the equipment they use now and what they have used in the past. Of course, your personal experience may also influence your decision. No matter what brands you choose work with a shop offering maintenance and repair services to streamline that process.

4. Get the Word Out About Your Services

You want to start advertising as soon as possible. This can take the form of traditional ads in local papers or the radio, but others might be just as effective. For example, creating a social media page to generate interest in your services can work well, especially if you already have a large social circle.

Building a website is another excellent idea. It can inform potential customers about your services, service area, and pricing. It is also a great place to showcase specials, pictures of previous work, and customer testimonials. Be sure to also claim and update your business Google profile since this is a popular way for people to find local businesses.

5. Ask Customers for References and Referrals

You can't post testimonials on your website if you don't ask for them. Be bold in this area. Consider strategies encouraging reviews, such as having a QR code directing customers to a feedback form on your invoices.

You also want to learn about asking for referrals. This can take some practice, but most satisfied customers are happy to share your name with friends and family. You can encourage it by offering a discount, such as a percentage off for each referred customer that signs up for a service.

6. Sign Up With Online Marketplaces

Online service marketplaces allow providers to create searchable listings by individuals who join the service. Someone who needs a lawn service might turn to the app to find a local provider. If you match their needs, the customer can contact you and ask for an estimate.

Landscapers are in high demand. If you are considering starting a landscaping business, take steps to ensure its success, such as creating a business plan, buying insurance, and getting your name out to potential customers.