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The Basics of Starting a Lawn and Landscape Company

My goal is to bring lawn and landscape professionals great information, advice, tips, and strategies. I love this business and want to see others learn, grow, and be successful.

You have picked a great field to be in. The SERVICE Industry. The service industry can survive in tough times alot easier while other business such as retail have rent, employees, or big expenses. You can start a lawn and landscape company with little capital, but you must become an expert in your business as your customer will turn to you for advice.

Read as many books on this industry as you can get your hands on. Just one idea from a book could make or save or you thousands of dollars. I recommend starting with good landscaping books that describe:

all the plants, shrubs, and trees
tells the environment they can live in
how to care for them

Plus, you should read basic business books. I majored in sales and marketing in college and still learn something valuable in every sales and marketing book I read. I have seen many owners of companies have great service and great employee management, but neglect the marketing side. After your business gets going marketing should consume about 90% of the business.

If you are just starting, don't go after commercial accounts until later. One reason is commercial accounts pay 30 - 60 days out. You can't afford to keep your money tied up that long. Residential accounts pay immediately. Plus, if you go after commercial accounts early you may greatly underbid or realize you don't have the equipment to handle it.

I recommend not being the lowest price in the neighborhood. You want to sell yourself and service. Professionalism is ALWAYS key. Look neat and wear a uniform. Don't get caught off guard without business cards, fliers, and a clipboard.

If a potential customer needs an estimate always try and meet with him face to face. This is better because of two reasons:

1. You have a much better chance of getting the account
2. If you get the account, try and up sell additional services.

This is much better than looking at a potential clients lawn when he is not home and calling him with a quote. You have failed to make a connection with him and all he knows is a voice.

I can guarantee that if you do a great job, maintain professionalism, and market your services you will eventually have all the work you can handle. Best of Luck!

Kevin Whiteside is the owner and editor of LawnForum.com Monthly, an online newsletter for lawn and landscape professionals. Get a FREE subscription here LawnForum@aweber.com He is also the author of "Turn High Grass Into Cold Cash - How to Start the Ultimate Lawn Service" www.GrassToCash.com

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