Working in the landscaping business allows you to spend time in nature, either taking care of customers’ lawns or designing and planting gardens to meet customers’ needs and desires. As a landscaper, you have the option to work for an already established landscaping company or venture out on your own and start your own business. While starting your own landscaping business offers multiple benefits, you must consider the factors before determining if it is the right step for you.
When you own a landscape business, you must provide all of the equipment. This includes a commercial-grade lawnmower, edgers and other planting and gardening tools and equipment. You will also shoulder the responsibility when tools and equipment break down. Some landscapers lease equipment and have a service agreement to avoid extensive costs when equipment breaks, but having a lawnmower or other key piece of equipment out of commission for even a day or two will keep you from earning money.
Landscapers typically do most of their work in the spring and summer. While this is true whether you work for a landscaping company or for yourself, this type of schedule becomes more important when you are the owner of the business. If you have a successful landscaping business, you will work long hours during the spring and summer and likely will not have a crew of workers to lighten the load. Unless you find someone to cover for you or have flexible customers, this means you cannot take long vacations in the summer and will fall behind if you get sick or injured.
Because the work is seasonal, you must budget the money you earn during your busiest seasons so that it lasts throughout the year. In addition, as a business owner, you are responsible for self-employment taxes and must fund your own health insurance and retirement. On the positive side, owning your own landscaping business provides you with a greater opportunity to earn more than you would be working for an already established landscaping business because you earn 100 percent of the price of a job instead of a portion of the company’s profits or an hourly wage.
Finding and keeping customers is a challenge for any business. You must find ways to compete with already established landscaping businesses without drastically cutting your rates. This can be done by doing high-quality work and designing beautiful landscapes, but it will take time. You also have to work with multiple customers who all have different desires. It is your job to advise a customer that a certain type of flower will not grow well in a garden and still plant it when the customer insists upon it. When the flower dies and the customer wants her money back or a customer is not happy with the results, you must fix the problem.