Do you have an eye for landscape design and strong management skills? Starting your own landscaping business could be a profitable career move.
But there’s more to running a successful company than knowing how to maintain a healthy lawn and take care of local plants. You’ll also need to know how to create a landscaping business plan.
Your business plan describes your company’s fundamentals. Everything from your marketing strategy to a list of the services you’ll offer lives in this all-important document.
It’s also something you’ll need before you apply for funding. So, what should you include in your landscaping business plan?
No matter what type of landscaping business you are building—a basic lawn maintenance company, landscape design, or something else—you’ll want to include a few key components in your business plan.
Read on to learn what they are and tips for creating a solid plan. We’ll dive into identifying your target market, pricing strategy, and marketing plan.
Why Business Plans Are a Must-Have for Landscaping Companies
When you start a landscaping business, you’ll use your business plan to establish your target audience, competitive advantages, marketing strategy, and pathway to financial success.
Don’t skip this step or put it off until you have extra time. Without a plan, your business won’t be as successful.
The reality is that the landscaping industry is highly competitive. It has a low barrier to entry, enabling lots of green-thumbed entrepreneurs to jump in and start a company.
The good news is you won’t have to invest a lot of money or hire specialized labor to get started. But other new landscaping businesses will have the same easy entry into the local market.
That means it’s possible you’ll face new competition all the time. You’ll also have to distinguish your company from already established competitors.
If your business is going to survive and be successful, you’ll want to be crystal clear on what makes your landscaping services worth your target audience’s time and money.
And that’s where the business plan comes in. It outlines how your company will stand out and attract a steady flow of clients in your area.
The 7 Components of a Good Landscaping Business Plan
You’ll want to include all the basics in your landscaping business plan:
Let’s get started.
1. Executive Summary
This section is your landscaping business plan summary. It provides a condensed version of all the other sections, so you can’t create it until the end.
In short, it will have a brief paragraph describing each of the following:
Company Overview: What’s your company mission, and what problem will it solve for your clients?
Market Overview: Who are your target clients? Which local landscaping companies are your main competitors?
Services Offered: What landscaping services will your business offer?
Management Summary: Who’s on your management team? How will you structure your company?
Marketing Summary: How will your company build brand awareness and motivate your target buyers to use your services?
Financial Summary: How much profit does your new landscaping business expect to earn this year? What about over the next three to five years?
2. Company Description
The company description or company overview dives into your business’s background story and the type of landscaping company you’re starting.
For example, is your company a residential or commercial landscaping business? Does it have a specific niche, such as arborist services or hardscaping construction? Or does it focus on general lawn care and plant maintenance?
You’ll also explain why the founders (you and anyone else) decided to create the business in the first place. Did you recognize a void in the market that needed to be filled, such as budget-friendly lawn care or eco-friendly residential landscaping design?
And if you or any other founders have any awards or accomplishments, now’s the time to brag. These could include years of experience in the industry working for other landscaping companies or special skills or education in arboriculture, backyard restoration, or something else.
3. Market Analysis
Now, it’s time to dive into the landscaping industry and the local market.
The landscaping services industry has been growing steadily over the past five years. It grew despite a pandemic and a looming recession. The average per-year growth from 2017 to 2022 was 9.7 %.
Your business plan should also include information on the local market. You should include how many competitors your business has and the specific services they offer.
Your objective is to create a value proposition in your business plan that distinguishes your company from your competitors. So, you want to figure out what makes your competitors shine. Maybe it’s low prices, professionalism, or highly skilled services. Then, decide why your business will stand out and attract customers.
The market analysis section of your business plan will also look at your target audience and opportunities for growth.
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According to IBISWorld, the biggest opportunity for growth in the landscaping industry right now is high-end residential services. Because households earning $100,000 a year or more tend to have more disposable income, they are a more consistent source of revenue for landscaping companies.
You’ll want to find out if this is the case in your area by exploring market data. You should also determine if there are other market segments that might be underserved.
Additionally, consider where your landscaping business can excel and then play to those strengths.
For example, if you have a small team, you might decide to target lower-income clients, at least right now.
The biggest pain point for this target group is time—they don’t have time to care for their lawns but can afford basic services that are reliable and affordable. Then, that’s where your company comes in to save the day.
As your business grows and you have more income to hire specialized staff, you can start marketing to a higher-end target audience as well.
All these critical decisions come down to the market research you include in your business plan, which might come from data on local households (or businesses if you’re serving commercial clients), general landscaping industry data, and client feedback.
4. Services Offered
Next up—landscaping services.
Your business plan should include a list of the services you are equipped to offer to your clients.
As you acquire new tools and landscaping equipment for your business or bring on employees with specialized skills, you can expand your services.
Here are some of the services your landscaping business might provide:
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5. Management Structure
This part of your business plan lists your leadership team, their roles, and their experience. You can include everyone’s CVs or resumes to add more depth to your plan. This is a good idea if you’re using your plan to apply for funding.
If you’re the only employee right now, that’s fine. Simply list your professional background.
This section also mentions the business structure. You can register as a limited liability company, a sole proprietorship, or a partnership.
The US Small Business Administration provides a helpful overview on registering your business if you’d like to learn more about your options.
6. Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy outlines the communication channels you plan to use to reach customers. It also establishes how you’ll promote your landscaping business.
Your marketing strategy might include the following:
You can also include branding information, such as company taglines and your brand persona. Do you want your landscaping clients to view your brand as reliable, friendly, professional, service-oriented, or something else?
If you have any historical or projected sales data, such as the number of clients you expect to have each month, add that in, too. It’s all helpful information that defines your company’s road to success!
7. Financial Projections
The last component is your financial plan. If you’re starting a new landscaping business, you’ll have to project your income and expenses (which make up the income statement) and your assets and liabilities (which make up the balance sheet).
You’ll also need your cash flow statement, which shows how much cash you expect to have on hand each month.
Cash flow is critical to keeping your business operational. If you have a negative cash flow, you’ll need a business loan to ensure you have enough cash to cover expenses. If you plan ahead, you shouldn’t run into cash flow problems.
When you create your landscaping business plan, you’ll list all of these financial projections per month for the next three to five years.
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How to Determine What Services You’ll Offer
As you flesh out your business plan, you might run into a couple of roadblocks—one of which is service offerings. How do you know what to provide and who to offer them to?
Here are a couple of tips to help you get started:
Research Your Competitors
When considering services, look to your competitors. Which of their services gets the most traction? Is there any way you could offer better quality service—for example, by purchasing better equipment or hiring more skilled staff?
Understand Your Buyers
To hone in on your target audience, create buyer personas that detail your potential clients’ needs, wants, and pain points.
Learn more about your market by reading local reviews written about other companies. Find out what people are complaining about. You can also collect data through surveys.
Determine Your Pricing Strategy
It’s essential to get pricing right. Charge too much for your services, and you won’t attract enough clients. Charge too little, and you might not earn enough income to turn a profit.
As with your services, you’ll want to look to your competitors to determine your pricing strategy. Can you charge slightly less to offer a more affordable alternative? Or, on the other hand, can you offer better value for the same price or a higher price?
How to Market Your New Landscaping Business
Marketing is another area you’ll need to master when you start a landscaping business. It’s the key to reaching clients, building relationships, and establishing your brand.
You can get ideas from other local landscaping businesses, but you can also look at what successful landscaping companies in other cities are doing to market their services.
Browse their Instagram pages—are they featuring their amazing landscaping designs? Are they creating regular blog posts? What about digital and local ads?
Create a strategy that fits your budget, implement it, and measure the results. If you’re not bringing in customers from your marketing efforts, change what’s not working or get help from a professional marketing team.
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A Strong Business Plan Is Your First Step to Success in the Landscaping Industry
Once you have a steady clientele, thanks to your on-point services, pricing, and marketing, you can work your magic. But it all starts with a good plan.
Here are three things you can do today to jumpstart your planning:
List three to five ways your services can stand out. You’ll highlight these in your plan.
Find three landscaping business websites you love. Use these to generate ideas for your marketing strategy.
Schedule a consultation with an accountant. Overwhelmed by the financial aspects? An accountant can help you build a solid profitability plan.