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How To Grow Your Landscaping Business: 10 Essential Steps

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Business Advice

Your landscaping business is doing great. Your customers are satisfied, your employees are content, and everything is seemingly running smoothly. You’re still looking for opportunities to scale your business wherever and whenever you can.

But learning how to grow your landscaping business can be a tall task without knowing the right steps to take.

For those landscape business owners who want to learn how to grow their landscaping business, it’s important to look for best practices inside and outside the industry. We’ve compiled a solid list of strategies to help guide you to growth. Keep reading for 10 ways to grow your landscaping business.

Step #1: Build Your Strategic Plan

The first step to grow your landscaping business is building a strategic plan. Your plan is your five-year vision for the company. It sets the stage for where you want to take your company. Another step is to revisit your plan at least once a year.

A good strategic plan should be straightforward, actionable, and not bog you down in details. The  most important aspect of building your strategic plan is that it be as tangible and specific as possible; from sales goals to dollar amounts to profit expectations. Here are a few steps you can take to help build a successful strategic plan.

“My goal isn’t to make the most money; it’s to be the most profitable. I love my lifestyle now and appreciate having control of my time.”

James Lo Monaco
Owner of Paul’s Best Lawn Care, Fall Church, Virginia

Involve Stakeholders

A stakeholder is anyone with an interest in the decisions or activities of a business. It includes investors, the people you work with and even the customers you provide services to. 

By including stakeholders in your strategic planning process, you get a more complete view of what your company goals should be and how you can manage the interests of everyone involved.

If the interests of your stakeholders vary widely, it’s important to find a middle ground that satisfies their needs and wants without alienating a single party.

Create a Way to Measure Your Plan

Before you create goals, decide how to measure the outcome. Start by deciding the timeline, the benchmarks you’re looking to meet along the way and how you’ll reassess your goals along the way.

Being as specific as possible with your goals makes measuring success easier. 

Here’s a tip: start by identifying a single metric that you want to improve the most. Once you identify that metric, build your strategic plan around how you can improve it and see what other concerns come up.

To learn more about how to grow your landscaping business, watch LMN CEO Mark Bradly’s six-part masterclass webinar.

Do a SWOT Analysis

One way to start building your strategic plan is to conduct a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

Evaluating your strengths and weaknesses helps you figure out what your business is best at and where you might improve. Knowing your opportunities and threats lets you understand what might help or hurt your business now and in the future. 

By identifying these factors, you can understand where your business is within a larger industry perspective and what skills gaps are holding you back from reaching the goals you set for your business. 

Before you begin your SWOT analysis, download the skills gap analysis template to see where might be falling short and how you can start building your strategic action plan to fill those holes.

Step #2: Know Your Numbers

Lack of planning and market knowledge is often cited as one of the top reasons businesses fail. In fact, 18% of small businesses fail because of pricing issues. It’s hard to plan a budget for your business when your finances and pricing strategies are unclear. 

If you want to keep doing what you love in the field, start taking care of business in the office. Simply put, to grow your landscaping business, you need an accurate, functional budget.

Budgeting

For more than 10 years, Jason Cromley operated Hidden Creek Landscaping without a budget.

“I had no idea you should put equipment into every single job and I had never heard the word ‘overhead’ before.”

Now, he’s grown his landscaping business by improving his financial knowledge and adopting landscape management software that helped him build his very first budget. Having a budgeting tool like this can help you accurately estimate and price your landscaping jobs.

It will also let you you answer these questions:

  • Can we purchase that new piece of equipment?
  • Are we able to hire a new foreman?
  • Is our overhead too high?
  • Will we make a profit on that job?
  • Are we on track to meet our sales goals this year?

It’s time to run your business based on accurate financials, instead of gut instinct. Your budgeting software should let you set sales goals, forecast expenses, establish needed markups, and even be compare your budget and costs to industry averages. 

To get started with a budgeting software that’s built for landscapers, create a free account with LMN today.

Building Your Budget

There are 5 essential steps to take to build your budget.

Determine Your Gross Income

Start building your budget by calculating your total gross income from last year. This means adding up all of the money you earned from jobs without subtracting your operating costs. This  gives you a solid baseline for how high or low to set your budgeting goals.

Track Your Spending

Track everything. From water bottles to gas, whether it’s needed and used or not. Keep all of your receipts to find the financial waste your business has. By not tracking all expenses, you could be losing more money than you think.

Set Your Goals

Determine what sales goals you want to hit to recover your waste. Most businesses run off of the break-even point and their desired profit margin. The break-even point is the point where selling a product or service equals the sum of the fixed costs and variable costs incurred to produce a product or service. 

For example, if it costs $10,000 for a design-build project, the break-even point is charging $10,000. That’s the actual cost, not what you think. It’s labor, gas, equipment (including equipment you already own) time, meals, and so on.

Anything past the break-even point is your profit. In landscaping, most businesses aim for a 3% profit margin, meaning a good goal to work toward is 15% above the break-even price (after business expenses and taxes). That means charging $11,500 for that design-build job. 

Once you set your budget with these numbers in mind, continue building your strategic growth plan. 

For a more in-depth view and a step-by-step process to building your landscaping budget, watch Mark Bradley and Mike Lysecki’s hands-on coaching session that teaches you how to start planning for profit today.

Step #3: Implement Process

When you first start your landscaping business, it’s easier to keep track of your estimates compared to actually work done. 

But as your business grows in size and staff, its easy to lose touch of day-to-day operations and finances. Having processes in place early helps you manage your landscaping business and keeps operations running smoothly. 

The following are the most common areas in a landscaping business that benefit from consistent processes.

Estimating

If you’re the only one in your company doing estimating and pricing landscape maintenance services, that’s a serious red flag. Your estimating process should be locked down, with a proven system that virtually anyone on your team can follow. 

Here are a few tips for accurately estimating the cost of landscaping jobs.

Understand the Customer’s Ask

No two landscaping jobs are the same. Take the time needed to assess the job you’re about to do. And jot down the  details, so your estimates are as accurate as possible.

Estimate Overhead Costs

To price for profit, you need to know your overhead costs. This includes vehicle repairs and expenses, tools, equipment purchases or rentals, office rent, leases, etc. You want to keep track of all of this information to accurately estimate jobs.

Estimate Material, Subcontractor, and Labor Costs

Materials costs can be unpredictable. Set your profit margins or markups on materials so that you estimate for profit, but not too much that you lose work from inflated estimates. 

It’s also important to have subcontractors on hand when needed. A good subcontractor’s expertise and presence can make for more efficient jobs. Although the cost for a subcontractor  may be high, it can save time and money down the line and provide a more desirable estimate —and outcome — that fits within a customer’s budget and expectations.

Labor costs and subcontractor costs are two different things. Understanding how your crew looks and works is important for determining needed labor and timelines for a project. Estimate your labor hours and crew numbers as accurately as possible to determine scheduling and timing for future estimates.

While there are always more tips you can implement to make your estimating process more efficient, the best way to estimate your jobs is with a landscaping business management software like LMN. 

Using LMN for your landscaping estimates can eliminate mistakes, increase profits, and speed up job completion times with on-site estimating, inventory tracking, and standardized pricing.

Hiring

As you scale, your need to find, hire, and keep great employees. Ones who help you grow! In order to secure top talent in an industry that already suffers from a labor shortage, you want a well-documented hiring process designed to attract qualified and motivated people to work as part of your team. 

Take the time to outline detailed descriptions for each position, including:

  • Responsibilities
  • Salary  
  • Benefits or perks
  • Performance benchmarks

For help with job descriptions that will attract the right candidates, download free job description templates.

After finding candidates, also be sure to define the interview process including the format,  questions a asked, and your evaluation criteria. 

And, make sure you have a training plan in place and that new employees understand not only what’s expected of them in their current role but what steps they need to take in order to advance.

Time Tracking

Time is money. But, 75% of businesses have problems with time theft, like rounding, buddy punching, and early punch-ins. If you don’t have a modern time-tracking solution in place, you’re losing productivity and ultimately, money. 

Paper timesheets and punch clocks offer barely any insight into where and how your teams are spend their time. The lack of transparency makes it almost impossible to accurately price or invoice jobs.

Employees and/or crew foremen with a mobile time-tracking app can punch in and out of jobs i real-time. You see how much time they spend on jobs, eliminate waste, and increase accountability.

Workplace Organization

Nothing kills productivity faster than disorder. The 5S method is an organizational model that’s been around since the early days of shipbuilding in the 16th century. It’s also been adapted to improve productivity and profit across today’s industries.

Here’s how to apply the 5S method to every area of your landscape business — from office and truck cab to job site.

Sort

Remove or relocate anything that’s no longer being used. Rent a bin and start ditching stuff that’s collecting dust or not serving a purpose. Or sell it.

Create Order

Everything should have its own place. Label shelves, containers, and other storage areas so things can easily be found and put away. Also get every crew their own assigned equipment — from small tools to heavy machines.

Shine

Keep everything from trucks and desks to job sites clean. Schedule regular cleaning and inspections to ensure follow-through.

Standardize

When roles and responsibilities are clear, everyone knows what’s expected of them. Invest in regular training and employee onboarding to improve efficiency. If you need a training solution, check out Greenius

Sustain

Conduct routine inspections to make sure that every one of your crews follows the 5S method and offer rewards for continuous improvement and optimal performance.

“A company that cannot successfully implement the 5S’s cannot expect to effectively integrate large-scale change.”

Hiroyuki Hurano,
Author of 5S for Operators: 5 Pillars of the Visual Workplace

Step #4: Look After Your Crews

Wages

It’s a common misconception that to make more money, you need to minimize wages. This can be an effective strategy in highly structured environments, such as Walmart or McDonald’s. But in the landscape industry, where owners are always learning how to grow the business, have 100 variables a day, and very little structure, the result of cheaper people is typically poor performance.

A poor-performing team reduces profits, which further reinforces the belief that you can’t afford higher wages. Unfortunately, the cycle repeats itself until you arrive at a point where a booming industry offers too few opportunities for rewarding careers.

If you hire cheap, you won’t attract great people. Without great staff, you’ll be forever micro-managing and fixing mistakes. You’ll say goodbye to  your weekends and evenings.

You might save a couple of bucks an hour in wages but you could lose $1,000 per week, or more, in potential revenue because your people don’t work productively and have no reason or motivation to improve.

In addition to paying good wages, you can also offer more diverse benefits packages that keep workers around longer. These should include health insurance, PTO and retirement plans, but can also include access to dental insurance, discounts, equipment, and paid career development. 

To learn more, read how to hire employees for your landscape company for deeper insights about how you can effectively hire for your landscaping business.

Performance-Based Incentives

If employees are rewarded only by the number of hours they work, you’re going to get a lot of staff who are just “in it” for the hours. 

An important part of running a landscaping business is inspiring performance and creating incentives that reward staff. Share your goals with crews. Bonuses given without transparency about how they are calculated are forgotten faster than they’re spent.

Common bonus targets include:

  • Exceeding sales or production targets 
  • Getting out of the yard on time (we saw one company get it down to four minutes!) 
  • Reducing the percentage of unbillable time below a certain threshold 
  • Awarding job bonuses for beating estimated hours without defects or complaints 
  • Offering a company profit-sharing program

“We came up with a profit-sharing program that puts the company first and is funded solely by the profits and the efforts of the people doing the work. It’s a system that holds everyone accountable. We have a whole arsenal of tools like departmental scoreboards and nonfinancial scoreboards that tell us we’re doing things congruent with our values and our mission.”

Ryan Markewhich
Founder of Creative Roots Landscaping, Kelowna, British Columbia

Open Book Management

Open book management is a management approach where employees get company financial information that helps them make better business decisions. Information includes, but isn’t limited to, revenue, profit, cost of goods, cash flow, and expenses. 

The idea, according to John Case (who coined the term in 1993) is that “a company performs best when its people see themselves as partners in the business rather than as hired hands.”

He lays out the following points:

  • The company should share finances as well as critical data with all employees 
  • Informed employees are challenged to move the numbers in a direction that improves the company 
  • Informed employees share in the company’s prosperity

Open book management isn’t for everyone. And it doesn’t mean you have to share everything with your staff. The key is to find the right balance between comfort and performance. No matter what  you share, goals and scoreboards for measurement are key to success.

To get started, hire an open book coach or implement concepts from books like The Great Game of Business, Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business or Open Book Management.

Training and Development Opportunities

Today’s workforce wants training and development opportunities. In a recent study, 74% of workers said they’re willing to learn new skills or retrain to stay employable. And 87% of millennials say access to professional development or career growth opportunities is very important to whether to stick with a job or move on.

Still not convinced that focusing on training will help you grow your landscaping business? Have a look at this stat: companies that offer comprehensive training programs have a 218% higher income per employee than companies without formalized training. That’s a direct boost to your bottom line.

Each employee should have access to a comprehensive job training plan so they feel confident in the work they take on, prepared to contribute efficiently to their team, and know the steps needed to move ahead in the organization. When time or travel costs for training are a concern, Greenius lets you offer online training to your crews.

Step #5: Learn to Step Back and Say No

It’s almost a rite of passage for business owners to work ridiculously long days and take what they can get in terms of business, labor, etc. When you decide to learn how to grow your landscaping business, you need to practice when it comes to time and focus. Growing a bigger business doesn’t mean you work harder. It means you work smarter.

Delegate

It’s not uncommon to see landscape business owners wear every possible hat in their business in a misguided attempt to save money. In reality, their inability to delegate and step back costs them revenue, time and profit. Even worse, they sacrifice much-needed time away, moments with their families, and their mental and physical health.

“But nobody can do it as well as I can,” some say. It’s tough to watch someone else do it wrong, but it’s critical to avoid the temptation to interfere with your employee’s progress. How important? It’s one of our essential tips for organizing your landscape maintenance business

Learning to let go is challenging at first, but a skill that needs mastered. The alternative: micromanagement. Micromanagement has a devastating effect on employee morale, productivity and health — eventually causing your best people to leave. 

Whether it’s a matter of control, trust or change issues, you need to learn to delegate tasks and responsibilities if you want to grow a profitable business. Bottom line: you should be working on your business, not in it.

Be Determined

“If you try to be everything to everybody, you end up being nothing to nobody.”

Decide what services your company will offer and stick to them. It’s tempting to do everything the company down the road does because you feel it’ll help you compete. But, t’s important to stay focused at the onset and build from a foundation of what you’re good at.

Even more important than the type of services you offer is having the ability and confidence to walk away from jobs you know won’t be profitable. It’s tempting to accept a lowball counteroffer on a backyard renovation or take a job far outside of your service area when times are tough. But don’t. 

How can you know if a job is more trouble than it’s worth? If you know how to price services, every estimate you make will recover overhead and costs and include a healthy profit margin. If the numbers don’t add up, just say no. Your bottom line will thank you.

“The art of delegation hinges on communication so when handing off any task for the first time, make sure to outline steps in detail and provide access to required resources.”

Jacki Hart
Owner of Consulting By Hart, Bracebridge, Ontario

Step #6: Get the Right Equipment

One of the ways to grow your landscaping business is by investing in and equipping your employees with the right equipment and tools. Bottom line, better equipment makes jobs go faster, and saves you time and money. It can also reduce risk and injuries.

Here are a few things to consider when it comes to equipment.

New vs. Old

Many contractors struggle with the decision to keep older equipment (with no payments but high repair costs) versus buying new equipment (with payments but low repair costs).

Generally speaking, newer equipment will cost you more in payments but you’ll save on repairs, maintenance, and fuel. Things are also less likely to go wrong with new equipment. Warranties will cover most major repairs. Newer equipment is probably more fuel efficient. 

The hidden cost of owning older equipment is the cost of downtime, lower productivity, and higher liability. When a machine breaks down, the most significant cost isn’t the repair but the productivity lost doing the job by hand. 

The cost of lost revenue potential is higher than most owners realize. If your crew spends a half day wheelbarrowing materials that could have taken half an hour with a machine, you lose time that you could have been using to invest in other revenue-generating work.

Lease vs. Buy

Most contractors like to own their equipment (no payments) because it feels less risky. But, leasing gives landscape business owners the option to have the equipment with minimal (or no) down payments. In exchange, they pay an interest fee. 

With today’s interest rates, it can make more sense for owners to pay interest on the lease and use the capital at their disposal to improve other aspects of the business, such as marketing, office improvements, finding better prices for materials, etc. 

To learn more about which option is right for your landscaping business, check out this article  on leasing equipment vs. buying new.

Step #7: Invest in Marketing

Your business may be surviving on referrals, but if you want to grow your landscaping business, you need to invest in marketing. Those efforts go beyond lawn signs, door hanger flyers, and even Google ads. 

Think about your customer’s entire experience from that first exposure well after the sale is made. If you don’t already have a marketing plan and budget, it’s time to build one. Whether you do it yourself, hire someone or outsource help from a marketing agency or landscape business consultant, in order to build a sustainable business, you need to build s brand that set your company apart from the other guys.

Define Your Target Audience

There are tons of resources out there to help you make a marketing plan for your business. Knowing who your ideal customer is, down to what they read, is the most important part of your marketing plan. 

Without an ideal target audience (or customer), none of the marketing tactics you use will be effective, because they won’t speak to your audience’s needs.

Here are three simple ways to get started defining your target audience:

Geographic Area

Defining geographic area is a simple but effective way to start defining your target audience. 

Think about where most of your customers are located. What problems do they face there? Why can they not solve these problems themselves? How does your service solve these problems in this location? 

Once you answer these questions, you can speak to your target audience on their level.

Demographics

Demographics are a key part of your target audience. Age, gender, race and socioeconomic status are a few of the demographic traits you want to consider when defining your ideal target audience. 

After mapping out your ideal demographics, tailor your marketing messages to address the needs of your target audience. That helps convince them to take action and use your services.

Behavior

The final aspect of your target audience is behavior. Understanding the lifestyle of your target audience is helpful. Finding out what your ideal target audience does for a living, what activities they participate in, and how they typically invest in landscaping services shows you how to promote your business model and marketing strategy so it lines up with their lifestyle choices.

Ideal Customer Descriptions

We recommend taking another step by creating buyer personas for your target audience(s). Create a fictional image of your target customer(s) that include their location, demographics, an behaviors.  

Take your research and further outline the person’s motivations and frustrations when it comes to the need for your service. List their preferred social media channels too. Having buyer personas helps you and/or your marketing team visualize the person(s) they’re targeting to create more effective marketing pieces.

Research

Research is the backbone of your marketing plan and may support or squash any assumptions you had about your market. It informs other key parts of your marketing efforts, which include but aren’t limited to:

Positioning

What do people think about your company? For example, are you known as the budget-friendly landscaping service or the most creative design-build company in town? Is what people think what you want them to think about your company?

Decide and ensure your marketing materials reflect what you want to be known for.

Competitive Analysis

You need to know as much as you can about your competition so you can stand out. Doing a competitive analysis can help. 

Strategy

How will you attract new customers? Will you use a budget for advertising your landscaping business? Or will you use a flyer to set your company and services apart? Whatever you choose, make sure that your strategy speaks to your ideal customer audience.

Budgeting

Start with an annual marketing budget and break it down by month. And consider spending more during the off-season to ensure you’re fully booked for the busy season.

Measurement

The only way to know which of your marketing efforts are working and which aren’t is to measure results. Most digital marketing can be measured using the channel’s built-in tools, for example Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. Allow campaigns to run for a set period of time and then evaluate them. 

You can even ask people how they heard about you or use a capture form on your website

Based on the findings, reallocate your budget to higher-performing tactics and drop the rest.

Marketing Tactics

Landscaping businesses are both traditional and new marketing tactics. Many are using the web, paid online advertising, and social media to make themselves more visible. To keep up, consider promoting your company in as many places as possible online.

Great marketing can beat cheap pricing. Don’t fear pricing your services to match the quality you deliver. Instead, be protective of your brand and reputation and you’ll close profitable projects that secure repeat customers.

“Have a website that shows your portfolio off and differentiates you in the industry.”

Mark Bradley
CEO LMN

Your brand is your business. Pay attention to the following traditional and non-traditional marketing tactics to attract, engage, and convert new customers.

Branding

Is your business name, logo, colors, and look and feel up-to-date? Or is it in need of some love?

Website and Social Media Presence

It’s one thing to have a Facebook or Instagram page. It’s another thing to use it effectively and consistently. Invest in creating and updating your social media marketing tactics to speak about who you are, what you offer, and to share your work.

Print Material

The quality of your print materials, including business cards, brochures, and stationary, should  reflect the quality of your landscaping business.

Sales Materials

A slick, professionally-designed brochure, website, presentation, and proposal package will leave the right impression every time.

Age and Cleanliness of Trucks and Equipment

Prospective customers expect some dirt on your vehicles. That said, if they look like they’ve driven through a swamp and were taken from a junkyard, you risk giving people the wrong impression about your business.

Job Site Organization

It’s easy to miss the image your job sites may be creating. A customer’s neighbors are the easiest new customers you can get. But if they walk by a disorganized, messy, and hazardous job site, you won’t likely get their business.

Uniforms

Uniforms make your crews easily identifiable on a job site. When they’re clean and well cared for, they can be an effective walking billboard for your business.

Step #8: Implement a Sales Processes

If you don’t have a documented sales process for your business, you’re losing money. Every aspect of your sales process should be locked and loaded with the goal of closing 80% of your leads. Sound high? It’s perfectly reasonable to close 80% when every salesperson is following a proven, repeatable process.

Inform Your Process

Ensure you have answers to the following questions to inform your process:

What Are You Selling?

Design-build, maintenance, turf, snow services, etc. What are you selling and what is the percentage breakdown?

What Are Your Tevenue Target for Each Service?

Work back from your goals to break down how much revenue you want to gain from each of your provided services.

What Does Your Sales Funnel Look Like?

Most sales funnels look like this. Modify yours so it is built to your specifications.

Why Would a Customer Pick Your Business?

Tip: Forget about being unique, aim for uncommon! Everyone competes on price and best service. Instead, compete on how well or differently you work. For example, become the best listener so you can tailor your presentation to address a prospective customer’s challenges or needs. 

To set your business apart from others, even in the off-season, offer specialties such as winter landscaping services or sustainable landscaping practices. These add value to your business and your customers and help you stand out from companies that offer the same services each year.

“If you’re selling residential design-build projects, never meet a prospective customer in their yard. Ensure that the first meeting has you walking through their home to sit at their kitchen table. You’ll get a great feel for their style based on their decor so when you do make it to the backyard, for example, you’ll be able to pitch concepts they’ll love.”

Mark Bradley
CEO • LMN

The Basics of a Sales Process

Identify Your Step-by-Step Process

You and your sales team should know exactly what to do when a lead comes in. The entire process should be outlined; from qualifying a potential customer as the good fit for your company to scheduling a meeting; to creating a professional (and accurate) estimate that helps you close your deal.

Develop a Sales Package

A sales package includes the presentation you or your sales team gives to your customer, the uniform (or outfit) worn, and the camera (or phone) brought along. 

Your brand is your business, so make sure you’re professional and consistent with every detail.

Create a Leave-Behind Package

Leave a nicely packaged folder that may include: a brochure, price list or estimate, business card, and a one-pager that outlines the next steps or references. A branded item, like a key chain or similar item, can be a nice include too.

Follow the Process

Train your people on your sales process. Your entire process, right down to the estimate template, should be repeatable with almost anyone able to step in and sell. Repeatable process make it easy to scale.

Track Customer Communications with a CRM

A stack of business cards in your truck, notes scrawled on scrap paper or random contacts added to your phone are difficult ways to handle customer communication. 

Instead, use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, so critical information including contact information, work history, and communication history is easily accessible.

Sell Only to Your Ideal Customer

It’s tempting to take whatever work comes your way to grow your landscaping business. Don’t. Say no to work that doesn’t match your services or customer profile. 

You can end up losing money and credibility on work that doesn’t align with your brand and target customer. 

Teach your team how to qualify customers so they sell to the right people, every time.

Delight Your Customers

Landing a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. And whether you do maintenance, design-build and/or snow removal, there’s always an opportunity for repeat business and referrals.

Find ways to go above and beyond for your customers. Maybe create a Facebook group for your  customers where you provide gardening tips and other related education. Or, perhaps it’s a direct mail piece that gets sent out for holidays or birthdays each year. Even a 5% increase in your customer retention can increase profits from 25% to 95%.

Step #9: Never Stop Learning

As a business owner, you always want to be learning. 

It can be challenging to learn how to manage a landscaping business, have a life and then carve some time out for professional development on top of it all. But it’s an important way to keep up with design trends, marketing tactics, and achieve your business goals.

Get a Mentor

Find someone who has already walked a mile in your boots and learn from their experience. Whether it’s a parent, successful friend or fellow entrepreneur, you owe it to yourself and your business to expand your horizons. A successful leader will feel a sense of responsibility (and excitement) to share lessons learned with other business owners. 

If no one comes to mind, join local networking groups, landscape associations, and/or attend events. And if all else fails, hit up a website like MicroMentor where mentored business owners increase revenues by 83%. 

Having someone to bounce ideas off who’s been in your situation will make you feel supported on what can sometimes be a lonely journey.

In addition to leaning on a mentor, LMN also offers educational resources and on-demand webinars hosted by landscaping industry veteran Mark Bradley that give you insights into growing profits for your landscaping company and running a successful business.

Read Up

Whether you pick up a paperback or tune into a podcast, make some time every day to learn new business skills. Read a chapter a night before bed or listen to a podcast when traveling to and from your job sites. 

Jason Cromley is a landscape industry speaker and owner of Hidden Creek Landscaping, a $12M landscape company in Columbus, Ohio. He says, “I read business books because I have to in order to grow.”

The following is a selection of top business books and podcasts submitted by landscape business owners who use LMN:

Book Cover - How to win friends and influence people
Think and grow rich book cover
Good to Great by Jim Collins book cover
Masters of scale book cover
  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
    Recommended by Caleb Auman of Auman Landscaping
  2. Think and Grow Rich: This Book Could Be Worth a Million Dollars by Napoleon Hill
    Recommended by Shawn Spencer of Spencer’s Lawn Care
  3. Good to Great by Jim Collins
    Recommended by LMN CEO Mark Bradley
  4. Master of Scale with Reid Hoffman
    Recommended by LMN CEO Mark Bradley

Make your own training as important as training for your employees. Events are a great opportunity for you and your staff to learn and network.

When you’re at tradeshows like GIE + Expo, SIMA or LO Congress, block off time to attend conference sessions. Have a look at the schedule beforehand so you can be strategic about the sessions you select. 

For more frequent opportunities to learn (and network), join your local landscape association and subscribe to their newsletter to help you keep current.

Step #10: Embrace New Tools

Landscape business management software is a that can be an key part of how you grow your landscaping business. By using a landscape management software that reduces the time you and your team spend on administrative tasks and creates cost and time-saving efficiencies, you can overcome resource limitations and manual processes that slow your growth. 

Download this e-book to learn more about the challenges landscape management software solves and how to find the right one for your business.

Here are a few ways a good software solution can help your business.

Sidestep Lost Opportunities

Grab your team and take a critical look through your processes. See what could be done faster, better and as a result, more efficiently. 

All of the time-consuming manual paperwork and repetitive processes your do can be replaced with a smart landscape business management solution that takes an estimate all the way from job costing, to estimating and scheduling to invoicing.

A tool, like software, can help you grow your landscaping business effectively. It can help you do  more in less time, gain visibility it project progress, crew time, and much more. 

“Thanks to LMN, we can now identify real-time and real-world profitability and have doubled our annual revenue.”

Jim
Cornerstone Horticultural Services, Chicago, Illinois

Stay Informed without Being Everywhere at Once

When you get your numbers and processes in a tool, like LMN, you can make informed decisions that can help you grow your landscaping business, increase profits, and keep employees and customers happier. 

Here are just a few of the sources of information your business can access with management software.

Time Tracking

Digital time-tracking software lets you know where your employees are and what they’re working on when. Noticing that crews are finishing certain jobs faster than you anticipated? Add another service call to their schedule and take advantage of that increase in productivity. With LMN, you can use that data to increase the accuracy of future estimates too.

Job Site Documents and Photos

When you have a management tool that lets you track jobs, you can also track project documents and photos to share with crews and customers and create a record. You can use those photos to protect your business from future liability too.

How to Grow Your Landscaping Business

Despite consistent challenges, including the struggle to attract a quality labor force and a changing climate, the global landscaping and gardening services market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5% through 2025. Landscape business owners can maximize their share of this consistent industry growth with the ideas presented here, including a business management solution.

From knowing your numbers and your target market to implementing processes across key business functions and investing in your people, you can use new strategies to grow — whether you want more profit, more free time, more loyal customers, something else, or all of it.

Whether implementing a new business management software or saying no to work, managing how to grow your landscaping business takes time. But the time spent is worth it. 

Best of luck as you grow the landscaping business of your dreams.

“Everybody knows what they sold the previous year but they don’t know how much it cost to complete the work, which means they don’t know if they’re profitable.”

Mark Bradley
CEO • LMN

One of the best ways to help grow your landscaping business is with a landscape business management software like LMN. With LMN, you can manage your landscaping business from end-to-end, with tools that make it easy to create estimates, track schedules and time, simplify the invoicing and payroll processes, and operate more efficiently, all of which ultimately leads to increased profit and growth.

You can try LMN any time. Simply create a free account, or sign up for a live demo to learn more.

Questions? We have Answers.

What Is the Most Profitable Part of Landscaping?

The most profitable area of landscaping is design-build projects and maintenance services. Landscape businesses can achieve higher profit margins and sustainable growth by focusing on these areas.

How Do I Promote My Landscaping Business?

To promote your landscaping business, invest in marketing, such as creating an engaging website, using SEO strategies, leveraging social media platforms, and developing an ideal target audience. Don’t forget to build strong relationships with customers and within your community by delivering good work and participating in local events and networking with other businesses.

How Profitable Is a Landscaping Business?

The profitability of a landscaping business largely depends on factors such as location, services offered, and effective management strategies. Most landscape businesses reportedly make between a 5% and 20% profit annually.

How Can I Make My Landscaping Business Profitable?

You can make your landscaping business profitable by streamlining operations, introducing efficient management practices, and prioritizing client satisfaction. You can also invest in targeted marketing efforts to increase your customer base and drive revenue growth.

Have additional questions?
Chat with us live during business hours or contact sales.

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