Landscaping is a surprisingly large mini industry all of its own within the gardening sector, with an annual worth of over £28 billion. Whether domestic hedge management or commercial installation, landscaping is a lucrative endeavor – and an easy on-ramp for someone skilled to start their own business. If you are interested in starting up your own landscaping enterprise, how should you proceed?
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Starting up in landscaping is simple enough on paper, and can be just as simple in practice – especially if you are starting out as a one-person operation in your local neighborhood. However, there are some key essentials you will need to possess in order to succeed properly.
The first and most essential relates to your skills and experience. Do you possess the necessary understanding of your chosen niche to operate with a level of authority? If not, you can shore up your experience and enthusiasm with a qualification in your chosen corner of the market.
You will also need to engage with the financial side of starting your business. Even as a sole trader, there are some not-insignificant start-up costs relating to getting your trade of the ground. The biggest outlays come in the form of tools and your work vehicle – though some larger items of equipment can be rented until your business is turning enough of a profit to justify further investment.
With the assurance that you will be able to compete within your chosen niche, your next step should be to ensure that you can operate safely and legally. Chiefly, this involves registering your business with HMRC.
If working alone, you can keep things simple and declare yourself a sole trader; here, all business profits are treated – and taxed – as personal income, and expenses can be declared to mitigate your tax obligation.
If you intend to hire staff, you should incorporate your business as a limited company. This enables potential employees to access PAYE, and also protects you from any economic troubles your business may encounter.
One of the larger deciding factors between success and failure of a growing landscaping business is that of the relationships you form.
Relationships with suppliers are particularly important to foster early on, in order to ensure the timely delivery of quality materials for each project. If you need a delivery of paving stones for a large-scale patio job, you want to know your supplier will provide the right volume on time.
Similarly, building positive relationships with clients can build your business’ long-term resilience. Trade work of any kind is largely benefitted by word-of-mouth recommendation; particularly with regard to commercial clients, you may be able to secure yourself regular work through proper relationship building.
Launching Your Business
All that remains is to launch your business proper. Creating a business profile with Google enables you to list your contact information and appear in search results. Further to that, building a small website to host your portfolio, testimonials and information about your experience can serve to increase your organic enquiries.