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Landscaping is an industry involving the outdoor design and installation of sod, trees, plants, walkways, patios, driveways, retaining walls, and so much more to do with improving your outdoor environment. It is a very profitable industry to set up a business in if you are knowledgeable and good with your hands.
There are a couple of different sub-industries within the field of landscaping that you can specialize in. Each require their own skill sets, tools, and knowledge base. If you are deciding that you want to get into the landscaping industry you should start with one of these two:
Softscape and Hardscape
The easiest way to think of these two different fields within the landscaping industry is that softscape refers to anything soft-ish. Meaning things like grass, flowers, plants, trees, and so on. Whereas hardscape refers to anything that is installed that is hard like concrete and natural stone.
Let us get into the difference between these two further and the types of things you should consider doing to start your business within either industry.
As we had previously stated, softscaping is the design, installation, and care of grass, plants, trees, mulch, and soil. This is a great way to get started in the landscaping industry. Things you should consider include how to maintain a lawn, identify different types of plants and trees, and the installation of various types of softscape products.
A good way to start your softscape business is to sign up some lawn care contracts. These will bring you in some steady income, you can plan the amount of work you will be doing each week and how long it will take you, and it will get your business some cash flow to experiment with new things.
You can add spring and fall clean up, mulch installs, and design work later when you are feeling more comfortable and knowledgeable. The great part about starting a softscape business is that the tools and equipment required for it is minimal. It is also a good way to add the following into your softscape business.
Hardscaping is the design, installation, and care of walkways, patios, driveways, retaining walls, pergolas, gazebos, and other outdoor structures. This involves more knowledge to add and and equipment to include into your business. This can really start to add up in cost, so it could be best to start with a softscape business to get some cash flow into your business before expanding into hardscaping. You could alternatively follow our guide of .
If you know how to sell jobs on an ongoing basis and bring in more leads to your hardscaping business it can improve your business revenue dramatically. Much like softscaping, you should continuously seek education on the subject to improve your techniques and efficiency, as well as your knowledge of new products to help improve your business. Our guide on how to build with walkways, patios, driveways, and retaining walls is a good start.
Creating a network that can help you get started in either of these fields within the landscaping industry can really help you elevate your business when you first start-up. It never hurts to start your business on the side while continuing to work another job until you reach a certain level where you can start to do your business full-time. This helps with knowing that you always have money coming in from your regular job and provides some security should you decide that landscaping is just not for you.
It also never hurts to go work for another contractor for a little bit to gain some more hands-on knowledge. Alternatively you could work for a landscaping supplier like I did to learn as much as you can from some experts about the product and installation. This is a great place to work if you want to do some work on the side. Or, failing both of those suggestions, you can ask some family members or friends if they want some work done at their house and if you could practice your new found skills on their project.
Landscaping is a physical game, hardscaping a little more so than softscaping, so you should plan to be in good shape and take care of your body while you are working. Proper personal protective equipment is necessary and other things like knee pads will keep your body from falling apart later in life. Always stretch and eat and hydrate throughout the day to keep you going.
Improving someone’s house and seeing how much they enjoy their new outdoor space is worth all the work that goes into completing a project. Not only that, but seeing the money coming in and running a successful landscaping business is extremely satisfying.
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