How to Start a Colorado Springs Landscaping Business

Any new business venture requires sweat, perseverance, ingenuity, as well as a bit of luck, and creating a landscaping company is no exception. Long days, stress, and continuous problem-solving await the individual spearheading the startup, but it also brings several advantages. For those entrepreneurial in spirit, the landscaping profession offers the freedom of the outdoors and, more importantly, the glamour of being your own boss.

So, if you have an affinity for the outdoors and the motivation to create a business from the ground up, the following guidelines will help you find success in your new enterprise.

Local Research

Starting a new business can feel overwhelming, and the last thing you want is to fall trap to the void of indecision. To avoid this state of crisis, begin by researching the local competition. Given the exponential growth of the housing market in Colorado Springs, landscaping remains a healthy industry. As such, your internet search results will return hundreds of companies to examine.

At first sight, the listings on the first page of Google may appear the most formidable, but it’s worth diving deeper. Analyze each website and take note of the aesthetic, notable keywords, as well as the different pages the site has for each service or product.

Next, review your findings and prioritize what you liked most about the landscaping website and what you think could be improved. You’ll use these insights to help you create your company’s online presence. More on this later.

Paperwork

Before you can operate your landscaping business in Colorado Springs, you need to register it with the Colorado Secretary of State. You should consult your local tax authority to determine the best legal entity for your business and file the proper paperwork accordingly. A few of the most common business structures for small-business are Sole-Proprietorship, Partnership, and LLC (limited liability company).

While several states require landscapers to obtain a contractor license, Colorado does not. Naturally, this benefits you as the business owner since it’s less administrative work and fees. Still, it does open the trade to less reputable institutions that don’t put the best interests of customers first.

To stand out from the crowd and showcase your ethical business practices, considering filing with the Better Business Bureau of Colorado to become an accredited business. Customers have come to trust the BBB as a reliable resource to discover reputable organizations.

Furthermore, it may be worthwhile from a reputation perspective to obtain membership with the ALCC (Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado). The ALCC is a state-wide trade association dedicated to serving landscape communities like Colorado Springs.

Equipment

Landscaping design and installation requires an assortment of equipment to ensure safety and quality. First and foremost, you’ll need to invest in a reliable pickup truck. It will serve as the bedrock of your business. While it’s possible to scrape by without a truck at first, it’s not sustainable.

An ideal start-up package to help ensure success as a prosperous landscaping professional includes at minimum a truck, a trailer, and hand tools such as a trenching shovel and pickaxe.

Depending on the nature of the landscaping project that you’re hired to oversee, you will likely need to either purchase or rent the following pieces of machinery:

  • Rototiller: Churns and breaks soil; useful for soil amendment and preparation for sod installation.
  • Skid-steer Loader: Helps save on labor for excavation and landscaping material installation.
  • Trencher: Helps expedite irrigation installations by machine digging trenches.
  • Tractor with Dozer Blade Attachment: It’s in the name, Land-scaper. A tractor with a dozer blader will bring you grading skills to the next level.

As your business grows, it’s worth purchasing the above items versus renting to maximize your profit.

Advertising

We live in an economy sustained by instant gratification, and as a result, you’ll need to sculpt an online reputation. The process of building your company’s rep includes a company website, facebook page, as well as several other social media outlets designed to illustrate your talent and previous projects. Prospective customers will focus on visual media in conjunction with reviews left by past clients.

Don’t lose heart, but it will take substantial time for Google to recognize your new website as trustworthy and relevant. An excellent method to help increase your search result chances and highlight your expertise is through a blog. It requires time and diligence but will be worthwhile in the long term.

Apart from organic advertisement, as outlined above, to get the ball rolling, you’ll need to set aside capital for paid advertising. Several online outlets are popular amongst consumers and offer paid advertising solutions, with Google and Facebook among the most prominent.

Estimates

Part of the game includes meeting with potential customers to discuss their project and provide a free estimate or price quote. Although this requires your time, you won’t get paid unless the homeowner decides to hire you for the job. Don’t despair if you get a few noes; the fact that you’re meeting with customers in the first place is a positive sign.

During your meetings, be honest with the customer and explain your specific methodology for landscaping work. Over time, you’ll learn what works best for you and fine-tune your presentation skills. After all, people are buying your personality in addition to the services and products you offer.

Final Thoughts

Operating a business requires as much work, if not more, as raising a family, and it can be just as rewarding. In a sense, your company is like another child and will require attention and nurturing. As the owner of a landscaping business in Colorado Springs, you’ll have the beauty of the Rocky Mountain Front Range as your office and the freedom you’ve always dreamt of.

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