3 Tips For Operating A Successful Landscaping Business

If you’re running a landscaping business, there are a number of strategic dead-ends to be aware of, as well as potential improvements you can make to the structure of your business.

Learning from the mistakes of others, as well as reflecting on the direction that you want to take your landscaping business, is crucial to your commercial success. Running any business successfully is less about sweeping changes and more about consistently rational decisions that place economic integrity over personal ambition.


Here are three tips for operating a successful landscaping business:


Calculate what tools and supplies you will need - then buy them all in bulk

One of the easiest ways to lose track of expenditure in business is by managing your stock poorly. In landscaping, your tools and equipment are the most valuable capital you own. Without them you will not be able to do your job, but every time you have to buy a new tool or material, you take money out of your business. 


The dilemma you face is whether you should buy a considerable number of tools, equipment, and building materials upfront or wait for projects to come along that demand it. It is tempting to pick the latter option because it feels like a waste to buy in bulk upfront. 


However, in reality, it is far more cost-effective to buy a lot of equipment upfront and be able to instantly grab any project opportunity that comes your way, rather than only buy certain tools or materials when you need them for a project. Your business will be more prepared, your members of staff will have suitable tools to do a high-quality job, and you will be able to keep note of exactly how many tools you have and how much it will cost you.


This, in turn, makes it easier to calculate your monthly outgoings and budget for a future bulk order from a wholesaler like Tradefix Direct.


Don’t go crazy on the overheads - or you will find it harder to remain solvent when projects dry up

Buying enough tools upfront to manage costs and remain organized does not mean you should rack up unnecessary overheads. Many companies are tempted to scale up before they are ready - hiring more staff than they need, leasing company cars, and expanding into areas they don’t need to be in.


This danger is particularly stark in the landscaping industry. On the face of it, the business model is simple, but it can be tempting to believe that if you had a few more vans, new members of staff, and started offering a dizzying array of services, then you would attract more customers and your business would succeed.


Often, the opposite ends up happening. The larger your business becomes, the more you have to pay in leasing deals, tooling costs, wages, and taxes. If your customer base doesn’t increase to match (or you experience a quiet month), you are left vulnerable to debt and excessive stress.


It also makes it harder for you to keep track of your projects. If you only have a few employees, you can oversee them, give them instruction and maintain strict quality control. If you expand, you will lose track of your own business, appear disorganized and perhaps lose customers as a result


Establish lasting relationships with clients who can give you consistent work

Landscaping is, by its very nature, a time-consuming business that requires you to tool up for every project and deal with a variety of challenges - from keeping clients happy to encountering hidden issues with the outdoor space you’re looking after. While you should always seek new customers, it is far more efficient to find a small number of long-term contracts which you can rely upon month after month, rather than gaining short-term contracts in fits and bursts.


This can increase the success of your business for a couple of reasons. Firstly, you will quickly get a lie of the land when you work at a property for weeks and months on end, allowing you to better understand which tools you need, how many staff members are required, and how long the work takes every day.


Secondly, when your contracts are signed for long periods of time, you will know exactly how much money will be coming in and going out over the course of many months, not weeks. You can then use this consistency to focus on improving your training methods, looking for more lucrative contracts, and making your business more efficient.


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