What Is Commercial Landscaping – Information On Commercial Landscape Design
What is commercial landscaping? It is a multi-faceted landscaping service that includes planning, design, installation, and maintenance for businesses big and small. Learn more about the profession in this article.
What Do Commercial Landscapers Do?
What do commercial landscapers do? Commercial landscape design and services do a lot more than you might think. It is not just mow and blow.
- Commercial landscapers can help you plan and install a work place frontage that is within your budget and inviting.
- They can provide monthly or seasonal maintenance services for weeding, mowing, trimming, pruning, and plant replacement.
- They can proactively see what needs to be done so your business looks its best.
There are many benefits to investing in your commercial landscape. Unattractive landscaping gives your customers a bad impression. On the other hand, studies show that a nicely maintained landscape is pleasing to look at, improves worker productivity, and attracts new clients. If you invest in attractive landscaping, you can use this opportunity to reflect your ecological values to your clients. Install native and site appropriate plants, water gardens, and sustainable hardscape materials and let your clients know you are doing so. Put up a sign that advertises your earth-friendly practices.
Choosing a Commercial Landscaper
When choosing a commercial landscaper, look for a firm that communicates well with you. They should contact you via voice or email on a regular basis and let you know what needs to be done, what has been done, and how long it might take. They should be proactive about potential landscape opportunities and problems.
Choose a commercial landscaper whose invoices are clear and transparent. You need to know where your money is going. You want someone with experience. Ask for references and locations where you can look at their work.
Starting a Commercial Landscaping Business
If you are thinking about starting a commercial landscaping business and already work in the industry, there are a number of issues to consider. Do you prefer to work with professionals over homeowners? Residential design and installation is typically performed on a smaller scale.
Commercial landscaping firms require additional or larger crews and possibly superintendents. You will need to be comfortable delegating the work. Are you ready to upgrade your tools and equipment? Is your book-keeping and invoicing in order? Commercial businesses may require more paperwork and professional documentation along with the work you perform.
Build your client base by asking your business-owning residential clients if they need any help. Commercial landscaping can be profitable and satisfying, but you need to be sure you are ready for the transition. Good luck!
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How to Start a Landscaping Business
A landscaper is different from other people. A landscaper combines heavy manual labor with intense creativity to accommodate jobs that always require hard physical work and can vary dramatically from one project to another. It takes a special kind of person to start a landscaping business, but if you are that person, you should have no problem getting started with the advice contained in this article.
What Is Commercial Landscaping?
A landscape might include trees, shrubs, grass, native plants, rocks, bricks, retaining walls, pathways, courtyards, rain gardens, filtration elements, lighting, irrigation systems, water features, patios, furniture and more. The environment is only limited by the imagination of its designer.
A professional master plan is usually the first step in creating a great indoor or outdoor space. Sit with a professional who can assess the site, analyze the sunlight and soil, and help you narrow down the choices of color, texture, shape and other characteristics.
How To Start A Landscaping Business In Arizona
You must complete certain steps in order to start your landscaping or lawn care company in Arizona. Your Arizona landscaping business could include gardening, lawn mowing, leaf removal, excavation, tree work, and more. You can find the links to help get your new landscaping business registered in Arizona below. You may want to start here: How To Start A Landscaping Or Lawn Care Business. You must do your own thorough research, as laws change regularly.
Getting started– The official website about how to start a business in Arizona is found here: Arizona Business Startup Checklist
One of the first things you will need to do is register your landscaping business name.
Find out more about registering a fictitious name or DBA (“Doing Business As”) here: https://www.azsos.gov/business/trade-names-and-trademarks
More on selecting a name for your new business here: How To Choose A Business Name
Before registering your landscaping business, you will need to select your business structure.
Sole-proprietor, LLC, Partnership, Corporation, etc. Find out more here: http://www.azcommerce.com/media/125156/AZEE2013chptr4.pdf
You will need to register your landscaping business with the state of Arizona.
You can register your landscaping business with the state of Arizona here: Arizona Business License
You will need to open a business account at your bank.
You will need to open a separate bank account for your landscaping business with your new business name.
You will need to register your landscaping business for tax purposes and may want to hire an accountant.
If you are a small company, it is not too difficult to file your own taxes. As you grow, it will be easier to have an accountant do the work. More info about taxes here: http://www.azdor.gov/Business.aspx and http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Starting-a-Business
You may need landscaping software.
Landscaping software will streamline your business before you even start, giving you visibility and control over all your leads, sales, jobs, and tasks from a single program to get your company on the fast track toward growth.
You’ll also be able to create estimates, place material orders, automate the boring (but necessary) stuff, empowering you and your team to finish jobs on time and on budget. Try JobNimbus for Free!
You will need to get some form of liability insurance.
We work with ContractorsLiability.com because they’re the one-stop-shop for General Liability insurance and are able to get online quotes in all 50 states. Learn more >
You may need to register as a contractor with the state of Arizona.
You may need to register as a landscaping contractor in Arizona. The registration application is found here: Arizona Contractor Registration.
You may need worker’s compensation if you have employees.
The insurance agency that provided your liability insurance should be able to help with this.
You will be responsible for your own health insurance.
Since you will be self-employed, you will need your own health insurance. If you have employees, you will need a plan that will include their health needs also.
You may need a city license.
You may be required to obtain a license to operate your landscaping business in a particular locale, whether you are a resident, or not.
You will possibly need be responsible for permits and inspections.
Depending on the locale, you may need to apply for permits before commencing certain types of landscaping projects. You may also be subject to inspections depending on the job.
You may need special certifications and licenses.
You may possibly need to be certified or licensed to work with certain fertilizers or other lawn chemicals.
Finding qualified help can be a real challenge. While mowing or planting doesn't necessarily take a great deal of technical skill, it is hard work, and it's work that's often done under uncomfortably warm conditions. It also takes a fair amount of physical stamina and the ability to handle power tools deftly without amputating useful body parts. So what on earth would make someone take on such a demanding job when he or she could sell designer shoes at the mall or call out mystery game numbers at the bowling alley?
M-O-N-E-Y, that's what. Which is why you'll have to do better than minimum wage if you want to attract qualified workers.
"Don't fall off your chair, but part of my success in hiring employees has come from paying way past the industry standard," says Nathan Bowers, owner of Premier Lawn Services in Sykesville, Maryland. "I pay laborers $11 to $14 an hour and my foreman $17 an hour. That may seem like a lot, but I've kept my employees [a long time]. That's pretty much unheard of in this business."
In case you did fall off your chair, remember that the trade-off for shelling out the big bucks is that, like Bowers, you won't have to spend a lot of time advertising, interviewing and hiring. But you don't necessarily have to pay that much to get the same excellent results. The Occupational Outlook Handbook 2006-07 (U.S. Department of Labor) reports that the median hourly wage for landscaping and groundskeeping laborers was $9.82, which you could round up to $10 or down to $9.50. If that's a little too high for your startup budget, you could instead offer at least $2 above minimum wage since it's hard to find unskilled jobs that pay that well.
However, according to industry experts and other business owners we spoke to, $10 an hour is about the going hourly rate for employees, which, compared to the current minimum wage, looks pretty darned good. Some owners, like Steve Mager, a lawn care business owner in Minnesota who also does chemical applications, have a sliding wage scale. Steve's base wage is $10, but he pays more-around $15 an hour-to workers with certain qualifications, such as those with a spotless driving record or a pesticide certification.
When you establish your base wage, keep in mind that in service industries like lawn care, it's not unusual for workers to change jobs to nab as little as a 25-cent-per-hour pay increase. So it's a good idea to ask around to see what other service providers are paying in your area and set your base pay rate accordingly.
"The truth is, both the lawn and landscape industries are starved for employees," says Tom Delaney, director of government affairs with PLANET, a Herndon, Virginia, association serving lawn care professionals, exterior maintenance contractors, installation/design/build professionals, and interiorscapers. "But the good news is, a mowing business needs fewer employees than other green businesses like landscaping. So your chances of finding enough people are not that bad."
Landscaping Equipment List for Commercial Landscapers
Running a landscaping business entails many aspects of landscaping, including creating beautiful garden designs, maintenance, and landscape construction and architecture. There are so many nitty-gritty tasks involved, like digging, cutting, tending to plants and trees, and so on. To accomplish each of these specific jobs, a landscaper needs to have a set of quality equipment.
Commercial landscaping is a demanding job that requires the right equipment. As a professional landscaper, your tools and equipment are your partners that help you take care of your clients’ needs. Make sure you have the right equipment and tools on hand at all times. Here’s a helpful list of useful equipment for all commercial landscapers.
One of the key components of professional landscaping is making sure that a lawn is properly maintained and perfectly groomed. An unkempt lawn can be an eyesore for visitors, and it can also become a source of fungus and disease due to collected moisture from overgrown grass.
Because regular lawn mowing offers more than just cosmetic perks, it needs to be a top priority for all commercial landscapers. To accomplish this job, every landscaper needs to invest in a quality lawn mower.
A lawn mower is a vital piece of equipment for any commercial landscaper. In addition to providing visual appeal to any lawn, mowers are also instrumental in getting the job done with ease and efficiency. This can be hard to do if you don’t have quality machinery. Therefore, be sure to invest wisely in your mower.
Another essential item for any landscaping equipment collection is a power blower. A power blower is a must-have for landscapers and homeowners alike. It can be used quickly and aggressively to remove leaves, dirt, and other debris from walkways, lawns, decks, patios, and garden beds.
Removing debris from walkways can be a time-consuming task. With a power blower, it becomes much easier and faster to remove leaves or fallen tree limbs without leaving the ground uneven, which can cause safety hazards for people on-site.
Commercial landscapers use a variety of tools to help them accomplish necessary tasks. Some parts of the job can’t be performed with power or heavy-duty equipment. Some landscaping hand tools include hedge trimmers, pruning shears, a pruning saw, and a landscaping knife. Essential digging tools include side shovels, sharp spades, and post-hole diggers.
In some areas, heavy snowfall can accumulate along walkways and around parking lots during the winter months. If you work in this type of climate, you won’t have to pause your business operations during these months, thanks to snow blowers.
A snow blower can help you maintain standard business operations by helping you clear snow from high-traffic areas. In addition to helping you get the job done efficiently, a snowblower will also help you keep the site dry and safe for everyone.
Aside from lawn mowers, there are other pieces of heavy equipment that professional landscapers need in order to perform their jobs well. These pieces of equipment range in size and complexity, depending on the job requirements, but they can all help with various tasks, like lawn care, grading, edging, seeding, laying sod, and soil preparation. These pieces of equipment help commercial landscapers like you work efficiently in large outdoor spaces.
Personal protective equipment
Landscaping jobs come with the risk of accidents and injuries. Ensure you and your team’s safety by using essential protective personal equipment. Use safety goggles to keep eyes protected from flying debris. Protect your hands from cuts, burns, and punctures by wearing proper leather gloves. For your feet, it’s best to wear steel-toed work boots to protect your toes from injuries from falling objects.
A successful landscaping business requires a relatively substantial investment in the right landscaping tools and equipment in order to get started. Refer to this equipment list if you need a guide for where to start when it comes to commercial landscaping.
Here at Mow More , we provide professional landscapers with high-quality tools and parts you need for your landscaping business. Visit our website to learn more.
What You Need to Start a Gardening Business
When you're getting ready to launch your new business, you'll need:
- Good physical health: You'll need to be in excellent shape to handle the work. Prepare for the job by engaging in cardiovascular exercise and strength training.
- Marketing Materials: To spread the word about your business and attract your first customers, you'll need marketing materials, from a basic website to business cards.
- Basic lawn and garden equipment: You will often be expected to supply your own tools, including a shovel, rake, hoe, lawn mower, weed eater, and trowel. Note that a commercial mower can cost around $2,000 but you can start smaller and scale up as your business grows.
- License and Insurance: Each state has unique licensing laws and insurance requirements. Check with your state's small business association to find out what you need to get started.
In a field with such high turnover, reliable performance at a fair rate will put you ahead of most of your competition. Your customer base will take root with your growing reputation, as clients recommend you to others.