A business plan is a written document that defines a company’s objectives. This plan also describes how to achieve these objectives and goals. A business plan is the cornerstone for success, so it is very important to get it right before launching your business.
Planning for a landscaping business shouldn’t feel like an uphill task. Although it may take a lot of time to get it to a place that you are happy with, knowing the key elements to include in your plan will significantly simplify the process. With that in mind, here’s how to write a business plan for a landscaping business.
The steps in outlined within can also be used for other types of businesses. While this article focuses on writing a business plan for a landscaping business, it can also be referenced for other types of companies.
Create an Executive Summary
An executive summary condenses the vital information contained in the entire business plan. This section highlights the key points. Ideally, it shouldn’t go beyond one page. This is where you can briefly mention the feasibility of your business. State the existing market gap and how your business looks to solve it.
Develop Your Business Profile
Your business profile is the first thing clients will see when searching for landscaping services. Therefore, it must be appealing. Here are some must-include items for the profile:
- A memorable company name
- Clear mission and vision statements
- Physical address of your business location
- Staff capacity
- Services you are providing
- Company values
- Team member information
Modern technology will help you liaise with your customers and operate in a seemingly more professional way. Take advantage of this in being able to offer self-service options on your website to support existing customers. Landscaping management software from companies like Jobber can help you achieve this.
Summarize Market Research
The next step when writing a business plan for a landscaping business is to summarize all of your market research. Conduct thorough research into the potential market you would be looking to serve. Luckily, numbers indicate that the US landscaping industry has been growing annually at 2.5%, on average. This rate of grow was between 2016 and 2021. Moreover, the upward trend is likely to continue into the coming years making it an attractive investment option.
As part of the market evaluation, assess whether the services you’ll be offering in your landscaping business are marketable. You can also think about combining two or more services and offering them as a bundle. The market condition also determines how best to be pricing your landscaping services. The fees you charge depend on factors such as material costs, inflation, typical wages, overheads, and desired and acceptable profit margin.
Present the Competition Analysis
Another crucial part of a business plan for a landscaping business is the competition analysis. Landscaping businesses are very popular. Many business owners actually start a landscaping business as their first operation. This type of business is very attractive for those with small amounts of start up capital. However, a landscaping business can also be a lucrative business opportunity for established entrepreneurs.
With this in mind, you’ll have to grapple with the fact that your planned business may not be the only one in your area of operation. So, when drafting your plan, note down what other landscaping businesses are doing. Look into things like:
- The price of their services
- Business location
- The services they commonly provide
- How they source for customers
- Any shortcomings they might have
- Their strengths
Having this information helps you to differentiate your brand in the aspects mentioned above.
Recruitment and Staffing Details
Identify how many team members you will need to carry out the expected level of work. What will your hiring process be if you need additional support? It will be a good idea at this stage to specify the roles you will be looking to fill. In addition to this, define what the ideal candidate would look like.
Aside from that, you’ll also have to have a good idea of how much you’ll be paying them and whether this will be sustainable for you, especially at the start. Will there be a period of time required for your business to gain momentum before you start hiring?
Finally, describe how you’re going to ensure employee retention once you find the right people. It’s no good merely hiring new staff, you want to be able to retain them too so that they can continue to add value to the business and support its growth. Details about recruitment and staffing is something you must need to include in a business plan for a landscaping business.
Outline Your Operational Plan
You will need to outline a practical operations plan for your business. Here, you need to detail how exactly you will be able to service your clients, maintain your equipment, and purchase materials where required. It is also important to outline and detail how you will be able to arrive on time for scheduled appointments.
Are there any long-term goals that you may have? Do you intend to launch your business in three different states in the next 5 years for example? Put this in writing and clarify how you intend to achieve your goals.
You may also want to include language regarding what type of equipment you will need. For instance, mowing equipment, leaf blowers, weed-whackers, as well as a landscaping trailer. Also, you may want to address the question of if you should buy or lease a car for your business. In this case, it will most likely need to be a truck or a commercial van.
Develop a Marketing Strategy
In this section, describe how you intend to create awareness about your landscaping business. You can do this through:
- Social media marketing
- Establishing a business website and optimizing it for search engines
- Door-to-door flyer distribution
- Anything else?
Digital marketing can grow your small business, so think about ways to use this medium.
Analyze Your Finances
When drafting your business plan, the details of how your financials will work will be one of the most important sections. Clearly define your startup costs and initial investments. Some of the landscaping tools you’ll have to purchase include work trucks, mowers, trimmers, and protective gear. The good thing is that startup costs for a landscaping business are usually not as high as for other businesses. For instance, a starter pack, consisting of a lawnmower, trimmer, and leaf blower, may cost you about $500 USD.
Additionally, look into how you’ll get the startup capital to get going. You may source finances from friends and family, bank loans, mobile lenders, business credit cards, or use your savings. Just be cautious if you’re intending to take a loan. Be sure you can pay back the premiums plus the interest rates. Defaulting may put your newly launched business at risk. In short, proper financial planning is key to ensuring profitability. These are definitely details that you must include in your business plan for a landscaping business.
Compile an Appendix
Lastly, compile an appendix for documents with additional detailed information to supplement what’s included in the plan. These may include:
- Business permits
- Title deeds
- Memberships in landscaping-related organizations
While you may not think this is an important step, you cannot look over compiling an appendix when you are writing a business plan for a landscaping business.
Writing a Business Plan for a Landscaping Business – Summary
Writing a business plan for a landscaping business that is effective will take some time. However, it is more than worth the effort.
Some of the must-have elements are financial analysis, market assessment, review of competitors, details of the management team, operations plan, and business profile.
By being able to plan for these accurately, will help you start your landscaping business on the right footing and increase your chances of success.