How to Grow a Landscaping Business

Landscaper rolling out grass on a lawn while kneeling on pathway.

As a business owner, you do everything you can to make your landscape company successful, profitable, and an enjoyable place to work. You work long hours and are fully committed to what you have built.

When it comes to scaling up, you might think you’re doing everything possible to grow and expand your business. But you might be missing something…

Is a landscaping business profitable?

Landscape companies can be profitable, but it depends on a number of factors. Typical profit margins within the landscape industry range from 5% to 20%. Where a company lands within this range is often as a result of the landscape services provided. For example, there will be a difference in margins when providing any of the following landscaping services:

  • Tree Trimming
  • Lawn Care
  • Landscape Design
  • Sprinkler installation & repairs

Now that we know the industry can be profitable, what are some of the top growth tips for a landscape business to scale?

8 ways an existing landscaping business can grow

  1. Set goals
  2. Perform frequent internal reviews
  3. Own the neighbourhood
  4. Diversify
  5. Implement a referral program
  6. Participate in your community
  7. Don’t skip out on marketing
  8. Use technology

1. Set goals

Setting clear goals is the first step in growing your landscape business. With this, you’ll want to include measurable objectives and actionable tactics.

To set attainable goals, start by looking at your last year in business. What was your revenue? Did you have adequate staffing? Then consider the year ahead. Based on the previous year, how are you estimating your company will grow? What are your forecasted sales? Do you have enough staff and subcontractors lined up for the upcoming year?

One of the biggest challenges that home service companies with big seasonality swings face is the capacity to ‘produce’ the work they sell. Staffing and capacity forecasting can help you scale up and to generate as much revenue as possible in peak months.

2. Perform frequent internal reviews 

When scaling your business, it is important to perform frequent internal reviews. About four times a year is a good place to start. This is your opportunity to assess and analyze how the company is doing and how it can do better.

A simple yet effective practice when performing these quarterly reviews is to look at the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This may feel redundant at times, but for a seasonal company, a lot can change in four months! Look at things like your landscape services, customer acquisition rate, pricing, your profit margin, customer retention, locations, etc. 

Remember, you may be the leader, but it’s not all up to you. Asking for feedback from your team and your customers can give you super valuable insights that you might be too close to your business to realize. 

Once you’ve completed the internal review, share your findings with your team. This will benefit both your full-time and part-time staff. It shows committed leadership and helps get everyone on the same page.

3. Own the neighborhood 

As a local business, it is critical to focus on the market around you. ‘Owning the neighborhood’ is the idea of focusing your efforts in a few key neighborhoods to saturate the market. Rather than spreading yourself thin, double down efforts where you’re seeing the biggest rewards, then expand from there slowly. This is particularly important if you are operating in a highly competitive market like Florida, California, or Arizona.

4. Diversify 

As a seasonal business, diversification can help you scale well past summer lawn care. We recommend looking at the off-season and considering what alternative services you could offer in winter to fill the gap.

This could include vastly different services or ones that are more in-line with what you currently offer. For example, leaf removal, greenhouse and indoor plant care, eavestrough cleaning, pressure washing, gutter cleaning, snow removal, Christmas light installation and takedown, firewood delivery, landscape design, retainer wall installation, fence repair and more.

Diversifying your services in the off-season is a great way to offset fluctuations in revenue. But why limit yourself to a few months? You can diversify your year-round services as well and increase your total revenue potential dramatically. 

5. Implement a referral program 

As a small business owner, you’re probably well aware of the power of referrals. It is the fastest way to multiply your number of customers. Incentivizing referrals is a way to speed up word-of-mouth growth and create a win-win situation for your company and its clients. 

For a landscape business, you could reward customers who refer you to others with free services such as a complimentary mowing, hedge trim, aeration, or a service that is offered in the off-season. You could also consider offering a gift card to somewhere relevant like a greenhouse or a partnered company.

6. Participate in your community 

For landscaping companies in particular, community involvement is one of the most effective ways to grow. Since your services are local, focusing on local organizations makes sense. 

When the weather won’t allow you to work, you can still build your business through building your network. Sponsor local teams or events, join local entrepreneurial groups, host and attend community events, network with other businesses, and even build partnerships with those businesses. 

These connections can land you new business opportunities and open up doors that may not have been opened before.

Bonus Tip: Ask for these organizations to link to your website wherever they mention you online. This will help your website show up on Google!

7. Don’t skip out on marketing 

Speaking of websites, if your landscaping company is not already actively participating in marketing and digital marketing, it’s time to think seriously about it if you plan to scale.

Let’s start with social media: Social media is one of the best ways to showcase your work. In visually appealing industries such as landscaping, social media is a massive tool to help you get eyes on your work and pique potential customers’ interest. Posting before and after photos, images of different plants, trees, flowers, or available lawn features, and various inspirational photos would be a great place to start. Focus on social media channels that your target audience is active on. For landscaping, we recommend Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Moving past social media, landscaping companies should also consider content marketing through their website. You could launch a blog (which can be beneficial for SEO), post client testimonials, upload a project gallery with before and after photos, case studies, and more.

Offline marketing tactics can be a low-cost way to dominate your target areas and ‘own the neighborhood’. Landscaping businesses can benefit from creative tactics like branded lawn signs and parking branded trucks on high-traffic roads.

8. Use technology 

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of useful tech tools that are available to help landscaping companies reach their full potential. Consider investing in the following technology to help scale your business:

  • Your company website: A well-built and well-run website is one of the most powerful tools to growing your business. Your website should be user-friendly, easy to navigate, include tons of informative and valuable content, and make it easy for potential customers to get in touch. This means including your phone number, email addresses, and contact forms that actually work. If you need a website or an upgrade, prioritize this in your yearly budget.
  • Online review platforms: Having a profile on review sites like Google, Yelp, HMA Advisor, and AngiesList is a great way for potential clients to see real, unfiltered reviews of your company. Reading online reviews helps customers build trust and make booking decisions. Once you’ve completed a job for a happy customer, encourage them to leave you a review on one of these sites. If they are uncomfortable with that, ask for a testimonial that can be shared on your website or share a recommendation on NextDoor or local Facebook Pages. 
  • A field service management system: Using a field service management system  can help landscaping companies stay organized, manage dispatching, handle billing,and never miss a lead or job again. Companies like HouseCall Pro and Jobber offer free trials of their software, so there’s no excuse not to try it out. 
  • Fleet management software: For a landscaping company with multiple trucks (carrying expensive equipment) and multiple teams, implementing a fleet management system can increase productivity and cost savings. Using this type of software program allows you to gain more visibility into your fleet; you can clearly see how and where each vehicle is being used, which gives you better control and managing capabilities as your company grows.

Grow your landscaping business with fleet management software

Force Fleet Tracking is a fleet GPS tracking software and app that is perfect for small to medium landscaping companies that are ready to expand. Our technology is simple and effective to use. Simply plug the tracking device into the OBD-II port of each fleet vehicle and stay connected to your vehicles and drivers at all times.

You’ll gain access to our user-friendly dashboard, accessible via a web browser or smartphone, and gain valuable information like:

  • Live location of vehicles on a map
  • Trip history
  • Vehicle health 
  • Fuel efficiency 
  • Driver behavior 

Alert notifications can also be set up for events like:

  • Vehicle location
  • Vehicle health 
  • Fuel level
  • Speeding
  • Parked vehicle disturbances

Notifications can be customized to your company’s specific needs. Force’s fleet management software gives you everything you need to keep your vehicles running at the lowest possible operating cost so you can maximize your profitability.

Force also helps you provide top-notch customer service. You can share real-time location links with your customers on the day of their job, adding confidence and building customer retention.

Try Force for 14 days FREE. We’ll send you a tracking device to get you set up on the dashboard. You’ll see for yourself how well our fleet management software works and how it can help grow your business.

Published February 16, 2021
Matt Davis
Matt Davis
Director of Marketing
Force Fleet Tracking