How to START a Landscape Design Business?
Marketing helps landscape companies grow revenue and profit.
Landscape designers are primarily involved in the design aspects of residential and commercial landscaping projects, but you may also offer installation services through subcontractors or with your own crew and equipment. Starting your landscape design business follows protocols of other businesses, but requires specialized design training usually obtained by formal education or practical experience on the field. Landscape designers differ from landscape architects in their formal education level and state licensing, with architects generally involved in large commercial, industrial and municipal projects.
1. Obtain a landscape design certificate or equivalent experience working for a designer. A combination of formal education and experience will add to your credibility as a landscape designer.
2. Write a landscape design company business plan listing all aspects of your business. You may take advantage of free business plan information from the U.S. Small Business Administration website, contact your local Service Corps of Retired Executives office or hire a professional business consultant experienced in the landscaping industry.
3. Purchase necessary office and design equipment. Your needs will vary, but will include a drafting table and art supplies for creation of maps and sketches, computer with landscape design software, fax machine, telephone system and office furniture.
4. Prepare an office or workspace in your home or rent office space in your town. Professional office space will add a level of professionalism for visiting clients.
5. Obtain local business permits from your town hall, a tax certificate from your state taxation division, and a contractor license from your state's license division (if required).
6. Purchase marketing aids from your local printer, including business cards, stationery, brochures, presentation materials and other necessities. Your printer will advise you as to what you will need to make a favorable impression on prospects and clients.
7. Pass out or mail brochures and sales letters to businesses and homes in your service area, and place classified or display advertisements on local publications to raise awareness of your new landscape design business.
8. Open accounts with local nurseries and contact local contractors to assist you in your landscaping business. Partnering with local businesses can also result in mutual referrals and will support your local economy.
- Landscape design certificate or equivalent experience
- Business plan
- Office and design equipment
- Office or workspace
- Business permits, tax certificate and contractor license
- Marketing aids