Once you make the decision to start up a landscaping business there is a lot to do and understand, even if you’ve worked in the area before. It is easy to get carried away with enthusiasm and make mistakes that can have your dream tumbling down, along with your cash flow. So here are 5 mistakes to avoid when starting up your business.
- Landscaping is not just mowing, although it can include that. There will be many kinds of implements and equipment that you are likely to need in carrying out your various landscaping chores. It’s important to not rush out and purchases them all, especially those high ticket items like ditch diggers. Instead, purchase the things you’ll use a lot of and sub-contract or hire the rest, at least until you can afford to buy them. And while it’s important to have modern equipment, you can save money to start with by purchasing good used equipment.
- Not answering the phone is going to cost you money. When people do their research and pick two or three people to do their gardening work, the next step is to phone them. If you don’t answer, they’ll go onto the next one on their list. Of course it is hard to answer when you are working or driving. But you can have the calls redirected to someone else who can answer for you or hire an answering service. Otherwise, you need to leave a friendly but professional message on the phone promising to call back within a certain time such as at lunch time or during your afternoon break.
- You might be eager to start early, but if you are going to be using noisy equipment, the council limits the time you can start, which is likely to be different for the weekend than the week days. It’s important to know ahead of time so you are not slapped with a fine for disturbing the peace.
- Don’t keep working for someone who doesn’t pay up on time; they wouldn’t. Not everyone pays their bills on time and some don’t ever pay. So if you keep on rolling up to do the work when they haven’t paid, they’ll never get the hint and your business will go backwards. When invoicing them, a polite mention of interest accruing on late accounts may prompt them to be more on time.
- Don’t offer rates that are too cheap. Being cheap might get you some jobs, but are those people likely to pay you at all? People who want the work done well won’t mind paying what it’s worth. And many people think cheap rates are likely to mean a cheap and nasty job done. Besides, those cheap rates may not even pay for your costs, hence you’ll soon be out of business.