The best thing in the world is financial freedom. The best way to get it is to start your own business. Although it is easy to just say hey start your own business and you will have all the money you could want, but we all know that’s not quite how it works. Starting your own business is hard, but it is also rewarding if you put the work in. The one thing holding most people back is that they feel like they need to have a ton of money saved up to start their own business. This could not be further from the truth.
I have personally built my six-figure landscaping business from the ground up so that I did not have to keep living paycheck to paycheck at my miserable 9-5. I want you to get out of the hell loop of a 9-5 so with everything I have learned in my six years in the field, here is how you can start your own landscaping business right now with zero start-up money (step by step).
To start off this monster of a business you are about to create, you need to make a list of everyone you know. I mean everyone! Family members, friends, acquaintances, current coworkers, even your high school graduating class. You should have at least 100 people on that list, and do not try to qualify them either. It does not matter if they have huge yards or live in an apartment, every single person on that list can help you in one way or another. If they do not have work for you to do, they know 100 people that they could tell about you and your business.
Business cards are one of the most important things you can get when you are just starting out. They are super cheap, so you can give them out to everyone. Anyone who will listen to you talk about your new business will probably also take a card. They may use it to call you, or give it to a friend, you never know.
Now that you have your list, start calling, and call all of them. Come up with a little spiel about yourself and the business and how you are just starting out. Call each person on the list and if they say no, or you think they will say no, just ask them if they know anyone that needs your services and tell them to give them your number. After a while, you will get a few bites. It only takes one job to get the ball rolling.
Once you have people interested, you need to start booking appointments. You can use software like google calendar to keep it organized. You do not want to miss an appointment because your system is messy.
When you make it out to an appointment, walk around the house and list out all the things you can do for them. Like mowing, hedge trimming, edging, gutters, etc. Anything you can think of and get done on your own. Then you are going to think about how long all of that would take you, and double that. Then for your hourly rate, when you are just starting out, you can charge whatever you are making at your current job times three.
So if you think the job is going to take 8 hours, charge for 16. If you make $15/hour at your job, charge $45/ hour. So we get 45*16 = $720. THEN what you need to do is write up a small contract and charge them half of the bill upfront. Then you have $360 to buy any equipment you need to do the job. Things like a weedeater, broom, or even a cheap mower. I also recommend you borrow as much equipment as possible at the start as well, this will keep costs low.
So at the end of the job, you will have the basic equipment you will need to do other jobs and you will also have a few extra hundred dollars in your pocket.
The best part about getting your first client is that you can go to their neighbor’s houses and knock on their doors. You will get a lot better reactions from people when you say how I am Joe from Joe’s Landscaping and I take care of your neighbor Bob’s property. If you would like I can mow your lawn and trim the hedges while I am out here. Then you just need to write a quote on the back of one of your handy business cards and say if you are interested I will be out here most of the day, just let me know. This will work a lot more than you think, especially if you are offering a total property care package. If they agree, you can take another deposit from them, and BOOM! Another few hundred dollars in your pocket.
After you get the ball rolling like this, it is time to start BLASTING social media. You want to make your business appear everywhere people spend their time. This means you are definitely going to want to make a Facebook business page and start posting on it. You can post pictures of you working in people’s yards, and you can also post your services. You should also be posting on craigslist and Facebook marketplace. These places are free and people are sure to see you.
After you get on every social media platform you can think of and start posting, you also need to make business listings on places like google business and Yelp. Then you can get your customers to review you after you do a great job on their property. A lot of people check reviews of local businesses on these platforms so it is worthwhile building up those reviews.
Finally, you need to make a website. This may sound scary at first but it is more simple than you think. There are tons of platforms out there that are super simple and easy to use. They are also fairly affordable. Plus a website makes your business official and gives you a hub to put all your content, point your social media channels to, and put up your services and rates. Your website link should also be added to your business card once you get one.
The last step is the hardest. You just have to grind every single day. You will never outperform your mindset. So if you think you can do it then you can. You just have to keep trying as hard as you can.
Keep hustling for jobs. Keep calling people and booking appointments, and then when they do accept your services, blow their expectations out of the water. The better of a job you do the more likely they are to recommend you to their friends. Then, once you start making a little bit of money, take what you need to pay your bills, but reinvest the rest back into your business. Save up for better equipment or to hire a worker. Then it is just all about rinsing and repeating the process. As long as you love your process you will be successful.