“I’ve been thinking about starting a landscaping business in my town to help pay off some debt”
Here are the Show Notes from the Episode:
**keep in mind that show notes are raw and only highlight what is in the episode. Listen to the show for the full content**
Episode 10 – Using a Local Business to Pay off Debt of the Local Small Business Coach Podcast
Welcome back to the Local Small Business Coach Podcast, I am your coach Tammy Adams.
And today is Friday which means we will be answering a question from one of you.
Remember, if you would like your question possibly answered on the podcast, don’t forget to head on over to Local Small Business Coach.com to leave your question via the speakpipe button or you can shoot it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
While I can’t promise to answer all of them, my goal is to answer as many as I can in the future, especially the ones that would possibly help others. Eventually I hope to have 2 days of questions. So get those questions in.
For today’s question, it actually comes from someone who is thinking of joining our local small business ranks. And it comes from James. And James writes…
I’ve been thinking about starting a landscaping business in my town to help pay off some debt. The challenge I have is I already have a full time job and I’m worried that with so many landscapers in the area already, I’ll never be able to get this business up and running. I already have some tools I can use I should be good there. What advice do you have so I can get this business off the ground?
Thanks for the question James,
Believe it or not, a lot of local small businesses are started by folks like yourself that just wanted to create some extra income and they took their passions or skills to the community.
The bad news, is many of them start a landscaping business, the good news is, there is always a need for great landscapers. So it is a great business that can scale to the size you need it too.
Another great thing about landscaping is the list of services can be so broad so you can specialize or just do basic mowing, trimming, etc. Or you can specialize in trimming taller trees for example. Here in Arizona, there is a need for folks that deliver and spread rock since we have a lot of rock landscaping due to our heat.
So you just need to decide what path you want to take. I do recommend that you pick an area and run with it and keep it simple since you have a main job to work around. If you change up in the future you can always adjust your services.
Landscaping is a great side business since you can control how many customers you want to take on. Plus, if you can get some jobs that have a regular schedule it works great as a 5 – 10 hour work week. Say you lined up 5 yards every Saturday at say $50 bucks for a mow and trim up the hedges and edges, rake up the leaves, etc. That is $250 a week or an extra $1000 a month you can toss at your debt. Actually after backing out your expenses you still will be left with the majority of this since your costs are minimal and mainly sweat equity.
Want to double up to $2,000 then take on the weekend or a few jobs after or before work depending on your other job. So yes, landscaping isn’t a bad gig.
Now, with that said, the key to getting this business is going to boil down to great service, being on time and doing a great job. This will get you some great word of mouth. Plus if the neighbors see you out there and the quality of your work, they will approach you.
After you complete a job, you could actually knock on a few doors and introduce yourself and share that you do Mr and Mrs So and So’s yard, and hopefully they can see how nice it is and if they ever would like to use your services, you are there to help.
If you’ve been listening to the podcast, you already know I’m a big fan of Facebook community pages. Hope on on a Friday night and say that you had a couple of cancellations this weekend and if anyone is looking for a landscaper who shows up, and will love your yard like they do, then send you a private message and you will give them a call.
If you do this tactic once a month, you will slowly build your business and soon when folks are asking for a recommendation, those you have helped will toss your name out if they love what you did for them.
Also, if you can leave those flyers with tear off numbers and your community has some public boards anywhere. Don’t be afraid put some of those up.
Also, if you can, get some magnet’s made for your truck and make sure they are on when you are doing yards, folks will see how hard you are working and if they are looking for someone, you will be surprised how many folks will jot down your information and give you a call.
Another great avenue is hook up with a local Realtor. They are always getting asked for local landscapers and can send you lots of business. I’m actually going to dive into this one next week so I don’t want to go into it too much here but more to come.
You also asked how do you stand out from the host of other landscapers.
This one is simple, and I’ve said it a few times. This goes for you and any business.
You stand out by offering superior service, respect your clients time and be on time and do what you promise. If you focus on you and your brand, trust me, you will bubble to the top in the sea of landscapers.
James, I think you have picked a great local business to start to dip your toe in and create some income to offset your debt. It is one that can be start relatively cheaply since like you mentioned, most folks have basic lawn equipment in their garages.
Word of caution though. Please set aside a portion of your money to cover future expenses of replacing your equipment and upgrading. For example, that electric trimmer will need to become a gas one if you are going to do any kind of volume.
Plus you will want to be ready to provide extra tools if you ever take on a job where you need extra hands. So don’t get caught with your pants down. Have some money set aside for emergencies and upgrades.
Depending how things are going, you might find in 6 – 12 months that you want to expand your business and possible start full time.
If you are in an area where it snows, start thinking now how you will modify your business during those slow landscaping months. I’ve heard of many folks who help with snow plowing driveways or sidewalks.
I know when I lived in Utah, every year I always wished I had lined up someone to do this when I was stuck shoveling my drive to head off to work.
Well James, a great question and I wish you tons of luck!
You will need to hustle to get those first few job but if you play your cards right, your word of mouth will help you take off. Just like we discussed about.
By the way, head on over to StartALocalSmallBusiness.com where we have a bunch of free tools and resources to help you get going, most of which is free as I mentioned. There is a 7 part series you can sign up for as well. Plus our new Start a Local Small Business Course that has 12 modules with 50 videos and 13 downloadable tools to help get your business idea from concept to open for business. Tell you what, if you enter promo code Local Small Business Coach at checkout you can get 25% off the course. This goes for all of you. I’ll put a link in the show notes as well Click à 25% off Start a Local Small Business Course
Once again, that is over at StartALocalSmallBusiness.com.
To wrap this question up, I just want to remind anyone that is starting out part time. You can actually create a nice side gig if you stick to something simple that is easy to set up repeat customers. This way you do all your hustling up front then have a steady set of customers until you are ready to expand.
Some great businesses that allow you to do this other than landscaping is window washing, maid services, pool cleaners, pest control, etc. Basically things that you could set up weekly or monthly services so you can build a core base of say 20 – 25 folks that you can count on.
Be creative. Find out what the need in the community is and fill it!
With that, we will wrap up this week’s question and I’ll see you all next week!
So until next time, remember, if you like what we are taking about, then make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode, if you love the podcast and what we are talking about, then please leave a 5 star review so other local small business owners know this is a podcast that they can’t miss.
Also don’t forget to visit the website at LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com to leave your question for me to possibly answer on the podcast in the future. You can leave it via the speakpipe button or just shoot me an email.
This show is about you and helping you increase your profits, boost your sales, improve your processes and develop stronger teams so get me those questions so we can continue to focus on what matters most to you!
See you on our next episode…Bye for now…..
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Episode Show Notes: Episode 10 – Local Small Business Coach Podcast
Our Training Materials for Local Small Business Owners: TrainingforLocalSmallBusinessOwners.com
Starting a Local Small Business Website: StartALocalSmallBusiness.com
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