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We basically just had to show up, do the work, and manage to keep our passion alive. It’s one I’ve heard over and over and over in my career.
What to charge your clients for your time is always a tricky subject.
If you've been working for another landscape company for a year, or maybe even for 10 years, then you know what you’ve been getting paid as a worker for each hour you work.
My response to all of the challenges and issues that can arise with starting a new landscape business is the same to every new owner: take the time to write a good business plan.
Many problems can be avoided by understanding early on where you want your new business to go and what it will cost to get there.
You must understand your overhead burden and work that number into your labor rate.
In other words, what does it cost you to run your business for one day or even one hour?So while this is one way to do it, it certainly isn’t the only way, or even the best way.With that in mind, let’s take a look at a more systematic approach that can save you time, money, and headaches.Am I better off buying this piece of equipment at this stage of my business or would it serve me better to borrow it from a fellow landscape professional or rent it and pass that cost directly through to my client on that job?It's this kind of questioning about spending money that will help you avoid leaking all your profits out into purchases that may not be the best use of working capital at that stage of your business growth.To figure that out, you start with a list of all those costs that are required to have a business.Now I know, some of you are going to read this and say, “But there are so many ‘hacks’ out there with no insurance -- how can I even survive if I work that in? If you focus on what the “fly-by-nighters” are doing, you will be focusing on the wrong things and never grow.One of the frustrations I hear from landscape start-ups is that money always seems to be going out faster than it’s coming in.Freshly-minted landscape professionals complain that every time they turn around they have to buy something just to get the job done.A common strategy for landscape start-ups is to stay relatively small and flexible – a pick-up, a trailer, and a few small equipment selections to start. If there is no plan for how much money you will be spending on tools and equipment at the beginning of the year you can turn up at the end of the year having spent far too much and eroding your profits.As you ID more and more needs you pick up the tools needed to address them. Or worse, finding you have no money left at all to pay your taxes!