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Plants & Agriculture

Landscaping

Take your passion for plants to green spaces near you.

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Business At A Glance

Landscaping

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Landscaping increases the tangible and intangible value of homes, encourages business at retail locations and enhances the productivity of corporations. If you like planting trees and flowers, transforming the world one project at a time, and you’re not afraid of physical labor, then landscaping might be just the business for you.
And there’s plenty of it– according to the Professional Lawn Care Association, more than 22 million households spend $14.6 billion on professional landscape and lawn care services. You’ll carry out landscape architects’ plans by purchasing plant materials, sprinkler systems, and decorative accents like boulders and river rock, and installing them.
You can then contract with your satisfied commercial and residential customers to maintain your work with weekly watering, pruning, fertilizing and pest control services. And you can carry out seasonal projects as well–everything from winter holiday lighting and decorating to snow removal.
The advantages to this business are that your start-up costs are relatively low, you’re outdoors every day, and if you like making things grow and the accomplishment of putting in a good day’s physical labor, then this can be a rewarding field. You’ll need a solid working knowledge of planting and maintaining a wide variety of trees, shrubs and flowers, as well as of sprinkler systems and nonplant materials like gravel, boulders and paving stones. A sense of logistics will also be valuable–the better route you map out of customer sites, the less time you’ll spend on the road and the more efficient and cost-effective you’ll be.

The Market

Your customers will be homeowners and businesses that want their properties beautified and kept looking good. Target commercial types like apartment and condominium complexes, hotels and motels, hospitals, large and small businesses and office parks, and government institutions.
 
Architects, real estate developers and contractors building new homes or small tracts also make good customers. Nab residential customers by going door-to-door with fliers or door hangers. (Don’t place them in mailboxes–the U.S. Postal Service gets very upset about this.) Place ads in your local newspaper and in your neighborhood Yellow Pages.
 
For small-business commercial customers and architects, developers and contractors, go on-site to hand-deliver fliers or brochures and explain your services. You may not get any takers the first time you visit, but don’t get discouraged. A repeat visit or two can often seal a deal. A direct-mail campaign of a brochure will work better for large corporations; follow up with a phone call. You can also target real estate agents with noncurb-appealing sale or rental properties on their books. Take a Polaroid of the place, then give it to the realtor with suggestions of how you can spruce it up.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a power mower, edger, leaf blower, seed and fertilizer spreader and sprayer, an assortment of shovels and rakes, and a gasoline can for on-the-job refills (take care to use an approved container and follow safe storage and usage practices). You’ll also want a pickup truck and perhaps a small trailer to carry it all in.

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Plants & Agriculture

Small-Spaces Landscaping

Looking for a niche landscaping business concept? Think small.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Small-Spaces Landscaping

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Condominiums, townhouses, and lofts are being constructed in record-breaking numbers across the United States and Canada, and this building boom has spawned an entirely new and red-hot industry in small-spaces landscaping. Where are these small spaces?
They include sundecks, patios, decks, balconies, rooftops, and courtyards for both residential and commercial locations such as professional offices and restaurants. Home and property owners want to have beautiful outdoor spaces to enjoy, but when your outdoor space is limited to a ten-by-ten foot balcony, most don’t know how to combine both function and flowers in such a small space.
That’s when they call in a professional small-spaces landscaper. Capitalizing on your knowledge of plants, flowers, and design, you can offer customers a specialized landscaping service that transforms their small outdoor space into a lush, yet still highly functional living space. Planters, gazebos, seating, water features, flowers, ivy, sunshades, heaters, and barbeques are just a few of the elements you will have to work with and plan for. Income is earned in three ways. One, planning and installing the small-space garden; two, purchasing products wholesale that will be used in the garden and selling them to clients at retail; and three, ongoing monthly fees to maintain and upgrade the garden area as required.

The Market

Owners of condominiums and townhouses whose only outdoor space is a balcony or small courtyard. Business owners who want to add landscaping to outdoor employee break areas, and even restaurants with outdoor seating.

Needed Equipment

Standard gardening equipment.

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Plants & Agriculture

Tree Planting Service

Plant beautiful green rows of shade for landscape lovers.

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Business At A Glance

Tree Planting Service

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

On the surface, starting a tree planting service may not seem like a very lucrative business to operate. However, each year forestry companies cut down thousands of trees and replant thousands more.
 
Typically, the task of replanting these trees is left to subcontractors who either have successfully tendered for the job or have established a working history and relationship with forestry companies to provide tree planting services. A good starting point in this industry is to compile a list of all forestry companies and commence contacting them to inquire about forthcoming tenders and the status of their particular tree planting programs.
 
Providing you are successful in securing tree planting contracts, be prepared to work hard and form a crew of tree planting laborers. The work is physically demanding and usually requires the operators of these businesses to be away from home for extended periods of time. However, it is common for tree-planting contracts to exceed $100,000 in value.

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Plants & Agriculture

Tree Trimming And Removal Services

Help clients contour and control their landscapes.

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Business At A Glance

Tree Trimming And Removal Services

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Starting a tree trimming and tree removal service is a great business enterprise to activate, especially if you have past work experience or knowledge in tree trimming and removal practices.
 
The equipment needed to successfully operate the service includes a truck, ladders, safety gear, chainsaws and pruning shears. A number of measures can be used to gain customers, such as designing and distributing promotional fliers, placing advertisements for your service in newspapers and the Yellow Pages, as well as competing for tree trimming and removal contracts.
 
One aspect of the business that must not be overlooked will be to make sure the operation is covered by a suitable amount of liability insurance as well as disability insurance for the owner and employees of the business.

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