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Commercial landscaping, how to start?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Ethan51, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Ethan51

    Ethan51 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 185

    I am finishing up my 4th year of doing landscape installs, tree removal, and interior and exterior contracting and construction. :weightlifter: I would say I have more than enough experience to start doing work with small to medium sized commercial clients I'm talking 5k to 10k, rarely straying into low 20k. I currently carry insurance for truck, trailers, and all my equipment. As well as 1 million per occurrence, 2 million aggregate general liability insurance.

    I am curious how to get my foot in the door for doing anything commercially. Be that construction, landscape, tree care, or even just general turf care and maintenance. I work with a contractor who remodels and does new store installs for UPS stores, so I am very comfortable in the commercial environment, and I am also doing landscape designs for 3 other well established companies in my area. So I feel like I have the experience and background to make it happen, I just need some advice in landing that first bid.
  2. AzLawnMan

    AzLawnMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 409

    First, your already limiting your growth by saying you wont go into the $20k range, or rarely for that matter. I just finished up a job, which was medium in my book for $98k. I am very picky on landscape jobs I take and only currently work for current customers. As for how you get your foot in the door, its very hard. Most jobs in the high $20's go to larger companies or to companies that have been with them for years. I know a friend that does installs for a builder and he has multiple jobs going and we are talking in the millions. But, he has also been landscaping for this builder for 10 years!! Once done, I take over the maintenance and any alterations or additions after that, I take care of. I too have also been with this builder for many years and only got involved because I am great friends with the landscaper. You can cold call, send out cards and even show up but the fact of the matter is these jobs are contracted well before construction even starts. For instance, I work for the largest private retirement community companys in Arizona and I already have their landscape maintenance and installs for building that aren't even built yet. Point being, it takes years to create these leads and to establish business relationships. The guy I know that got me in with this company has used me at every property he has worked at for the last 8 years and I still do all those same properties after he leaves. Then I create new relationships with the new guy and when and if he leaves, I keep in touch and he uses me at his new property, and so on and so on. Work to create business relationships with your current cliental and they will forever call you. I can go on and on about how I keep getting work from people but you get the point. I haven't advertised in 4 years and am very proud of that. Best of luck and do whatever it takes to create leads and get yourself new work, but never limit what jobs or how much you wanna make. Take and do everything, if you cant, then sub it out and still make money.

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