Should I try to augment my business with landscaping work?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by NightLightingFX, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    My pasion is artistic outdoor lighting and I started a business doing just that almost 2 years ago. It has been slow getting it off the ground but I love it and will succeed one way or the other. I am getting my name out there I have a web site and every once and a while I have someone asking me to do landscaping work. I tell them I only do lighting. However since all the landscapers in my area are all booked out until Oct. I started thinking maybe I should look into doing some landscaping. The only thing I have going for me is that I love hardwork outside, I am handy - I built a nice pergula for my home, I am artistic and creative, and I have a trailer. Other than that I don't know squat about plants, nor do I have any heavy equipment, landscaping experience, and etc. For someone like me what do I need to get started, and should I even try. I don't forsee myself focusing on landscaping but if I am not busy I might as well fill a void if I can.
  2. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    Landscapes and lighting have always gone together. Every time we put in a landscape we also do the lighting as we'll. You don't have to have lots of big equipment to get started. Most landscapes you will want to start with won't require it. You can rent everything you need at most rental stores when you gain enough experience to tackle the bigger jobs. Go out and visit your local nursery to give yourself an idea of the different plants out there. Buy books on landscape design and plants or do a search on the web. You may not want to focus on landscaping but the two go hand in hand.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I get requests for things I don't normally do, so long it's not sandford & son stuff and it's up my alley some kind of way I usually do consider it, landscaping certainly would seem to fall in that category.

    If you have the time, why not?
    Might take on the first 1-2 jobs at a cut rate cost, let your customer know exactly what is going on beforehand. I've done this more than once, it works with some not with others... I just tell them I have never done this before but get excited thinking about getting into it, would you mind offering me the opportunity to give this a shot for the cost of fuel and the materials? (labor free, or very minimal, you may have to charge something for delivering too, but you know what I'm getting at).

    Gets your foot in the door, you learn for free (no man I'm not playing with you), the customer knows it should turn out but it might not, either way it's usually a good deal all around. btw I'm more inclined to try this with one of my existing regulars (vs. a new customer).
    Is one idea, one way of doing it...
  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,940

    Having a shovel, pick, truck/trailer, and access to a nursery, does not a landscaper make. Just because somebody has the tools and equipment, and the strong back, does not mean they are a landscaper ready to design and install planting materials.

    And, then we read threads on LS about "getting no respect," "not regarding us as professionals," and the like. If you wish to embark on another service, then get prepared to do so -- training in design, training in plant identification, training in how to do the plantings, plant selection, and the list goes on. One need not look far to find new installs that have been done by somebody who had no clue about what they were doing. On the other hand, installs that have been done by somebody who knew their trade are distinctively above and are noteworthy.

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