As the planet’s climate becomes increasingly volatile, many homeowners and businesses are taking a more ecological approach to every aspect of life. From extracting only supplies from sustainable resources to replacing obsolete appliances and equipment with items that leave a smaller carbon footprint, taking care of Mother Earth is a priority.
If you plan to run a landscaping company that takes a green approach to the business, planning ahead is critical. To align with your goal of respecting Mother Nature, you need to research the types of lawn care equipment you should purchase and lay the foundation for the success of your business.
Below are four key steps to running an eco-friendly landscaping company that is successful and appeals to earth-conscious consumers.
Step 1: Make a business plan
No matter what industry you’re entering, as a startup entrepreneur, having a clear path to success is critical to your long-term sustainability. These documents serve as a road map covering a wide range of information, including:
- Target market
- Practical policies
- Ownership and stakeholder information
- Your business name
- Possible risks
- Market forecasting
- Planned expenses and profits
- General business model
As you can see, these details provide important insights into how your company is performing and will be useful if you are asking investors for funding.
Step 2: Get Licensed!
Every business typically has at least one or two licenses and/or permits to operate legally in their city and state. Failure to complete this step can mean more than being hit with expensive fines and fees. Your business may be closed until they are fully ordered!
As a landscape company, the amount of red tape you need to cut through can vary greatly depending on the scope of your business. We recommend visiting the Small Business Association’s website to find out more about the requirements in your area.
Some common business licenses and foreign turf company licenses may need to include:
Most businesses must collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax can affect your business, read our article Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For information on local licenses and permits:
- General business license
- Pesticide application permit
- Permits/permits related to horticulture
- Federal Employer Identification Number
If you can’t find the information you want on SMB website, always check with the local administration. They often have resources for small businesses operating in their city or county and can be a good resource for making sure you have all the necessary paperwork in order.
Step 3: Verify your landscaping business
Most states, counties, and cities require landscapers to have some form of commercial insurance to protect them from financial liability when things go wrong. You may find it impossible to enter into a contract because the client needs coverage just to bid on the job!
Typically, you need to carry a minimum comprehensive liability policy. This insurance protects your business against third party claims related to:
- Physical injuries
- Damage to the customer’s property
- Defamation, defamation
Unfortunately, this policy does not cover claims from your own equipment or vehicles requiring repair or replacement, and worker injuries are not covered under this policy. But fear not! There are additional insurance options that can fill this gap.
If you have a zero-turn mower and work trucks or just a push mower and an old pickup, your personal care insurance won’t cover these assets for work-related problems. Commercial coverage, on the other hand, provides complete protection for your vehicles, equipment, and more in a variety of situations.
Business tools and equipment
What happens if someone steals weeds from your truck while you’re mowing a customer’s lawn? If a storm blows over your trailer and damages your equipment and tools, can you pay for repairs or replacements out of pocket?
These situations happen every day to landscape companies, and if there is not enough insurance, they will pay for these losses from their profits. Don’t let this happen to you, and get a business tools and equipment policy to ensure you can get back to work quickly without disrupting your bottom line.
In the United States, almost every state requires some form of worker protection through workers’ compensation insurance. This policy protects your business against work-related injuries, illnesses and negligence claims. It also ensures that you receive medical care and income compensation when you are unable to work.
Not sure if this guide is worth the price? Imagine a worker winning millions for an on-the-job injury. How do you pay for that and can your company recover? With workers comp coverage, you never have to worry about these questions.
Business owner policy
Think of a business owner policy (BOP) as a bundled insurance solution that includes multiple coverages for a lower cost. Typically, an insurer will combine general liability, auto and property into these packages, but can further customize it to include additional policy options to meet your specific coverage needs.
As you can see, there are different options for getting insurance A policy tailored to your business and the dangers encountered.
Always keep an eye on the future
Running an eco-friendly landscaping company is a rewarding business opportunity that benefits the planet and helps consumers become more aware of their impact on climate change. Entrepreneurs who follow this business model have the future clearly in mind, but it’s important not to lose sight of the long-term risks.
As you continue to plan and grow your new business, keep the risks in mind and always protect your company’s interests with comprehensive business insurance coverage. Your monthly premium will be a fraction of the cost of settling a claim or lawsuit against your brand.