How to Start a Landscaping Business With No Experience/ Money in Kenya [Make 5K/Hr]

A landscaped lawn

Mansions in Kenya are getting bigger and the compounds even bigger.

The services of a landscaper are increasing because people want to have not only neat compounds but extravagant lawns where they can relax or play without going away from the house.

You don’t need a million shillings to start a landscaping business.

You can start a landscaping business from scratch without money by starting small, marketing your services as a landscaper.

You can also ask your clients to buy tools before mowing lawns to help reduce your startup costs.

A landscaping business will allow you to beautify the land to your customer’s needs and desires as you make money.

Landscapers are nature lovers that love to see beautiful green compounds with flowers trimmed.

If you want to make money with a landscaping business, you don’t need to know how to trim hedges but also manage a landscaping business.

To become a millionaire as a landscaper, you need to have a business plan.

In the landscaping business plan, you have to determine who your customers are, how you will market to them.

Landscaping is a competitive business in Kenya, for you to win a share in the competition, you need to know who your competitors are and what they are doing and not doing within their landscaping business.

In order for you to make more money, become a blogger or vlogger, use social media to market or create courses on how to manage a landscaping business.

You can also sell trees like the Bonsai or start a nursery to help you make more money.

Do you want to start a landscaping business and are wondering where to get a lean business plan?

Email me on GERTRUDE DOT AKINYI AT GMAIL DOT COM

Is a Landscaping Business Profitable?

Before you make a decision to start a business, you have to know if it is feasible or not.

It is important to identify questions and problems that you are likely to face when converting your idea into a reality.

A landscaping business has very high earning potential.

With the current rise in the construction of new facilities, there will be no shortage of lawns.

Moreover, it is also a government initiative to maintain an attractive and beautiful environment, so it is totally worth it to start your landscaping business. 

What is Landscaping?

Landscaping is the art of making a piece of land look more attractive by changing the existing design, adding ornamental features and planting trees or shrubs. 

Landscaping is meant to bring forward aesthetic beauty but from natural resources like plants, animals and also manmade elements. 

As a landscaper, you are expected to build and maintain gardens or parks and take care of overgrown hedges or trim grasses and manage other outdoor facilities like ponds.

How Do I Start a Landscaping Business Legally?

You can work for a landscaping company, a municipal employee maintaining city parks or you can venture out on your own and start your own business.

If you want to start your own landscaping business, there are certain aspects that you have to consider before you start out.

This will allow you to predict problems before they happen and keep you from losing your shirt on dog business ideas

Find a niche

You have made the decision of becoming a landscaping business owner and now you have to choose the kind of niche you want to operate in.

There are different ranges of sizes for your business.

You can either choose to be an alone weed cutter or a company with many employees and equipment.

Before you start investing your time, money and effort into something, identify what business you plan to start and identify the services that you want to offer so that you can gauge the potential of your business. 

Create a business plan

A business plan will lay out your entire vision, help you identify potential problems and give a clear road map towards your goals.

You need to know what you want from your landscaping business, how you are going to achieve it and why you want it.

Make a budget

Start thinking about the costs that you are going to have in starting this business.

If you are going to buy new equipment, get a crew, market your services as well as the administrative expenses.

You need to have a financial plan and budget for all this so that your business can kick-off successfully. 

Obtain a license

If you are operating a landscaping business in your county, make sure you get a business license that authorises and confirms it.

Do not be caught in a business that is not registered because you will be forced to shut down your operations.

Plan your services

Know what services you are going to offer to your customers.

Is it interior landscaping or exterior landscaping?

This will give you perspective on what you should purchase first in terms of equipment. 

Get a crew

If you are planning to go large scale from the start, you may want to find yourself many labourers so that you can cover more ground and make more money.

Market

Make sure you market your services so that customers may come to you.

You can do this through word of mouth, advertisements, use of business cards or social media.

We are going to look at these marketing strategies later in the article. 

What to Know Before Starting a Landscaping Business

There are certain conventions that you have to consider if you want to operate a landscaping business

Equipment

Here, I’ll give you a list of the tools that you need to start with.

You will need a lawnmower, edgers, machete, leaf blower, rake, a hedge cutter and other gardening tools and equipment.

Finances

If you do not have the starting capital, you can either start by saving or taking out a loan to start your landscaping business. 

Labour

You need to know if you will be working on your own, with a landscaping crew or if you will be hiring a landscaping architect for the design works.

Schedule

As a landscaper, you have to know that you will be doing most of your work in the spring or summer, so you have to have a plan for the off-seasons.

Customers

You have to look for your customers and tailor your work to be according to what they want because quality will be your biggest marketing strategy here.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Landscaping Business?

When starting a landscaping business, it is important to know the expenses that you are going to incur as you are setting up.

Here are the expenses that you will need to cater for when starting up.

Equipment

I know a landscaper who started out with a lawnmower and a machete for business.

For equipment, you will need to buy a lawnmower(s), a leaf blower, rakes, aerator and speeders.

You can also buy your own truck or lease one, which means additional fuel costs.

Start with the equipment that you want to use at the moment and invest in those other ones when your business breaks even. 

Labour

If you are working with people, you may either have a crew or hire a landscape architect for design work.

Start with an hourly contract and include the payroll taxes and cust of insurance. 

Marketing

Your marketing expenses will be included in how you choose to promote your business.

This can be through word of mouth, business cards, websites, lawn signs, coupons or truck magnets.

Administration

Administration expenses will include rent, phone, a filing system, computer, license, fees, insurance, bank charges, professional dues and subscriptions, off-season equipment storage and utilities. 

Overhead

You will also pay for direct expenses of gas and labour as well as electricity and water bills as your overhead costs so do not forget to factor that in your overall expenses.

What Should I Charge for Landscaping?

Charging for your landscaping services can be a bit tricky.

When you are charging for your services, you have to estimate the landscaping costs and price the job in a profitable way.

There are different ways of going about it.

You can either charge on time and materials, where you are simply charging by the hour on projects or installations plus the cost of materials used and any markup on the materials.

I recommend using a time and materials approach because in this way you are less likely to lose any money and you won’t underestimate your services.

You can choose to charge on a project/product based billing where you lay out a design for your customer to make a decision by agreeing to the price ahead of time on a contract. 

You can do an assessment of the complexity of the landscaping services you are going to offer.

If it is construction work, that will mean building from the ground and it will cost more.

If it is just pure maintenance work, then it will be a little less pricey. 

These three ways will help you to come up with a price that is fair to your customer and profitable to you.

Most landscapers charge by the hour and they usually go for a fee of around Ksh. 5000 to Ksh. 7500 per hour on a piece of work.

Complex projects can go for up to Ksh. 15,000 by the hour.

How to Get Clients for a Landscaping Business

Getting clients for a landscaping business doesn’t have to be hard. You do not have to look too far. Here is how customers will know about your services and look for you.

Survey customers

Examine the prospective customers that you have and prepare survey questions for them.

This will allow you to generate new leads.

Ask for referrals

Have a referral program, whereby if a client is satisfied with your work, they can recommend someone else to seek and obtain your services. 

Use social media

Use the connections you have built online to showcase your projects.

Go to Facebook or Instagram and have your business advertisements set up so that people will contact you.

Business cards

Have a business card with good branding, business details and contact information so that your clients will know how to reach you when the need arises. 

Create a website

Your website should have good content for your landscaping projects and you should optimise it so that it appears on top of the lists when someone searches for it on Google. 

Word of mouth

Be the expert everyone knows about and within no time, people will start contacting you for your landscaping services. 

How Can I Promote My Landscaping Business?

If you want to market your landscaping business to create more leads and make yourself known, consider doing this. 

Word-of-mouth

Start doing quality work for people and build your brand through that.

It is easier to get more clients this way.

When people can acknowledge how great your services are, they will most definitely tell people who you are and how they can get in touch with you for your services.

Ask for referrals and testimonials to get more clients. 

Website

Go online and showcase your projects.

Take time to optimise your website for SEO and also build content.

Your website will create a first impression on your customers and this will determine if they seek your services or not.

Social Media

Leverage the connections you have on social media and use that to showcase your projects on Facebook and Instagram, share relevant content and create promotions and advertisements to create more sales and leads. 

Email Marketing

Run an email sequence on your customers and offer solutions and tips to take care of their pain points.

You can offer free resources or provide educational content if you want to build trust and authority with them.

This will also encourage sales conversions.

 Business Listings and Directories

Make your landscaping business available on sites such as Google or Home Advisor so that people can cope online and search for your services easily.

Create a business profile, showcase your projects and ask for customer reviews if you want to make it to these directories.

Networking

Connect with industry experts and participate in local and community events and meet new people.

You will get more clients and leads in this way.

Postcards / Flyers / Door Hangers

By now you should know who your target audience is.

Homeowners are notorious for landscaping services. If you want to make your presence known to them, use postcards and flyers with good branding, details and contact information.

This will increase your chances of being hired.

Advantages of Starting a Landscaping Business

These are the benefits of a landscaping business

Attracts and retains clients

The thing about landscaping is that your work speaks for you.

Quality branding is one of the marketing strategies in this sector.

When your prospective customers can see the kind of work you offer, it will attract them to your business and work also retain those you have.

Increasing property value

Landscaping beautifies and makes property attractive and gorgeous. There are many people who are going for an aesthetic look on their property and landscaping is one way to do it

Saves time and money

Starting out, you may need to go up in expense of purchasing the right equipment and getting free to work for you, but once you are stable, you will not need to spend too much time on a single project or any money on the equipment, except for maintenance which is usually lower. 

Landscapes have economic advantages

There are tourist companies that hire landscaping business experts to improve the overall outlook of their land because it attracts foreign visitors who earn the country revenue.

More space

With a crew, it is possible to cover more ground on a single property. You will also be keeping your equipment with you in your home garage or basement, so you do not really have to get an office space when you can run everything from home and online.

Disadvantages of Starting a Landscaping Business

Starting a landscaping business has these major pitfalls. 

Expensive to buy equipment

When you are starting a landscaping business, equipment is very essential.

Without them, you cannot operate.

Sometimes getting quality equipment, except which does not break down easily is costly and can be way out of your budget. 

No flexible schedules

Working as a landscaper means you will not have a normal work routine.

You will only work when people need your services, and this is usually during spring and autumn.

It can be annoying for someone who works on schedules. 

Financial constraints

You have to know how to budget and price your services so that your business is profitable and makes you money.

You should know how to budget to pay your employees, pay off your taxes and maintain equipment as well.

Sound financial management skills are key.

What Skills Do I Need to Become a Landscape Business Owner?

As a new owner, you will need to master these skills and techniques if your business is to be successful.

Planning

You have to have a solid foundation of why you are going to start your business, how you will do it and what you want to achieve.

This will help you identify any pitfalls and also have a laid-out vision of your goals.

Technical skills

You need to know how to operate on your equipment to be efficient.

Do not just rely on the leaf blower manual to use it.

You can take lessons or look at tutorials online.

Wear your tools like a second skin.

Management

Financial management is very important in the landscaping business. It will determine whether you make money or not.

You need to know how to handle budgets, pay taxes, maintain equipment and pay yourself and your employees.

This business will be useless if you cannot make money out of it. 

Dedication

You have to be dedicated and willing to commit and sacrifice to achieve your desired goals.

No business lacks challenges and problems.

Do not give up.

Communication skills

Knowing how to communicate with your client is very important if you want to succeed in your business.

You should be a good listener to what they want and also give a few suggestions on what you think will best complement their property.

How Can I Become a Successful Landscaper?

Starting a business requires certain personal characteristics.

This deals with who you are as an individual.

Ask yourself questions that cover the physical, emotional and financial strains you will encounter in starting a landscaping business.

Doing thorough self-analysis is important because it will determine whether you are cut out for the job or not.

Do your research

As a new landscaping business owner, you need to do market research on your customers and competitors and identify the problems and challenges that you will face in this field.

This will help you have a competitive edge and also know how to provide solutions in case of any risks.

Identify reasons

Know why you want to start this business.

Oftentimes I tell people that money shouldn’t be your only motivator.

Is it because you want freedom, to be your own boss, solve a problem or is it a passion?

This is very significant for your future success.

Self-analysis

Starting a business requires certain personal characteristics.

This deals with you as an individual.

Cover the physical, emotional and financial strains you will encounter in starting your landscaping business and see how prepared you are once your firm is established.

Improve your skills

Perfecting your skills will play a key role in your business success as a landscaper.

Work on your communication skills as you want to deliver what your client wants and know how to handle finances.

Why Do Landscaping Businesses Fail?

These are the common mistakes that are made by landscape business owners.

Budgeting inefficiencies

If you cannot plan your finances well, oftentimes you will incur more expenses than returns and when your business cannot make you money, you will be forced to shut it down. 

Problem with pricing skills

When you price your skills, you have to make them as profitable so that you can earn income from them.

Self-reliance

Do not rely on your own strength and capabilities in this business. You need people to help you cover ground on a property. Get a crew or have a professional work with you for the designs. 

Operational inefficiencies

If your equipment is obsolete and constantly breaks down, work stops. This will lead to an automatic shut down, until further notice. 

Popular Ways to Make More Money With a Landscaping Business

These landscaping business tips will give you options to invest in a landscaping business and make money in more than one way.

Make Money With a Landscaping Business In Other Ways

If you do not want to do the actual work in landscaping, there are different niches you can choose from and still be a part of landscaping.

Landscaping equipment hire

Invest into buying equipment that landscapers use and need for their business and you can please them out at a fee.

Landscaping staff supplier

You can pool landscaping labourers and outsource them temporarily to landscaping companies at a fee. 

Landscaping training institute

As the expert, you can start your own landscaping training centre where you will give educational content and business insights on landscaping and charge for this content.

Landscape design software developer

If you have a knack for information technology and all things computers, you can develop software that will allow easier navigation of landscaping ideas.

Landscape architecture

You can be a landscaping architect and specialise in the design works for landscapes and make money.

Landscape ornaments supplier

You can be a supplier for the ornaments that are used in both interior and exterior landscaping and make money.

Greenhouse training institute

Landscaping embraces the go green initiative so you can start a training institute to educate landscapers on how they can incorporate this and avoid using plastics in their landscape. 

Landscape equipment retail shop

Make money selling landscaping equipment if you can obtain them wholesale or from a manufacturer. 

Interior landscaping

There are many business enterprises, especially restaurants that embrace interior landscaping ideas today.

You can check to see what these restaurants have and fund inspiration from either Pinterest or Instagram on how you can achieve those results. 

Exterior landscaping designs

For exterior landscaping, choose designs that will be appealing to people.

You can find inspiration on Pinterest as well.

Lighting

Choose the lighting according to the mood you want to create.

Landscapers who have mastered this art usually get more customers and make more money.

Ornaments

Landscapers incorporate beautiful carvings and sculptures into their design and this usually creates a very aesthetic, beautiful and quality look.

Plants

Moments naturally create an aesthetic experience in the environment.

You can model different shapes out of hedges or add flowers to the property.

What are Landscaping Business Requirements?

A landscaper laying grass near the swimming pool

The legal requirements for a landscaping business will include.

  • Business license 
  • Business insurance 
  • Equipment 
  • Employment liability insurance 

FAQs on Starting a Landscaping Business

1 How much does it cost to start a landscaping business?

The amount of money it costs to start a landscaping business depends on the amount you want to invest.

2. Is landscaping a profitable business?

Yes, landscaping is profitable.

You can earn up to 500K/5M a month and up to 25M/year when you’re experienced and market your business widely.

The amount you earn depends/varies.

3. How do I start a landscaping business?

Start simple with lawnmowers, work gloves, first aid kit, a rake, trash bags, blowers, edgers, clippers, wheelbarrow. You can find quality used products or begin by hiring or using clients tools.

Ask how much do you want to earn? Your income goals depend on the number of hours you want to work.

Calculate the costs for labour, operations, expenses including equipment storage, employee wages, advertising, marketing, electricity and the internet. You can charge per hour/project.

Write a pricing guide because one size pricing doesn’t fit all in the landscaping business.

Advertise

Interview hired help

Pick a brand name for your landscaping business

4. How can I start a landscaping business without money?

Start small

Set money aside

Market your services as you lawn mows

Use client tools or ask them to purchase tools to make your work easier

Ask clients for referrals

Offer exceptional service; go above and beyond to ensure your services rival other landscapers.

5. How do I start a landscaping business from scratch?

Pick a business/brand name for your landscaping business

Identify your goals, for example, why are you starting a landscaping business, who will be your customer, how will you find your customer? how many hours will you work?

Develop a mission statement for example, what do you do? how do you do it? for whom? what value are you bringing?

Determine your startup expenses like a smartphone for ads, internet access

Know the tools you will require like licenses, trimmers gardening shovels, shears, rakes, fertilisers and equipment, toolbox, blower, mowers, safety equipment like steel toe boots, and noise-cancelling headphones, safety goggles, sturdy gloves

Sturdy pickup truck or truck with a flatbed trailer this one is a bigger investment

Have/write a business plan where you will answer how many hours you want to work, why and when, determine if you want to work at the weekends, know the kinds of jobs you will do and ask if you have the right equipment.

Your business plan also answers questions about your customers, who they are and how will they know about your business?

Resources Related to Starting a Landscaping Business in kenya

Landscaping Business Plan Pdf

Start a Business Selling Bonsai Trees Online in Kenya

Most Profitable Plants to Sell Online in Kenya

90 Best Businesses in Kenya

Businesses to Begin in a Small Town in Kenya

Businesses to Start in Your Neighbourhood in Kenya

Landscaping is in high demand in Kenya.

If you are looking for a way to make decent money for a living, a landscaping business should be on top of your list.

Making money from landscaping should be every artistic person’s dream.

If you cannot be able to raise capital on your own, I suggest you partner with someone and pool your resources together instead of taking out a loan.

Big achievements start small. Once you land your first client, you will automatically attract more prospective customers and you will start making more money.

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Online Businesses / Work in Kenya