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What if money really did grow on trees?
If you’re starting a tree care service business, then your business should be “growing” all the time. However, many of these businesses fall flat because they don’t have the best tips for getting started.
Wondering how to make your tree business a truly “giving tree” business? Keep reading to discover our top tips!
1. SWOT Analysis
You may already be familiar with a SWOT analysis. If not, this is an analysis where you figure out the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats for your business.
It’s good to do a SWOT analysis at least once a year once your business is started. And we also recommend doing a lighter version of one before you get started.
Strengths might include existing equipment and skills, and weaknesses might include limits to your coverage area. Opportunities might include new local businesses that will need ongoing tree trimming service, and threats will include rival trimmers.
We recommend doing this analysis early on because it gives you a good idea of whether you really want to go through with starting this business.
2. Prior Experience
One solid way of knowing whether you want to start your own trimming service is prior experience. Simply put, have you done much of this job before now?
If not, we’ll be honest: tree maintenance is complex and dangerous work. This isn’t something you can learn “on the fly” or over a long weekend.
We recommend working for other tree companies before starting your own. This builds up a solid body of experience while also letting you get ideas about how a successful business should run.
3. Solid Budget
One rookie mistake many people make is thinking it will be cheap to open a tree care service. However, the cost typically ranges from a minimum of $10,000 all the way up to $50,000.
Those high costs cover everything from licensure to insurance to hiring a team. This is why it’s important to make sure you have funding at the ready before you dive in.
Remember that getting funded is about more than just borrowing money. You also want to have a timeline of how quickly you will be able to pay the loans back.
You can only build such a timeline if you have solid projections of potential profit. To do that, you’re going to need a business plan.
4. Making a Business Plan
Some entrepreneurs dismiss a business plan as a formality. However, it provides a very important foundation for your business.
This is where you will lay out financial estimates, equipment needs, marketing plans, and so on. If you’re the coach, think of this business plan as your playbook!
The business plan also helps keep your expectations realistically grounded. Things are going to be financially tight in the first few years, and you need to know that before going into business for yourself.
5. Do the Paperwork
Spoilers: there is a lot of boring paperwork required for opening a business. And if you miss out on any of it, it could put you in legal and financial jeopardy.
You’ll need to trademark your business name, for instance, and register your business with the county, state, and federal government.
Remember to check with your city, county, and state about any additional licenses and permits that may be required. And for good measure, you should have your paperwork reviewed by a legal expert to make sure there’s nothing you have missed.
6. Target Markets
Many tree care businesses have different areas of specialty and different markets. It’s important for you to figure out what your key markets are before you really get started.
For example, you’ll likely have more success with commercial customers. You’ll want to target areas that have very prominent landscapes that are full of trees. Potential areas include local golf courses and schools.
You can also target places that are likelier to experienced damaged trees. Beaches and public parks, for example, may receive damage from things like hurricanes and tornadoes.
Finally, if you do plan to target residential areas, aim for ones that are upper-middle-class and up. These are the homes that are likelier to both care about the appearance of their trees and have the disposable income to take care of the problem.
7. Getting Insurance
Insurance is an absolute “must” for your business. And we recommend getting a minimum of a million dollars of coverage.
As always, insurance is here to help you prepare for the worst. And when you’re dealing with tall trees, “the worst” tends to be very expensive!
If a tree ends up falling into a university building or wealthy home, you may be liable for significant amounts of money. And the insurance is here to make sure such liability doesn’t put you out of business.
Don’t forget that insurance is also a valuable marketing tool. Simply put, customers feel safer and secure when they know your work is insured.
If (and when) you start a team, you’re going to want separate insurance to help take care of them in the event of injury.
8. No “I” in Team
It’s easy to think of starting a business as a solo endeavor. However, a tree care service business is going to need other bodies to help out right away!
When business picks up, you’ll need help. Hiring local contractors for this work is going to be the quickest and most economical way to get assistance when you first open your business.
Soon, though, you’ll want to have a dedicated team instead of random contractors. This helps create a stable work environment and ensures that your business can deal with very steady workflow.
Starting a Tree Care Service Business
Now you know the best tips for starting a tree care service business. But do you know how to continue staying on top of things?
We help to bring you the latest news and hottest tips every single week. To make sure you and your business stay in the loop, check out our Business and Finance section every day!