It feels impossible to find a flexible gig where you can make good money without falling into the slog of a typical 9-to-5 office job. Curbing businesses offer an attractive opportunity to those who want to work outside, run their own business, and still take time off to spend with their families whenever they want.
If landscaping and curbing sounds like a business you’d enjoy working in, it’s time to examine the business startup steps associated with a curbing business.
Daydreaming about running a business is one thing, actually running it is another. You can’t grab a cement mixer and head to your first client without first laying the foundation of your business – the financial and legal foundation.
Every small business owner should set out with a business plan. This will give you an outline of how your business will operate. At the very least, your plan should include the following sections:
Executive Summary – This wraps up all your hard work analyzing, studying, and planning your business into a tidy little summary. Keep it brief and entice the reader of your business plan to keep going. This is where investors either turn the page or toss the plan in the trash.
Market Analysis Summary – Know your target market and how it is changing. Breakdown customer needs, location, and how you are able to reach them.
Execution – This is where you explain the logistics of how things will work. You should cover the equipment and location needed, technology necessary for operations, and the marketing and sales plan for bringing business in. You’ll also put a timeline to identify when key executions will be conducted and list out the metrics you will use to monitor success.
Financial Plan – This portion of your business plan is all numbers and projections. Don’t ignore this section as it’s important for setting your business up for success. Include expenses, profits versus loss projections, and business ratios. You may opt to make this section denser if you’re seeking an investor to help with startup funding.
A comprehensive business plan can help you to sway lenders and investors in your favor when it comes to the next step – securing financing.
If you’re not starting out with enough savings to keep your business afloat while finding clients, you’ll need to figure out another form of financing.
Some people are lucky enough to get loans from family or friends, presenting a less strenuous process. If that isn’t the case for you, here are some options to consider:
- SBA Microloan Program
- Credit Cards
- Bank Business Loans
As you move forward as a small business owner, establish a relationship with an accountant and financial advisor. They will be able to advise you on making the best business decisions and helping with your taxes.
Proper training is a key differentiator between an amateur and a professional. Invest in your business by securing the training necessary to impress your clients and trigger more business opportunities.
Training can consist of anything from business management to technical skills used to perform high-end jobs.
You don’t want to go into a job without the skill set needed. It will result in unsatisfied customers and a poor reputation.
Learn Curbing Techniques
Curbing businesses are considered landscape installation or artisan concrete and fall into those categories for classification purposes. Be sure all your legal documentation and licensure are set up to correctly classify your business’s category.
The occupational licensing office in your county will help you determine what business licensing you will need in your area. Licenses vary in type depending on your state and location. You will also need to secure federal licensing as a small business.
Be mindful that fees will vary from one location to the next. You can usually obtain free business counseling through resources provided by the SBA.
Decide on a business name that conveys the essence of your business while also remaining catchy. Once you’ve chosen you have a few options for registering. These include: filing a DBA, creating a business structure like an LLC or corporation, and creating a trademark.
As a small landscaping business, in most cases, you’re going to be looking at registering your business as an LLC.
Certain permits come with being a business owner, especially in the landscaping category as we require additional vehicles and equipment be used. Permits may pertain to the dumping of material and other concerns. Other expenses and registrations to consider include updating your vehicle insurance due to taking equipment to job sites.
You can’t expect to start up a successful curbing business without the necessary equipment. Establishing a relationship with a supplier whose quality and service you trust will help you continuously stun your clients with top-quality work as you grow your curbing business.
Trailer – When determining what trailer to purchase, consider the amount of equipment you’ll be hauling from storage to job site and back again. Common sizes are 18 feet and 23 feet.
Curbing Machine – Using a curbing machine cuts down on the amount of time needed to construct concrete curbing and can also lead to more detailed projects – both leading to more money in your pocket.
Stamps – Stamps are used to add texture and patterns to your concrete curbing. You can carry as many or as few as you see fit. But keep in mind, providing your clients with a variety of options will ensure they are impressed with the results, which can eventually lead to more business for you via referrals.
Ground Prep Machine – This machine is necessary for preparing the ground to pour concrete curbing into place. This will give a clean, professional finish to your job.
Concrete Mixer – With a concrete mixer you can prepare fresh concrete to be poured on-site. Mount your mixer on your trailer and never forget it on a job.
While you won’t need to start with more than a dozen stamps, the tools listed here are curbing equipment necessary to do the job right. Contact us for a full business package and to learn more about what you’ll need to successfully get started in curbing.
When all the preliminary steps are completed, it’s time to pursue your first client. This is when you put your marketing and sales plans into action.
You may take a digital approach and aim to grab the attention of those you are already looking for businesses like yours. Or you could opt for traditional media and outreach by looking into landscape and garden shows or taking out an ad in a trade publication.
Your options for marketing yourself are nearly endless. But even with great marketing, you’ll need a clear sales process and the delivery of quality results. Wow your first client from start to finish and you may find they generate more sales through positive word-of-mouth.
Ready to take the next step in beginning your own concrete curbing business? Contact us for information on securing tools and training to get started.