How to Start a Tree Service Business | CraftJack

Learn how to start a tree service business from scratch. Once it’s running, contact CraftJack to find out how we can help you build your client list.

How to Start a Tree Service Business 1

If you're looking for a business opportunity that puts you in a fast-growing industry, has high earning potential, and gets you outdoors during the week, a tree service business might be just what you're looking for. If this is your first business venture or you've never worked as a tree service professional, you may be wondering how to start a tree service business and give it the best chance of success. Fortunately, the process isn't as difficult as you might think, and the potential return on your investment is significant with the right approach.

CraftJack can help you get the leads you need to grow your new tree service business into a successful enterprise. Set up your free account today to speak with a dedicated account manager.

What Is a Tree Service Business?

Landscapers are there to handle most of our needs when it comes to keeping our outdoor spaces looking tidy and put together. If there are any trees on the property, though, it's better to call in the experts to handle their care. The size of most trees makes it unlikely a landscaper would have the tools necessary to maintain them, and the extended life span makes it especially important that trees are cared for in a way that promotes the growth a homeowner wants. This is where the tree service business comes in.

Tree service professionals are trained to handle the planting, maintenance, and removal of trees for homeowners. They use specialized equipment to ensure their work is done safely and in a way that provides the results their clients need. Some are certified arborists who have the education to assist with diagnosing a tree that's showing signs of distress and provide solutions that can restore it to its former glory. A tree service business can also provide regular pruning to keep trees healthy and looking nice, and many are able to assist with any bushes and shrubs on the property as well. Even if a tree has already been cut down or has fallen in a storm, tree service companies can come to remove the stump and assist with the disposal of the felled tree.

Although some homeowners may think it's a good idea to handle tree removal on their own, tree service companies make sure the job is done right and offer protection against potential damage or injuries that can be caused in the process. The experience and training minimize the risk of any accidents, and strong insurance policies make sure the homeowner is covered if something happens to go wrong. Some companies offer storm remediation services that are specifically tailored to handle the debris created after a heavy storm and can assist with restoring the property once it's cleaned.

Benefits of Having a Tree Service Business

Owning your own business comes with many benefits, and a tree service company has a few that are unique to the industry. As a business owner, you get to call the shots and control the image you project to the public. This means your company will be rooted in your personal values and work ethic, and you'll never have to do something you don't agree with just because the boss told you to. You'll get to decide when you want to work, and taking time off for vacations and special events is at your discretion.

Businesses also enjoy a variety of tax write-offs that can help reduce the amount you owe the IRS each quarter. You'll have the flexibility to work as much or as little as you need, and the success of your business is limited only by the amount of effort you decide to put into it. With the proper plans and tools in place, you could find yourself in a position to hire others to handle the workload, leaving you with more free time to dedicate to family and personal interests. Your business will also make an impact on your community, providing your fellow residents with the services they need at the standards you set.

When you choose to start a tree service business, you're taking an active role in maintaining the beauty and integrity of the properties in your city or town. When people come to visit from out of town, one of the first things they notice is the quality of the landscaping. Your company will be positioned to help make that first impression a positive one while instilling a greater level of pride in the permanent residents of the area.

With the current housing shortage in the country and a new generation reaching the age when most people begin to seriously look for a home of their own, tree service companies are going to be a critical service, especially with Gen Z's affinity for environmental responsibility and maintaining a positive connection with nature. This supports the rapid growth trend that tree service businesses have enjoyed for the last decade, creating a solid foundation for the success of your new venture. A strong tree service company also takes as little as 1 to 3 months to establish, meaning the transition into successful business owner can be quick.

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How to Start a Tree Service Business

If all this sounds like a pretty good deal to you, the next step is to learn how to start a tree service business. Despite the quick establishment and lucrative profit potential, the process to start your new business isn't difficult if you take it one step at a time. If you start today, you might find yourself the owner of a successful company in just a few months, enjoying the freedom and financial security you've earned from your hard work.

Lay Your Foundation

Just like any other business, you'll need to get the paperwork out of the way to get your company started. To start this process, come up with a name for your company that's easy for others to remember. Before you make the final call, check to see if the matching domain name is available online. If it is, go ahead and reserve it now so you'll have it available when you build your website. Take a minute to secure any social media accounts you plan to maintain for your business as well. This is also a good time to consider securing a rented mailbox, so you don't have to use your home address for your business. Choosing one at UPS will also let you use the physical address of the store for mail that won't be delivered to a P.O. box.

Your next step is to register your business with your state attorney general's office. This process can often be started online. Choose the type of business entity you want to create and fill out the appropriate application. Corporations and limited liability corporations offer certain protections for the assets of the business owner, but they also come with specific requirements to take advantage of those perks. Make sure you fully understand the expectations for the business type you choose. Once your business is registered, it's a good idea to open a business checking account to keep your finances separate from the company's. This is a requirement to protect your assets. You may need to get an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS to open the financial accounts you need.

Next, it's time to complete any training you might need. Although many areas have no licensing requirements to provide tree services, taking the time to become a certified arborist will add to your skill set and help set you apart from the competition. Look into obtaining certification from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) to let your clients know you're well-qualified to handle their needs.

Before you start your first project, you'll need to get an insurance policy to cover any property damage or personal injuries you may be liable for while working. Lawsuits are an unfortunate but realistic concern for any business owner, but insurance will ensure you don't lose your livelihood over a mistake. As an added bonus, having this kind of insurance policy can also act as a selling point to win bids from potential clients.

Create a Solid Business Plan

As you're getting all your paperwork in order, it's time to start working on your business plan. A business plan is essential for developing a successful business because it lays out a road map for you to follow, so you always know what you have to do next. Your business plan will outline your financial details and cover the professional goals you set for yourself. A good business plan should include the following:

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Products and Services
  • Market Analysis
  • Marketing Strategy and Implementation
  • Organization and Leadership
  • Financial Plan with Future Projections

This will be a critical document as you develop your business, so don't be afraid to seek help if you're having trouble doing this on your own. Once you have your business plan completed, make sure to refer to it often to ensure you're on the right track with your business and make modifications as needed. The business plan is a living document, so it should change as your goals shift through different stages of growing your company.

Seek Funding If Needed

Now that you have a business plan and have set the stage to launch your company, it's time to seek any funding you might need. A tree service business can require a large investment to get the tools and equipment needed for the services you plan to provide. Start by calculating the amount you have to spend on these items and decide how much more you'll need to cover the rest. The extra money can come from a bank loan or a private investor. If you'd prefer to start your company debt-free, wait until you secure your first job and use the capital you already have to purchase the equipment needed for that project. Then, invest your earnings into the needs of the next project until you feel you have what you need to move forward. If you plan to work full-time on your business, you can even request some financial wiggle room to cover your bills until you anticipate money flowing in.

Secure the Necessary Tools

Some of the equipment you'll want to have includes:

  • Ladders
  • Assortment of saws
  • Climbing ropes
  • Climbing boots
  • Stump grinder
  • Brush chipper
  • Bucket truck
  • Mini skid steers
  • Block trailers
  • Bush hogs
  • Wedges
  • Clips
  • Orange cones
  • Hard hats
  • Ear protection

Along with the equipment needed for the projects, you might also consider purchasing accounting software and a customer relationship management (CRM) program. These will help you keep your business finances and client interactions organized.

Promote Your New Business

Promotion is key to building your portfolio and client list, so utilize every option you have available until you find out what works best for you. There are many low-cost ways to advertise, including social media engagement, building your website and posting content that uses search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, and seeking word-of-mouth marketing by encouraging clients to share their reviews and asking them to tell their circle about the services you provide. If the low-cost options aren't getting the results you want, it doesn't hurt to look into pricier advertising options to get the ball rolling.

Provide Excellent Service

Once you've landed your first client, congratulations! You're officially the owner of an open business. To keep the customers you have, it can help to offer scheduled reminders for future work they need done or discounts on repeat services. Make sure to stay approachable so your clients feel comfortable telling you if they're unhappy with any aspect of your services. This gives you a chance to correct the problem, turning their negative experience into something more positive to share in a review or with the people they know.

How to Market a Tree Service Business

Marketing your tree service business can be done in many ways, but it's a good idea to keep things cost-effective until you start getting work you can count on. Regular activity on your website and social media accounts will help increase the traffic coming to them, and interaction with visitors will give them a positive first impression of your company. Also, remember to register your business with search engines like Google and Bing. Include as much information as you can, and don't forget to list your website. Other cost-effective marketing tools can include printed flyers, Craigslist ads, yard signs for satisfied clients, Google Ads, and paid social media ads.

If finding a way to connect with potential customers seems difficult or you don't feel you have the time needed to dedicate yourself to it, working with a lead generation company like CraftJack is also a great way to find the clients you need. You'll have access to free information to help grow your business, and you can utilize sophisticated tools to assist you in managing it. You'll also be assigned a dedicated account manager to help walk you through the set up process and get the most out of your account, and you only have to pay for the leads you receive since there is no sign up fee.

Is Having a Tree Service Business Worth It?

Now that you know how to start a tree service business, it's time for you to decide if it's the right choice for you. This kind of business can require a fairly high investment up front to obtain all the equipment and materials you need and much of the work is seasonal, but it also has the potential to grow quickly and provide you with the financial stability and scheduling freedom that comes with owning a successful business. It also gives you the opportunity to spend your time outdoors in the fresh air and work to make your community a more beautiful place to live, work, and visit. If you play your cards right, you might even find yourself in charge of a full hired crew that handles much of the labor for you. What's not to like about that?

Once you do get your new tree service business set up, check out CraftJack to find out how we can help you stay organized and cut down your waiting period between clients. Give us a call today and let us tell you about all the great things we offer our contractors to help ensure their success in their chosen trade.