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Helpful Advice for Launching Your Own Tree Care Service Company

You’ve already worked hard for other tree care companies in an occupation that is part of a difficult and demanding profession. You now recognize the financial potential of owning your own business. Even if you are a born entrepreneur, starting a new tree care service company can be a risky and challenging — even for individuals with considerable experience in tree care.

With proper planning, diligent research, and a strong work ethic, owning your own business is certainly attainable; but first, let’s explore several factors to consider before jumping in.

Start by evaluating the market to get a realistic indication of the competitive landscape and the need for your services. Your evaluation should identify all companies that provide services similar to those you would like to offer.

If possible, seek out the advice of experienced tree care professionals in non-competing markets to help you understand what challenges they faced in starting their business and how they overcame them.

Business Plan – A Must

Next comes the creation of a formal business plan. To begin your business plan, consider these four core questions:

  1. What service(s) will your business provide and what need does it fill?
  2. Who are the potential customers for your services and why will they hire your company?
  3. How will you reach your potential customers?
  4. Where will you get the financial resources to start to grow your business?

Your business plan also should include an in-depth competitive analysis that goes well beyond simply identifying competing companies. This analysis should delve into competing market share, customer lists, market trends, market positioning, years in the business, and competitive strengths and weaknesses. Understanding this will be valuable in assisting you to develop your business’ unique value proposition, allowing you to differentiate your services from what the current competition offers.

Since a well-written business plan is also likely to be required by potential lenders, it should also contain realistic first-year and long-range (3- to 5-year) sales and profit projections. The plan should also outline anticipated staffing, equipment, and office space needs. Specific to equipment, Morbark has an extensive global dealer network that can assist you in identifying current and future equipment needs, including brush chippers, stump cutters, compact utility loaders and attachments, and dedicated mulchers and mulching heads.

Your local Small Business Administration office is a great resource for assisting new companies in developing thorough, objective, and realistic business plans, as well as providing access to free and confidential small business advice to help build your business through their resource partners, such as SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives) and their mentors.

Startup Company Checklist:

  • Thoroughly analyze the market to identify competition, opportunities, challenges
  • Prepare a business plan
    • Company description
    • Market research and competitive analysis
    • Estimates of income and expenses, including equipment, office, and staffing needs
    • Marketing strategy and mission statement
    • Long-range objectives and financial projections
  • Secure relationships with lenders
  • Register with appropriate local, county, state, and federal agencies
  • Get tax identification number from the Internal Revenue Service
  • Secure operating permits, licenses, and insurance
  • Become an accredited tree service company through the Tree Care Industry Association to establish credibility
  • Develop marketing tools, including a website, business cards, services brochure, price list, and social media channels, and promote your new company