Starting a tree trimming service – Want to start a tree trimming business? If you’ve been working for a trimming company for a few years and would like a new challenge, consider it. Tree felling is a skill that will always be needed.
When you drive down any street, look to the left and to the right, and what do you see? You will see trees! Eventually, 100% of those trees will need pruning, or cut down, because of wear and tear or weather damage.
If you have done tree work for about three or more years for a reputable tree care service and are:
- An A-1 climber
- Well versed in knots
- Tree rescue techniques
- Working with hazardous trees
- Understand pressure cutting
- Chainsaw usage and maintenance and,
- How to properly dispose of wood and brush
WHY NOT consider going from a tree climber to starting your own business?
Starting Tree Trimming Service – Use Existing Skills
A tree trimming service will entail everything from trimming limbs, taking down trees, removing tree stump to planting trees. If you ever worked for another tree company or been a climber, it might be something worth consideration. You have taken down trees, pruned and dead-wooded tree for years.
You have worked hard, risked your neck for other tree companies, and you realized the financial potential if you could get your own tree work. Now you are thinking about starting your own small business.
Granted, it is a big step from working on a tree crew and starting your own tree care service, so let’s look at the steps that need to be taken.
Your Business Plan
When you come up with a small business idea, you will want to draw up a business plan as this will be the road map instructions on how to write a business plan. Before starting a small service, it will be advised to receive small business consulting help from the SBA/Small Business Association.
The SBA can help you will all aspect of starting a new business and their site has video training that is very helpful. Take time to determine how you want to start you tree trimming business and where you want it to go.
Trademarking your Business Name
Another good idea is to do a Federal Trademark Search to be certain the name you arrive at hasn’t been trademarked. Trademarking is a good idea later if you are going to build on the name or sell franchises. A 50 state Federal Trademark is available.
It’s best to hire an attorney to interface with the US Patent and Trademark Attorney because they won’t guide you through the process if you make a mistake. Cost is around $2,500 to file through an attorney for a “50 state knock out” which keeps others from legally using your name in all 50 states. This is the same protection all the big name businesses sought prior to expansion. So, start small but think about the big picture.
Registering your Tree Care Service
With your county: Make sure to register your business name with your state. This does not take much time and is pretty inexpensive.
With your state: A business license gives you the legal right to work in your state. Many people will ask if you are a licensed tree care service when they are looking to hire you for work.
With the Government: Go online or call the IRS to get an Employee Identification Number. You will use this number as your business identification number and will use it to open a business account at your local banking institution. You can register by phone and within a week to ten days, you will receive your certification in the mail.
Tree Climbing Equipment
- Safety Equipment
- Cutting Equipment
- Climbing Rope
- Logging Saw
- Bull Rope
- Eye Guard
- Climbing Saw
- Climbing Boots
- Ear Protection
- Pole Saw
- Oil Can
- Orange Cones
Insuring your Tree Trimming Business
Purchase insurance: Insurance will be necessary to protect you from liability in case of damage to yourself, workers and client’s property. The minimum insurance will cover you for about $1 million in damages. You can also purchase insurance against you or you workers get injured.
While you can get away with working without insurance, you will get more jobs when homeowners know your are insured. Your tree trimming business will gain a good reputation and the word will spread that you are professional. Also consider signing up with a Local Arborist Society.
Promote your Business
- Invest in professional business cards and printing out fliers to pass out.
- You can also advertise your tree care services in your neighborhood penny saver for about $25.
- Once the word gets out word of mouth will begin to spread through the community that you are available for tree work. Make sure that you have professional looking business cards to hand out to contacts when you meet.
- Get your tree trimming business listed at Google Local Business Center, for free. There you can write a blurb about you company, create coupons and provide direction to your business.
Finding your Tree Trimming Crew
Hiring employees. Independent contractor: A skilled and highly trained tree crew, will keep your tee trimming business running smoothly, with little or no incidence of accidents.
If you have been doing tree work for a while, you will probably have friends in the business who are looking for extra work. I have found placing an ad in the “general labor” section of Craigslist, very effective in finding people to do tree work.
Screen them and place them in the areas of their strength. Keep the workers that you work well with and are good hard workers. Eventually as you get enough work you will be able to employ your tree crew full time.
Getting Business Leads
Lead Service: There are services that provide leads for your tree care company for a small fee. Service Magic is one of the companies that provide this service. They also provide a profile of your business which prospective clients can view. So if you don’t have a lot of contacts this may be a consideration for a while. Service Magic will bill you at the end of each week.
When you have a small tree care business, it is important to always be networking with other people in the business. You can get tree referrals from lawn care professionals and when you find someone who need lawn work, you can refer them. Twenty-five percent of this business is referrals.
You can also ask friends and family if they or someone they know needs tree work. They can be your first positive referrals when you do a good job.
During the busy months of tree work, you may not think much about piling up wood, but during the winter months, selling wood can be a great way of making extra money at $150 a truckload of wood with stacking and cutting.
It is always good to keep a tally of clients who have fireplaces and may consider buying a half or whole truck load of wood for you. If you don’t have a wood splitter, consider partnering with someone who does and split the profits.