Do you want to start a tree removal service? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a tree removal service business with NO money and no experience.
If you are looking for a business to start with little start-up capital and huge returns, then a tree removal business will be best suited to your plans. This is a business that is not affected by seasonal fluctuations or location as it can occur anytime and anywhere.
This ensures that you get demand for your services always. When trees are damaged by wind or lightning, it puts peoples’ building at risk. Therefore a tree removal service is needed to help avert the danger. Also with some trees planted where they are not supposed to be planted, you would need the services of a tree removal agency to root them off.
All these and many more necessitate the need for a tree removal service. If you have been thinking of starting a tree removal business but you don’t know how to start, this article would provide you the necessary information to help you make your decision.
Steps to Starting a Tree Removal Business
1. Understand the Industry
The tree removal industry consists of various ranges of arboriculture services that include pruning branches, transplanting, cutting away dead or excess part of a tree, fertilizing, tree felling and removal.
Over the last five years to 2016, the demand for tree cutting and other arboriculture services has continued to soar due to the increase recorded in disposable income and a rebound in construction activity. In years to come, broad-based economic growth will further lead to more construction activity, higher levels of disposable income, and wider government budgets which are all expected to contribute to growth in industry revenue.
The tree removal industry is in its mature stage. The industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3.4% while the GDP of the united states is projected to grow by 2.1% per annum during the same time period of review. The tree removal industry possesses some of the characteristics of a mature industry which includes a temperate profit margin growth.
Despite the low barriers to access, the number of established industry and employees is projected to grow at a moderate rate during the 10-year period. And in the 10 years leading to 2022, the number of employees is expected to increase averagely at an annual rate of 2.2% to 230,681 people.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The tree removal service is not restricted to any particular age group or gender. The government and contractors also need this service when trying to build roads or construct any project being obstructed by trees. In fact anyone could need to remove trees from their neighbourhood whenever it is necessary to do so.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
The tree removal service has some other niche within the tree service industry that you can specialize in to improve your revenue and profit margin. These niche ideas are closely related to the tree removal business. Here are some of the niche ideas you can specialize in the tree removal business;
- Plant healthcare services
- Garden and Lawn maintenance
The Level of Competition in the Industry
Whatever niche of tree removal service you decide to venture into, you would certainly have competitors- even if it is as little as two people and it could be from your neighbourhood or national brands. You should see competition as a blessing as it challenges you to go the extra mile in providing excellent service delivery. You would see it as a blessing when you realize that your competitors are no match for you.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
Every industry has its top brands, these are brands that perform better or are better regarded by the general public than others. Some of these brands have been in the industry for a long while and so they are known for the quality of service they offer. These are names of some of the leading tree removal companies in the United States of America;
- J Davies Tree Care
- Mishawaka Tree Service
- Moor park tree service
- Good Guys Tree Service
No matter how promising and enticing a business can be to you, you will still have to carry out a feasibility study to know how profitable this business can be for you.
You would have to also draft out strategies that will enable you capture the market and expand your business. You also need to draft a business plan that would show you clearly if the tree removal business is viable and should be ventured into or not.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
Your chance of becoming a successful entrepreneur will improve greatly when you opt for franchise. But the tree removal business could be started from the scratch as you could even start it from home using your garage to keep your equipment.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
Every business has its own challenges. One of the major challenges you would face when starting your own tree removal business is the how to market your business. Unlike other businesses, the tree removal business is quite unique and difficult to market except you strategize well. Another challenge or threat is the presence of new competition around your location.
This business thrives well when the people have high disposable income, so the presence of a bad economy which will lead to a lower disposable income which can affect the demand for tree removal. You would also face some challenges about getting finance to start up or maintain this business. You need to get your financial plans right.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
Choosing the right legal entity will influence or determine how big your business will grow; when starting a tree removal business, you should set a target for your business whether it will operate within the regional/community market, or national market.
Sole proprietorship would have been an ideal business plan for a small scale tree Removal Company when one is not having a huge capital to start-up the business, but Limited Liability Company is widely preferred for significant reasons.
When pondering about expanding your business and also attracting both individual and corporate clients across the United States of America and all other countries in the world, then sole proprietorship won’t give you room to achieve these, rather Limited Liability Company is the ideal entity for you.
In order not to incur personal loss Limited Liability Company should be your legal entity. Anything that goes wrong in your business will only affect the money you have invested into the limited liability company. But in sole proprietorship and general partnership, personal loss is imminent. Limited liability companies are easier to operate without looking for board of directors and other managerial formalities.
Things to understand before choosing any legal entity for your business are; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners, investor’s expectations and taxes.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
When you get to the stage to choose a name for your business, it is widely expected that you should be creative when choosing it. This is because whatever name you eventually arrive at will go a long way to create a perception of what the business entails. Usually it is the norm for entrepreneurs to follow the latest trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
Therefore, if you are considering starting your own tree removal company, here are some catchy names you could choose from;
- Wood On Wheels
- Warmth on Wheels
- Out of the Woods
- Rob N Wood
- Hearth and Home
- Good Wood
- Fire Carter
- Fire Wheels
- Hot Wheels
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
It doesn’t matter the industry you operate from, you should be aware that every business needs some form of insurance policy. The same applies to doing business in the United States; you won’t be permitted to operate a business without having some basic insurance policy covers required by the industry you intend to operate from.
So, it is important to include the cost of insurance policy in your budget and perhaps consult an insurance broker for guide in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your tree removal company. Here are some of the basic insurance policy covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own tree removal company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Health insurance
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Overhead expense disability insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
In a tree removal business, you won’t need intellectual protection much like in some businesses, but you should still file for it in order to protect some of your unique property such as your business logo, banners, jingles, and other unique things that people may want to impersonate. You will need to file an application with the USPTO to protect your intellectual properties. Your trademarks approval will be made based on the review from attorneys as required by USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Adequate training is needed for this kind of business. This will help to ensure the success of the business and your safety as well as a lot of hazards and accidents occur in this type of business. Having adequate training coupled with professional certification shows your clients that you are serious about the business.
Part of the professional certifications you can obtain is a certificate in handling chainsaws. You should also get certification as a climber specialist. This puts you at an advantage over your competitors.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
It is very important for you to have the necessary documentations in place before launching a business in the United States of America. It is a known fact that you cannot run your business successfully in the United States of America without having the right documentations in place. This is because the government can prosecute anyone that defaults in this aspect.
Below are some of the necessary legal documents you would need to make available if you want to legally run your own tree removal company in the United States of America;
- Business Plan
- Business License and Certification
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Insurance Policy
- VAT registration
- Apostille (if you intend operating your business beyond the United States of America)
- Federal tax identification number
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Financing your business is one, if not the most important aspect of a successful business. Therefore, when it comes to financing your business, one thing you must first establish is to write a good business plan. With a good and workable business plan in place, you may not have to labour yourself before you are able to convince your bank, investors and friends to invest in your business.
Below are some of the options you can explore to raise startup capital for your tree removal company;
- Raising money from your personal savings
- Raising money from the sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from business partners and investors
- Raising money through the sale of shares to interested investors
- Present your business idea and apply for business grants and funding from donor organizations
- Raising money through soft loans from family members and friends
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
The success of your tree removal business hinges on the choice of location you make. Some of the factors you would need to consider before deciding on a location for your tree removal business are; accessibility, visibility, good terrain for movement of machinery and equipment for tree removal. You also need a good location to store your equipment, but you can make use of your garage if you have enough space there while you run your tree removal business from home.
You must also note that to get a facility in a good location does not come cheap, so you are required to allocate adequate funds in your budget for leasing/renting. If you are not particularly good at choosing a business location by yourself, you should consult with a business consultant or a realtor who would assist you in choosing a suitable location for your tree removal company.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
To start up your tree removal business, you would need to put some necessary equipment in place. These equipment can be purchased as a second-hand (low cost) or a brand new (this ensures longevity).
Hiring the right employee to work with you as a team is equally important. As a start-up, you might not be financially capable of employing a tree worker or climber specialist, therefore you could resort to hiring an independent contractor skilled enough to work together with you to keep your tree cutting business running smoothly, with minimal or no accidents. Eventually as you get more successful in the business, you will be able to employ your own tree crew full time.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
The service delivery process of a tree removal company starts from making a proper assessment of the tree you want to remove to avoid injuries or damage to buildings around. It also entails you ensuring you remove the tree properly to avoid regrowth. You also need to be available and accessible at every time of the day. Ensure that you satisfy your clients by providing excellent services.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
As a tree removal company, you would have a lot of work to do in order to ensure that you market your services to the public. People and organizations will be glad to hire your services if they are sure that they are going to get value for their money.
So, when drafting your marketing plans and strategies for your tree removal business, ensure that you create a compelling portfolio of yourself and your company. Aside from stating your qualifications and experience, you should also state in practical terms your past achievements as it relates to tree removal services. This will also help to boost your chances in the market place when sourcing for tree removal contracts.
Also note that in most cases, you might need to work on your presentation skills as you will be called upon to defend your proposal when you bid for tree removal contracts from corporate organizations. Here are some of the platforms you can make use of to market your tree removal services;
- Introduce your business to corporate organizations and small scale businesses by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to them
- Promptly bid for tree removal contracts from corporate organizations
- Advertise your business on radio and TV stations
- List your business on yellow pages/local directories
- Understand your clients and create different packages for different categories of clients so that you can work within their budgets
- Leverage on the internet to promote your business
- Employ marketing executives and business developers to help you carry out direct marketing
17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
As an entrepreneur, one of the things that should top your list of things to achieve in your business is how you would effectively boost your brand and communicate your corporate identity to the public in the right perspective. The way you portray your business is also the way the public would see you.
That is one of the success secret of larger corporations. They make adequate budget every year to spend on boosting their brand awareness in order to communicate their corporate identity exactly the way they want people to perceive them to be.
If your main reason of starting a tree removal business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are operating from to become a national and global brand, then you must be ready and willing to allocate a substantial amount from your budget for promotion and advertisement of your brand.
In the process of promoting your brand and corporate identity, you should take full advantage of both the print media and electronic media and not leaving behind the social media (internet). As a matter of fact, promoting your brand through the internet and your social media platform is cost effective, efficient and wide reaching.
Another strategy you could use is to sponsor community based programs, TV and radio programs relevant to your business, while you could also advertise your business in relevant magazines and newspapers. Here are some of the platforms you can make use of to promote your brand and advertise your business;
- Encourage the use of word of mouth publicity from your loyal customers
- Make good and efficient use of the internet and social media platforms such as; YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Google+ and other platforms in order to promote your business
- Make banners and billboards and position them in strategic positions all around your city
- Distribute handbills and fliers in targeted areas in and around your neighbourhood
- Reach out to small businesses, corporate organizations and the international business community and inform them of your organization and the tree removal services you offer