How He Started a 7-Figure Landscaping Business

In this interview, Steve Griggs shares his story about building his 7-figure landscaping business with us. He started off in construction and realized he wanted to be his own boss and that’s when Steve Griggs Design came to fruition.

Steve has had huge success with SGD but he has big aspirations for the future.  Make sure you read till the end to see what Steve has planned.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start your business?

I’m a landscape designer & architect who likes to get his hands dirty. My dad introduced me to construction but watching him leave the house at 5 am every morning made me want more. He was always at the mercy of those who ran construction companies which led to some lean times in our home. I made the decision early that I would be my own boss. That was 40 years ago and I haven’t missed a day working for myself.

2. Could you detail the steps involved in the launch of your business?

Launching a landscape design & architecture firm began with cutting grass. Although I had a degree as a landscape architect it took me a while to work up to getting my first design client. I started my business at a time when knocking on doors and handshakes were the norm. There are no detailed steps outside of getting a name for my business and building a reputation one lawn at a time.

3. How do you approach designing and planning landscaping projects for your clients?

Every design and plan starts with a conversation. So much is revealed in how the client wants to live in the space. Moments and memories from the past can lead to a dream design. If there are children then we have to make sure there’s room for them to grow so a new design is not needed at every phase of their growth. Having boots on the ground as we walk and talk gives ideas for sunlight ceilings and walls made of trees, rocks, or bushes. It’s a feeling you can’t get from photos and drone shots.

4. You talk about the difference between landscape design and lifestyle design, can you share a little more about that?

Landscape design is for any and every space, a park, a hotel, or even a public garden. Lifestyle design is crafting spaces that provide unlimited moments of how you live and enjoy life. You can put a pool anywhere or you can design a pool that reminds you of your favorite getaway spot with the stone bench where you watched the sunset. You can plant rose bushes or sunflowers that remind you of being a kid again. How a client lives with the space is everything.

5. How do you attract and retain customers?

A good portion of my business comes from referrals. Also, my clients have vacation or second homes they call me for. I’m currently working to improve my content marketing but it’s a true learning curve for someone who is used to doing business face to face.

6. What platform/tools do you use for your business?

I maintain an old-school approach by first using pencils and paper to sketch designs. They’re my tools of choice to get the ideas, rough drafts, and must haves out of my head. We also use Wix for our landing page and CRM. There’s design software for 3D renderings. We use Instagram and YouTube for content marketing.

7. What strategies do you use that work the best for marketing and promoting your landscaping business?

My word of mouth business is so strong I didn’t start marketing and promoting until the last couple of years. Now I’m establishing brand roots that position Steve Griggs Design as a global boots on the ground design agency. I’m learning storytelling and producing content that shines a light on designer moments and memories.

8. Can you discuss your approach to pricing and how you determine project estimates?

Most people mistakenly think the design is included with construction. I just happen to be one of the few designers who speaks construction. That means I can handle the job from consulting to construction to completion. But, if someone just wants a consult that’s $4000. If they just want a design, then that starts at $25,000. Boots on the ground with the construction crew varies.

9. What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a landscaping business?

Do it once, do it right. Learn to love the outdoors and know how to do more than design. Understand plant science, architecture, furniture, etc.

10. What is your vision for the future growth and development of your business?

My vision for the future of SGD goes back to an earlier answer of going global. I want to design all over the world. I also want to start a product line. I haven’t decided what that will be but you know it will be outdoorsy. I also want to do some mentoring. Not everyone wants to be indoors at a computer all day. Some of us still like to get our hands dirty.

11. How can others find you as we are all fans of you now?

Follow us on IG and YouTube at Steve Griggs Design. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn.

Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Steve Griggs! We are sure there will be much more to come from Steve Griggs Design. Make sure you check out his website to learn more about SGD and to get some inspiration!

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