How to Start a Land Survey Business




If you’re considering the options to learn how to start a land survey business, you have to research thoroughly as it can be quite competitive depending on the market you are in. 

Starting a business in this field of land surveying can be easier than many believe and quite simple when you follow the right steps. Now, are you familiar with the industry and business type enough to make this decision?

First, a land survey company is used to create a topographical map or determine the exact location of property lines before a sale. Thus, companies in the niche are an integral part of the land development sector, helping boost economic growth and making good decisions before any project or purchase. 

This means experts around it will always be required as long as new developments take place or other needs like surveying a new space or working around an area that can come with many accidents. 

Besides knowing the basics at this point, we will also lend you a hand by providing the information you require to start with the right foot and ensure that your business doesn’t stagnate in the beginning but rather grows with time.

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Do You Know the Actual State of the Industry?

In the last twenty years, land surveying has made great strides. The biggest shift has been the move away from manual surveying tools and towards sophisticated surveying technologies, which makes it easier for workers companies, but a bit more expensive to start the company. 

Today, the leading land surveyor firms use electronic data collection, computer-aided graphing, and global positioning systems. 

As mentioned earlier, these changes have improved the accuracy and speed of surveying, but they also have created higher capital requirements for entrepreneurs looking to enter the industry. 

However, leaving aside the capital needs, you will be grateful this has advanced as much since you can charge more and ensure your company is moving forward thanks to how you can book more appointments and jobs as you get them done in less time.

Scope of Surveying Services

Startup surveyors cannot afford to be specialized in one market. 

Your business must serve a broad range of private and government clients before you can establish yourself as a high-quality surveyor and be more selective about whom you work with. 

You’ll also need to be able to offer a range of services such as boundary surveys, land title surveys, construction staking, and GPS control surveys. 

Utility surveys, route surveys, and other types of surveying are all possible. Each survey you do will be a repeat client. 

You’ll need to show that you can handle all types of surveys to grow your client base, and unlike what you thought, this industry involves more than the “basic” surveying a random land and its measurements. 

You need to be a specialist or, at least, have one or two workers who are. This is very delicate, and it is important to work with as many people as possible to ensure you put yourself in front of the industry and potential clients. 

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Start-up Survey Business

In the beginning stages of your survey company, you and your family members will be your only employees. You can add staff as your business grows or friends based on your available options and people. 

Every new hire must be able to get the job done from the first day. The quality of your services will determine the reputation of your startup. 

Your surveyors must be certified and have to be knowledgeable about local customs.

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Start Planning Your Business

For entrepreneurs to succeed, a clear plan is vital as it will allow you to map out your business’s details and discover some opportunities. Here are some important points to remember:

  • What are the ongoing and startup costs?
  • Who are your target markets?
  • What can you charge customers for?
  • How will you name your company?

These main questions will build the base for your business plan and roadmap to ensure you are going in the best possible direction to avoid as many mistakes or issues as possible. 

From here, you need to develop each point, starting by wondering how much you will need to invest in this business.

Land surveyors are a profession, and it is costly to start a business. In addition to the thousands of dollars required for training, the cost of equipment and surveying can add thousands more. 

A business can save significant money by renting or purchasing a used surveying machine. Apart from the equipment and education costs, renting an office, hiring staff, and marketing the business is also necessary. 

Most land surveyors recommend that companies buy comprehensive liability insurance to protect themselves from lawsuits. The more you grow, you will add more items or needs to the list. 

However, for starters, we want you to know this is something that has required time and money since the beginning as it is impossible to expect it to be low cost or no money required.

While doing this, you need to make sure that all surveying equipment works accurately. Equipment that is inaccurate or damaged must be replaced immediately, and this needs to be added to your plan to ensure you know the possible extra expenses or work around a new budget. 

There are also the costs of labor and the cost of renting an office.

Then, focus on who is your target market. 

In most cases, you target homeowners, developers, and public agencies. Finding clients is the hardest part of starting a land surveying company. A new business cannot afford to be specialized in one area of the industry, as mentioned earlier, since you will reduce your chances by a lot.

On other aspects, break down what makes a business in this niche profitable and how much you can charge for services.

The hourly rate or the job cost for land surveyors varies. The cost of surveying is determined by many factors, including the property’s size, location, and the type of report or map required. A land survey of a house or residential property on the improved net costs $463 on average.

The BLS estimates that the median income of a land surveyor is $60.000 per annum. The type of land surveying can have an impact on how much income you earn.

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Pick a Name for Your Business

It is both important and difficult to choose the right name, but you would be surprised at home simple it can be if you focus on the main keywords for online marketing later and your business industry. 

Also, most people already have a name in mind. If not, just take a couple of days to find an easy-to-remember one. 

You might choose to use a different business name if you own a sole proprietorship company as well. 

We recommend that you do some research on your business name before registering it. For it, go over:

  • The business records of your state.
  • Registers of trademarks at the federal and state levels.
  • Social media platforms.
  • Web domain availability.

It is important to ensure that your domain name is secure before anyone else.

Compare Competitors

It’s worth looking at the strength of competition before you launch a land surveyors’ company in your locality.  

Is there enough local demand to support another land-surveyors business? You need to make sure you’re doing things better than your competition if the answer is no.

You also need to determine how hard it will be to surpass your competitors. 

Sometimes, a market might seem hard, but it depends on how much effort they are putting into ranking in search engines and getting those calls. 

Some people are getting many calls because they just made a website compared to other companies. 

If you create one and build your social media presence, you may be able to compete with them. It’s a matter of perspective and learning how much work is required.

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Talk to Those Knowledgeable About the Industry

It’s wise to speak to someone who’s already in the industry after you have evaluated local competitors. You won’t get the attention of local competitors, but they will not give up on you. They don’t want to teach a future competitor either, but if you find a good person, you have the world. 

A land surveyor’s business owner outside your area may be open to sharing their entrepreneurial knowledge with you, providing evidence so that they are that you live far from them and will not be taking their customers’ money. 

The business owner might be willing to talk with you about the industry in that instance. You may need to speak to several ones to know how things work in specific. However, this step is not vital or extremely necessary, so you can skip it if you find it too hard.

Form Your Legal Entity

The most common business structures are the corporation, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or sole proprietorship.

You can avoid being personally liable for any lawsuits by establishing a legal entity, such as an LLC or a corporation.

You can create an LLC by yourself, paying only the minimal state LLC cost, or hiring one of the Best LLC services for a small additional fee.

To form your LLC, you will need to elect registered agents. Most LLC formation packages include one year of registered agents. You have the option to either hire a registered agent or you can act as your own.

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Opening A Bank Account for Your Business

It can be a hassle for many, but this allows you to separate your personal assets and your company’s assets. It is essential for personal protection, so you are not financially tied to your business.

Also, it makes tax and accounting filings easier.

In the process, you can establish better credits and bring more opportunities—for example, net-30.

Net-30 vendors are the best option for establishing business credit. A business credit arrangement in which the vendor is paid within 30 days after receiving the goods or services.

Businesses that require inventory quickly and do not have enough cash can often use net-30 credit terms.

Net-30 credit accounts are reported to the main business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet Business Credit, Experian Business Credit, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how companies build credit to be eligible for credit cards and other lines.

Once done with your bank account, we also recommend working around applying for a business credit card. With it, you can:

  • Easily separate your personal and business expenses.
  • It can also build your company’s credit history that will help you rise money later on.

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Get The Permits & Licenses You Need

Failure to obtain the necessary permits or licenses could result in heavy fines or even the closure of your business.

But to ensure you have the ones you actually need, you have to go over a list of requirements for state and local business licensing that varies per state and even city.

To operate a business as a land surveyor, you may need to obtain certain licenses and permits from the state that are general as well.

To get information about permits and licenses in your area, you can:

  • Get in touch with the clerk’s office of your state, county or city.
  • It is possible to ask for help from one of the US Small Business Association’s directory listings of local resources.

Here, we will add some you need no matter what or depending on your condition and how you plan to work around this need:

A Certificate of Occupancy is required for businesses that operate from a physical address. A CO certifies that all applicable building codes, zoning laws, and government regulations are met.

  • If your plan is to lease a property:
    • It is usually the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy.
    • Before you lease, verify that your landlord holds or can obtain a valid CO for a land surveyor company.
    • A new CO is often required after major renovations. It is recommended that you include language in your lease agreement to state that lease payments will not begin until a valid CO has been issued if your business is being renovated.
  • If your plan is to buy or build a property:
    • It is your responsibility to obtain a valid CO from the local government authority.
    • To ensure compliance, your land surveyor business can review all applicable building codes and zoning regulations for the location of your business.

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Get Business Insurance

We mentioned it briefly, but you really need to get one. At least, get the most basic policy to ensure you’re protecting your company, your employees, and yourself.

Your business requires insurance to be legally and safely operating. Your company’s financial security is protected in the event that a covered loss occurs.

There are many types of insurance policies available for businesses of different sizes and with different risks. Start with General Liability Insurance if you aren’t sure what risks your business might face. 

This coverage is what small businesses most commonly need. It’s a great place for your business to start.

Workers’ compensation Insurance is another important insurance policy many businesses require as this ensures that your workers will have a certain level of protection. 

It isn’t easy to manage a business so far, especially one of this caliber, but it is worth the effort if you know how to reap the benefits. 

Start Working in Your Brand

Your brand represents what your company stands up for and how you are perceived by the public. Your business will stand out from its competitors by having a strong brand only and, of course, great services.

Along with this, you need to start thinking about how to promote your business, as building your brand is all about it.

Networking with local contractors or land developers is a good way to begin looking for clients. 

Although some homeowners might search for a land surveyor, it is helpful to have a website. However, larger clients are usually acquired through direct selling.

 It is a great way to find opportunities in the industry by joining and remaining active as a member of a national organization such as the National Society of Professional Surveyors.

When you are working on building the channel and bringing your clients, make sure you complement and close the deals by delivering on time and providing stellar customer service, as this is the best way for clients to be happy and your company to build a reputation. 

Your business will likely quickly build a reputation, so it is important that you do the best job.

Make Your Own Website for Your Business

After creating your brand and your logo, the next step is to build a website for your business that we briefly mentioned. 

Although creating a website can be a crucial step, others may feel that they are unable to do it because they lack the necessary experience. This may have been a valid concern in 2015, but web technology has made it much easier for small business owners.

These are the top reasons you should not delay building your website:

  • All legitimate businesses should have websites. It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is when it comes to getting online.
  • A business website you have created is not replaced by a social media account like LinkedIn pages or LinkedIn business profiles.
  • The GoDaddy Web Builder has made it easy to create a basic website. One that you are proud to own doesn’t require the assistance of a web designer.

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Consider the Pros & Cons of Owning Your Business or Working for Someone Else

We have talked about how to start your own land survey business so far, but are you sure this is what you want or can handle? 

To help you make a decision, we figured it would be better to compare this option with what it is like to work with an established company. 

If you decide to go for the life of an entrepreneur, you get those benefits:

  • Freedom is the greatest benefit to owning your own land surveying business. Everything is yours. You have the freedom to name your company, set your own hours, and choose your clients.
  • You can even decide whether you wear a uniform. Your business brand is built by you being in control of the quality of your work.
  • You can build your business as big as you like as a small-business owner.
  • You can build a website that is great, be an industry leader, and create a niche for yourself, depending on how much effort and time you are willing to put in.

However, this also comes with some cons:

  • You, as a business owner, are responsible for everything. Even the things that take up more time than you would like.
  • You have to keep track of any reports or documents you need to file.
  • You are responsible for every bit of research, phone calls, marketing effort, and blog post.
  • You should also consider taxes and finances.
  • Many small business owners work a lot of hours each week. You don’t have to clock out once your name is on the front door, and you may not be able to take it easy for a long while.

But what about working for someone else? We consider it isn’t the most appealing idea, but it also depends on the person’s circumstances. This means that if you find the pros and cons to be more manageable for you, make sure you are ready to start your own business or not.

With that in mind, consider the pros of working with an established company:

  • You’re truly off the clock when you’re not working. Employees can relax at home while small business owners do their paperwork and make phone calls.
  • You will also have a set of clear rules when working for another company.
  • There are very few risks.
  • An established land surveying firm places the responsibility of office rent, marketing, client leads, and insurance on the shoulders of another person.

But like everything else, the downsides include:

  • The company’s efforts in generating new business directly affect your work volume. Low client volume can have a negative impact on your personal bottom line, even if you aren’t paid a salary. However, you don’t have the power to change it.
  • You are an employee and have no authority to make a business decision, even ones that could have an impact on your earning potential. Your boss can make decisions about your pay and how it clears.

In our experience, we consider not everyone can be an entrepreneur unless they are ready for it and know what responsibilities come with it. 

However, if you’re confident you can invest and sacrifice or, more like, invest more time, you should definitely aim for having something of your own!

The Local Lead Generation Process for Your Land Survey Business

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All right! So, everything is about building properties and generating leads. But how does the process actually take place? Are there other steps I need to know?

The steps I mention below are what students from our local lead generation program follow to generate leads for businesses like yourself. So I’ll help you see what we do. And how if you join our program, you can simply generate leads for your own business (unless you want to start a side hustle and build a laptop lifestyle business).

Essentially, our lead generation can be divided into four steps:

The first is prospecting. You need to take the time to do market research on a niche (industry) and determine how many phone-driven businesses are there.

Keep in mind that this is local research as you need to know how many companies need leads. For example, you may search for “plumbing services Youngstown OH.”

You will find dozens or even hundreds of businesses trying to get themselves in front of the customers by ranking on Map Listings, organic results, and even Ad.

The second step, building. When you find a niche (plumbing, tree services, a software company, real estate…), you will need to start building your digital properties. You don’t need to be an expert in HTML or coding. It can be easy with the right tools.

The third step is now taking time to rank your lead gen website. With the site done, you need to work on SEO strategies and start dominating those Google search results. If you’re new to SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.

To keep it simple, it consists of the entire process of growing a company’s visibility on search engines like Google and generating organic traffic. And remember this, local lead generation is part of the strategies.

Moving on to step four, once you rank the site, you will start getting your ROI and profits. You only need to rent it out to a local business interested in the leads the site generates. You can offer a couple of free leads to their move on with the actual pay per lead.

To review steps 1-4 above, I described it to a normal student who is building a lead gen business to help local service providers generate more calls. But replace the student with you as the business owner. And replace sending the leads to a business to simply siphoning the leads to your personal business.

By the way, fun fact, about 20% of our students in our local lead gen program are actually business owners who went through the program. And they use the skillsets we teach to generate leads for their own business.

An Example of Lead Generation: Home Advisor

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You must be thinking, “if lead generation sounds so good so far, how come I haven’t seen any company?” That’s the thing; there are many out there. You just don’t know they are dedicated to it.

HomeAdvisor is one of the best examples you can find on the Internet as it is a top lead generation company that has spent millions building its brand but also earned even more zeros for this same reason.

They started small as everyone else but invested in building their brand awareness to make people who are looking for home services go to their website and find what they need. They are over 75% of people’s first choice when they need those services.

If you don’t get HomeAdvisor that much or need a refresh, users need to submit their information to request a service and get a professional or expert who can provide it.

HomeAdvisor’s job is to share your information, which makes you a lead, with local companies so they can contact you and offer the service you’re requesting. For sharing this lead information, HomeAdvisor gets paid by the companies. This happens for every single lead they send to multiple businesses.

Business owners who don’t have marketing skills or don’t even know how to have any online presence will always rely on those pages to list their services.  They will save time and effort, but companies like HomeAdvisor can make them spend lots of money as leads aren’t exclusive (one lead is sent to multiple companies after all).

Using Facebook Ads aka Paid Ad Platforms: Do They Generate Leads?

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They DO generate leads. If not, no one would use them.

However, you need to remember two facts:

  1. Paid ads or platforms can be expensive.
  2. They don’t generate “natural” leads.

Whenever someone sees or clicks in one of those ads, over 80% of them did it by accident or are trying to close/report it.

Why? Because they aren’t looking for those services. At least not at the moment.

What those ads do instead is interrupt their time on the platforms. Users aren’t there to find companies or businesses unless they are searching for a specific company’s user, and for that, there’s a search bar. This is why it is hard to convert them to actual customers who will show interest in the companies’ services. Also, you’re limited by a budget.

When using lead generation, everything is organic. You aren’t forcing others to pay attention to your business but rather being there when they need you. This is why Google’s organic traffic will always beat paid ads, and the reason companies continue investing in it, which is a lot cheaper as well.

What Is Local SEO?

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Don’t worry… I didn’t get it at first either. Following the short explanation, local SEO focuses on scaling businesses’ visibility on search engines. However, this is only for those who serve their communities face-to-face.

What does this mean?

Experts and professionals like painters, plumbers, and dentists (but not only them) offer their services to their local customers. Why? Because they can’t deliver them unless they are located in the same area of their customers.

To make sure those businesses get more leads, you need to rank them locally by claiming the business listing on Google to place them on Map Listings. Local SEO also involves online reviews, citation management, and how you manage your entire online presence in the local area.

If you are going to bet on lead gen, you need to adapt yourself to today’s world: The Internet.

Keep in mind that although traditional channels and methods like billboards, warm calls, and pamphlets still work, they aren’t part of your tools. Whenever someone needs a service, they go to Google and search for it.

“Dentist in Miami” or “plumbing services in Orlando,” etc. And you can keep coming up with services or professionals people need and look for. Thus, you need to make sure you’re using Google to get the companies in front of their clients.

Users will always click on the first search results (those near the top), and many of them will be either Ad links (people paid to place their websites there), Map Listing, and then you get websites. Almost all of them are your goal and where you should always aim to place yourself.

Can My Land Survey Business Utilize a Local Lead Generation Strategy?

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If you want customers, you better know you need it. Following the previous explanation, lead gen is all about placing businesses in front of their customers, choosing them over their competitors.

Put it simply – it’s all about closing deals and having clients for those companies to make money. The main difference with the usual methods companies use for this is how lead generation approaches different channels to get them in the right place of the market to get customers.

Those channels are all focused on the Internet as most people are searching for products but also services across the net. The issue is that the Internet is way too broad, and businesses don’t know how to place themselves. They usually try, but they get one common result: losing money and time.

How Powerful Are Organic Land Survey Leads from Google?

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For companies looking for customers, it’s everything. For you? Pretty much the same. When you build a business with digital properties, you get to make thousands of dollars a month.

This isn’t a “get started today and get rich tomorrow” thing, but it is HIGHLY scalable, and ROI + positive results are guaranteed. Learning a fairly decent and very needed set of skills to create your digital properties and start ranking them on Google is required.

I have invested in several online businesses over the years, and if there’s something uncertain, whether you will get your ROI or not, even more than the actual profit.

However, this business moved my earnings from five figures a year to a month in ONLY passive income while sitting comfortably at home.

On my laptop. Anywhere. Anytime.

You can look at one of the first sites I built back in 2016, and it continues making me over $1.000+ every month. The best part is that I don’t need to touch it or the rest I’ve built over the years, just like this digital property.

What Makes Lead Generation SO Alluring?

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Here it goes: you can work from home.

The main issue with regular business opportunities is how much you need to invest in staff, equipment, or rent to have a place to sell your products or offer your services.

We all know the hassles of traditional businesses that involve regular expenses, which are extremely high.  Can you afford it? I don’t think so, and even if you can, is it worth it? Now, it isn’t only about the money. You also need to put in a lot of work, and it isn’t only during the first couple of months or years. Usually, it is as long as you continue running it.

You can save yourself those headaches and bone-breaking tasks and expenses with lead gen since it is more about generating leads with digital channels—mainly websites.

Websites can be VERY cheap to build, and with many tools online, you get to do it in a couple of hours instead of days. Any virtual or digital business is scalable and won’t need constant maintenance.

So, let’s summarize this:

  • You save money in regular expenses with traditional and most online businesses as what you need is yourself and digital properties (websites).
  • You can bet on passive income.
  •  There’s no need to hire more people to get started.
  • You can generate leads in multiple industries, which allows you to work on any niche you want.

How Can I Get Started in the Local Lead Generation Program?

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Anyone can start and learn. That’s the beauty of this business model. I knew nothing about SEO, Map Listing, and everything I’ve mentioned so far. It is all about learning the skills, gaining experience, and deciding to take the step.

Remember that this business model will never get old as business owners are always looking for leads. They need to do business and scale their companies. Why not do the same while helping others and still making money?

You can start with this local lead generation course highly recommended for anyone wanting to grow in the business. It is a close training that will take you through each step and make sure you are able to get your ROI, profits and take control of your life.

You will be added to an incredible lead generation family ready to help you 24/7 when asking questions on the group. Anyone is welcome who’s willing to put in the work. Click here to watch the lead gen webinar.

Learn more about local lead generation below.

Take a sneak peek into our proven strategies to build a passive income by building a local lead generation business from your laptop...