Getting your Gardening Business started
So, what do you need to get started?
Primarily you will need gardening tools. The first thing you need to
establish is whether you are going to use your own tools or your clients'
tools to carry out the work. Many people will have their own lawn mowers
and tools that you will be able to use but if they haven't you will
need to buy some. You can buy reasonably priced tools from Argos,
AMAZON and for hand tools you might like to try Blooming
The basic tools you will require
Lawn Mower (electric or petrol), Shovel,
Spade, Fork, Hoe, Rake, Hand Fork & Trowel, Garden Gloves, Shears,
Secateurs, Wellington Gardening Boots.
Additional tools may include:
Hedge trimmer, Wheelbarrow, Pruning Saw,
Watering Can, Jet Spray Cleaner, Garden Kneeler (protect your knees),
Make sure that you have an appointments book to keep all your jobs in
order and a receipt pad, should your clients require a receipt upon
completion of work.
Once you've set yourself up with your gardening
equipment and you feel confident enough to take on work, you are ready
to go. However, if you are a little rusty or would like to learn more
about gardening before you start then you may want to consider taking
Course. Elearn offer the following two courses:
Horticulture Course, which covers the following
Basic Botany, Plant Classification, Soil Science,
Plant Nutrition, Plant Pests, Diseases & Problems, Organic Gardening,
Weeds, Basic Propagation, Amenity Horticulture, Plant Groups and Families,
Planting and Plant Care, Plant Notes and Indigenous Plants, Exotic Plants,
Indoor Plants, Lawns.
The course costs £289.99.00* and is conducted
online from home. On successful completion of the course you will be
awarded with two qualifications. This is definitely worth looking into
if you are serious about making a career out of this profession. For
more information or to sign up for this gardening course click
Landscaping Course, which covers the following
Basic Design Procedure, History of Gardening StylesDraughting
and Contracting, Basic Landscape Construction, Surfacings, Furnishings
and Features,How to Make Trails, Tools and Machinery,Earthworks,Cottage
Garden Features, More on Tools and Machinery.
This course costs £240.00 and is conducted
online from home. On successful completion of the course you will be
awarded with a Landscaping Diploma and a Landscaping Award Certificate.
A good course for those of you who are interested in developing your
career as a Landscape Designer. For more information or to sign up for
this gardening course click
How much can you make?
Now the important part, how much should you charge?
Typically, anything from £10.00 - £25.00 per hour, depending
on what type of work is required. If your client wants any materials,
such as plants, hanging baskets, pots, lawn feed etc., this is an additional
cost. You can choose to charge 'per job', for instance, if you were
clearing out a garden then it may be beneficial to you and your client
to agree on a fixed fee, this can be anything from £100 to £500,
depending on size and work required. For regular customers you could
charge a monthly rate to maintain their garden, including mowing the
lawn. The amount you charge largely depends on the area you are working
in and the size of the garden. On a typical scale anything from £50.00
to £100.00 per month. These prices were researched in May 2009.
Finding Gardening Jobs Online
If you'd like to get in touch with people who
are looking for a gardener you could try registering with RatedPeople.
RatedPeople put clients in touch with tradesmen, including gardeners.
There is a fee imposed by the agency which works out to around 50p per
just £20 +VAT for the first 3 months you'll get:
- Unlimited job alerts by email
- £20 worth of free leads every month
- 100 free SMS job alerts
- Your own website
After the trial period:
After the first 3 months the service is charged monthly
at £20+VAT with £10 worth of free leads every month on a
12 month contract. Leads vary in price, starting at £4 +VAT. The
price of a lead is based on the job's size, scope, location and the
skills required to carry it out.
Job alerts by text are the best way to ensure you
don't miss out on the jobs you want. When you join, they'll give you
100 text alerts so you get immediate access to jobs via your mobile.
Do bear in mind that in order to make sure the service
runs smoothly for you, they'll automatically top up your text alerts
(at £10 +VAT for 100) when they run out, but you can choose to
opt out of this part of the service at any time. So please do look into
this before registering.
It might be worth signing up to their trial
period to see how you go, and then cancelling if it doesn't suit you.
If you decide to register do familiarise yourself with their costs and
terms first. Interested? You
can find out more here...
Registering as a self-employed Gardener
You will have to register with
the Inland Revenue as self-employed when you become a freelance gardener,
you can find out more details on our Tax
Gardening Insurance for your business
It's recommended that you should
take out some insurance to cover yourself against any mishaps
or accidental damages. Compare
public liability insurance here.
Gardening and fitness levels
Gardening is hard work and much as you may enjoy it,
you must ensure that you are physically fit to work in the garden. Don't
consider this type of work if you have any health issues relating to
stamina, back pain or heyfever. Speak to your GP about your plans to
work as a gardener and ensure that he/she confirms that you are fit
for the job.
Get yourself some FREE Business Cards
The next thing you need to concentrate on is
getting your client list. It's imperative that you have a flow of regular
customers to keep you in business. Once you get one or two customers,
you're on your way as these customers will recommend you to others.
Or you may find neighbours popping their heads over the fence, admiring
your efforts and offering you work. But as a starting point you will
need to advertise. Get some business cards printed. You can get 250
free business cards at VistaPrint
(they charge only P&P). You can also advertise free online at UK
Other tips on advertising your gardening business
offer an effective advertising campaign. They offer business users a
free two month trial, and then a flat fee of £20.00 plus VAT per
month thereafter. If you cancel your membership within the two month
free trial period, you will owe nothing.
If you're short on cash you can advertise for free
Get some leaflets printed
have a great range of leaflets and flyers or
if you have a printer, you can print some flyers off yourself for local
distribution. Place an ad in your local supermarket, newsagents, library
and ask local estate agents if they would keep some of your cards. Finally,
you can create your own gardening website using a sitebuilder, which
will create beautiful pages for your business in a few simple steps
- click on this
link to find out more about a free or budget
Freelance gardening can be a productive business,
and although initially your customers will be house owners you may also
look into offering your services to companies who have gardens surrounding
their buildings. Good luck.
Be your own boss
Choose your hours
You can earn good money
Seasonal work (not much work in winter)
Outdoor (you can't work in bad weather conditions).
*correct at time of publication - 21/08/2011
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