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Start and Run a Gardening Business With Little Capital

Do you wish to work for yourself and enjoy the outdoors, starting a landscape gardening business can be a great choice for you? Below we shall be showing you how you Start and Run a Gardening Business With Little Capital.

Start and Run a Gardening Business

To become a self-employed gardener or setting up a larger business can be highly profitable. However, it is important to understand what’s involved.

1. Understanding What’s Involved

To understand what is involved you need to know that:

  • Negotiating with suppliers
  • drawing up contracts, budgets and project timelines
  • knowing about different flowers/trees/bushes etc. and what can grow where
  • handling pesticides and poisonous plants
  • travelling between clients
  • maintaining and handling tools and machinery
  • directing sub-contractors and managing projects
  • keeping up to date on latest garden design trends and best practice
  • tendering for larger commercial jobs
  • physical labour and getting dirty
  • being outside in inclement weather
  • liaising with customers
  • sketching out designs
  • knowledge about drainage and irrigation, decking, stonework, paving etc.

2. Writing a Business Plan

Before starting a gardening business, you should research the market. This will help inform your business plan as you’ll understand your target audience, your competitors, how much you can charge, the different services you can offer, and the current opportunity in a specific location.

Your business plan should include:

  • Executive summary about you and the business
  • Your mission, vision and values
  • SMART goals and objectives
  • How you plan to operate and the services you’ll offer
  • Your target market
  • Your competition and how you plan to differentiate your business
  • Initial set up costs and sales forecasts
  • Marketing, pricing, sales strategies

Also Read: List of Pig Feed Ingredients

3. Deciding on the Business Model

There are numerous potential clients and you could decide to zoom in on one specific type of customer, or be broad with who you’ll work for.

Customers could include:

  • Individuals with large private gardens and grounds, or smaller residential gardens
  • Landlords
  • Estate and letting agents
  • Owners / managers of holiday lets
  • Housing and residents’ associations
  • Property management companies
  • Care homes
  • Commercial grounds
  • Schools, colleges, universities
  • Local councils for public spaces

4. Growing A Client Base

Growing a client base from scratch isn’t an easy task, however it can be achieved with careful planning and consistent activity.

Driving sales can be accomplished using tactics including:

  • Word of mouth e.g. asking existing customers to pass on your details, this can be incentivised
  • Researching and approaching the appropriate person at property management companies, local councils, care homes, hospitals, colleges or holiday lets etc. e.g. by cold calling, sending letters, emailing, setting up meetings
  • Signing up to be a member of British Association of Landscape Industries and/or The Association of Professional Landscapers or other relevant associations that allow you to publish and showcase a searchable profile
  • Offering loss leaders e.g. discounted services that attract new customers who will then continue to employ you and pay full price

5. Developing a Marketing Strategy

An effective marketing strategy will ensure a continual drip-feed of new business.

Marketing tactics can include:

  • Advertising in local newspapers, magazines, newsletters, radio
  • Advertising on social media e.g. Facebook and Instagram
  • Advertising in relevant trade publications e.g. a magazine targeted at property management companies
  • Flyers and direct mail e.g. putting through letterboxes of residential properties in a target location
  • Having a presence at community or industry events e.g. a stand at a trade show
  • Networking at business or industry events
  • Signage e.g. to leave outside customers’ houses
  • Branded vehicles

You should also consider these;

  • Building an Online Presence
  • Figuring Out the Finances
  • Knowing the Legal Stuff
  • Employing the Right Staff
  • Organising Premises, Tools and Transport

If this information was useful, then use the comment box below and also share.

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