Each year, UK households collectively spend £2.4 billion on the services of gardeners and landscapers and the garden maintenance industry is growing at 2.8% per year.
As such, starting your own business in this sector could be a great idea if you’re looking to earn some money doing something that you enjoy.
Understand the job
If you are starting a landscaping business for the first time, you need to know what the job entails. There is a huge range of benefits to starting your own business such as flexible hours, a good wage and the ability to spend most of your time outdoors.
However, there are some disadvantages. Generally in the UK, work is conducted during the summer so you will need to ensure that you budget for the quieter seasons when your income will be reduced. It can also be expensive to begin your business as supplies, equipment and tools tend to be expensive and there is likely to be a lot of competition for customers with other local labourers.
Landscaping can be a varied job which is great if gardening and being outdoors is something that you enjoy. Some elements of your role will include constructing water features, planting trees and seeds, sketching and designing plans in line with your client’s vision and budgeting for the costs of labour and materials.
Landscapers can work with commercial clients, residential clients, or both – the choice is yours. Deciding on your clientele will determine what tools you need further down the line so it is best to know this before you begin investing in equipment.
Invest in the tools
Once you know the type of customers you will be working with, it’s time to begin buying your tools and equipment. Investing in high-quality equipment will make your job quicker and easier, as well as ensure that you won’t have to replace them after only a few months. For bigger commercial clients, rather than a lawnmower, you are likely to need a ride-on mower to help cover large lawns with minimum effort.
Multi-use tools, such as a cordless battery leaf blower, can be a great investment for any type of client. Tools that have more than one use will save you money and allow you to offer a multitude of services to your customers. With a battery leaf blower, you aren’t just limited to moving leaves around, you can also clear debris and snow, and clean your lawnmowers and strimmers which helps to keep them in working order.
Other essential tools include personal protective equipment, such as gloves and overalls, as well as a range of shovels, shears and pruning tools.
Consider certifications and education
While you don’t need formal qualifications, having some will certainly make you stand out above the rest of your competitors. The Gardener’s Guild notes that the majority of customers will hire you because they don’t have the time or ability to maintain their garden areas – not because they don’t know how to do it. This means that customers are likely to notice if you don’t know what you are doing which reduces the value of your work and can result in fewer recommendations for your business.
As such, completing qualifications yourself or hiring experienced staff will ensure that you are providing the best possible service to your customers. This is also likely to result in more work for you as customers will be much more inclined to recommend you to their friends and family if they feel that you are doing a good job, which will benefit you as your business in the long term.