How to Become a Landscape Gardener – 8 helpful tips
How to Become a Landscape Gardener. Being self-employed and doing the thing you love is possibly the greatest feeling in the world. However, when it comes to gardening professionally not only it is a cut-throat business, but you must have a solid plan before you start rolling that massive rock up the hill.
Assuming you’re either already working as a landscape gardener and have registered / registering yourself as self employed. Here are a few tips on getting a good start and getting your foot in the door / fork in the ground!
Gain knowledge that you may not be aware of. We all know that the best way to learn is by doing the job. However, having knowledge of horticulture and other practical skills on building and construction is a string to your bow.<br>Showing potential customers that you have qualifications in certain fields of gardening and landscaping can be attractive and give them confidence in using you for projects.
An apprenticeship is also a great way to gain qualifications on the job. You’re able to become an apprentice at any age to learn new skills.
Plan For Seasons
Unfortunately, with a lot of outdoor work our ever changing weather can effect your work.
Especially during winter when work will slow down and almost stop.
So ensure you offer services that will keep you in work for all seasons. A few ideas:
Autumn – Clearing leaves, grass treatment, pruning plants and planting.
Summer – Cutting grass, trimming hedges, weeding.
Spring – Planting, Weeding, Grass and plant treatment, fence and shed painting.
Winter – Pruning, garden maintenance.
It is important when becoming a self-employed landscape gardener you will need public liability insurance. This coves you against claims from injury or damage suffered by the public.
Working on striking imagery is a must if you want your business to be seen amongst the competition.
It is worth investing in something professionally if you have no design experience.
Having an Identity and logo that is shown on all business cards, flyers and your van is a must. Something eye catching that will help keep you in mind of potential customers.
Equipment & Gardening Supplies Trade Accounts
It is worth investing in your own equipment, gardening equipment that you will most likely require on a day to day basis: Petrol lawnmower, strimmer, garden sheers etc.
However, a chipper, stump grinder and chainsaw may not be essential, unless you advertise these as a service.
When taking on large landscaping projects you will require many “throwaway” items and perishables. It is worth registering for trade garden account with reputable gardening suppliers.
Registering for trade accounts at garden centres and building merchants will mean cheaper prices that what the general public pay. Also, in some cases you may be offered special deals, saving you more money.
When most jobs require new landscape fabric, weed control membrane or compost, try and save money on these sorts of items.
What to charge?
This can differ depending on the region you live in. You probably want to earn a minimum of £150 a day.
You should also charge more for dangerous jobs or waste removal.
Not every job is straight forward. So the personal option of providing a quote based on an hour by hour basis is beneficial. You will find that you will have common jobs in your field, cutting lawns, trimming hedges etc – So quoting should be easy knowing how long jobs like this take.
If you’re trying to gain new customers. Offering a set price on certain services and advertising this may help you get traction.
Finding Customers and getting work
If you’re starting from scratch being a landscape gardener, it can be tough. In many regions it is a popular service.
You’ve got your qualifications, insurance, price and branding all sorted….so how are you getting the work?
– ADVERTISING: Flyer drop through peoples doors in your area. Advertise in local papers.
– DOOR TO DOOR: Go areas in your town or city, knock on doors and offer you service (don’t forget to give a flyer).