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PRO

£10/hr part-timers have woken up

Down here on the south coast the recent spell of good weather has woken up all of the £10 per hour part-timers. Difficult to compete with for the first time clients as they don't know The difference between these part-timers and the professional garden maintenance folk like myself. I was wondering if other people had the same problem in their area recently?

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        • PRO
          I bet the £5 an hour firms have got the £10 an hour firms quaking in their boots....;-)
          • This reply was deleted.
            • Think I need to put my rates up. I do a lot of gardens owned by the elderly and only charge £25 a time. Others it's 40, but a don't take waste away and my gardens are left a high standard
        • it already happens Billy, RHS, THE NATIONAL TRUST, and a lot of STAITLEY HOMES

    • PRO

      Not needing the money could be pride speaking or it could be entry level business start up rate based on a realistic assessment of the type of service they are offering in a genuine attempt to try and improve their life . 

      Gardening is very hard work for £5 per hour and there has to be an outcome , Hourly rate will shoot up or the minimal reward will discourage any further advertising , unless your local paper does free advertising even the cost of a monthly advertisement will eat into any profit earned . 

      Perhaps though there is some other reason , people have genuine needs above monetary reward there is always this possibility .

  • I charge what I think is a fair rate for doing relatively light gardening and I'm happy to leave the 15 foot hedges to guys like some of you with the big machines. You should be charging more to lug big machines around - they cost more to run/maintain, you probably need a van to transport all the tools around and they are sometimes hard physical work to use. What you can/should charge is, to a large extent, about what you offer.

    One person on this thread referred to a cheap gardener picking up leaves by hand. That sounds extreme even to me, and an incredible waste of time. I do have pride in my work and my horticultural knowledge even if I don't have big petrol machinery. I have good machinery and tools which I maintain, but I can't haul around big, heavy machines and in any case my service is more precise. Eg sometimes hand weeding is essential to get rid of weeds like ground elder but that is time consuming. I would like to charge more than I do, but I get refusals from some people because they think I'm expensive and I charge something like £17 an hour usually, so it does make me wonder what they think they should pay. A few clients have been used to paying about £12 an hour, and a colleague of mine who sometimes helps me charges that, however he uses the client's machinery in the main. He has a few cheap tools but that's all, and he's really busy. To some people paying people at all to do gardening is an expensive undertaking, largely because you know that you will have to have that same job done again before too long. That is why there's a market for the £12'ers and up and up to the £30 an hour people. It is also down to whether people understand gardens, and like gardening. Those who appreciate it will pay more than those who want their garden 'cleaned' - a phrase that always sets off alarm bells in my head as those people rarely want to pay much at all. I have cut grass quite frequently with lots of moss in it but the owners aren't interested in trying to get rid of the moss, it's too much trouble. In short I think there's a market out there for all of us - but £5 is an insult to all professional gardeners.

    • PRO

      ooo 'garden cleaning' is a big red flag, learnt that one very quickly, don't even bother ringing them back now - it's not even worth the cost of the call to tell them no !

      • I had one of those today. Texted back to ask what they mean by "cleaning". No answer as yet.
    • I don't do the big hedges neither nor do I do garden clearances or cleaning. I don't go lower than £20 per hour. But my rate is now around £25 to £30 per hour.
    • Sound like your customers are like mine. I tried to put my rates up, but the elderly couldn't afford it. So I do cheaper rates for the elderly and more for others. When I first started working for myself I had just a car that I sold bought a van and slowly bought petrol machinery all secondhand. Now I have over 45 gardens and I work alone. If customers want extra doing. I say to them I will have to charge you extra.
  • Ignore. You can't compete with £10 an hr. Plus you don't want the clients who only pay £10 an hr.

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