I stumbled across the forum earlier today. I've learnt more about my future business this morning than I have during the past 3 months. Finally, some genuine people with good and honest answers.
A little about me first and then just one question for now. I am 53, and have been employed by one comany or another for ever!! All of my jobs have been sales or retail in one form or another. Currently I manage a garden centre shop. I have to admit that the guys in the nursery are a real font of knowledge, and I learn something new everyday. Anyway, for one reason or another, my wife has agreed that I can become self employed in any field that I can make a contribution to the holiday fund. I was once a wedding photographer (ran the shop too), and now take photos that sell with agencies. This means that I can fit this income stream around a real job. I also play in a couple of bands at the weekend evening. So between them i have an income. Oh i forgot to mention that I'm a background actor too..........
Anyway, over the last couple of years, i have had lots of customers ask if i could recommend a gardener, tree surgeon, somebody to lay a lawn etc, and i have given their numbers to a couple of colleagues that work privately during their days off. But recently I've thought that maybe i should take some of the leads myself and create a business from it. With my other income streams i'm able to make the leap into self employment knowing that it'll take some time to build a regular client base and referals.
I have a few question which i'll get to ask at another time, but here's the first:
I'm really only looking to work in lawncare. I don't think that i have enough knowledge to do general gardening, my plant knowledge is still far from ideal, although i'm hoping that i'll reach a point where i can be a little more confident and take on general work. I'm guessing that a lawn client will ask for some pruning or something one day which i'll research and then be able to add it to my skill set. I deal with lawns, turf, feeds, seeds, chems etc at work, and am comfortable with questions from the customers. I obviously have practical experience, but only my own gardens and those of friends and family.
Oh yeah, the question! How limiting is specialising in lawns going to be as a new business? I have time on my side in many respects, and don't need to take on anything that comes along. Doing jobs that are beyond me (ie not doing them well) is surely more damaging to a business than not doing them at all?
Thanks for your replies in advance.