• PRO
    I work 49 weeks, one off at christmas and two more during the year. Plenty to do throughout the year, especially as hours are reduced due to daylight in the winter. I do a few mow, blow and go but the huge majority are regular maintenance and this is needed in the winter. Eg fertilizers/soil improvers, leaf clearance, bed clearance, laying slabs, light tree pruning, greenhouse washing, shed tidying etc etc? Its a myth that a garden does nothing in the winter, there's plenty to do. You need to guide your customers, afterall you're the expert.
    • PRO

      Agree Andy...and I'd say we are as busy, if not more, during Winter months (obviously weather/location dependent) but setting client expectations and pushing out certain jobs to Winter helps massively

    • I'm not getting requests for that sort of work at all unfortunately - during this summer I was getting 3-4 calls per week for work. This whole month: 2. It's no myth in the eyes of my potential customers it seems. If I had regular clients, I naturally gather more work for the winter through an annual plan. A lot of the Summer work was mostly holiday second homes (North Norfolk Coast) and clearance - large jobs. I'm hoping since i'm already up and running that I'll gather some regular clients and start to build up a full schedule and catch some newbies early (i wasn't fully operational until July this year).

      • PRO

        Just keep plugging away and be 'open minded' about what you can and will do......It does take time to get to a critical mass and planning winter work often starts in the summer

      • PRO
        Do agree with other comments here. You should consider offering added value services. Those second home owners in Norfolk are not unique. There will always be work, trees pruned, soil improved, patios cleaned, beds cleared, paths regraveled etc etc. You just need to tell your customers that a: they need it and b: you can provide it.
        • Cheers, Andy - I'll be sure to make sure that I make the most of every visit to maximise value and profit.

      • PRO

        Have a look at Paul Power's book: Start and run a gardening business. My copy arrived earlier this week and it's got loads of ideas how to keep busy over winter and when to start introducing the ideas to your customers. I'm also using my winter down time to plan my marketing for next year, get ads ready for the local magazines, update my website and work on my google/bing campaigns.

        A friend of mine does Asbestos work and used to spend £60k on Yellow Pages ads, then switched to Google ads for £30k and maintained the same level of work. He has now started trying Bing ads and the ROI is even better than Google as the ads are much cheaper. Obviously the industries are very different, but anything's worth a shot.

        Hve you got your business on Google MyBusiness (Maps) and the Bing equivilent? Bing are giving away free ad credits just for registering on their platforms (I think google do the same but it's been a while since I registered with them).

      • I started May '15, picked up some much nicer jobs this year. I've got enough lined up to see me through January already I think
  • PRO

    Its not unusual to have a quiet spell so soon into a new business. You'll find nest year that you will be planning ahead,mentioning to customers and  jotting down possible jobs that are ideally suited to winter. It really is early days yet for your new business.

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