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Hello from New Member

To LJN,
 
I wanted to introduce myself and reach out to the community. I am one of the co-founders of fastgardener and gained experience in the landscaping industry at a South London gardening firm.
Our company helps clients book professional gardeners through our online and mobile app. We help gardeners increase the number of bookings they take and makes the invoicing and collection process easy.
 
I've read with interest the comments made about services like this, our competitors, and can appreciate that this is not for all gardeners - particularly those with already overbooked weekly rounds. For others, this service can really work out well to fill spare capacity or take on more work.
 
We're continually updating our product, technology and business and hope we're on track to building an app that really helps and benefits gardeners as well as our customers.
Sorry to say that we can't promise an abundance of bookings waiting for you when you join the platform - not straight away. What we can promise is that by signing up to the platform we'll get stronger and over time the quality and value of the work we can pass to you will get better. So will our product.
 
We've some big plans and we want to create a product that really helps customers get the most from their garden and make managing & maintaining gardens easier for the professionals who do it.
 
I welcome all comments or questions that you have for this type of service, or anything else you want to say.
 
Thank you all. Look forward to hearing from you.
 
Mike

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Replies

  • This reply was deleted.
    • PRO Supplier

      Hi Robbie, thanks for being the first to comment.

      We price by postcode, with the lowest being £15. Our commission at the moment is 10%.

      I came up with this idea when I was implementing an automated billing/invoicing and client management system at an traditional landscape gardeners. (I must say, I probably wasn't the first person to think this)

      - there is a way to embrace technology to help reduce a lot of the 'back office' work needed to keep a gardening business running.

      The system I wanted to create was all encompassing and don't think we'd be able to build it in one go, but have to start somewhere. We're constantly improving the app.

      Our goal is to help gardeners run, grow and manage their businesses, and to help customers get the most from their gardens in an quick, easy way. The world is becoming app based and we're moving with this trend.

      Gardeners aren't under any obligation to take a booking, so if the price isn't right for you then there's no need to take the work.

      Regards,

      Mike

      • PRO

        Hi Mike

         

        Thanks for the feedback.

         

        These days there seems to be a new app every other week appear promising to offer a great service to the client and to the contractor. However it seems the most successful business models screw the contractor after they get up and running.

        Link https://www.theguardian.com/business/the-gig-economy

        It's not like your getting an uber taxis from A to B and it costs X amount.

        Past that, a lot of gardening services just aren't tangible enough to be able to have a one size fits all policy.

        With gardening there are too many variables, working for £13.50 an hour is a minimum wage job by the time the costs are taken out.    

        Just as an example, say I have a £1500 lawn mower and it takes me an hour to cut a lawn for one of 'our' clients and the next guy is doing it with his B&Q mower and takes two hours, obviously the client is going to complain and you guys hold off payment until it's sorted out (both lawns are cut) is there set times for a certain size lawn, do you set certain equipment expectations ect.

         - how do you resolve guys resolve simple things like this ?

      • PRO

        Hi Mike

        I was maybe a little harsh in my first reply. Thanks for taking the time to reply to my queries.

        Where do you guys charge your headline price at £15 per hour, as I did a number of random postcode searches however the lowest I found was £22 per hour?

        • PRO Supplier

          No worries Robbie. Would rather people told me what they actually think - thanks.

          So, depending on what time you were searching the prices, I was amending them last night too. Based on peoples responses, £15 ph was too low in most areas, and £25 too high in others.

          [adverts etc stating £15 are being changed but takes time to 'update']

          There are £15 areas e.g. Swansea, but around London/Home Counties where we're most active and focusing, it'll be around £22-32 ph.

          As I speak to more gardeners and discover clients pricing points, price per hour will continually change for the foreseeable future.

          Whats important for gardeners is that we'll always be clear on the hourly rate you get - so if a bookings priced too low for you, there's no obligation to take it.

          • PRO

            Be interested to know how you set up your charging rate - for ex postcode, local authority, county boundaries....

            I've tried 4 postcodes, one average income, one council estate where I grew up, one mostly private rented lowish income and one middle income, 2 counties. All come up as £25 per hour and I know only one, maybe 2 of those areas would pay that rate.

            Perhaps not for general forum reading, but nonetheless very interesting.

            • PRO Supplier

              Hi Scott. Essentially pricing is done by area and we need to set them at existing market rates - so will be basing this from what local gardeners tell me.

              Dealing with the pricing and getting them set at the local market rates is my challenge and something I'll be working on tirelessly over the next couple of weeks. £25 is over priced in some areas, under priced in others.

              As if pricing isn't tough enough, in my neighbourhood we have low-to-middle income parts as well as very high incomes with Porches outside, literally in the same postcode, so really hard to say that 1 area should be priced at X amount.

              Also, I'd pay more for a skilled knowledgable gardener to tend my garden but wouldn't pay the same rate to have him jet wash.

              I'm certainly more alive to pricing now than I was this time yesterday!

              I'll also accept that the rate we advertised at shouldn't be £15 as this cheapens the service some gardeners give and makes customers in high priced areas feel they're paying more than they should be. I'll get this amended as soon as physically possible.

              • PRO

                Perhaps not advertising a standard rate would be more in keeping with what you offer? If rate diversity around the country is real, keeping away from a rate and concentrating on saying you provide a reliable and value for money service may be more agrreable?

                I see the commission you charge as an advertising expense, it may work for me in quiet times, nothing wrong with it from that point of view, when I'm busy I may cherry pick the work I like to do. 

                Lets see......

                • PRO

                  I find postcode pricing weird. There are rich areas and poor eras all mixed up in one postcode.

                  Then there is the social housing thrown into the mix as well. They would all pay the same. In a fair world that's the case. However we all know its not.

                  Would rather see pricing per task.

                  Is there going to be a premium for difficult access? Pet mess? Etc.

  • PRO

    Hi Mike,

    Interesting site, useful to find our what you think the charging rate should be in my area.

    For now we offer all your essential gardening services for £15 per hour

    Where I live you are charging £25 per hour.

    So, I thought I would sign up as a gardener to see what is out there, at the end you ask for my card details - I stopped at that point. 

    On a personal note, I don't give my card details to any untried and tested website, would be just fine with direct debits, as many others do, or sign up as a trial, much in the way Jobber do it.

    • PRO Supplier

      Hi Scott.

      You're not the only person that this is putting off! We are removing this part of the sign-up process as soon as we can (we've given our tech guy a holiday so can't be done straight away).

      The reason we need the card details is that this acts as a verification process - the card details need to match your name/address etc. This way we can be sure you are who you say you are.

      We've now found other methods for verifying gardeners.

      I can categorically say that we won't take payment with those card details (they're not even stored with us, but with FCA regulated Stripe Pay - all very technical).

      Will be sure to update you once this process has been removed.

      And thanks for your feedback - sometimes you don't know until you're told!

      RE your comment on pricing. We're fine tuning so would expect some changes to this and it will involve some trial and error - and input from customer/gardener feedback.

This reply was deleted.

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