• Sam if you doubled your price and lost half of your customers you would have the same income with half the work witch would allow you to take on more gardens at the new price  

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    We have a handful of jobs remaining where there is an hourly factor there - over the last couple of years I have either squeezed them out or they've been happy with the new price. Nearly all leads now are for mowing, and / or lawn treatment and that's the way we like it. I know of a guy who I can pass down the naff stuff to quite honestly! 

    I've heard of one guy who charges effectively £50ph and will cover everything under that but that's with himself and a helper and he's full. Strange, but works by the sound of it. 

  • I agree you do need to offer price per visit and an hourly charge. Some customers have huge gardens and you simply can't put a price on it so you work to an hourly charge or a day rate for one man. A lot of older customers have said to me that they require a set amount of hours a month. Where my price work is best is the smaller semi detached houses where your in and out for £30/35 a visit. Works great
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    Sam. If you can edit your website I'd tweak it a bit.

    Currently it says:
    "Sam started gardening as a hobby. Over time he began gardening for friends and family, then soon reached a stage where he was making a living from maintaining people’s gardens."

    I would put something along the lines of:
    "Having been a keen amateur gardener for many years undertaking gardening for family and friends, as well as developing and maintaining his own garden, Sam became a full time professional gardener over five years ago in 2012"

    I think you are under rating yourself, you would not have survived in business for five years and have an established customer base if you didn't know what you are doing.

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    And either do something with the blog or remove it, do not just leave it as the Latin verse the website designer pasted in.

    I'm sure you can follow something with the blog, after all you are posting on this forum.

    • Hi Andy, you're totally right with the blog! I'll update the site and write something in my blog. I'm fortunate to have very good gardening jobs, leaving aside the amount I'm paid. They are amazing with a huge diversity of planting, so I'm sure I can write something worth while!

  • Thanks for everyones input. You've all been very kind and I'll take it all on board. Over the next few weeks I'll make some changes and will go from there. I really appreciate people spending the time going into detail and sharing there thoughts. Best wishes Sam 

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    I spoke to one of my customers said to me a couple old days ago that her neighbour, who is in her eighties, is desperate for a gardener as she cannot cope with the garden anymore. Apparently five "gardeners have been to look at it, but none have taken it on. I said I'm not surprised, which surprised the lady I was talking too. The isn't any lawns it is all flower beds, I said I presumed the guys who had been to look at the job were only interested in mowing and the neighbour needs a gardener who knows the plants and is prepared to do some real gardening.

    It seems however it is easier to earn decent money as a mow, blow and go contractor than as a plantsman. One guy I know says that one of the issues is that many customers resent paying for things them used to be able to go themselves. Personally I think that for some mature customers "getting the garden done " is just another part of the care package they need to put in place to keep them in their own homes and are making a comparison between what they pay for carers and what they pay for gardening when they are judging what as to them a fair hourly rate.

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      Working as a plantsman myself I love these jobs, I couldn't personally think of anything worse than just cutting lawns all day everyday and because there are few with the will, confidence and knowledge to take on these jobs this means you can charge a premium for this service. Will agree with Andy, most are not interested in these jobs and it's probably easier to make money from a mow, blow and go business, but I've always been under the thoughts that you should look at what everyone else is doing and then go in the opposite direction, you've got more chance of succeeding, ( think Anthony Robbins said this). But i agree... Good luck
  • I don't really do hourly anything, if I wanted to do that I'd go stack shelves in Tesco tbh. Only just today though I went out to estimate a potential new customer's garden for hedge trimming, around 90m of 4-6m high 3-4m deep with the 6m lot being up another 5m or so of wall on a busy road, no pavement, blind curve on steep hill and quite dangerous as far as risk was concerned. Anyway I gave him a quote for the work which would need a second man as to not get killed.. and the fella messaged me back saying that it was too expensive, the he reckoned it was,4 hours work, to which I replied maybe if it wasn't so overgrown at this point, and that I don't work hourly rates but on job by job basis, wished him all the best only to get a cheeky text back saying that he wondered how I got any work at those prices! Not to bad though as I did get an extremely well paying garden revamp contract an hour later. :)
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