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Founded in 2008. The Landscape Juice Network (LJN) is the largest and fastest growing professional landscaping and horticultural association in the United Kingdom.

LJN's professional business forum is unrivalled and open to anyone within within the UK landscape industry

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For the researching visitor there's a wealth of landscaping ideas, garden design ideas, lawn advice tips and advice about garden maintenance.

New Venture

Hello everyone.I am new to this site and been doing a lot of research on starting up a gardening services buisness.Im in the process of closing my cafe buisness with my wife for the last 12 years sadly due to the Covid 19 Pandemic.Im 53 now and want to get stuck in to being outdoors,doing the basics,ie hedges lawns pressure washing weeding,etc,but I also want to gain knowledge and get more involved.The nervous part is sending out flyers.Any replies will be most welcome.

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Replies

  • PRO

    Hi Andrew 

    Sounds as if you have a head start already if you are used to dealing with the public 

    An RHS course which fits in with your schedule might be a good starting point to navigate yourself around horticulture , the basics etc , Its an ongoing learning curve is gardening . 

    When the enquiries start to come in from your advertising be selective and take on jobs you can do well within your skill set so you can build your confidence until you feel ready to tackle more challenging jobs . 

    Plenty on youtube  , Robbie on here makes some really useful youtube videos , demo's , pricing etc 

    A useful book to read is Paul Power how to start and run a gardening business and there used to be an E book you could download from this site , A short read but in a nutshell guide by Phil which i also found useful . 

    You will find plenty of support on this site in all areas . 

    Good Luck with your new venture .

    • EveningJohn,thankyou so much for your reply.both you and Jim's replies are so encouraging.A lot to take in and absorb.I will be rooting out the books and videos youve recommended.My wife has been designing fliers for distribution.i must say that this site is such a good tool to get to grips with the overall issues of this field.Thanks again John.

  • PRO

    Hi Andrew, spot  on what John said, especially with regard to keeping within your skill set while gaining new knowledge. 

    I will add that you should think very carefully about your pricing and make sure you are earning enough. It's quite hard to go back a few months down the line and increase prices.

    Good luck

    • Evening Jim.Thankyou for your post.Im absorbing the information that you have given , exciting but nervous,some interesting articles on pricing on this site.Thankyou again.for your time.

      POST im Internet
  • As Jim has said, pricing is critical. If you undercharge a customer at the start you won’t be able to correct that with them later. So if you charge £25 when it should be £50, they won’t wear a doubling of the charge further down the road. Who would?

    Therefore don’t get the work at any price. Don’t wrongly educate the client that your services are a cheap commodity. Do not charge the client an hourly rate, do not tell them an hourly rate. Only charge a price per job/task. You hourly rate is only something inside your own head you use as a device to calculate the price you give for the task.

    Fixed prices are what we all expect from vehicle servicing to painters and decorators. I am currently having a large kitchen extension built. I of course got a fixed price for the job. It would have been madness on my part, the client in this case, to give the builders the job on an hourly rate basis. How would I know what it was going to cost me in the end? So it works better for both contractor and client.

    So for example grass cutting. If you are mowing a given lawn for a client, then this should be a fixed charge. Any efficiencies you then achieve, either through knowledge gained, better and bigger equipment purchased, or just through practice, will be to your benefit as your fee will had for less time spent on site.

     If you charge the client an hourly rate they will be watching you to see you are there for that length of time. As you get quicker they will be getting more work from you for the same fee. So never charge per the hour, only charge per task – fixed prices.

    • What Vic said +1 

       

      • Morning Vic.What a calming and understanding read.I totally understand.Thankyou so much for the thorough explanation.

        Thanks to Vic to.

  • PRO

    I started gardening about 4 years ago.  Some things I'm glad about in hindsight include:

    Completing Level 2 RHS certificate.

    Getting PA1/PA6 licence.

    Buying decent tools, van.

    Getting business initially from personal canvassing (which wouldn't be possible at the moment), then recommendations.

    Don't discount.

    Get references.

    Avoid hourly rates as per Vic575. 

    Negatives: I quoted too cheaply for some early customers; didn't stipulate in my T&c that dog mess should be removed by the customer, otherwise an additional charge will be added. 

    I hope your business goes well. 

     

     

    • Evening Andrew.Thankyou for your advice. Looked up the courses for the future .

      Due to having to walk away from the catering industry after 12 years due to this pandemic,my 1st investment will be a van.

      until I get started with a bit of cash flow I'm going to be using an old reliable Honda Civic hatchback.My task tomorrow is to take out the passenger seat and rear and then to play about with the equipment I have and see how I get on fitting it in.the mower for a kick off is a Honda hrb 25.heavy to lift,but its transport.issue is, putting it all away at the end of the day.Still I'm not phased by this issue.this website is so encouraging it just helps you to keep driving forward. Thanks again Andrew and to everyone else who has replied.

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