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I have been self employed for nearly 9 years now and I have not yet got a website for my gardening maintenance business. Are they really needed these days and how effective are they to attract more business? I had a quick look and there appears to be some free websites you can set up and manage but you will have Third Party adverts on your site. Can anyone recommend any  free and hassle free websites? Have anyone any experience with these? Thanks

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  • I had a website about ten years ago but it didn't seem to increase the sort of work I wanted- design and build-  or any other work for that matter so I let it go. Although it was apparently getting plenty of views, I didn't seem to be getting any new work directly from it.

    I paid 500 initially and then 100 annually

    Although it was pretty slick in some ways with lots of nice photos as well as some worthy stuff about working with nature, maybe I came over as a bit of a generalist. Also I maybe should have worked more at updating it.

    Obviously having a website is a great idea, the slicker the better and focussed on the sort of work you want to do even if it means putting a limited amount on it.

    If people are in the market for spending big bucks, they are going to expect you to have a website that has the right look, which I found was surprisingly hard to get right. 

    No experience of the free ad driven sites, they sound like a great place to start

  • Hi Andrew, for a local type of garden maintenance service a web site is a lot less essential than it is for many other kinds of businesses. Also having a web site is one thing, and getting potential customers to actually see it is quite another. After 9 years you sound like you have managed quite well without in fact and do not need a fancy website to establish credibility which is often the reason that new start-ups feel the need for one

  • All our new work comes from our website and we found we got better clients from it, takes some work and investment for it to work but depends on your target market, we have to invest in it but worth it as the clients we get from it are higher end...

  • PRO

    I got one from GoDaddy for £100 on an offer a year ago.... I've had one big client (half day a week every week, massive garden) and a few smaller ones from it. It is very vanilla, I havent put up any pics of gardens I work with, the refereces and services offered are real though.... As to whether it was worth the hassle, I'm not sure - I think if you are doing commercial work it is probably on the list of "must haves"

  • Thanks for the replies; much appreciated. I have just done a FB Business Page for my business as a compromise but frankly it's a bit of chore to set up but I guess once out there it will generate interest etc. Anybody on here got a FB business profile page? 

    • PRO

      Yep.....I just use it for fun things and the odd pic. All these things take time to do well.Web site, FB, you could do Twitter, Instagram, Houzz, Pinterest. 

      At the end of the day there would be no time to earn money 🤐🤐.

      My website is at www.honestservices.co.uk and if you search for honestservices on FB the page should come up

      • Just been  on your FB  page. Very good set up and I like the numerical references to your clients. 

        • PRO

          It works well, any client below number 10 gets a small rate discount, as they were instrumental in getting the business going - 5 years on there are about 5 of them. Beyond that it immediately prioritises them in importance should there be a clash,- they all know their number as its on every invoice. 

          It also allows me to refer to them without putting names/street names on FB etc

    • I've got a Facebook buisness page also and get s few bits from it , the annoying part is I don't want a personal page but you need one to have a buisness on there...

      • Yes I know what you mean and all the hassle of setting it up too is a bit of a chore I find.

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