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Alternatively, has your revenue decreased significantly during the pandemic, and how are you planning on redeeming it? 

Would be great to hear your opinions on this. 

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  • PRO

    I lost a fair few clients when the first lockdown arrived. Within a day I picked up new ones. Then after a month the old ones mostly wanted me back
    .,... I put up my rates everyone went with it. I put them up again  in Oct last year, all bar one went with it. I've just put them up yet again for new clients, and have 1 on the newest rate.

  • Have heard of hairdresser rates increasing by 25% "to make up for what we lost". Have also heard of people looking for new hairdressers. (Not knocking the previous poster, ok prices do go up.) Profiteering ain't a good look when we're all supposed to be in it together. Some prices will have to go up because of material costs. Timber (at least sheet materials eg. MDF and birch ply) rising by 25-40%. Mainly due to the Suez Canal that though.

    I would think most people in this line of work have come through relatively unscathed so far. Only problems I had were a few jobs severely delayed due to material shortages which as I say are still ongoing to a degree.

    • PRO

      There was an initial impact when everyone was confused and postponed / cancelled gardening services . 

      One client a clinic has still not re opened and the doors and windows are currently engulfed by climbing roses and brambles  if it ever does re open i will offer to work for free until they get back into their stride . 

      Garage mechanic has increased his labour rate by 25 % but still excellent value although cost of parts seem to have increased significantly which is out of his control . 

      Turning to domestic customers i have increased prices but ensure my services are still affordable also invested to increase efficiency i.e do more in less time . 

      Projects have to be priced sensibly and not sensitively because its a massive investment of time and energy so i will never be competitive to win the work . 

      Personally spending less and into giving stuff away to declutter but absolutely do not feel the need to claw back lost earnings , counting blessings i think as a gardener have being extremely fortunate during these uncertain times .




    • PRO

      John, having seen some of the prices people mention on here, and apologising to newer clients for price increases so soon after starting with me, and them saying"don't worry Adam you are so cheap compared to X ) I really think we were under charging... something I'm trying to rectify

      • PRO

        Agree i made the same mistake Adam and its now in keeping . I dont compare my prices as they are what they have to be ,I dont feel left out and try and catch up with others on here but I dont see the point in making concession and charging less to win work as this is not the aim to take work from a competitor but sometimes i suspect i have done and still do work cheaper but still good money also perhaps charged more than others . 

        I heard a sad tale recently of a gardener undercharging and no longer with us , i was shocked when one of his customers told me he was paying him more but then he admitted it was actually less , much less and he felt a sense of guilt and shame .

        There was some other stuff he admitted i felt was attrocious . 

        I did wonder why the poor gardener had such a low opinion of himself that he tolerated the situation . 

        One great aspect of this site is it constantly reminds us to place a value on ourselves .


      • PRO

        Hi Adam.

        Here is a guide to what a business in the manual service sector should be charging:-

        Take the average basic wage of each employee and multiply it by 2.5 to 3 times to get what you should be charging a customer.

        For example, if you have a crew of two and their average combined weekly wage is £800 per week, then you should be charging them out at a minimum of x2.5 (£800 / 40 = £20 x2.5) = £50 per crew or £25 per person per hour.

        x25 is the absolute minimum, x 3 is much more satisfactory.

        If you have customes that are not paying at least x2.5 your basic hourly wage then it would be best to increase their price or lose them, because you will probably be making a loss, and that is not good for the profit margin. 

        • PRO

          This is a simple and interesting process to come up with an hourly rate, that if nothing else provides a decent sanity check.  Not seen it like this before and never considered it, working our rates out from a combination of many factors, as maintenance works invariably involve the use of kit, travel, and vehicles.  Pleased to say other inputs aside we are charging a respectable hourly rate according to this article.  Thanks 

  • PRO

    We put our rates up at the start of 2021.  Also increased the minimum number of hours we work at a garden.  No issues from any clients.

    Increasing our charges wasn’t to make up for lost revenue in 2020 though, it was a natural increase after a couple of years without one.

    We did lose a small number of clients last year who were furloughed or lost their jobs.  A couple of months later we were lucky enough to land a very large garden on a weekly basis which really helped.  Revenue last year was broadly similar to the year before taking the self employed grant into account.


  • All of my work is well priced, what I mean is that I am very well paid, I charge the correct fees. I don’t therefore ever feel that I am working too cheaply, which is a big help in that I don’t have to try to increase rates in large percentage increments. So I only try to keep up with inflation. Last year there were no increases obviously so this year I tried to do two years inflation, using the Bank of England inflation calculator which is a very good tool.

    I did not lose any clients last year, it all carried on as normal. Although it has to be said that the workload is mainly non domestic. But all the domestic ones remained also.

    I sacked one client earlier this year because they complained bitterly that I had increased the price by one pound, from £27 to £28 [a very small job] after three years since the previous increase [ I know, not taking my own advice with that one was I, it was like I knew what would happen ]. This has almost never happened, but if very rarely I ever get anyone like this, I withdraw my services. I immediately gained a new client, a vicarage, which is £75 per fortnightly visit. Up to forty minutes of mowing and one hour of hedge/shrub cutting. I was fetched off another job across the road by a PCC member I know to meet the new Vicar and fix a price with him, which was effortless. For most of us seasoned gardeners work often drops at our feet like this.

    The point is that life is just too short to be tolerating anyone with a bad attitude. The last 18 months has taught me that life needs to be as hassle free as possible and is better without having to spend even one minute dealing with miserable types. There is always a new client that comes along. Having said that, most of my clients have been with me for many years, some for three decades.

    So yes, we have to keep up with inflation. In the past I have failed to do this and ten years can whip round so quickly. You are then having to approach clients with a large increase. Better to do small increases every year.

    • PRO

      We regulate our prices to the amount of estimates coming in. In Spring you can charge much higher rates than the rest of the year. At the moment we are charging new clients £38.25 per hour.


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