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Winter work

Hi all, just wondering what the majority of people do in the winter months? I've not been in the biz too long and work seems to be minimal this time of year??  Do people tend to earn enough through spring and summer to see them right through? I do have a couple of 12 months contracts but not many at all.

Thanks guys 

Steve

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  • PRO

    I have a separate bank account I put 20% of my monthly earnings into, in the last 7 years of being self employed I have not had to spend it all during the winter period as I always seem to find work of some type or another while having a good break to boot. The excess I then put forward to help with tax or go on purchasing things for the business.

    • Nice thinking Dave 

      Suppose I could get on the Heinz soup and bread for a few months...was planning on going on holiday early February

      Covid permitting.

    • Good idea

  • I just carry on working in my regular gardens, there's always something that needs doing! Borders to dig, compost to spread, apple trees wisteria and grape vines to prune, jet washing February, logs to chop, things to repair, things to reorganize.

    • PRO

      One way is to keep an eye open during busy months and register jobs which can be tackled in Winter and suggest these to your customers perhaps with a price . 

      Another way is to focus on finding customers with bigger gardens which will naturally provide a winter income . 

      Coming from an estate gardener background before becoming self employed i was often busier in Winter than summer . 

      First Winter self employed was a complete shock as work dried up in Octoner and what doesn't help is council stop collecting garden bin and so many customers were misguided into thinking thats when the garden season stops as decided by their local council which is completely wrong . 

      I plan my work now and allocate jobs such as hedge reductions and pruning to winter if customers are okay with waiting .. 

      This Winter my diary is full but i have not gone looking for Winter work but i did start advertising Winter services in August . 

       

       

  • PRO

    Same as John... When a client expresses dissatisfaction with something that is going to take a while to change when the grass is growing, I work with them at slow speed to develop what they want  - then aim to do it at this time of the year. Then there is fruit tree pruning, hedge reductions and if all else fails fencing jobs from Bark.... but round here I have to make sure its in a garden not too close to the river level, otherwise the ground will be too water logged. On top of that you have more wet/snowy days, 2 hours less light. In fact the week before Christmas and next weeek are all that type of jobs, though we lost a couple of days running into Christmas becasue it was just too wet to work - so we are already behind on those jobs!!

    Also on the financial side I just aim to cover our costs in the winter, in the summer I aim to produce double that a day... which provides a cushion for this time of the year should it be needed.

    But as with John I havent got anywhere near the fruit trees yet, let alone the fencing.

    The first year I traded I really got into (badly) painting bedrooms and things for clients, putting up shelves, curtain rails etc - + far more fencing ... For a few months in the first two winters I virtually prayed for gales to come and create another harvest of fencing jobs :)

  • PRO

    Bigger gardens work  all year

    Catch up on paperwork

    File tax return

    Rest

    • PRO

      You left out - Drink 🤷‍♂️ 😂

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