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Starting a Landscape Gardening Business - the basics
by Startacus Admin
Reckon you are a Mr or Mrs Greenfingers and think you could turn your passion and skill into a business?
Since the sun has been shining constantly over the last few weeks, I partially decamped my office to the garden. It’s no surprise then that I started to develop a real liking for the garden and a love for all things ‘garden based’. So much so, that the other day the mind wandered onto the subject of how one might start a landscape gardening business.
The thought only lasted a few seconds mind you, however it did give me the early inspiration needed for this article! Just as my plans for going on holiday, led to the recent How to Start a B&B business post. Inspiration is everywhere! But I digress - here’s our rundown on the basics you might want to consider if you are, in reality that is, considering Starting a Landscape Gardening Business...
Where you are planning to start your landscape gardening business? What type of area will it be in - city, town or rural landscape? How might this affect the type of services you would offer?
Will you buy into or buy an existing gardening business, Work for yourself, work as a franchise, set up with someone else?
Is there a need for a landscaping business in the location you want to base your business? How many other gardeners are based where you live - is there a current need?
If there aren't any competitors, is it because the need isn't there, or just because it’s not being offered currently. How could you market research your community to find out? Clipboard and pen and knocking on doors? Using Facebook and online survey tools?
Research the type of prices you can charge for your services. What do your competitors charge? Make sure again that the research you do is local and related to the demographic of your customer.
What could you offer that is potentially unique / different?
What services are popular? What designs and styles are up and coming? What is being done elsewhere that might not be so well known where you live currently?
What skills and experience do you currently have? What training would you require? Where would you be able to obtain relevant training? How much would training cost?
How much knowledge and education do you hold that is specific to horticulture? What courses, books, trade magazines, online communities can you join to further your studies and keep up to date with the industry?
Planning and Development
Based on all of the above, what can you offer that will mean you have a viable and profitable landscaping business?
Have you written a business plan? Do you need to write a business plan?
Where locally / nationally will you advertise your landscaping business? How do you get listed in local trade directories, business listings - how do you get your business card included in those DIY store stands / garden centres?
How could you use social media to promote your services?
What contacts do you have / could gain within the industry who could recommend your services?
Do you need your own website? Who would be able to design your website? How much will that cost?
What will you call your landscaping business? Can you think of a unique name or a person / character / location that will make your landscaping business synonymous with the area live?
Pricing - how much will you charge? Are you going for high end pricing, mid range, or to be simply cheaper than your competitors?
When the weather is bad and your services are required less, what other services could you provide to keep the cash coming in? Could you also provide more generic handy work services?
What type of hours are you willing to work? Weekends / evenings?
Are there any local builders, plumbers, etc that you could recommend and vice versa?