Have you been dreaming about starting your very own gardening business? How to start a gardening business from home current or next year? Look no further – in this article, we’ll discuss:
- The pros & cons of starting a small business
- How to get your gardening business started?
- Inexpensive ways to market your services
Ready to take the leap and begin running a profitable business? Keep reading as we’ll show you how…
What are the benefits of starting your own small business?
Setting up your own business can be a stressful time, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Deciding to go self-employed comes with quite a lot of responsibility, whether it’s supporting employees, doing your bookkeeping, or generating leads.
However, for many small business owners, the pros often outweigh the cons when taking on this responsibility. Some of the benefits of working for yourself include:
- Uncapped earning potential
- Choosing your hours
- Better work-life balance
- Autonomy and freedom
- Following your passion
It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the downsides of starting your own business to be prepared if and when those challenges arise. For example, gardening tends to be seasonal, so having a firm strategy in place can help keep work coming in through the winter months.
In the early days, you might find yourself working long hours for little payoff. However, as you build your business, increase local awareness and slowly build your customer base, you might get more control over hours worked and may even consider employing staff.
How to get your new gardening business started?
If you love the great outdoors, can withstand the unpredictable weather, and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, then starting a garden maintenance business might be for you…
- Brush up on your knowledge
Whether you’re a seasoned horticulturist, an enthusiastic green thumb, or someone who can’t tell the difference between a begonia and a daisy, starting a new business is the perfect time to boost your gardening knowledge.
Take time to look at some of the services other garden maintenance companies are offering and familiarise yourself with the various factors such as:
- Pest control
- Hedge and tree trimming
- Garden clearance
- Lawn care
Investigating the market and services offered by others will help you to establish what is in demand, at what times of the year, and who your main competition will be.
- Write a business plan
A business plan serves as a solid foundation for your business and will help guide and shape your company during its early years.
There are several different target markets to choose from. For example, you might prefer to aim your business at landlord maintenance services or property management companies, or you might decide to target councils and commercial land owners.
Alongside some solid market research on the right markets, you’ll also need to include in your business plan:
- An executive summary
- Goals and objectives
- An estimate of costs
- Details of services offered
Whilst writing a business plan can seem daunting, it’ll help you get a better understanding of exactly what you want to achieve and how to get there.
- Register as self-employed
For tax purposes, you will need to register as self-employed as soon as you embark on starting your own business.
How to market your services (without breaking the bank)?
So, you’re registered and self-employed, and you’ve written your business plan – the next step is finding customers. The key to getting your name out there without spending lots of money on advertising is to leverage organic forms of marketing.
The phrase ‘organic’ simply refers to unpaid channels of exposure, such as:
- Search engines
- Your website
- Business listings
- Social media
- Blog posts
Setting up a website doesn’t have to be technical or expensive, there are plenty of inexpensive tools out there that can help you create a site in a pinch. WordPress is a very simple content management system to use and is very versatile. Wix is another option, but if you do have some money to invest in marketing, a well-made and correctly optimized website can assist your performance in search engines and work to bring in leads for you.
When it comes to those looking for local tradespeople, many homeowners still rely on good old-fashioned forms of organic marketing, such as leaflets and business card drops. It’s best to shop around for the most affordable and quality printers, so don’t be afraid to check local printers as well as online providers for things like:
- Business cards and compliment slips
- Stationary, stickers, and labels
- Leaflets, letters, and envelopes
Next, ask local business owners if they would be willing to keep a copy of your leaflet or a stack of your business cards on display. Local shops are often very willing to support small businesses in the area, and having a presence in trusted establishments can help to get your name out there.
Very often, those looking for trade services will reach out to others for advice on social media, asking who the best person is for the job. Take some time to set up a profile on the relevant social sites in your area, list your services and contact details, and post on local groups offering your services.
You don’t need to be present on every social media website, just two or three relevant ones will help. These might be:
Local listing and social sites such as NextDoor or Gumtree are also great places to advertise your business for free and interact with those already looking for garden services. The key to getting it right on social media is simply making it as easy as possible for people to find out more about you and your services, so use relevant information, and hashtags and always include a link to your website.
Remember, consistency is key with marketing, so once you’ve started, it’s best to keep on going. For the most cost-effective marketing plan, take stock regularly and ask your customers where they heard of you – this can help you figure out what is and isn’t bringing in leads, and you can be more efficient with your marketing spend.
Now you’ve got all the knowledge you need to set up a thriving gardening business, so get your gloves and secateurs at the ready for your incoming customers.
- Guest Author: Debbie Woodliffe
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