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Old 6 Days Ago   #1 (permalink)
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How do I build a client base? - countryside & garden services

I've been doing rail, domestic and forestry work full time for the last 3 years but now I want to go it alone doing countryside and gardening jobs. I've got the basic contracting kit and skills, from building sheds/fences to clearing scrub and felling. And I studied horticulture at college.
How did you guys get started? What kit do you view as essential? Flyers? Website? What information on advertising - a full list of services, or simply 'cointryside & garden services?
Any help much appreciated

Cheers

Ben
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Old 6 Days Ago   #2 (permalink)
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Re: How do I build a client base? - countryside & garden services

Quote:
Originally Posted by benpritchard View Post
I've been doing rail, domestic and forestry work full time for the last 3 years but now I want to go it alone doing countryside and gardening jobs. I've got the basic contracting kit and skills, from building sheds/fences to clearing scrub and felling. And I studied horticulture at college.
How did you guys get started? What kit do you view as essential? Flyers? Website? What information on advertising - a full list of services, or simply 'cointryside & garden services?
Any help much appreciated

Cheers

Ben
Hi Ben, I would suggest that "word of mouth" is everything, well certainly very important and particularly in the domestic sector and when just starting out, so maybe try to kick start this with an ad in a few local parish mags etc (usually cheap and keeping travel to a minimum.)

Keep any advertising simple and to the point and find your 'USP'...which may just be your natural charm n persona

Good luck,
Paul

PS Others, far better qualified to advise, will hopefully follow here...if only to say what I've said is nonsense
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Old 6 Days Ago   #3 (permalink)
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Re: How do I build a client base? - countryside & garden services

When you get goin, its as important to learn to say "no" as it is yes...

Nothin worse than takin on jobs you wish you never took on...
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Old 6 Days Ago   #4 (permalink)
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Re: How do I build a client base? - countryside & garden services

Turn up on time to do quotes. Turn up on time to the job. Do the job in one go, don't start one then move onto another job, and another, before finishing the first after several days of the client nagging. Be polite, be smart, clean up well at the end of the day, don't throw your cigarette butts in the garden, provide written quotes promptly, send invoices promptly, don't ignore problems that arise deal with them promptly and efficiently.

Advertising in Yellow Pages has limited value, using parish mags is reasonably good, as are the local papers. Write to potential clients e.g. builders, landscape architects etc offering your services, put up adverts in shops and on notice boards, get your vehicles sign written. If the councils in your area have lists of contractors they maintain for handing out to the public and for their own use get on them.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #5 (permalink)
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Re: How do I build a client base? - countryside & garden services

It does take time.

Make sure your customers are happy. I've had far more compliment on the standard of the tidy up than the quality of the work, sad, but true. I guess they know more about a clean drive than good arb, so no point worrying.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #6 (permalink)
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Re: How do I build a client base? - countryside & garden services

do not use yellow after 1 year only 2 phone calls they promised extra work and call so after I stopped the last two months payments they sent me a bill and said that it wasn't there fault it was my website ect after I have 127 5star reviews and wanted a further 1000 for a website it's wasn't fairer so I'm in the middle of a argument they want 200 and ate send debt collection out is there anything I can do
oh ps use local mags parish and Facebook I no it sounds mad but facebook actually works for me
good look
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Old 6 Days Ago   #7 (permalink)
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Re: How do I build a client base? - countryside & garden services

Yes, forget Yellow Pages, local paper, flyers, parish mags, even postcards in newsagents windows and get the newsagent to deliver your flyers with the papers, costs buttons.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #8 (permalink)
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Re: How do I build a client base? - countryside & garden services

Cheers guys,
I've been flyering, advertised in local shops and put my name down with all the letting agents in town. I'll get on the council today.
I've made a pricing structure of 20 per hour, 75 for half day and 140 per day. Sound about right?
What kit do you think you need to get a running start?
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Old 5 Days Ago   #9 (permalink)
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Re: How do I build a client base? - countryside & garden services

That's wages.
You're running a business now.


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Old 5 Days Ago   #10 (permalink)
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Re: How do I build a client base? - countryside & garden services

What % should i be thinking about on top? I'm in mid Somerset if area makes a difference.
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