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Hedge Trimming or Lawn Mowing as Business Options

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Hi

 

 

Would just like to canvass other posters views on these two choices as options in setting up a small scale gardening business. I'd be interested in whether generally people charge per hour or per job; whether lawn mowing or hedge trimming attract equal or different rates of pay; whether it's possible, or even desirable, to concentrate on one business line over another (ie if it's better solely to do lawn mowing or hedge trimming); what approaches people take with advertising - local gazette, or yellow pages, or gumtree, or whatever; how many jobs should ideally be done per day and at what rate etc

 

I know it's a 'how long is a piece of string' query in some respects but would appreciate the personal experience more than anything of others in the field.

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I have a small number of regular clients who I visit usually once a fortnight, depending on their requirements. I generally mow grass and cut hedges (doing only one becomes mind numbingly boring). I do however do a bit of general gardening for them as well, when asked. I charge by the hour (£10) and do a maximum of 6 hours a day, and I try not to work every day. BUT I only work to supplement an occupational pension and to keep myself busy. If you want to make a living out of it you will need to work more hours and/or charge more. I would suggest charging by the hour for small jobs and by job when it's a larger and longer commitment. Be flexible both on how you charge and what you actually do. I've made more dismantling an old shed then any hedge/grass cutting!!

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Once upon a time I mowed lawns and did 'gardening'

I charged by the hour an estimated price.

I visited clients 15 times a year and there was always something to do.

I did try to get clients to think about a yearly budget but when you talk about FAZZZANDS instead of hourly rates people just close their purse on you.

I visited supermarkets with flyers, sign written van AND trailer.

Wore/wear still a uniform, changed often to keep it fresh looking and use the tired t'shirts for tough tree work.

Internet site is a must. It costs so little to reach so many.

I drop leaflets wherever I work and always take time to talk to 'spectators' (neighbours)

Go for it, there is always room for one more.

Ty

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The going rate for grass cutting and hedge timming probably varies depending on where in the country you are but I would suggest you need to be charging at least £15 an hour if you're doing it for a living (and paying tax, NI, public liability insurance, vehicle costs etc). You will doubtless come across some resistance from customers who expect to pay a mere 'gardener' a fiver an hour, but stick to your guns, do a good job, work like hell in the summer and be prepared to get cold, wet and muddy in the winter and you'll make a living.

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both is a very good way to make a living a tip to make less tidy up time it what i use is cotton twill dust sheets that painters use there light to pick up dont blow abot in wind just lay them out slighty under the hedge get trimming when you are done just pick up the four corners of each sheet and hey presto tidy up quick as a flash and with little effot i cut grass from march to 1st week in october mite be a bit boring but hey its money and easy work even tho i have to buy a fresh mower every year

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You are best offering garden maintenance as that covers all aspects, you would need either alot of lawns or hedges to keep busy all year just doing 1! £20 an hour or £150 a day but never say that just give them a price. Any less than £15 an hour you may as well work in a supermarket

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the other year, i looked after a couple of nursing homes for a doctor until he closed them down. Did building maintainence and gardens for him. I'm kicking myself for not leaflet dropping as i'm surrounded by nursing homes where i live. Might do some early in new year, see how i get on.

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I'm in Belfast and the figure I'd be working on is minimum £8-10 per job or £12 per hour. I would be looking at working two days mid-week and maybe Saturdays and Sundays if I could get it.

 

I know some will hate me for saying it but I do intend to take a liberal approach to tax - I can't afford not to as in this part of the world so much business is already cordoned off by by undercutters who get left alone because of political reasons by the police and authorities, and it would break me just starting out having to pay up business tax and insurance as well as i/tax and ni.

 

If I make reasonable money out of it, assuming I'm starting out in March, then I'll be a bit more up front with the authorities but I'm snookered at the moment.

 

Business will be in three areas: Tree felling, mowing and hedge cutting, with a premium for tree felling.

 

Transport will be a people carrier - with more space than a Berlingo, and maybe a trailer (not sure what range to go to - can afford up to £500 which would get me a nice brand new one).

 

Advertising - I might use Yellow pages but will certainly be in local papers. What are people's annual advertising budgets? And is Yellow pages worth it? A lot of oldies will certainly still read the book rather than go online so I expect a lot of business will be with them. What are the start up costs for a website?

 

Costs: Already own a Husky, and can go pure Husqvarna for mower, strimmer and hedge trimmer for under £1200. That combined with say an advertising outlay would put me in business for I estimate £1700 total.

 

It's exhilirating thinking about it but it's scary at the same time.

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I'm in Belfast and the figure I'd be working on is minimum £8-10 per job or £12 per hour. I would be looking at working two days mid-week and maybe Saturdays and Sundays if I could get it.

 

I know some will hate me for saying it but I do intend to take a liberal approach to tax - I can't afford not to as in this part of the world so much business is already cordoned off by by undercutters who get left alone because of political reasons by the police and authorities, and it would break me just starting out having to pay up business tax and insurance as well as i/tax and ni.

 

If I make reasonable money out of it, assuming I'm starting out in March, then I'll be a bit more up front with the authorities but I'm snookered at the moment.

 

Business will be in three areas: Tree felling, mowing and hedge cutting, with a premium for tree felling.

 

Transport will be a people carrier - with more space than a Berlingo, and maybe a trailer (not sure what range to go to - can afford up to £500 which would get me a nice brand new one).

 

Advertising - I might use Yellow pages but will certainly be in local papers. What are people's annual advertising budgets? And is Yellow pages worth it? A lot of oldies will certainly still read the book rather than go online so I expect a lot of business will be with them. What are the start up costs for a website?

 

Costs: Already own a Husky, and can go pure Husqvarna for mower, strimmer and hedge trimmer for under £1200. That combined with say an advertising outlay would put me in business for I estimate £1700 total.

 

It's exhilirating thinking about it but it's scary at the same time.

 

Fair dues to you for admitting what your for doing, I'am not a million miles from you, and because people like yourself is hard to quote jobs.

Using the whole where I live thing for dodging tax is the has to be the worst excuse I have seen.

I asked a few questions on hear when I was green as green and got ripped to bits for it. You take the biscuit lad the premium for tree felling does it for me, good luck to you I think you will need it.

 

 

Sent from my aye phone using Tapatalk

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As a potential punter I would suggest you:

 

- work on fixed prices for individual jobs. People like to know what things cost and day rates just fuel suspicion of laziness (even if that's not the case).

 

- try and get regular maintenance contracts, e.g. 1 day each week or month for a variety of stuff on a big garden including lawns, hedges, trees etc

 

- look smart and presentable and be polite

 

- do all the paperwork properly. I pay a ton of tax and I'm blowed if I'm helping others to avoid it.

 

- focus on jobs the homeowners can't/won't do like high hedges and trees as it's difficult to price up a job which the punter thinks they can do themselves as they won't see the value

 

- try and do big jobs rather than lots of small jobs as it's easier to develop a long-term relationship with the customer if there's fewer of them

 

If you do a good job then word will get round quickly, even quicker if you do a shoddy job.

 

Best of luck.

 

Cheers

 

Mike

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