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Hedge Trimming or Lawn Mowing as Business Options

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Here's a bit of advice - never, EVER ever say, on a publically-accessible forum, that you intend to do undeclared work.


You pi55 off just 1 person and they are going to shop you. This could end your business, bankrupt you, and ruin your life.


Any landscape maintenance work is viable, you just need to make it so.

thats a bit dramatic

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You must get insurance, and you've got to pay tax and NI. I hate being undercut by P*KI*S who can only afford to undercut by not paying their dues. Sure, tax and NI are a pain, but you might realise the value of it one day when you're in hospital being treated for free after felling a tree on yourself that you've charged a premium to fell. And you don't pay tax on the first part of your earnings anyway. If you make nothing, you pay nothing. You just need to make sure that your prices take into account the tax you will have to pay, and budget for it properly. And where's the sense in paying hundreds and hundreds for an ad in Yellow Pages, yet nothing on insurance?

I agree, its not clever to avoid tax, in fact its just plain stupid. Its not a case of IF the taxman gets you, Its a case of WHEN.

If everyone pays their tax, maybe I wont pay so much.

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Interesting thread,


I started with a very broad gardening leaflet and started with no equipment at all. I would leaflet between 9-5 each day until i got more work. If i was working 3 days in one week i would leaflet the other days. When i got my first job i would price based on what i thought time i thought it would take, sometimes it took longer, sometimes less (the only way to learn). Get some lawn signs, cheap and good, ive got some outside friends and relatives houses, and they get rotated every few days. I didn't make any money in the first few months because i had to buy the tools to do the job i had got.

No excuses, you have to graft hard, but you can do well!

TAX is easy, for the first few years just take 20- 25% off of every payment you get, stick it in a separate account, you'll have loads to pay NI etc, and get a little bonus.

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buy a nice petrol mower and trailer, and your off!


you dont even need that, i saw a guy on a push bike carrying a flymo! now thats keeping costs down!

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We started off doing only tree work but diversified into grass cutting, and eventually gardening, and landscaping.


Alot of tree people look down on mere 'Gardeners' like something they've stood in.


We set our first RHS qualified gardener on 2 years ago and she makes us more profit during the summer than our climbers do !!

To listen to her talk to another knowledgeable gardener is like listening to another language. She also works harder that most of my lads. One of my groundies was with her for a full week on a makeover job, and by friday was complaining of blisters and a bad back :blushing:


Don't confuse pushing a mower round a lawn and the odd poke with a hoe for proper gardening. Be honest, and if you don't know something, admit it to the client. Honesty works wonders.


As for pricing, you'll find your own level.

We do both, hourly rate, and individual pricing.

The trouble with hourly rate is that your income is fixed to the number of hours you work.

Out of an 8 Hour day, we can only charge for around 6 hours. Traveling to and from jobs, lunch, loading the van in the morning, and unloading at night, all eat into your day.

Whereas if you charge say £25 for a lawn thats going to take an hour, you've managed to get the client to pay for your travelling. And the more you mow, the faster you'll get and the same lawn might only take you half an hour once you get the feel of it.


Hedge cutting pays better than mowing, but you need more kit, and a higher level of skill.

For a hedge cut that'd take an hour i'd be looking at around the £70 area, depending on species.


There's also the problem of getting rid of the arisings from your work.

I've got to admit that it winds me up when i see paid gardeners tramping their cars and trailers into the local tip four or five times a week getting shot of their crap at tax payers expense, especially knowing how much it costs us to do the same :sneaky2:


But saying all of the above, i wish i'd gone it on my own 20 years ago when i'd have had the energy to do whats needed now.


Go for it, you'll love it !!!



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