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ATC1983

Hedge Trimming or Lawn Mowing as Business Options

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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 !!!

 

:thumbup1:

 

Very good post

Proper landscaping and horticultural knowledge is skilled work. Qualified staff can hold their heads up. Tree climbers are usually just monkeys. Quick... duck

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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

 

Or worse again, dumping it in a clearing close to the roadside. My green waste disposal bill was over €1500 last year while (some) these guys litter the countryside with their rubbish.

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Had to double take when I read you charge 70 for a hedge cut per hour, where have I been going wrong....

 

Well it's over a year since I started this thread, really looking to see what others at this job were earning. At the time of writing I had only a chainsaw to my name which I could hardly use. Two weeks ago I finished my largest, most important project, of felling two palms, reducing a 25ft tree, and clearing out a large bush and 7 trees, including my first grinding, in a doctor's surgery, which I took £489 on (minus 30 to the father, and £54 for grinder hire). As others have always chided me, I'm still too cheap....

 

Overall I took just less than £2,900 in one season. But I didn't do much advertising, and only took on the paid variety towards the end, this isn't too bad. I earnt this whilst doing a ft job in the public sector during my evenings and weekends.

 

I have spent around £3,400 in equipment and petrol for my car. Recently, I bought a 2nd hand van which I've since covered in graphics.

 

My intention is to get fully ready for next season and to really make a go of this. I believe I need to earn £7,000 min to survive at this job. I hope to goodness I can do it. Principally because - ironically - I'm in trouble in my main job for answering business calls during working hours, so needless to say there's a real incentive now to get away from all that bureaucracy and be my own boss and gunslinger.

 

My only question now, or request for guidance, is how to progress from being a small, part-timer, into a serious day-in day-out landscaper? This is my dream now. Essentially I'm hedging my bets on doing this for 6 months, and going into chimney sweeping for the rest of the year. I know people who make good livings at the latter, so I'd like to combine the two, and keep some diversity to what I do each year. Here's hoping it works out.

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I do hedges most of the year, I find its a great way of doing a job and doing it well rather than to cover as many types of work simply to keep booked up.

 

its also really handy when quoting as I have a price per meter that's bullet proof and it's a good good way of finding the people who want to pay for a good job done, and that of the ones that don't want to pay and are therefore a waste of time.

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agreed hedgeman, but when starting out you have to diversify a bit, i was estate trained , so learned a wide range of skills,and use them all in my business

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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

 

Thats so true, talking to passers by when hedge trimming always gets more business, often you end up doing whole areas on a street, and return on an annual basis, which makes it easier for us. I suppose it helps if you are actually doing a good job as well!

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agreed hedgeman, but when starting out you have to diversify a bit, i was estate trained , so learned a wide range of skills,and use them all in my business

 

well said. good luck with your new venture, and when your doing well make sure you dont relax! a mistake i have made so many times thinking 'oh I have loads of work'! gotta keep chasing up those fresh new enquiries to keep a constant revenue stream!

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I've recently been doing a lot of hedgetrimming and some tree work for my local Primary Care Trust, which in itself has been quite profitable, but then I have been handing out cards every day I've been to the site, had loads of enquiries of which most have turned into further work. So yes hedgetrimming can be a profitable business, take on mowing and you're onto a winner.

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