It’s been a long year and a half for a lot of industries, with some companies and specialisms struggling more than others from the effects of the pandemic and lockdowns. However, Gardening, in particular, seems to have taken on a life of its own and for those who have set up gardens in the past year, they may be looking for a company to maintain what’s been done. Similarly, as we head into summer, the demand for gardening to get spaces back to their full glory is growing, so there is no better time to get set up. Here, we’re looking into what you need to know to start a gardening business in 2021.
Do I Need Any Qualifications to Become a Gardener?
When it comes to starting a gardening business, you don’t need any qualifications but they can certainly help you with the work. Whether it’s a business-related qualification that offers the knowledge of how to start and run your own business, or a horticulture qualification to give you the expertise and practical skills to do the job, courses and studies can give you that extra leg up in the industry. If you aren’t sure where to start, you can check The Gardeners Guild for their range of qualifications.
What Kind Of Tools Do I Need for a Gardening Business?
The tools you need for gardening will depend on the services that you offer. More in-depth landscaping, for example, might require specialist equipment or machinery to aid the process, while standard gardening may only require a collection of tools. Some of the most common tools and machinery to consider include:
- Garden Forks
- Pruning Shears
- Watering Cans
- Lawnmowers (can be hired)
- Hedge Trimmers (can be hired)
- Compost and Lawn Care products
- Good Clothing and Boots
The tools you need may differ from job to job, but the above is a good place to start in setting up your business for more situations.
Register Your Gardening Business
Whether before or after you have all of the tools you need, it’s time to register your business. If you’re working alone, you’ll need to register as a sole trader or self-employed with HMRC in order to be able to file your tax returns each year. Even as a self-employed gardener, you can still apply for insurances and business bank accounts, as well as hire accountants to handle the financial side of things if you aren’t sure where to start.
Get The Right Insurance
Having public liability insurance for your gardening business, while not legally required, is highly recommended. Accidents happen and aren’t always avoidable, and when damage occurs to the property or even to your clients themselves, claims can be made against you that could be costly. With public liability insurance for gardeners, you are covered financially for both compensation and legal fees.
When gardening, anything from dropping or damaging expensive garden ornaments, to causing trips or falls by leaving tools laying on the ground, can cause injury or damage and for that reason, it’s important to ensure you are covered. For more information or help with applying for a policy, get in touch with our team. We’re happy to help.
Get Your Name Out There
As with any business in today’s world, getting your name out there and into people’s sights and ears is a key part of getting up and running. If people don’t know your business exists, it’s difficult to build up a client base. You should start by building a website, whether you hire someone to do it for you or utilise sites such as WordPress to set something up in the meantime. Having an online presence will offer customers different ways to communicate with you, and you can share the URL on social media to get the word out further. With a website up and running, you could also set up your business profile on Google, meaning that clients can find you on Google Maps and in the search results for their local area.
Away from the online world, you could also think about having business cards made up with your key contact information on them. This way, you can not only pass them around yourself but provide some to clients or friends and family that can pass them onto people looking for gardening services.
Build a Client Base
After you put in the time to create business cards and get your website up and running, you can start to look into marketing and advertising to bring in clients. Word of mouth alone can do wonders for building a loyal client base, but to create a further reach and bring in more and more clients, advertising is key. You can do this online with Facebook Ads, Google Ads and more, or you could have flyers and brochures printed that can be posted and handed out to people.
Assess Risks & Be COVID Safe
Last but certainly not least, it’s important to think about COVID safety for your business and not just while the pandemic is here – having health and safety measures in place that ensure the health of you and your clients is crucial to providing a good service. Being able to prove that you care enough about customers to put measures like social distancing and hygiene in place for their safety can help create a long-lasting rapport that may even help to bring in repeat business.
For more information on protecting your gardening business or how our business insurance policies can help you, get in touch with a member of our team for free on 0800 1696137.