A common business tip is to start a business doing something you love, ideally turning a hobby into a full-time job. Gardening is a relaxing hobby many enjoy that can also be scaled up into a money-making venture. Here are a few tips on how to take your love of gardening to the next level. We’ll provide advice on how to identify a viable business plan based on your interests and how to avoid making mistakes that derail many startups.
Your business cannot be everything for everyone. Outline what services you can and will offer. Will you maintain existing gardens and lawns? Will you provide landscaping design services? Are you going to do everything from ripping out the existing landscaping and installing the new garden to maintaining it for years to come? Will you focus on residential landscaping, or will you be able to offer services to commercial customers?
You could upgrade and maintain their landscaping and plants inside the building, and depending on your expertise, you might be able to design landscaping elements that reduce heating and cooling costs. Decide what you are qualified to do and what isn’t going to be in scope. Understand the types of jobs you can handle so you can turn down the ones you can’t. However, you’ll want to take on almost any job presented to you as long as you have the tools, time, and expertise to complete it to the level the customer expects.
Put Together a Business Plan
This is the initial blueprint for your business. You’ll need to have a business name that isn’t controlled by someone else. You’ll also need to have an official office or business address, though this may be your home office or a rented building.
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List the equipment and supplies you’ll need to operate. You should research the options for renting, leasing or buying equipment if it is necessary. Depending on the scale and type of services offered, you may be required to rent a storage shed. Or, you’ll need a vehicle that can carry all of the equipment.
Since you’ve decided the scope of your business, start researching now where you’d get planting supplies and other items when customer projects come in. Signing a contract with a supplier will allow you to buy things wholesale.
Create a list of garden business competitors and compare your intended services with theirs. Maybe you need to distinguish yourself from what they already do. Come up with a list of ways to market your business so that you can get the first few customers in while standing out from the competition. A blog is an excellent starting place, and it could be a great way to showcase your expertise. You could create a mailing list where you share gardening tips and use it to promote your gardening services, as well.
Get the Legal Matters Out of the Way
You’ll want to work with an accountant or attorney to determine the right type of business structure and incorporate. You’ll need liability insurance for your business at a minimum. You might want to consider insurance options from a provider that covers smaller niches to ensure your requirements are met.
Potentially consider a small business insurance provider such as Next Insurance that cover landscaping. A business license is probably required, and you may need to secure a business permit. Depending on where you operate, you may have to get a sales tax license. Determine if you’ll need any training or certification to provide the services you’d like to offer to clients.
One of the advantages of the landscaping business is that you generally don’t need a lot of cash to get started. As long as you have the tools, ability to work, and basic marketing strategy, you can often start with what you have. The safest choice is to start small and gradually expand service coverage and tools as you grow.
At this stage, you may need to make financial investments in equipment or raise money to start paying for tools and travel. However, you should consider investing in labor-saving devices like carts and pot lifters since you’ll be doing this far more than you would as a hobbyist.
You’ve already developed a plan for getting the word out. If you don’t already have one, set up a website. The website should list information about your services, explain your coverage area and give visitors all the ways they can reach you. For example, you could set up a booking form on the site so that they can schedule a service.
Create business profiles on the major social media sites where your potential customers are. Share your gardening business’ portfolio online, though it is also beneficial to have a hard copy to show to anyone you meet.
Start attending gardening events in your area like gardening clubs. This will get you in touch with other gardeners and potential clients. Put any reviews or references on your website and share them on social media.
While many people enjoy beautiful gardens and landscaping, far fewer are willing to do the work necessary to install or maintain it. This provides those who love gardening an excellent opportunity to earn a living doing what they love.