Starting a Gardening Business from Scratch
A gardening business is any commercial initiative that designs and plants gardens for clients. Maintaining gardens on an ongoing basis may also be part of your gardening business. This more often than not involves mowing lawns, weeding garden beds, and clearing leaf litter from paths and paved areas.
You might also be required to prune shrubs, bushes or trees and remove any garden waste for your clients.
Opening a gardening consultant business might not require formal qualifications, but obtaining a trade qualification in horticulture will help you gain a certain amount of credibility with your new clients.
Regardless of whether or not you have qualifications, you should have extensive knowledge of plants, both indigenous and exotic, the climatic conditions in your region and the growing seasons.
If you are already a keen gardener, you will probably have many of the tools you will need for your business, but some of them may need to be upgraded.
The tools you will need may include, hand tools, a lawnmower, lawn edgers, a rotary hoe, a wheelbarrow, and a blower-vac. You will also need a trailer or a vehicle large enough to carry all of your equipment.
To fully equip your business, you can expect to spend anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000. More if you need to buy a vehicle!
Your startup costs will include the cost of your initial supplies or consumables like garden supplements (i.e. blood and bone), seeds, pesticides, and weed killers.
You will also need to set aside some money to pay for advertising and the production of promotional materials, like pamphlets and business cards. You might want to consider sign-writing for your vehicle, to give your business more visibility in the areas that you are working.
With a gardening business, you can either negotiate an hourly rate for the work you do or work to a quoted price for a ‘piece’ of work. If you are working alone, your yearly income will range between $40,000 – $60,000.