Gardening is a career whose appeal might be obvious to many. It will allow you to spend time outdoors, remain physically active, and be creative, too. If you’ve been enjoying life out in the garden, and you’ve developed a broad range of gardening skills, then you might seek to join the industry full-time.
Making the transition from hobbyist gardener to professional one might not be so straightforward, however. Let’s take a look at a few of the steps you’ll need to take to make it work.
Working as a professional gardener requires a different standard and quality of equipment than working as an amateur one. You’ll need tools that are going to last the distance, and perform to a high standard. If you spend your time wrestling with your equipment, then you might find that your productivity suffers. As you accumulate experience and knowledge, you’ll find that you develop a good idea of which investments are worthwhile and which aren’t.
If you’ve done your research before getting started, then you might already have a good idea of what equipment is worthwhile. In many cases, you might need items that you’re unfamiliar with – which means that you’ll need to use them. In particular, professional gardeners have a responsibility to take personal protective equipment seriously. Gloves and workwear will make the difference to your ability to work comfortably and effectively in the long term.
Every effective business starts life with a well-crafted business plan. You’ll use this document to set out the services you’ll offer, and at what price, as well as your research of the local competition. Ideally, your business plan will be regularly updated as your plans change, and you review how well you’ve performed against your initial targets.
Build a client base
Gardening is a very seasonal occupation. During winter, you’ll have natural lulls in business, which you’ll need to offset by having a big enough client-base to be able to fill the cold months with preparatory work.
Register as self-employed
Depending on the size of your gardening business, you’ll need to register as self-employed, and file your tax returns accordingly. This is something that a professional accountant, or quality accounting software, will be able to help you with.
Take out insurance
Gardening is a profession that confers several different risks. You’ll want to assess those risks regularly, and take the necessary precautions. You’ll also want specialised insurance, which will cover not just you and your clients, but any members of the public who might become injured as a result of your activities. There’s nothing more likely to derail a new business than legal action, so make sure that you’re prepared.