had some great advice from everyone lately, but im working on setting up at the min and am working on business plan that I will be submitting to someone.
Im concentrating on mainly maintenance at the min with some small hard landscaping and possibly trying to build a name for pond construction and maintenance but in the biz plan Ive been chargeing out my labour at £11.50 regardless of job.
Obviously for any real clearance jobs Id like to charge more - harder work and more waste etc but how would you show this, i.e additional income charged per jobe etc?
Pure naive stupidity, You want to be charging on a fixed price per job basis not an hourly rate and what this equates to per hour should be substantially more than £11 ph.
Charging a low rate to get started is madness and will only set your business back, you will not have the capital to expand and will just get the wrong sort of customers.
Cheers for that Adam, Ive been searching for the calculator will keep looking, i was thinking in terms of £11.50ph for standard lawn cuts and tidy ups then extra charges for full on tidy ups & basic hardlandscaping etc.
May be I need to rethink in terms of biz plan, im trying to present financials as easyily as possible as Im trying for some minor funding.
have you got any experience in garden maintenance or landscaping?
How about trying to get a couple of weeks unpaid work experience with a local gardener to see if you like it? Youd have to keep it a secret from the authorities but needs means as needs must im affraid.
I would dissagree with some of the advice youve had on what you should charge yourself out at, you can only charge what the market will bear. A time served maintenance man with a mortgage to pay and aspirations for the future will be flying through gardens like a whirling dervish. It will take time to get yourself up to this standard and you should allways charge by the job not by the hour. Most customers just want their gardens keeping tidy as cheaply as possibe, they're not after horticultural exelence or they'd be doing it themselves. These jobs will be your firm foundations to go on to bigger and better things.Its not rocket science, you just need to get into the groove.
The figures i have managed to achive on an hourly basis have allways been quite varied.
Best of luck, Mike.
I would always charge by the job, I find maintenance customers like to know what it will cost on a visit basis at the outset.
If they think you are charging too much you will not get the job, I would not reduce my charge but walk away , it then leaves you open to take on another job at your chosen rate.
When I started out I did set my rate too low at first this resulted in me being busy but making no money so my first year saw my per job rate rising through the season.
As has been said remember all your fixed costs that you have to cover before you actually start to make a profit.
Here's my input as a self employed general gardener for the last 4 or so years in the Midlands.
I work alone btw and I'm not sure if you are the same or planning on using more than one person.
My first aim was to get a round built up. ie regular bread and butter income. I charged £12.50 hour for general maintenance and £15hr for hedge cutting and anything harder.
I rapidly built up a loyal domestic customer base, a mix of pensioners and professionals. I soon started to charge £15 phr to the working customers keeping £12.50 for the pensioners.
Machinery costs were eye watering and the buy cheap pay twice rule really stands out here. I learned the hard way as we all do :0)
Anyway as my diary filled I found that I could be more selective about jobs. I had more experience about how long it would take to tackle that 15ft high 60ft long hedge lol and I would either charge £20-£25 phr or price the job at a day rate say £140-£160.
Sometimes I didn't need a new customers job, so I would quote higher for general maintenance ie £20-£30 phr expecting the customer to refuse....but to my amazement they accepted and have become some of my best regular customers.
On average now, due to high fuel prices even my pensioners pay £15 phr but I do work hard for what I get paid. I guess you could call me a busy fool but I strongly believe in good value and great service.
Value yourself and what you do! I do everytime I leave the house. I give a great service and I expect to be paid for it.
Reminds me lol.......I went to a huge house in Little Aston, more like a mansion. The customer an Asian gentleman wanted some major work done including lopping conifers etc etc.
He almost died when I told him my rates start at £15phr! He said I can get someone from Walsall to do it for £5 phr. :0)
I told him to go get that person then lol
Don't let the knock backs bother you. I regularly meet other gardeners who only charge £10phr for two of them! That's crazy in my eyes.
I don't earn as much as some of the guys here but I'm always busy and doing very nicely thankkies :0)
Hope this helps.
It sounds like the same house Chris lol
This was was on Millionaires Row and I thought I was being very reasonable too hehe
The work required was like maintaining a small estate....I wonder if yours or mine ever got the privce they wanted.
The worst of it is that they probably got rich by overcharging in there business. :0)