Landscaping and horticulture are disciplines that occupy a unique space in the economy, being a unique marriage of popular hobby and lucrative business opportunity. There are many green-fingered garden enthusiasts who will have considered taking their first steps into monetizing their hobby – but what are the steps to making such a move?
Settle on Your Niche
While it may be tempting to hit the ground running and start taking clients immediately, it is of instrumental importance to the long-term success of your business that you take the time to plan your offerings properly. Taking any and every job may seem a shrewd idea to guarantee short-term profits, but can harm your long-term growth strategy and even cause you to overstretch beyond your capacity.
Instead, you should decide on a niche for your business to specialize in. While this limits your client pool, it also enables you to raise your rates and stake a claim to a high-demand corner of a wider market. Since you are not being forced to spread thinly over a wide range of work, you can stand to invest in specialized tools and lead in your niche.
Formulate a Business Plan
The next step in this approach is to draw out your business plan more comprehensively. Start with the months running up to launch. What equipment will you need to buy? Will you be a sole -trading freelancer, or will you start a limited company and hire staff? Next, you should plan the first 12 months of business in detail, and draw up a five-year plan for growth and development.
Build Your Business Structure
With your plan secure, you can begin to make the various investments and arrangements that will form the structure of your business. This will naturally include the purchasing of tools and equipment, but should also necessarily incorporate research into logistical, legal, and protective services.
For one, if you are starting a limited company with staff, you may not have the financial nous to manage payroll and accounting – in which case, outsourcing to a chartered accountant can be a wise, cost-effective business measure. You will also need to ensure you receive correct and relevant legal advice for business growth and staffing.
It is important that you choose your outsourcing businesses and legal advisors carefully. With regard to the latter especially, missed deadlines or incorrect advice can lead to damages, and amount to professional negligence on the part of the solicitor or advisor in question. While you would be liable to make professional negligence solicitor claims in these instances, it is better to avoid the eventuality entirely.
Marketing and Launch
All that remains is to launch your business. Depending on the nature of your niche and work, your marketing strategy is likely to differ. For domestic landscaping services, word-of-mouth might be best for helping you gain the trust of local communities. For corporate work on commercial premises, a targeted marketing approach with flyers and a strong digital presence may better capture the attention of administrative staff.
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