With warm temperatures and lots of rain predicted for this spring, how can you give your gardening business a boost?
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Spring prompts many people to think about getting their gardens into shape, which makes the next few months a good time for your gardening business to blossom.
But unsettled weather could make things a little tricky. Forecasters are predicting that we still have a few cold snaps to come this spring, followed by higher-than-average temperatures and rainfall during late April and May.
We’ve got some ideas for how you can make your gardening business a success this season.
1. Check in with previous clients
If some of your clients haven’t used your services over the winter, now’s the time to check in and see if their gardens need some attention again. A friendly email or phone call should do the trick, ideally with some personalised suggestions for what you could do with their garden this year.
2. Refresh your website
Now is also a good time to spring-clean your business website and social media platforms, making sure that all your details are up-to-date and that your website includes a full list of your services. If you have a blog, consider writing an article with some spring 2017 gardening tips, including what you’ll be planting this year.
3. Offer a spring tidy-up service
One good way of attracting new clients and reconnecting with previous clients could be to offer a well-priced tidy-up service for gardens that need some attention after winter. Your spring package could include basics like mowing, trimming and weeding, getting gardens neat and prepped for planting.
4. Go to spring shows
Spring brings a whole bunch of gardening events around the country, including plant fairs and shows. Events like these can be a great chance to chat to other people in the industry and to meet potential clients. Remember to take plenty of business cards and flyers.
At some events, you may be able to apply for a stall so that you can sell your homegrown products or run a workshop, which could be good ways of promoting your gardening business.
But remember, it’s likely that you’ll need stallholder insurance if you’re going to trade at events.
5. Don’t get caught out
Although warm, wet weather is predicted for late spring, forecasters reckon we could still experience some frosts and even snow during late March and early April, especially in the north of the UK, so don’t plant anything tender too early.
6. Make sure you’re protected
With a busy few months ahead, gardeners will be visiting more clients and getting their hands dirty with more work.
Sorting out public liability insurance - which can cover you if you injure a member of the public or cause damage to their property - should be high on the priority list before the work picks up. It’s also worth keeping in mind that you’ll legally need to cover any employees - even if they’re only temporary - with employers’ liability insurance.
7. Find the right kit in the sales
As it looks like we’re likely to experience all kinds of weather over the next few months, make sure you’re properly kitted out. Look out for spring sales, as you may be able to get a good discount on clothes for wet and wintry weather. Good boots, micro fleeces, and waterproof jackets and trousers should see you through bad weather.
8. Get the new tax year off to a good start
The 2016-17 tax year ends on 5 April and the 2017-18 tax year begins the next day, so spring is also the perfect time to get into good tax habits. If your business accounts have been a bit chaotic in the past, make 2017-18 the year of excellent record-keeping. Now could be a good time to get an accountant, open a business bank account, or start using a business accounting app, for example.
What are your plans for your gardening business this year? Tell us in the comments.