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To anyone who has a Gardening Round / Small Business

(16 Posts)
Geoff0409 Thu 15-May-14 08:40:51


Posted here and in Gardening as I am not sure where I'll ge the best response.

I have finally got round to some careful time and work management and am in the process of setting up a small Gardening business. This will be run 1 to 2 days a week alongside my current job for at least the foreseeable future, and I am going around my local area posting flyers this weekend.

Can anyone who runs a gardening round/business please advise me on which petrol lawn mower might be best for me? It will be used I would hope around 3 to 5 times a week (for say about an hour a time) so I don't need anything huge but any tips on a medium duty mower would be wonderful please?

Also any tips on advertising other than flyers would be most kind.


WaitingForMe Fri 16-May-14 07:46:04

DH paid £80 for an advert in a free magazine. We chose one delivered to the best postcodes. It brought in around £500 of work.

I run a marketing agency and unless you have a very clear idea of why you want to do flyers, I wouldn't recommend them.

Geoff0409 Fri 16-May-14 08:57:21

Hi Waiting,
Thanks for your reply.
Can I ask why you wouldn't recommend flyers please? I know alot are discarded, but had read up quite a bit and while they don't work for alot of businesses, they apparently do get some results with Gardening - about 1 reply in every 200 to 300 in better seasons (it is low but I am only aiming to get myself around 3 to 4 customers to start with)
Would I be better with a sign on my car perhaps? I had thought this might be an idea, or any other tips you can give would be much appreciated.
Thanks again.

mrscog Fri 16-May-14 09:06:43

Make sure you list yourself on Mumsnet Local for your area too smile

LancashireMan Fri 16-May-14 23:18:39

Sign on car/van is highly recommended. BIL started off that way.

Also, church halls noticeboards for adverts, often free or very small cost.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sat 17-May-14 12:38:04

I used a gardener after seeing her deliver a really passionate '1 minute' pitch at a local networking meeting. At the end of the meeting most people there said they wanted to speak to her. That was a couple of years ago, she has prompted me since so I am guessing she has enough work to keep her going.

It might not seem as direct but local networking could help you.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sat 17-May-14 12:38:57

Sorry she hasn't prompted me but I know she is still in operation.

Geoff0409 Sat 17-May-14 19:45:52

Thank you all so much for your replies and advice. Think the car sign might be a good start. Thanks again.

WaitingForMe Sat 17-May-14 21:36:25

MrsMargo has got it. I wouldn't recon flyers as 1 in 200-300 is such a poor return. Similarly someone attended my networking group as a guest and picked up 8 clients (only 30 people in the room).

The issue with flyers is that unless the brand is established, too many people have been burnt by ringing up and the person not wanting their business.

What if you created some amazing copy and got 25 leads (it's possible with the right campaign - I recently got an 18% response on a direct marketing campaign)? Would you join the ranks of people who don't call back because they're overwhelmed with work?

Car signs can be good. Especially if you can make it funny or interesting so people photograph your car and thus spread your logo.

Yddraigoldragon Sat 17-May-14 21:51:50

Where are you based OP? Just in case anyone here is looking for a gardener?

Geoff0409 Mon 19-May-14 10:37:15

Thanks to all of you. MrsM and Waiting, when you talk about networking, is this your local BNI or something similar?

I understand the flyer's scenarios of people getting turned down for work, but am hoping that my flyer is eye-catching and gives enough information on what jobs I can do.

I did go out and do a couple of hours delivering yesterday - it was hot but I am not one to stalll things if I don't have to. Not sure how many I delivered in total, but did go for a reasonable area and avoided houses that had gardens which were quite obviously extremely well cared for.

I was quite nervous before posting the first one, but after that found the whole experience actually quite enjoyable. Plus burnt a shed load of calories wink - two birds with one stone and so on.

davidjrmum Mon 19-May-14 22:23:59

Hi, My husband had a gardening business for a few years (gave up last year due to arthritis). When he started out he put a couple of cards in newsagents windows and got his first 2 or 3 jobs through those. After that it was completely word of mouth - customer recommended him to a neighbour or friend.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Tue 20-May-14 10:01:50

Yes Geof a network for local business owners. The one I mentioned was for women only (Women In Business Network) but there are plenty about.

Geoff0409 Thu 29-May-14 10:13:16

Thanks MrsM.

Well I did get a response, of sorts, from the flyers.
One was a man who said he wanted some regular work done - I asked about the garden and he basically said he had a "bit of" everything I had written on the flier - he didn't, nor did he need any work done at all, he was obvioulsy doing the same thing himself and I suppose thought I was trying to tread on his toes.
The other was a Lady who needed her lawn cutting as a one-off, and when I went there for a chat as scheduled there was nobody in angry.

In hindsight, I think I chose the wrong area for this - it is basically made up of pensioners and tradesman - the huge amount of Vans and trucks that I saw should have been a giveaway, so I think the area is pretty much sewn up.

Not far away though is a pretty affluent area, which I know quite well, so am thinking of trying my luck there.

It may be a long time getting going though, seems that alot of this is customers who don't keep appointments - fair enough if you are busy or get help up - or highly territorial Gardening businesses.

LizardBreath Thu 29-May-14 10:29:41

Oh dear, on the other extreme we've had 2 gardeners come for a look, agree prices etc and then never see them again! One been round today who I called on basis of flyer through letter box who seems more eager than others so fingers crossed they'll come and do it!

Geoff0409 Thu 29-May-14 12:27:09

That's a bit poor of them LizardB, to agree and then not bother turning up - considering it's so seasonal, you would think to grab the work while you can - especially in the seasons we have in recent years which seem to go from one extreme to the other so quickly. Hope the one that you met today brings a bit more luck smile.

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