Over the last year, people across the UK have flocked to their gardens. According to a survey by Rattan Direct last year, 77% of people were gardening more or the same amount as they did before lockdown, with only 9% gardening less. With life returning to normal, lots of these people will be either inviting guests into their gardens or reducing the amount of time they spend in them – the perfect time for garden maintenance businesses to ply their trade.
If you’re thinking of becoming a professional gardener or you’re already putting steps in place to launch your business in time for summer 2021, having the right equipment is crucial. Here are the top tools you’ll need.
Every gardener needs a basic set of tools that will help tame overgrown gardens and outdoor spaces. Manual hand tools such as shears, a spade, trowel, watering can, and garden fork are all very important, however large landscaping tasks will take a long time to complete with them.
So, to make sure you can quickly get through labour-intensive services like weed clearance, mowing and hedge cutting, invest in a quality mower, strimmer, retractable hose, and hedge trimmer.
Petrol-powered tools are a good choice as the fuel can last longer than a battery, is generally more portable, and can provide greater power. If you want to go fully green, however, just be sure to invest in several batteries per tool, so your work isn’t constrained by access to plug sockets.
Other tools like a chainsaw, stump grinder and chipper are optional. If your market research indicates there is a market in your area for these services, feel free to invest, however make sure you do your homework first as they can be expensive.
While you should have adequate insurance whenever you work on a client’s garden, it’s essential that you also wear the right sort of safety equipment, so you protect yourself (and your livelihood) from harm.
Get a pair of strong safety goggles or a face mask, a hard hat, steel toe-capped boots and strong gloves. If you offer services that require you to kneel often, kneeling pads are a great idea too. If your safety equipment gets worn or damaged, quickly replace them – it’s a worthwhile investment!
To ensure the smooth running of your new gardening business, consider the tools that will help you efficiently and profitably run it. For administration, an Excel spreadsheet, printer and filing cabinet should do, although there are specialist gardening business management software applications out there to choose from too.
A laptop is also a must-have, as well design software if you intend on offering landscape design services. That said, nothing beats a sketch pad that you can take to client consultations to jot down requirements, ideas, and measurements.
A van or trailer is also a must-have, letting you quickly and simply transport your tools from job to job. Be sure to invest in one with strong locks too, even if you remove your tools from the van at the end of each working day, as van thefts are a real concern. And if you want to improve your professional credentials, it can also be a great idea to design and put a logo on your van, and it may lead to increased work via kerbside advertising.