Forum home The potting shed

Would you hire a mature student gardener, who will need to use your tools?

Just trying to get some feedback for an idea I have. I don't know of services like this, so I'm quite unsure if its something worth trying.

I'm just starting studying for a career change. I'm 42. I have my own tools, but not petrol run, and not very professional looking. However, I'm so dying to get started.

Obviously, anyone hiring me is doing me a huge favor. I wouldn't dream of charging the normal rate. As without tools of my own, there's little to no running costs. Equally, I couldn't really afford the time for nothing at all.

I was thinking its quite a good exchange. You have a person who is clearly passionate about gardening. Will work for a lower rate with a drive to improve themselves an do their best for you. And I get the experience I need to progress in this career.

Its the using the clients tools part I'm worried about. I don't know if people would be ok with that, I'm willing to put myself out there and try.. but there's that little voice in my head saying "this will never work and you're going to look stupid" ~

How would you respond to a garden helper flyer landing on your doormatt with this kind of offer?
«13456

Posts

  • B3B3 Posts: 11,531
    I'm  a bit  wary of fliers  but  if someone recommended  a person with what  you have to offer  I'd be really interested.  It wouldn't  bother  me about the tools.don't  sell yourself to cheaply either 
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Jules41Jules41 Posts: 178
    Where abouts in the country are you? I'd hire you today! I'm not able to do my garden properly anymore and I can't find anyone at all who will come and do it - everyone I contact wants to do only 'obe off' jobs, or major jobs like landscaping. I have all my own tools too!
  • I think it’s a fab idea and I would respond. I wouldn’t mind you using my tools.  I’m always telling my sister to contact our local college for garden help. She can’t manage the garden but can’t afford to pay £20 for 30mins work either. Our mum pays that and by the time he’s unloaded the lawn mower from his trailer and then allows time to get it back on the trailer he literally just has time to cut the grass. He says he has lots of work and rushes to get to the next job. That’s  not a bad income  :)
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,238
    If I were a local gardener I wouldn’t be too happy with someone undercutting me. Prepare to meet resistance from the opposition.

    Flyers go atraight in the bin here. 

    There’s a local magazine for businesses in the area that is delivered door to door twice a year. One company I invited round asked how I had heard of them and nearly fell over when I mentioned the mag. The first person to use it, I was told.

    Word of mouth is by far the best way.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Jules41 said:
    Where abouts in the country are you? I'd hire you today! I'm not able to do my garden properly anymore and I can't find anyone at all who will come and do it - everyone I contact wants to do only 'obe off' jobs, or major jobs like landscaping. I have all my own tools too!
    Ha :) Good ole Somerset. Taunton.
  • pansyface said:
    If I were a local gardener I wouldn’t be too happy with someone undercutting me. Prepare to meet resistance from the opposition.
    Hmm good point. Definitely don't want to upset people.
  • B3 said:
    I'm  a bit  wary of fliers  but  if someone recommended  a person with what  you have to offer  I'd be really interested.  It wouldn't  bother  me about the tools.don't  sell yourself to cheaply either 
    Thanks for the feedback. I'm starting to feel more confident.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,512
    Years ago I had a student landscape gardener who came and did odd days for and with me for a couple of years while he trained.  He had no tools of his own and needed feeding at midday plus his pay.  Can't remember how much now but it was good for both of us as he learned about plants and techniques and combos he didn't meet at college and I benefited from his more theoretical knowledge and design training and muscles as we developed new beds and planting schemes.

    To be fair, I had tried getting professional help to create my then new garden from former cow pasture but not a one came back with an estimate or a plan and I didn't just want a jobbing gardener to cut grass and hedges.


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 979
    Our gardener mostly uses her uses her own tools but sometimes uses mine. I have no issue with that. She always uses my lawn mower. 

    The going rate in this part of the world is £15 an hour. Some charge a £ or two less. Those charging £20 upwards usually try to justify it by saying they do garden design as well, or will take away all pruning, lawn clippings etc. Luckily we don’t need this as we compost most things and have the space to burn rose pruning etc once in a while.

    My bet is that if you sent out flyers, advertised in newsagents’ windows etc you’d get a full client list very speedily. Round here you would, anyway. To a large extent it is a seller’s market and competent gardeners are highly prized.

    Have you considered what you’ll do in the winter months when folk often try to lay off the gardener? We have an ideal compromise: if there’s not enough to do in the garden she does the ironing instead.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,896
    edited August 2018
    Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about upsetting the competition, unless you are in a small village. I have a student friend of mine to do heavy work - moving compost, wood, digging etc - as I have seriously hurt my back doing these things in recent years. The student charges about £12 an hour, but he is just beginning and doesn't know much about gardening yet. But he is great at cutting hedges, heaving out rocks etc. He is immensely strong. I have recommenced him to neighbours and he has a pretty healthy trade near me (North London). Esp on allotments.

    He uses all my tools, and my neighbours'. We wouldn't expect otherwise. He's a young man without a car. He brings just rain gear if needed and his own gloves.

    I think your idea is a good one. Just make it very clear up front that you would need to use the owners own tools. No problem. I never so much as glance at fliers or cards through the letterbox and I have a 'No Junk Mail' sign up, so it irritates me when people ignore it. Recommendations through neighbourhood groups, social media (like this forum), U3A, community gardens etc is the way to go.

Sign In or Register to comment.