New Gardening business...

I'm starting up a v small informal gardening business in Cotswolds, & any advice on what to do & not do, whether to open a company, insurance, business name ideas..... All suggestions would be very gratefully received. It will be very small scale part time business, I've been a full time mum for years so starting this up is a bit daunting! I'm studying for the rhs horticulture diploma too, and I'm an NT garden volunteer too, so it will all be v minimal to start with. Thanks!


  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 6,096 you have any special gardening skills which you could highlight......many casual gardeners can cut lawns and tidy up but if you could offer some extra knowledge or expertise it might be worth focussing on.

    My elderly neighbour employs 2 just sort of faffs about doing the delicate stuff and the other is a hard worker making new borders but neither tackle the overgrown shrubs and trees and don't always seem to realise that weeding is a priority.

    There are so many people these days offering a garden service and so the key is offering something that others can't/don't do.......or do badly..............only you know what your capabilities are.

    I also did several years as an NT garden volunteer......great fun and well worth the effort............also used to have a stall selling plants at a local Sunday market......again, a lot of fun ( and hard work ) but you can make it worthwhile and build up a cliental that way too.

    Best of luck with your ventureimage

  • SweetPea93SweetPea93 Posts: 446

    I'd love a little stall, but I think that's a long way away yet!

    good luck with your venture OP

  • Hi! - I'd suggest that before you take things any further you investigate whether or not you'd need some sort of planning permission for what you propose to do.  If you fail to do that, you might well find yourself in all sorts of trouble with not only the neighbours/locals, but also the council's planning department.  There are all sorts of issues which people might feel they'd want to object to -  additional traffic/change of use/loss of amenity to them etc etc. so do take some proper advice first before starting any sort of business where none has existed previously.

    Sorry to be what looks like the bearer of bad news, but "better safe than sorry".

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 2,507

    Do you intend to start up a gardening business (ie weeding, lawn cutting etc) or a more specialised garden design business. If it is the former, then a card in shop windows or old people's luncheon clubs etc will surely drum up some business. There are always folk who need regular reliable gardeners. But there is no money in this area unless you go down the more specialised route of garden design etc.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge Posts: 2,397

    Hi thebookfairy-

    You will need to register as self employed with hmrc in order to declare your income even if you are just doing 'odd jobs' or making small earnings below the tax bracket. This will ensure your NI contributions are made too.

    I suggest you get a book on starting a small business which should run through everything such as what you can offer your customers and how to promote your business through to stuff like self assessment taxing and considerations such as public liability / professional indemnity insurance.

    I would also scope out what other similar businesses offer in the area, how much they charge and see if you can find your own angle on it.

    I believe there are short courses you can attend on running your own business.

    Hope this is helpful and good luckimage

  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 6,096

    Hyper........I had the impression that the OP was thinking of going out to do various gardening jobs...........rather than turning her  home into a thriving nursery/landscape business.......or at least not in the first instance..

    You don't need PP to work from home.......unless you need to change from domestic to commercial/industrial use and that is usually a fairly obvious change.

    Provided you keep on the right side of the IRS, there isn't a problem. There is absolutely nothing to stop you growing stuff for sale or offering your services from your own home............otherwise I would think there will be an awful lot of people   biting their nails and getting in a panic right now.

    If the OP gets to the stage you suggest, yes, of course, you are right..........take advice but from the sound of it, that is quite a way in the future.

    Whether we agree or disagree, I'm sure we all wish the OP best of luckimage


  • Thanks for all your help. My idea is to do general garden maintenance, I don't have a mower or any electrical equipment, but I have everything else. I don't think planning permission is necessary as nothing will be done from my house. My skills are primarily  working really hard, weeding, pruning, cutting back, making it look fabulous - I'm a bit of an OCD Gardener, so it all has to be really neat & tidy! I've also just totally renovated my (small) garden - built steps & put in new borders with sleepers, 75 bags of gravel etc so I know I can do all that too. I've written a little notice to put in the local post office so I'll see where I go from there. I'm a relatively new gardener but I'm totally obsessed & learning it all fast! 

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,754

    Should I register as self-employed?  I'm employed as a gardener for a few hours a week by someone else.....  I'm paid in cash but I shall be declaring it.

  • SweetPea93SweetPea93 Posts: 446

    I dont know your financial situation, but try and keep this a part time, evening weekends thing if you can, at least until you drum up regular customers. My dad did what you planned to do for a while and found finding business very difficult. Keep plugging at it, and I think you being a female will work in your favour, especially with elderly female customers. It's something the OH has talked to me about, but I fear there isnt enough money in it for me, I don't have transport - a biggie, to make the jump. You seem determined and that's fab image


    do invest in a lawnmower though!image Even if it's a second hand push mower, which might be advantageous to smaller suburban gardens as it means you can work without being intrusive to the owners home.

  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 6,096


  • SweetPea93SweetPea93 Posts: 446

    I don't think so Steve, so long as it's declared. Though someone should correct me if I'm wrong.

  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge Posts: 2,397
    Steve 309 wrote (see)

    Should I register as self-employed?  I'm employed as a gardener for a few hours a week by someone else.....  I'm paid in cash but I shall be declaring it.

    Registering as self employed is just how you go about declaring your income if you want to self assess online with hmrc. You can self assess for different types of income, (pensions, second property income etc) that's all image

  • rosemummyrosemummy Posts: 1,974

    Good luck book fairy, can' t offer any advice, I' m a full time mum and know when it's my turn to get back into 'real' work I may faint with terror, it won' t be as a gardener but   Will be self employed, hope it goes well for you

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,754

    Thanks Victoria.  I'd better give them a ring I suppose.

  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge Posts: 2,397

    Or have a look on their website. I'm not all-knowing on this subject by any means- I just know what I had to do earlier this year. 

    Your personal circumstances will be different to mine and you might be collated in some other way...


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