Many private homes and organisations decorate their outdoor space with gardens. But, many people don’t have the time to maintain those gardens. So, if you want to turn your gardening skills into a business, there are plenty of clients for you. 

This guide will cover how to become a gardener that’s self-employed, including: 

  • How to get set up as a self-employed gardener
  • What you’ll need to become a self-employed gardener 
  • How to find your first clients 

How to get set up as a self-employed gardener

Wondering how to become a gardener that’s self-employed? Before you can start using your gardening skills to find clients, you’ll need to set up your business. 

Register your business 

To set up your gardening business, you can first register as a sole trader. Working as self-employed also means you’ll have to manage your taxes. You can learn more about that here.

Get insurance 

Though it’s not legally required, you may want public liability insurance to protect yourself from risk. As a gardener, you may also want to look into tools insurance in case any of your equipment is broken or damaged.

Create a price list 

You’ll also want to put together a price list for your services. This will help you appear established to your first clients. Consider what you want to offer clients. Will you maintain gardens or offer garden design services? Will you focus on private or public gardens? 

Also, think about the expenses of each service to decide how much you will charge clients. You can do some research to see what gardeners typically charge. 

What you’ll need to become a self-employed gardener

When considering how to become a gardener that’s self-employed, you’ll also want to consider what you’ll need. There may be a few startup costs and skills necessary to succeed. 

Gardening skills

To be a good gardener, you’ll need to know about plants and plant care. You may also want to learn about garden design if you plan to create gardens for clients. 

You could maintain your own garden to show your skills. You can take pictures of this garden as well as any work you do for clients. You can also look into doing a gardening apprenticeship with an experienced professional gardener. 

There are also certifications and degrees in gardening to help you gain experience. The National Careers Services website lists a few gardening courses you can take. You could choose to study something like horticulture or garden design. 

The Royal Horticultural Society also offers educational opportunities and lectures. By getting formal qualifications in gardening, you can appear credible and professional to professional clients. 

Gardening tools

To start your gardening business and attend to clients’ gardens, you’ll need all the essential gardening tools. 

Here are some tools to add to your gardening kit:

  • Gardening gloves
  • Watering can 
  • Shovel 
  • Hand trowel
  • Hand fork
  • Hoe 
  • Rake 
  • Sheers 
  • Secateurs 

Depending on the jobs you take, you may need more specialised equipment, so plan for those expenses. 

Transportation 

Working as a gardener will likely mean travelling to your clients. Because of this, you’ll need reliable transportation that can fit all of your gardening tools. 

As your business grows, you may want a truck or van. If you get a new car for your gardening business, you could look into financing it as a self-employed worker. Also remember to factor in car insurance. 

Organisation tools

It’s important to get your gardening business operations in order. You could use platforms like Google Workspace or Microsoft Office to manage your communications, calendar, and documents in one place. 

How to find your first clients

Once you know how to become a gardener that’s self-employed, you’ll need to find clients for your gardening business. This means you’ll need to market yourself. 

Find your audience 

The first step in finding clients for your small business is to think about your target audience. These are the people who would benefit from your services. When it comes to gardening, you’ll likely target individuals or companies with gardens that they can’t manage independently. 

If you target your marketing towards this audience, you’ll have an easier time finding clients for your business. Consider where you may find these people and where they might look for gardening services. Then, make your business easy to find. 

Market yourself on social media 

With over 3.6 billion users, social media platforms are great places to market small businesses. You can use social media marketing to effectively reach gardeners in your local area. 

Platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube would be great for marketing a gardening business. Consider posting photos of your gardening projects. You could also post videos and gardening tips on YouTube and Pinterest. Then, join gardening groups on Facebook to interact with the community. 

Also, consider designing a website for your business. On your website, add your price list and photos of your gardening to show your skills. You can link this website to your social media channels. 

Find clients

Once you establish your brand, you can seek clients on freelance sites like Gumtree, Upwork, or Horticulture Jobs. You can use these sites to search for jobs and market yourself to clients. There are also places you could advertise, such as gardening magazines and local newspapers. 

You can also network your business by joining things like The Gardeners Guild. By interacting with the gardening community, you can learn more about the tricks of the business and begin to grow your business.

Organise your finances with Countingup

Once your gardening business starts to grow, you’ll need to manage your finances. Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.