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Deciding to open your own arborist business can be daunting, but with the right information, it's more than possible to get a profitable business up and running. We've compiled a few of the essential things you need to know as a new business owner that will help make the whole process run smoothly.
An arborist business is a tree care service provided by specialists in the study and management of horticulture. An arborist helps maintain the health and safety of individual plants and trees. They can also help with planting, transplanting, pruning, installing lightning protection and removing vegetation deemed hazardous or invasive.
Working in a competitive field of business requires a comprehensive business plan. From competitive analysis to loan options, you must secure every step of your business set-up to safeguard against possible setbacks.
As a tree doctor, you'll need to have extensive knowledge of different types of plants and trees so you can correctly diagnose and nurture them back to good health.
Before you start writing out a business plan for your new venture, it's important to think carefully about the services you want to offer. This will help you to hone the skills and acquire the equipment and qualifications you'll need to have before opening.
Arborist services can provide all or just some of the following services:
Starting a small business by yourself also requires a good deal of self-motivation, determination and hard work. You'll need to know how to deal with all of the behinds-the-scenes stuff, such as finances and marketing.
You don't need a graduate degree to become an arborist, but it can help develop your knowledge further. Saying this, most arborists start their career at a young age. Once you've gained your basic entry requirements for Year 10, you can enrol in a traineeship in horticulture/arboriculture.. For supervisory roles, it's recommended that you have a minimum qualification of Certificate III in Horticulture (Arboriculture).
Here are some of the topics that will be covered in your course:
It will take you between 18 and 24 months to complete the traineeship and it will cost around $8,000 to complete. You may be eligible for government funding, in which case you can get some or all of this course for free.
When you open an arborist business, one of the most significant investments you'll need to pay for is for the equipment. As well as safety equipment, you'll also need the right tools to allow you to do the job. These include:
You'll also need a good-sized ute or similar vehicle to carry everything around with you.
Choosing the right structure for your business is extremely important. It determines who makes critical decisions for the business, who's liable for its debts and what taxes you need to pay.
As an arborist business, you'll more than likely want to consider registering as a Sole Trader, Partnership or Company. Here's a quick overview of what each structure can offer you:
As an individual trading on your own, you'll be personally responsible for any decisions and debts your business may find itself in. It's a relatively easy and low-cost business to set up – all you need is an Australian Business Number (ABN).
A Partnership consists of two or more people who have come together to open a business. Each individual will hold equal responsibility for the business, including any decision making and financial gains or losses.
Companies are a separate legal entity from its directors. They are usually more costly to set up and have complicated internal structures with many different stakeholders. For this reason, no one person is responsible for a Company's finances or actions.
It can be hard to get your head around all of the legal stuff, but it's a must if you want to keep yourself and your customers protected. You can find plenty of legal help and advice online, along with templates and examples to get you started.
Here's a list of some of the types of legal documents you might need for your arborist business:
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
If you need a helping hand in attracting customers to your business, invest in a few extra marketing tools. If you haven't already, it's important to create a business website and set up pages on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram.
More recently, online job marketplaces have been gaining in popularity. These platforms connect locals who need a job done with skilled professionals. You can either create a profile, post your business's services or respond to potential customers' job posts. A few websites you might want to check out include Airtasker, hipages and Oneflare.
Working as an arborist covers lots of different tasks, including felling trees and providing consultation and advice. All of these services are likely to be priced differently depending on the complexity of the job and the equipment you need to use.
Arborists typically charge an hourly rate between $35 and $150. Rates for specific services also vary, but typically fall in the following ranges:
Consultation work is typically done on a fixed-price basis and depends on how many trees you include in your report. The going rate for advice and a written-up report is around $300 to $500 for a single tree.
How much does an arborist business make?
As an arborist, your revenue and profits depend on how you price your services and how large your company is. A key factor in making good profits is pricing your services smartly. Look at similar companies in your local area to guide your pricing decisions.
How much is insurance for a tree company?
The work you do as an arborist can be risky to yourself and your surroundings. Hence, it is essential to have insurance in place. It is the standard to have Public Liability Insurance and Workers Compensation Insurance for all of your employees. Depending on your business's size, your insurance can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars a year to the tens of thousands.
How do I get more tree work?
If you're struggling to get more customers, it's worth looking at your marketing strategies. Although word of mouth from your previous clients may get you some work, you can't rely on them entirely. Instead, consider setting up an online presence by creating a website and using social media to connect to people in your local area. You can also consider listing on online directories for people to find you.Back to top
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