How to Start a Garden Edging Business in Australia | finder.com.au

How to start a garden edging business

Equip yourself with the right know-how to open your own garden edging business.

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It doesn't take too much to start a gardening business – just green fingers, an eye for detail and plenty of self-motivation. Read on for some essential tips for opening your garden edging business.

What is a garden edging business?

A garden edging business provides garden services to the outdoor spaces of homes. Garden edging is the maintenance and design of plant beds and garden borders for an appealing appearance.

How to start a garden edging business

Follow these steps for starting up your business:

  1. Identify your niche. Think about how to stand out from the competition in terms of price, marketing and specialist services (such as arborist skills) that you might offer.
  2. Choose a business structure. You'll need to select a business structure for tax and legal reasons. For many garden edging businesses, operating as a Sole Trader or Partnership might be a straightforward option to consider, unless you are joining a gardening franchise.
  3. Write a business plan. Develop a business plan to track and grow your garden edging business. This helps you to research your competition and think about your projected expenses and profits.
  4. Decide on an area to service. Decide on what suburbs you'll focus on first. It makes sense to cover areas that are near to where you live to minimise travel costs and times, but you may also consider choosing affluent regions that require your services. Also think about where you will safely store your tools and vehicle when not on a job.
  5. Create a brand name and logo. You will need a logo and business name to promote your online presence, and perhaps even your own branded uniforms and gardening merchandise as you grow. You can use these graphic design tools and services to create your own logo.
  6. Register your business. Most people will need to register their business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and get an Australian Business Number (ABN).
  7. Look at your loan options. You may need to apply for a loan to start your business to buy tools and a vehicle such as a ute. If you can't get a business loan, a personal loan option might be an option.
  8. Consider your legal and insurance responsibilities. You might need to get legal document templates or advice to help start your business, which you can do online. You may also need to take out Public Indemnity Insurance to cover any damage or loss to your clients because of your business activities.
  9. Market your business. You'll need to attract customers using a variety of methods. Consider using flyers and business cards to target a local neighbourhood. Including discounts in these promotional materials is another way to attract new customers. You're likely to need to invest in a website and social media presence so customers can find you. An online presence helps people see gardeners as part of a local community and neighbourhood. It's useful to post testimonials and take attractive photos of gardening work for previous clients. Consider also maintaining your business listing and managing reviews on Google My Business.

garden edging

Learn the right skills and knowledge

To open up your own business in garden edging, you need a few specific skills and some know-how.

Firstly, you'll need to know how to create and build basic borders. This involves working with stones, bricks, wood and metal to create an appealing design for your customers. Being able to work with people all day and communicate effectively is also a must in this industry.

Consider getting qualifications and training

As well as a genuine passion for design and the great outdoors, it's a good idea to complete a short course or certificate in garden edging. While this isn't a necessity, having a few qualifications to your name is never a bad thing. Not only will this improve your skills in the field, but it will give your business much more credibility for potential customers.

A few nationally recognised courses include:

  • Certificate II in Horticulture
  • Certificate III in Horticulture
  • Certificate II in Landscaping
  • Horticulture Foundation Certificate

These can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000 and take between 6 to 18 months to complete. Some of these may be available as online courses, giving you the option of studying in your own time or opting for in-class learning if that's more your style.

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    Buy the right equipment and software

    You'll need the right tools to open up a successful garden edging business, along with a decent-sized, practical ute or vehicle to carry everything from job to job. For the practical side of things, make sure you stock up with:

    • Hard forks to break up hard soil
    • Trowels for digging up dirt
    • A garden hoe for creating straight lines in the soil
    • Weeding forks for digging up weeds by the root
    • Shovels to move around dirt
    • Rakes to clean up leaves
    • A weed slicer to make it easier to kill and remove unwanted plants
    • Lawn mowers
    • A line trimmer to produce a neat edge
    • A blower vacuum to blow away leaves and debris

    You'll also need some computer equipment and software to keep the back end of the business running smoothly. This can include:

    Choose a business structure

    First you'll need to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and register your business name. To do this, you'll need to decide how you'd like to structure your business.

    If you're planning to keep your business small to medium-sized, you can choose from the below business structures:

    Sole Trader or Partnership

    A Sole Trader and a Partnership are very similar business structures. The main difference between them is who holds the financial and practical responsibility for the business itself.

    • Sole Trader. As a Sole Trader, you alone will be responsible for the business and all of its profits or losses.
    • Partnership. Alternatively, you can enter into a Partnership with someone and both of you will be responsible for business decisions and any debts that the business incurs.

    Company

    If you have big aspirations in mind for your business, you might want to consider registering it as a Company. Companies are much more complex structures than Sole Traders and Partnerships.

    Important features of a Company:

    • The business is seen as a separate legal entity to its director/s (i.e. you and your partners).
    • As a member of the Company, you won't be liable for its debts.
    • Requires more capital up-front.

    It's worth keeping in mind that you can change the structure of your business as it grows and expands.

    It's important to have all of your legal documents in place before you start your business. This way, you can rest assured knowing that both you and your business are protected legally. A few important documents you may want to consider for your garden edging business include:

    • Ask your customers to sign a detailed Service Agreement to protect them and you.
    • Protect your business and prevent losses of your time and money with a Cancellation Policy in place.
    • An Employment Agreement can be used when you hire employees.
    • If you're setting up your business as a Partnership with friends or family, a Partnership Agreement will outline the responsibilities of each partner, ensuring that the interests of the business are protected.

    If you need a little helping hand with putting together the legal stuff, you can find free and flat-fee legal templates online, and even legal advice if you have a more complicated matter. Online legal companies include Sprintlaw, Lawpath and LegalVision which you can compare below.

    Get access to legal services and documents online

    Data updated regularly
    Name Product What's offered? Starting price to become a member Annual Fee from Free legal documents available?
    Lawpath
    Legal documents and templates, Access to lawyers, Legal guides, Legal advice
    $79 per month
    Essentials: $288, legal advice: $828
    You can view samples for free and you can create your first document for free.
    Choose an annual plan from just $288 and get unlimited revisions to your legal or business documents. Plus, unlock exclusive partner offers.
    LawDepot
    Legal documents and templates, Legal guides
    $4.99 per month
    $59.88
    Free one week trial available which gives access to hundreds of documents.
    Customise and download legal documents in as little as five minutes. Plus, LawDepot offers peace of mind with two service guarantees.
    Legal123
    Legal documents and templates, Legal guides
    Varies per template
    N/A
    No
    Legal123 offers a range of individual templates or document packages for consultants, app developers, personal trainers and more.
    LegalVision
    Legal documents and templates, Legal guides, Legal advice
    $49 + GST per week
    $2,548 + GST
    No
    Your business can take advantage of unlimited lawyer consultations, fast turnaround times and free legal templates with LegalVision.
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    Find more customers

    While word-of-mouth and recommendations can get you a long way towards securing more customers, you can take a more active approach to marketing your business. An effective and hassle-free way to do this is by using online job marketplaces. These connect skilled professionals with locals looking for a tradesperson.

    Leading platforms include hipages, Airtasker and Oneflare. Locals can post jobs that they need doing in the marketplace, and individuals or companies with the right skills can provide a quote to do the job. These platforms also allow users to view reviews and testimonials from previous customers.

    How much to charge

    If we leave out the cost of the materials, many garden edging services charge their customers per hour. Hourly rates compensate for the complexity of the job, as well as its size. Garden edging services charge differently across Australia, although most hover between $40 and $80 an hour. It's worth checking out the competition around your local area, and price your services accordingly and competitively.

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    Frequently asked questions

    How much money do you need to start a garden edging business?

    A garden edging business doesn't require huge amounts of funding in its initial stages. The biggest investment you'll need to make is buying a car big enough to hold and carry your equipment. Rather than forking out a lump sum, you may be able to secure a car finance loan and spread the cost out over a few years. After this, you might also need to spend a few thousand dollars investing in the right tools, Public Liability Insurance and some marketing for your business.

    How do I get clients for my garden edging business?

    You need to get your name out there, so people know that you exist. In this digitally led world, one of the most effective marketing strategies is to use search engine advertising. You can pay for ads that will target people specifically in your local area.

    Is a gardening business profitable?

    If you love the great outdoors and manage your business correctly, gardening can be a profitable and rewarding career. As with most businesses, you're unlikely to see huge results in the initial period, but with hard work and perseverance, you'll be able to start generating good revenue.

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