Gardening franchises reviewed
Gardening franchises can be a great way to combine a successful business opportunity with doing something that you enjoy. Gardening allows you to work outdoors, away from a desk and an office, with plenty of scope for movement into new areas.
A gardening franchise could be the opportunity that you have been looking for to grow your own business. And with the support, training and branding expertise you get from the franchise, it’s a great way to get up and running.
Types of gardening franchises
There are almost as many types of gardening franchise as there are gardens but they fall into a few major categories.
Maintenance – All gardens need looking after. With rain and sun the grass, plants and trees grow quickly. And they often need looking after, controlling or removing. So there are numerous gardening franchise opportunities to be had. These include mowing and cutting services, as well as tree surgery.
Nursery and growing – Gardens need plants, whether they’re ornamental or as a source of food. So there are franchise opportunities to set up nurseries or greenhouses in which to germinate and grow seedlings and plants for sale.
Specialists – The British love a lawn. But having a lush green area of grass is not as easy as it looks. Very often it turns out to be full of weeds, patchy, mossy or out of control. That’s why there is such a need for lawn care specialists. They plant, treat and look after lawns to keep them looking in superb condition.
Ornamental and landscaping – Keeping a garden not just under control but looking beautiful all year round is a very difficult task and depends very much on the design, layout and types of plants used. Landscapers are responsible for creating these designs, choosing appropriate plants for the locations. Ornamental gardeners work with specialist plants and other features, such as fountains.
Within all of the above, garden franchises can provide many services. These include trimming, pruning, leaf clearing, patio cleaning, planting, hedge maintenance and more.
The advantages of a gardening franchise
The main bonus of a garden business is that you get to work outside, in the fresh air and surrounded by nature. Of course, some franchises offer more glamorous work than others but it depends on your strengths. Some people gain just as much satisfaction from a freshly cut and trimmed lawn as from cultivating a beautiful orchid.
The other main advantage is that the equipment needed for most garden franchise businesses is simple and generally very portable. Heavy-duty tools like lawnmowers, chainsaws and trimmers can all be transported easily from job to job. Hand tools like rakes, shears and trowels are also readily available and relatively cheap. So an initial investment is usually affordable.
So why go for a franchise?
If tools are readily available and the market so big, why choose to franchise rather than go it alone? Well, it’s largely because as a franchise you enter an already busy market place with a huge advantage. There are plenty of people offering gardening services but they don’t always have access to branding, promotional materials, training and expertise. As a franchise, you will be highly trained to carry out many aspects of garden work to a very high standard, giving you an edge on the competition.
You also enter the market place with an established reputation and support from the franchisor to help you make a success of it.
You’ll be fully insured and in a position to take on staff to work as a team to build your business. And most importantly, you will get guaranteed clients in an area not already serviced by your franchise. So you won’t have to expend energy and time at the start of your enterprise trying to build up a client base. You may also get on-going sales support to keep driving new customers into the business.
You’ll also be provided with all the necessary branding tools, like stickers, uniforms and more so you can present yourself as a professional enterprise from the get go. Starting out as an independent business, this would all involve a huge outlay and investment with no guarantee of customers or sales.
A growing industry
Gardening is also a growing industry in the UK. As people have less and less free time, they are less inclined to work on their gardens themselves. That means there has been a huge increase in the amount of work being tendered to professional gardeners of all types.
New treatments and techniques available only at the professional end of the market also encourage more people to hire a specialist rather than tackle it themselves.
Questions you need to ask
As with any franchise purchase, you need to know what you’re buying. You should assess the level of support that you can expect to get from the franchisor and what training will be provided. Very importantly, you need to know about the area you will be expected to cover and where other neighbouring franchises are operating. If you purchase a franchise and another is set up nearby this could affect your client base.
Ask to see figures for similar franchises and, if possible, speak to other franchisees to see how their experience has been. This will give you the clearest picture of what to expect from your franchise.
Starting a garden franchise could be your ticket to a lifetime of working outside, leading a team and building a successful business with support from experienced people. With a small investment, you should be able to grow your business, expanding into new areas and taking on new staff.