This is a personal question for lots of gardeners and one that lots don’t like answering, but it you’re thinking of starting your own gardening business it’s a question that you will need to know the answer to before investing your time and money. I’ve been a gardener in the UK for over 10 years now, so I can speak from experience when giving advice on how much money a gardener can earn per year, but will vary on your location and competition. I will first go over the hourly rate before tax, but will then go onto the cost of running your gardening business which needs to be accounted for!
Based in Hertfordshire, just outside North London, I charge an hourly rate of £30.00 for the first hour and £20.00 there after. This first £30 is crucial if your offering garden maintenance and have multiple gardens to look after in a single day. This is because this extra £10 will account for the time travelling between customers homes, and given a maximum of 30 minutes travelling time, will keep your hourly rate at £20.00 throughout the day.
If I am doing a larger gardening job that will take all day such as a large cut back, turfing or other landscaping opportunities then I will explain to the customer that the hourly rate is £20.00, bringing the 8 hour day rate to £160.00. But I actually offer a £20.00 discount and charge a day rate of £140.00. Most days as a gardener, I will earn between £140.00 to £160.00, but for the sake of this post, I will be doing the math based on earning £140.00 per day.
This comes to a total of £840.00 per week, working 6 days a week. £3360.00 per month isn’t bad, but remember, gardening is seasonal! From November to February, as my customers require less garden maintenance, my earnings are halved. Bringing the monthly earnings to £1680.00. Suddenly this may not sound so great, but working part time hours for £1680.00 and being able to spend more time with your family, to me, these winter months are what I look forward to!
To conclude, I will earn £26,880 from March to October, and £6720.00 from November to February. This gives us an annual income of £33,600 providing garden maintenance.
But what does it cost to run my gardening business? How much does it cost me to make that £140.00 per day?
If your starting a new gardening business, you will need to account for new garden machinery and equipment. To be safe, I would recommend putting £1000.00 to one side for this new equipment. This post is to give advice on how much you can earn as a gardener providing that you already have the tools and equipment needed.
As I go through my accounts, my monthly spend on business outgoings include:
- Van insurance £80.00
- Van tax £20.00
- Public Liability Insurance £80.00
- Fuel £240.00
- Tools / PPE £50.00
This comes to a grand total of approximately £470.00 per month, or £5640.00 per year. This means that it costs me £5640.00 to make £33,600, bringing a total profit of £27,960 per year.
Please bare in mind that I have been very realistic with the information given as I want to give you the best insight of what you could realistically earn as a gardener (for my location and competition) with a day rate of £140.00 working 8 hours per day. This however, is providing that you have enough business to work 6 days per week, and if you are starting a new business, you may need to invest money on advertisement to help speed up the process. The figures I have given above are what you would expect to make providing that you have an already established business.
It’s definitely worth noting however, that you can earn a lot more per year by working up to 12 hours on those long summer days and charging a fee to remove waste (which I will talk about on a later post). You could just as easily charge a day rate of £160.00 instead of the £140.00 if need be, find other ways to work throughout the winter, or even employ people throughout the summer (providing you have enough business) to increase your earnings even more. All of this will be coming on a later post!
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