Starting a Landscape Design Business.Revised
To start a Landscape Design Business you will only need a computer and some design software. You can get some great programs and there are some free trial versions available. This allows you to insert a photograph then add images to create the perfect garden. On your computer, you can move things around and try different designs, until you are happy with your creation. Then you will have a working plan to show to potential customers. Give your customers a choice by creating several designs. There are upgrades and professional versions available, but to start with the free versions are more than adequate.
Landscape gardening can be divided into two basic categories, the first is self-explanatory you design, and then create someone a perfect private garden. The second is probably more lucrative and the customers are usually easier to please, this is commercial landscaping for companies and businesses, I suggest you start with landscaping people's gardens, followed by taking on some commercial projects.
The first step we have to take is to make sure we are thought of as professional. To achieve this you first need to learn to use a landscape design programme as mentioned above. If you aren't comfortable with these just look on Google you can usually find some different ones and help from forums. But learn you must to give yourself a professional image and an edge over any competition. The best way to learn is to just try it. Start with your own garden; create several different designs until you feel competent to design someone else’s. Repeat with your neighbour’s garden if you wish.
Once you have created several designs, print them out on high-quality paper, and put them all together in a folder. To do this take some photographs of friend’s and relatives gardens, then use these with your landscape programmes to show where you'd make improvements. One way to get started is if you’re relatives or a friend's garden needs landscaping. You could offer to do the work and keep a photo diary of it. If it's for a friend, you could maybe do the work for free if your friend only paid for the materials. This would help selling your service as you will have photos of a job already completed.
Now there are lots of ways to promote your new business, and the following idea is one which could generate a lot of interest. Do a show garden at a local flower show or country show, just about any large event where you have a lot of people who are interested in gardens or homes. You can usually get the space for free, if you are willing to put on a display if you do have to pay to space, I suggest selling a few plants to cover the cost. Just type 'show and the place you live' into Google with a bit of searching around you should get all events come up that are local to you.
You can either choose to exhibit inside or outside, I suggest outside throughout the summer, and to be honest, it's not worth creating a show garden in winter as your display plants will not look brilliant. Bring your folder with your designs and have these visible for people to see. As with any new business, the more effort you put in at the very start, the more likely success it will have.
For your display garden I suggest about 15 feet by about 15 feet. In this area incorporate a patio with slabs or deck covering about two thirds of the area, have a table and chairs with a few planters on the deck/patio. Round the edge of the patio, have raised bed, using some wood to build up is usually the easiest. In the raised beds, make use of the large plants and trees if you can get them, then under plant with herbaceous perennials and a few bedding. You can usually drum up a lot of interest this way.
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