After acquiring a stinker of a cold I have only managed 3 hours this week, I don't do well working through streaming eyes and nose, and driving with a completely fuzzy head is not my most favourite thing to do!
And rain tomorrow.... Well, that's ok, a rainy day is a good day for a gardener to have a cold.
How did I make my hobby into a job? I did it gradually. My career kind of grew by itself. I've always grown plants, and after doing some shabby jobs for a while after school/college I worked at a garden centre, then spent a few years messing around and finally worked again at a garden centre. From there I was poached by a landscape gardener to do his garden maintenance, and after about 1½ years I'd gained the confidence to strike out on my own. I had to be self-employed to work for the landscaper anyway, so I was halfway there.
I inherited some of his customers, and advertised with Thompson Local to keep a flow of customers as needed. Since then I've advertised also with leaflets, and at the moment with yell.com. I've also got some magnetic signs on order for my van so I can target certain areas where I work.
Not very complex I'm afraid, but that's about it in a nutshell. The main thing is, be a genuine and honest worker, don't ever imagine that anything less than that will give you ongoing success and a good reputation.
I hope you're feeling better today and your cold has cleared a little.
The sun has been shining today in the South! So, I am very happy!
That's an amazing journey and it sounds like the experience you have gained over time has really helped you build upon your confidence and other assets. This story is really inspiring, it's great how things have organically grown with a little help from some inherited customers - BUT, amazing nonetheless!
Great feedback to end your comment, Karsty. I completely agree. The challenges shape us and they shape our pathway.
One question though, is there anything you wish you had known when you first started out on your own? *It can be so daunting!*
Thanks @JessicaWard, the fuzzy head cold is just starting to clear.
I think my type of business is pretty straightforward compared to many others. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's still way too busy, and it can in many ways go from zero to 100, and 100 to zero without any notice at any time.
The thing that might have made a difference early on is getting my charges right, I didn't charge enough and if you don't get that right nobody wins.
Maybe knowing more about my work vehicle could have helped. But I started off with a Ford Transit which are top notch except for the rust. I believe the newest version - the Custom - is much more rust resistant (needs confirmation). The trouble with Transits is once they start rusting, if you don't do something about it you might just as well set fire to them. I spray all vulnerable parts of mine (Ford Transit Mk7 2007) with Corrosion Block (developed by Lear Aviation Corporation) once or twice a year. It reduced my welding bill by 90% in the first year I used it.
The more I think about this the more I realise I could probably write a book
Hope you have had a good weekend.
Yes, that's the same with my freelance writing business. Things can radically progress overnight and I will be inundated with offers and then some weeks, things are a little slower. I suppose this is the nature of some businesses.
How do you cope with the slower months? Especially in the winter, is this something you prepare for?
The fact that you have mastered the pricing is brilliant. I am sure this is a huge benefit and allows you to feel more in control of your business! Amazing work with the van too! I know that's been a long journey.
I am sure you could definitely write a book. I know I would love to one day. Nothing stops you from thinking about it. Let us know if you branch out on this idea