Case study

Two years ago, Andy was made redundant. At the age of 48 he wasn't holding out enormous hope of getting another job like his previous one. Wrongly or rightly, he believed that his age would stand against him. Fortunately, at the time of Andy's redundancy, his wife Sally was promoted and received a large salary increase, which meant that financially they had enough to cover their monthly outgoings.

Prior to Andy's redundancy, their two small children were looked after by a nanny while both of them were at work. This was no longer necessary and Andy really enjoyed spending more time with his children. However, he wanted some sort of part-time job to get him out of the house when the kids were at school.

Everyone knew Andy was a keen gardener. His ex-colleagues, with whom he still kept in contact, joked that his garden must be looking fabulous now he was at home all the time. It was. But that was the problem. There was only so much gardening he could do at home. And when one of his friends rang him up and asked him if he'd mind helping them with theirs, Andy jumped at the chance and his part-time gardening business was started.

Andy doesn't advertise his services. There is no need to. He has a small clientele mainly made up of his ex-colleagues and their friends. He doesn't keep regular hours. His only commitment to his business is that he visits his client's garden once a fortnight, at a time convenient to him.

It's an ideal arrangement.

Andy's story is not unique. There are lots of people like Andy who run small, part-time gardening businesses to satisfy their own needs both in terms of income and lifestyle. But what suits Andy may not suit you. Therefore it's important that you work in the area that suits your aspirations and lifestyle.

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