Dont fall into the trap of undercutting your competitors to get the husiness

Initially, you may be tempted to undercut your competitors as a way of introducing your business to the market place. Don't. It's a fool's game, which will only lead to problems.

At the beginning of every season a whole new batch of gardening companies enters my area, people like myself who for a variety of reasons have decided to set up their own business. Without fail a proportion of these operators try to win business by lowering their prices. Consequently these enterprises rarely if at all survive beyond their first season. As soon as they realise just how much hard work is involved and how inadequate their fees are, they soon come to the conclusion that it's far better being an employee than self-employed.

The vast majority of gardening outfits are one-man bands and there is nothing wrong with this. In my opinion this is the best way to operate, at least in the early days when learning how to run your business. So if you're tempted to undercut the going rates remember that there is a physical limit to how much work each of your competitors can undertake. There are only so many hedges, lawns, trees that any one person can cut in one day. Don't despair if you see a page full of gardening service adverts in your local papers. It doesn't take long for them all to become fully booked, particularly during spring and autumn.

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