Entrepreneurship has been popular over recent years, with people getting into all forms of business. Maybe you have thought of becoming a professional garden or landscape designer, with aspirations of running your own business. If so, there are several landscapes and garden design considerations that you need to keep in mind before getting into the profession.
Here are a few top tips for starting the business.
- Doing Extensive Research
- Documenting A Business Plan
- Setting Up Your Workspace: What You Will Need
- Knowing Your Limitations
- Business Marketing
- Collaborate Often
- Legal Requirements
- Get The Necessary Qualifications
Doing Extensive Research
The starting point for any profession is learning. Ensure you research other designers and contractors, to understand what they do and how much they charge. Try to find a gap in the market that you can exploit. For example, you may decide to specialize in sustainable garden design, or you may develop a unique way of conducting your operations.
Also, consider the type of work you are likely to pick up, the connections you need to get commercial landscape design work, and the network of residential clients you will have to establish.
Documenting A Business Plan
When starting any business, a business plan is a necessity as it helps test the seriousness of your intentions by putting the mind through a series of tests regarding, among others, the advertising, finances, and target setting for your business. It will also assist you in measuring business progress over the years.
Develop a portfolio of the designs you’ve worked on, building onto it with time. Volunteering your services at a discounted rate will assist in building your portfolio. Another way you can showcase your services is by attending garden shows. Even if it does not result in a contract, keep meeting potential clients provides an invaluable opportunity to grow your presentation and communication skills.
Setting Up Your Workspace: What You Will Need
A Drafting Table/ Workspace
It doesn’t need to be fancy, but you will need a drafting table for spreading out your documents while doing your designs. What you need is a flat table that can fit at least a 24’’ * 36’’ paper. Find an area in your home that you can dedicate to drafting. Avoiding drawing in coffee shops or any other open areas that will require you to pack up and travel with your materials.
Good natural lighting can be complementary to your workspace; however, if you do not have access to natural lighting, you can buy some supplementary lighting.
Since you will be drafting quite a lot, a drafting board should be a requirement for your workspace. Drafting boards come in different shapes and sizes, however, the most recommended ones are the 24’’ * 36’’ ones.
Equipment and Materials Suppliers
While designing gardens you will install several equipment and materials, hence you will need to develop contacts with suppliers for your work. For instance, you might need to buy neon landscape lighting for your jobs, hence linking up with a lighting supplier for this is vital. Other equipment you will definitely need at some point include:
- A T-square for making consistent parallel lines up and down the drawing.
- An affordable drafting chair.
- Lots of drawing paper for drafting plans for your clients.
- Drafting pens and pencils.
- Drafting scales to design and draw landscapes accurately.
- Drafting triangle for creating vertical lines on a plan.
- Circle template
- Ames lettering template
- French curves.
- Vinyl Eraser & Erasing Shield
- Color pencils and illustrative markers
Knowing Your Limitations
Having an awareness of your weaknesses can help you avoid expensive mistakes. For both the financial and design elements of the business, you will need to avoid making these mistakes. Consulting accountants and other design professionals will boost your business knowledge and operations.
A good accountant may seem like a hefty expense at first, but they will eventually end up saving the business a lot of money. Knowing how to navigate a spreadsheet will improve your cost-cutting habits.
Social media platforms have made marketing easier over recent years. You can leverage this by setting up accounts and pages on the respective social media platforms. Regularly updating the posts and business information on these sites ensures your business stays relevant. You can also use this as a portfolio of your work.
Learning new skills through collaboration is an effective way of handling projects that fill you with fear. You might end up linking up with a designer who’s proficient in one of your skill gaps. Small business owners working together ensures you fortify each other rather than viewing each other as competition.
Self-employment makes it easier for you to tailor the workspace to maximize your productivity and organization, you can also leverage technology through the use of productivity apps.
Ensure you sort out all the licenses and other legal requirements such as paying your taxes depending on your business’s location. You should also need to ensure your business; with this, you need to find the most appropriate insurance. Familiarise yourself with the legislation of Copyright and Intellectual property agreements.
Get The Necessary Qualifications
Acquiring the necessary qualifications for a profession is one of the best ways to get jobs and recognition. Get a professional diploma or degree in design from an accredited institution to take a step forward in the profession. Other education options include Interior design, garden design, and landscaping.
Starting in landscape design is a lengthy process and will require efforts in getting the proper education, acquiring the necessary business skills, equipment, and business connections to start. It might seem overwhelming at first, but taking it one step at a time will ease off the burden you have. All the best!