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The Hidden Risks for Gardeners and Landscaping Businesses

Landscaping is a lucrative business model – and especially so as the summer months roll in ever closer. Domestic households, private estates and commercial premises all begin to seek the rehabilitation of their outdoor spaces as spring growth continues unchecked, and as outdoor spaces become more desirable to use and enjoy.

However, as with any business endeavour, there are risks inherent to operating as a landscaping business, of which you should be aware before starting out in earnest. Here are some of the key hidden risks to starting a horticultural business, and how to overcome them.

Equipment Failure

Correct management and maintenance of your landscaping equipment is a standard part of your day-to-day operation, and crucial to the longevity of your tools. However, sometimes there is no preventing the breakdown, failure, or loss of your equipment. Your tools are arguably the single most important facet of your business, and without them, there are no honouring prior client commitments – leading to long-term losses as well as short-term costs for repair and replacement.

Thankfully, this is a risk easily remedied with the use of contractor insurance. The right contractor insurance policy can cover your equipment for a variety of risks, and the resulting financial losses from such risks. Your equipment may be damaged in a fire or flood, or be stolen from your van; either way, insurance can cover you for therepair or replacement costs.

Injury On-Site

The same equipment affords a more significant risk to the health and safety of both your landscaping team and your customers. When on a job, you and your staff should be endeavouring to follow the correct health and safety procedures to mitigate the risk of injury, from assessing risk to wearing adequate personal protective equipment. 

But accidents do happen, which can have far-reaching consequences depending on how they materialise. If an employee suffers an injury on-site, they may be unable to work until they have recovered completely – leaving you short on labour. Alternatively, a customer may get inadvertently injured, opening you up to liabilityfor damages. 

Prevention is the best form of protection, and health and safety procedures should be more than adequate to keep accident incidences low. However, insurance can once again be an indispensable tool for handling the consequences of an accident.

Seasonal Work

Lastly, a risk inherent to landscaping is the seasonal nature of the work. Without due care in marketing and consulting with clients, it can come to pass that all your customs land in the warmer months, when horticultural work is in higher commercial demand. The ‘off’ seasons of autumn and winter are not without their potential, but customers are less likely to reach out organically – something which can lead to a precarious financial position in the winter.

This can be countered with a careful approach to building brand awareness; more aggressive forms of customer engagement can increase custom, while pivoting to offer a wider range of seasonal services can plug the gap until warmer months.