The increase in quality of life, increased development of private homes, and the increased awareness for quality of environment have significantly developed the attitude towards the home, business, and public area gardens in urban and semi-urban areas in Israel. This has created a growing demand for gardening businesses. Establishing a new gardening business requires familiarity and awareness for the needs of various customers. The entrepreneur’s sphere of occupation is derived from these needs. The sphere of occupations is varied and is suited to the needs of customers utilizing the business' services. Gardening does not require a license, although garden owners have recently begun asking for a certification or alternatively giving precedence to landscape architects, agronomists, etc.
A partial list of possible occupations is listed below:
Internal or external gardening for private homes or residential buildings.
Internal or external gardening for organizations or industrial factories.
Municipal gardening of main roads, public, and municipal gardens.
It is recommended to focus on one or two areas most appropriate for the needs of the target market.
The gardening industry is a completely free market, with many active professionals. Entrance threshold is relatively low (for low-level professionals). This encourages many entrepreneurs to enter the industry. On the other hand, competition causes high business turnover rates.
The gardening industry suffers from high seasonality. There is a lot of work refreshing and replanting gardens in the fall and spring seasons. In the summer, most work involves maintenance and irrigation (for example, grass should be mowed weekly). In the winter, there is usually little work. As a result, many gardeners tend to have a different occupation during off-season.
Customers: Defining the Target Market and Its Size, Market Segmenting
Potential clientele can be divided into 4 groups as follows:
Private customers- mainly planning and maintaining small gardens. Frequency and type of work are determined according to garden type and customer demands.
Corporate/ organization customers- these customers usually include private and public organizations requiring routine maintenance of large areas. Communication is usually conducted by tenders and according to framework agreements. Working with organizations may require securities, proof of experience and professional ability, and a suitable organizational appraisal.
Contractors- Primarily planning and establishing gardens for construction projects. Communication is usually conducted per project.
Landscape architects that do not have their own crew.
The gardening industry is highly competitive due to the relatively low entrance threshold. Before establishing a new business, it is recommended to inquire as to the number of similar businesses in the area and as to the existence of clientele requiring gardening services. This is true for both private and organizational customers. Tenders require more preparation. In addition to familiarity with the industry, profession, and competition, one must examine the tender's profitability, analyze customer and competitor abilities and aspirations, and mainly being prepared to purchase required equipment and setting up securities.
All equipment required for gardening, establishment of gardens (computerized and non computerized irrigation systems, etc.) and for maintenance can be purchased from a number of leading including Omer, Ha’Garin, Amir, and Agronof, in addition to dozens of small importers and wholesalers. When purchasing mechanical tools (saw, lawnmower, pruning equipment, etc.) ensure availability of service and replacement parts. Service is usually offered by the vendor and/or manufacturer and importer.
Plants can be purchased either at plant nurseries or plant growers.
In order for the target market to become familiarized with the business, continuous advertising should be stressed. The business can be advertised by using a number of methods including:
Yellow pages, professional literature, a special gardening phone book (green pages).
Distribution of advertisements in mailboxes.
Contacting maintenance managers in the commercial sector.
Distribution of promotional materials.
Posting signs at gardens established by the business, or at gardens maintained by it.
Displaying business information on vehicles and working attire.
Portfolio- a portfolio is the gardener’s prospectus and includes details of his professional training, skills, experience, employees, before and after pictures, and display of his best work. It is recommended to utilize professional aid in portfolio preparation. The portfolio is intended as promotional material for potential clients.
Approaching landscape planning firms and/or architect firms in order to act as a sub-contractor (requires proven ability and prior experience)
In addition, one may purchase an existing route of customers from a gardener who is quitting the business. Customary purchase price is a monthly salary or bi-monthly for especially good routes. This may be risky, depending on the reasons for the previous gardener’s retirement.
The number of people employed at companies varies according to type of work and projects. Basic and advanced courses are conducted at a number of locations in Israel
Wizo School for gardening and landscape professionals, Petach-Tikva, phone:
Gardening and Landscape organization. Phone: 03-9080235.
Industry Revenue and Profitability
Revenue of a 3-person team that mainly maintains gardens is approximately 450,000 per year.
Calculation is as follows:
Of 100% customer sale price for garden establishment (including irrigation system installment), the gardener’s profit is 31-36% .
Of 100% customer sale price for garden maintenance gardener’s profit is 80-84%
This data is for raw profit before salaries and other regular costs are paid.
Sub-contracted work and commercial customers profit percentages will tend to the lower limit, and may be even lower.
Typical Terms of Payment
A beginning gardener must take into account the difficulties in finding new customers. Price is a significant and sometimes determining factor in the customer's decision to hire a gardener. Most beginner gardeners are forced to compromise price wise. It may be profitable to set lower prices in order to attract additional customers. If customers remain satisfied with the price and quality of the work, probability of attaining new customers increases.
Private customers usually pay for maintenance and gardening on a monthly basis.
Commercial/organization customers usually pay according to predetermined terms (usually EOM+30), upon delivery of a monthly invoice.
Specific payment terms are determined for each tender.
Licensing and Certification:
No license or certification is required in order to operate a business.
There is a professional certification received after successfully completing studies at a number of institutions such as Rupin academy, or Wizo Petach-Tikva.
Landscape architects and agronomists have precedence among high-class customers.
A beginning business should initially concentrate on acquiring private customers or acting as a sub-contractor. A new business will probably have difficulties competing for large, commercial customers initially.
Gardener credibility and professionalism are determined in part according to familiarity with plants and plant attributes, and according to his ability to portray this knowledge to the customer. If a disease or unrecognized issue arises, one should immediately seek professional assistance.
Arrange for a sign with the company’s contact information to be displayed on each customer fence.
Mediation between the customer and vendors for equipment such as irrigation, fertilizers, insecticides, accessories, and plant nurseries is an important and profitable service that a gardener should offer. Price gap in favor of the gardener will range between 25-50%. This should be taken advantage of.
The following sites can used for advertisement and updates:
The Israeli gardening portal http://www.ginun.co.il
It is recommended to utilize the aid of your local Business Development Center branch in establishing and operating the business.
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