How to start a garden service business in South Africa

How to start a garden service business in South Africa

A garden service business is a great business for people who love working with plants and flowers. This is a guide on how to start a garden service business in South Africa.


Gardening is used by almost everyone, we need someone to take care of the garden, whether it’s a home, commercial property or a public area. This creates a huge market for a gardening service, a lot of people still choose to do their garden by themselves. However, there are a lot of people who are looking to outsource this job.

Most people don’t have enough time to manage their gardens, especially people who are part of the working class. This is a business that has very low barriers to entry with a high return on investment.

Get experience

This is the first thing you should do before getting into this business. Gardening might look easy but it’s not, you have to know the different types of plants and how to manage them properly, it’s not only about cutting them but about maintenance as well.

Learning how to garden the right way is not hard and you don’t need any formal education. You can benefit by gaining a little work experience, try to volunteer for an already established business. This will give you a lot of experience. You will know how many hours are needed to work in a day, how difficult certain plants are and all the equipment that you need. Knowing this all this information will also make it easier for you to set a price for your services.

Register your business

You will need to register your business; this will give you some credibility and will make you trustworthy. Registering a business only costs R175 when done through the CIPC, you can also do it through FNB they will automatically create a business account for you.

Shortly after registering your business; you should make sure that you get someone to design a logo for you. This will make your business more brandable and marketable, it will be easier for people to notice your logo.

Buy equipment

Gardening equipment is not expensive, you can get almost all your essential equipment from under R5 000. It will be easier to know which equipment to buy if you followed step one on this list. The money you spend on equipment will also be influenced by the number of people who are expected to work with the equipment. You might need to by equipment in multiples if you will have employees.

Buy a vehicle for transportation

You will have to transport all that equipment to and from work, you can’t really climb taxis with all your equipment. This is where you are going to spend the most money, most professionals in this area buy bakkies. You can also buy a second hand bakkie, this will cost you a lot of money, alternatively; you can lease it.

Leasing the bakkie for when you need it will save you a lot of money, especially in the early days when clients are still hard to come by. It will do you a lot of good if you place your logo and contact details on the bakkie. You will receive an unexpected call from someone telling you they took your contact details from the parking while you were at the mall.

Hire the right employees

This part can be a little tricky, you don’t want to hire permanent employees when you are just starting out. You will need to hire employees on a temporary basis, when a job comes up, this means that you will have to pay them by time worked.

It’s best to hire people with experience with gardening, that way; you won’t have to spend extra time and resources trying to teach them. It will also make it easier to delegate tasks without micromanaging.

Market your business

Marketing this type of business is not tricky, you don’t have to invest a lot in social media marketing. Most of the marketing can be done offline. The first thing you would have to do is print out flyers and distribute them, usually by putting them in the mail box or the gate. People will see them and some will contact you.

It’s important to mention that you should distribute at least over 100 flyers, there is no way that you won’t get calls from 100 people. Most commercial businesses will already have someone that does their gardening, you can call them and offer to do it at a cheaper price. The majority of your clients will come from referrals, this will happen after you have worked with over 15 people.

Branding also goes a long way, print a few caps and T-shirts and give them away for free to your first-time clients. Doing this and doing a good gardening job will keep them returning to you, that way, you will have a steady flow of income.


This was a guide on how to start a garden service business in South Africa. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.   

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. What is the starting rate for employees?

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