Sargent's Solutions

Alan Sargent is an independent gardens consultant. His latest book, The Landscaper's Survival Manual, is available from www.alansargent.co.uk.

Sargent's solutions - this issue he works through the pros and cons of rebranding

Rebranding can be very useful but avoid confusion or clients could think that you have ceased trading, Alan Sargent warns.

Sargent's solutions - pay attention to detail to avoid contractual pitfalls

A focused and thoroughly professional business approach can help to prevent potential disputes, says Alan Sargent.

Sargent's solutions - caution advised in signing up to perfection

Any request from a potential client for a 100 per cent clean and tidy job should set alarm bells ringing, Alan Sargent warns

Sargent's solutions - investigating the business case for investing in new kit

There are solid business reasons for improving efficiency by investing in new equipment.

Sargent's solutions - facilitating staff training

Training for gardens staff can be arranged through colleges or by bringing in skilled artisans on-site, Alan Sargent explains.

Sargent's solutions - managing a garden part-time

Being asked to look after a garden on a part-time basis raises many issues that need to be addressed, says Alan Sargent

Sargent's solutions - managing landscape business expansion

Care should be taken when expanding a rural business to win more work in lucrative larger towns, says Alan Sargent.

Sargent's solutions - Educating clients on aftercare

Aftercare and educating your clients can stop your work being neglected after you have finished a job, Alan Sargent advises.

Sargent's solutions - On collaborating with the main contractor

Steps can be taken to back up your professional approach when working for a main contractor, says Alan Sargent

Sargent's solutions - On the value of good staff

The importance of highly skilled senior gardens staff is overlooked in the rush to make cost savings, Alan Sargent warns.

Sargent's solutions - Communicating contract terms

Presenting terms and conditions is expected of you as a contractor, writes Alan Sargent

Sargent's solutions - the art of getting paid in good time

Maintaining detailed communication with your clients is key to ensuring prompt payment, Alan Sargent advises.

Sargent's solutions - how changing your company name could boost your brand

Renaming your company can help to attract more work but there are potential pitfalls to be avoided, says Alan Sargent.

Sargent's solutions - ways to maximise your quote to contract ratio

Following a method statement can help you to convert a high level of enquiries into actual work, Alan Sargent advises.

Sargent's solutions - landscapers cautioned against selling themselves short

Offering discounts can undermine the value of your services and do more harm than good, Alan Sargent warns.