Make Sure Your Landscaping Business is Earning to it's Fullest Potential
A landscaping business can be a great way to make money or it can be a money pit where cash is thrown, never to be seen again. Here are some suggestions to help your landscaping business turn a profit and even earn great money.
Get free advertising for your business! Local newspapers are always looking for a topic for a story. These papers often feature stories about new area businesses. Contact the paper by emailing or mailing a press release or calling and let them know that there is a new (or not so new) landscaping business in town. Be sure to let them know that your landscaping business would make a compelling and informative story for their readers. Not only will your landscaping business end up in that week’s or month’s paper, it will likely end up on the newspaper’s website for search engines to find. Be sure the story includes your company’s name, the services you provide, what a great job you do, your phone number, and your company website.
Look professional. When you and your crew are posing for newspaper articles (and working) you want to look professional. Wear matching t-shirts, polo shirts or button-down workshirts with the company name and contact information on the front and back. Also consider wearing matching work khakis, Carhartt-style pants, or jeans to complete the uniform. Matching uniforms will lend a professional appearance to your landscaping crew, reassure customers that the people in their yard is the landscaping company they hired , and provide free advertising to neighbors.
Use hyperlocal advertising to your benefit. It doesn’t get any more local than the next-door neighbors near the job you’re doing right now. Drop flyers or business cards in the mailboxes of neighbors on the same street to letting them know that you’ll be in the neighborhood and you’d love to help them keep their yard looking great. Don't wait to do this until you're done with the job - many landscaping jobs come from walk-ups while your crew is on a nearby job. Also, make it easy for neighbors to see your landscaping crew in action. Have all of your trucks, vans, and equipment clearly marked with your company name, phone number, and website. If you are using a personal truck or van and don’t want it marked permanently, use magnetic signs on the side doors and rear of the vehicle. Finally, invest in some leave-behind yard signs that you can put up while you’re working, and, if the customer agrees, after you’re gone.
Leverage word-of mouth-advertising. Even today, word-of-mouth advertising is still an important ally. In fact, word of mouth advertising may be more important than ever with the advent of social media. Now your customers can easily tell hundreds of friends and relatives about the job your company did. Set your landscaping business up for success by giving your customers a reason to tell others about your work. Ensure that customers will want to recommend your landscaping company by maintaining friendly and efficient communications, delivering quality, and providing great service. Don’t be afraid to ask customers to refer friends and neighbors if they think you did a good job. Make it easy for them to provide referrals for you by giving them a few business cards to hand out.
Get a website. Hire someone to build a simple website for your landscaping business, or build it yourself. Your website should have the company name, services you provide, contact information like phone number and email address, and the area you serve. There’s no need to have the greatest website ever built! A basic site with information about your company and a picture of you, your crew, your trucks or a beautiful landscape will be enough. If you want to go above and beyond, include a gallery of pictures of jobs that you’re proud of. Once your website is up and running, spend extra time on basic search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to help your site appear as high as possible in search engine results for search terms like “landscape maintenance (your area).”
Turn first-time customers into repeat customers. Ask customers to schedule landscape maintenance work ahead of time. Scheduled work is a benefit to both you and your customers because they will not have to take time to call you to arrange a job and because you will not have to wait for them to realize that their yard is looking shabby before calling. You won’t be able to get every customer on a schedule so send landscape maintenance reminders to previous customers in the form of postcards, emails, or even friendly phone calls to let them know that your landscaping company is available. Emphasize the benefits of the services you provide. For best results, include seasonal ideas for jobs in these reminders like leaf clean-up and bulb planting. Many customers won’t have thought of these tasks on their own and will be happy for the reminder - and you’ll create business opportunities that weren't there before.
Most important, do a good job and provide customers with a great value! No amount of advertising or web design will save a landscaping business that doesn’t do quality work.