Having a beautiful façade is an important aspect of any commercial property. They don’t only attract customers or potential clients, but also give a good impression to employees and guests. Thus, a commercial landscaping service will always have demand. So, as a landscaping business, the next goal for you is how to be the best commercial landscaping service in your area.
Being on top of your game does not only mean offering the best landscaping services. There are a lot of aspects that you need to think about to be considered the best in your field. At Lawns and Palms, we understand the importance of being on top of the minds of potential clients.
Here are some tips that we can swear by when it comes to our landscaping business:
Know and Understand Your Market
The first step in establishing a profitable land and lawn care business is understanding the target market. Do thorough research of your prospective customers and competitors in your local market. By learning about your competitors, you’ll have an idea of what kind of services they offer and at what price points. This way, you can identify any service gaps in the market and be able to fill them.
After studying the competitive feild and what services to focus on, you also need to know to who you will sell your services. You can do some market analysis to identify potential customers in the area. And then you can decide whether you want to offer retail or B2B services.
Licenses and Certifications
Even though you don’t need a special license to start a landscaping service, most states have business license requirements. Getting this license should be easy enough as long as you don’t have a criminal record, pay your taxes, do not violate any zoning laws, and accomplish your paperwork correctly. Check with your local clerk’s office to know which licenses you will need.
Depending on what services you’ll offer, you might need a degree or certification. Landscape architects, for example, need a degree in landscaping. In most cases, you can get a landscape certification from the National Association of Landscape Professionals. You can also get certifications from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if you plan to design or install irrigation systems.
Take Inventory of What Equipment You’ll Need
The kind of equipment you need depends on what kind of services you are planning to offer. In most cases, you’d need trucks and trailers, commercial-grade lawn mowers, rototillers, edgers, and other specialized tools. You will need to consider the budget for buying or renting these. You also need to have a separate budget for maintenance and repair costs.
*Pro tip: Right now there is a gap in the market for most metropolitan and heavily populated suburban areas wherein commercial level clients are seeking silent landscaping companies. Using battery-powered equipment puts you in a highly competitive advantage. Read more about the electric future of landscaping.
If you will be using trucks and vehicles for operation, you also need to think about insurance. Get insurance that will reimburse for lost, stolen, or damaged tools and equipment. You will need separate auto insurance for vehicles that you will use to transport you and your employees to and from the worksite.
Client Retention is Key to Long-Term Success
Each transaction made has a cost associated. If a client pays you $1,000 per month, the first month’s grand may have cost you $1,200 in marketing and actual costs behind figuring out the best attack plan to efficiently tailor the grounds. That’s a loss of $200. However, the second month is more likely to be profitable with costs potentially nearer $600 in labor and equipment. As your team masters the area, those costs will only go down. You can likely see what we are getting at here: Each new client comes at a cost, so the fewer “new” clients you need to operate a full-scale commercial landscape business the lower your overall costs are.
Even if your business is operating in a limited or small area, proper recognition is still vital. Client retention has significant value to your landscaping company. What it means is that people would be able to associate your name with the work that you’ve done. Thus, whenever they see a project you did for an establishment, they will know right away that it’s your work.
You can achieve such brand recall with proper marketing. Start by crafting a logo design that represents your company. Make it memorable but not tacky. Remember that this logo will be used in all your business materials – from your vehicle to your letterheads.
Make & Keep Your Employees Happy
Part of doing business is making sure that your employees are content and happy to work for you. How they feel about your company will reflect on the quality of the work they do. Treat your employees well. High employee retention is better than spending too much on finding and training new employees.
Start by promoting a culture of safety and a great working environment for everyone. Offer competitive wages and benefits. This should include worker’s compensation insurance. No matter how safe you think your business is and how low the possibility of injury is, it pays off to always be prepared. Offering bonuses and incentives is another great way to make your employees feel that you value the work that they do for the company.
At Lawns & Palms, Inc, we go one step further and each year we bring our employees on an all-expense paid trip to Key West Florida for a team vacation. This helps us both create more loyalty in our team members and increase the efficiency at which our team operates on commercial properties.
You Marketing Doesn’t End with A Logo
Marketing matters. That much is a fact no matter what kind of business you have. For startups, a good marketing campaign can get business off the ground. You should think about a nice blend of digital and traditional marketing strategies.
First off, create a good website and promote your landscaping business online. Don’t forget to create a Google My Business account to make sure your business shows up when someone searches for a landscaping service within your area. Creating a blog and updating the content of your website regularly will help with ranking on search results. A good ranking means you show up on the first page of the results when someone search for a service on Google.
If paying a professional website builder or graphic designer is out of the budget, there are lots of free tools that you can use such as Wix, WordPress, or Squarespace.
For traditional and physical advertising, you can start with creating a business card and some flyers that you can give out to customers before or after working on a project. You can also ask them to pass the cards or flyers to someone else who might need your services in the future.