You’ve worked long and hard to get things up and running. You learned the art of the trade, got your license and insurance, and have maintained a stable business. You have a system that works, but find yourself in a rut.
In this post, we’re going to lay out 22 ways to grow your landscaping business. Having a plan is vital. You can’t go about this blindly expecting to strike gold. Your growth will be the result of purposeful steps. Let’s take a look.
1. RETAIN EXISTING CLIENTS
If we apply the 80/20 rule here, 80% of your work is coming from 20% of your clients. In this case it is vital to maintain a good relationship with clients. Be the face of your company. Touch base with your customers. Ask questions. How are you doing? How can you improve? You must keep your loyal customers in order to have a foundation to build a growing business on.
2. START EARLY
Get going early in spring. The nature of a landscaping business, depending on where you’re located, is that you have to make the most of those spring, summer, and fall months. Take this time to get ahead of your competitors. Start rolling out various ads. Find clients willing to put your sign in their yard. Walk door-to-door spreading the word with a card or brochure simply featuring your brand and services.
3. WORD OF MOUTH
There is no shame in asking your customers to pass the word along. Choosing a lawn care company is a big deal, and most people want to hire a company that has good rapport with their trusted friends. Tell your clients you appreciate their business and ask them to tell others. Have a contest. Whoever gets the most referrals in a given month wins an ipad. Make it fun!
4. YARD SIGNS
An easy way to create buzz around your business is to use yard signs. Let them do the heavy lifting of marketing! Neighbors will see your company’s work, appreciate the quality of the work, and have a phone number to contact you all from a sign. Ask each client to consider putting a sign in their yard to help you out.
If you are running a solid family business that has plateaued, it’s a good time to hone in on your logo and refocus your brand. Enlist the help of a graphic designer to create a logo and tag line for your business. This will go a long ways in creating interest. Let people know what you do. What you value. Are you offering the lowest price in the city or are you boasting organic high-quality care? Use this logo on social media and any other place you advertise your landscaping business.
6. REVAMP YOUR WEBSITE
Has your website remained unchanged since 2005 when it was initially created? Time to update it. Again, if you need to outsource this task, it will be it will be worth the investment. You will pay a small amount to get a site up and running and will be able to easily keep it up yourself. Be sure that it is mobile friendly, optimizing its usability and where it falls when google users search for a landscaping company in your area.
7. START A BLOG
Create a space on your website for a blog that is regularly updated. This is a place where you can establish yourself as an expert on landscaping. Answer frequently asked questions you receive from clients. Post common problems and solutions for readers. This is a way to extend your reach and give your website depth.
8. USE TWITTER
Go to where all the people are: social media. Twitter is an exceptional place to build a platform for business recognition. If you don’t already have a presence on Twitter, establish one. Post before and afters, discount offers, referral contests, and tips and hacks. Be sure to create a company hashtag and consistently use it when you post. Once you’re established on Twitter, you can consider purchasing ads. This will get you additional followers and direct followers to your new-and-improved website.
9. USE FACEBOOK
Turns out getting the word out on Facebook isn’t as easy and straight-forward as it once was. Less and less “fans” are seeing page updates from the businesses they like and follow. Use Facebook ads to reach your existing FB fans more frequently and to reach users who are not currently following you. This will produce more leads. It is not a sure-fire way for the little fish to get a good return on investment. Be sure to watch the numbers and see what your sales do as you delegate part of your budget to Facebook ads.
10. GOOGLE ADWORDS
Google has created advertising that is pay-per-click, in which the company advertising is charged on a per-click basis. This can be a better investment for smaller companies than Facebook ads. Say someone in your area searches “Landscaping Macon GA”. If you pay for those adwords, your site will be listed at the top of the page as an ad. Rather than figure this out by trial and error, check out one of these sites for beginners to Adwords.
11. YELP AND ANGIE’S LIST
Both Yelp and Angie’s list are websites where users rate services and companies. Having good ratings on these sites can boost business, however, having low ratings obviously does the opposite. Angie’s list charges a small fee for you to view ratings and is found to be a bit more reliable than Yelp, where users can leave anonymous reviews. Be sure to communicate when reviews are left, positive or negative.
Retargeting is targeted advertising for an individual based on previous clicks. If you research slippers on L.L. Bean, you will be sure to see an ad for them when you click over to Facebook. This enables companies to get another chance with clients who previously visited their website. To reach out to people who have already shown interest in your company. Make prospective customers paying customers. For more information, check out this Beginner’s Guide to Retargeting Ads.
13. OFFER CLASSES
Use this venue to gain momentum and reach the community. Once spring rolls around, everyone starts thinking about their outdoor property. Find out what people in your area would be interested in learning and formulate an ongoing circuit of classes.
14. BE RESPONSIVE
Perhaps you’ve settled comfortably into your routine. You’re getting by, making ends meet. One way to clean up your act is to evaluate whether or not you are easily reachable. Do you or someone else answer calls throughout the day? Do you follow up on potential or new clients? Are you good at keeping lines of communication open? This dependability will go a long way to set you apart from other businesses.
15. BUILD A TEAM
As your business grows, you will need to hire employees. Whether you are hiring someone part-time to do paperwork or looking to expand your man-power on the job, putting together a good team is essential. Make sure to do a background check on each worker. Hire people who encapsulate the traits you know will cause your business to thrive and don’t settle.
Growth, ads, new clients, and new employees are nothing if you cannot measure your success. Growth is good, but only if your new employee is putting more money in your pocket and overhead isn’t killing you. Find a software that works well for your business and track your expenses and income. You will see what is significantly increasing your income and what is detrimental.
17. GET ORGANIZED
The only way to be able to stay on top of the numbers and have a smooth running business is to have an organizational system that works. Have a place for everything. You know how you operate best. Apply some sort of organization to your madness. Collect payment on the day the work is done. You’d be surprise how much time is wasted when a business is not a well-oiled machine.
18. CREATE AN ENTREPRENEURIAL ENVIRONMENT
The key to sustaining a solid business is solid workers. You need your employees to know there is room for them to grow. They’re not stuck. There are ways for them to move up in the business. Create this atmosphere, speak this way, and create the managerial positions.
Change things up. If you are strictly servicing residential properties, consider branching out into commercial property. Commercial properties tend to have ongoing, larger needs than residential properties and therefore provide more business.
20. EXPAND YOUR EXPERTISE
Think outside the box. If you are only mowing lawns, research ways you can expand your services. Explore irrigation, tree work, and chemical treatment. This will set you apart from other businesses and make you more appealing to clients.
21. 4-DAY WORK WEEK
There are many benefits to moving from a 5-day work week to a 4-day work week. This will reduce overtime and cut down on gas costs. Your vehicles will get less wear and tear, and you will find your workers will become more efficient. They may be skeptical at first, but you can assure them that it is possible to get in 40 hours, overtime, and have an extra day off too.
22. THE OFF SEASON
Look into adding a business that would compliment landscaping. One that would fill the winter months. A couple options are snow removal and outdoor Christmas tree decorating. You’ve got a lot of the equipment and the man-power. Why not put them to good use?
A list like this can be daunting. Rather than be overwhelmed, after you read through it chose one or two tips that will help take your business to the next level.
How about you? What strategies do you recommend for growing a landscaping business?