Landscaping business owners often rely on word-of-mouth referrals to grow their business, but there are many ways that a savvy landscaping business owner can grow his or her business beyond just word-of-mouth referrals.
To successfully grow any business, there needs to be a combination of a high level of customer service and a savvy mind for marketing the business and developing a buzz around the business. The successful landscaping business owner, then, will understand these key concepts and apply them to his or her business.
Find ways to increase sales to current customers
Quite simply, it’s cheaper to keep your current customers and to increase how much revenue they bring, than it is to find new customers. There are many ways you can increase sales to existing customers.
If you have a customer who only hires you to handle the front part of the yard in order to save money, you might offer a discount on the backyard. Instead of charging the full rate for the backyard, you might offer the customers a 30% discount for you to do the backyard when you do the front yard. While you might ultimately make less than you would by performing the services at full price, by increasing the revenue you get from one customer, you save time and ultimately increase your bottom line.
You can also find new ways to market to existing customers by offering new services. If your landscaping business primarily deals in regular maintenance of the lawn, you might decide to expand your business into landscape design or something of a similar nature; by increasing your service offerings you can increase your revenue.
Your landscaping business does not have to be a one-trick pony; you can offer many services that are relevant to what you do but will increase sales to those current or existing customers.
Engage in joint ventures
This can provide lucrative and similar to word-of-mouth referral income, but with a bit less effort. You might join forces with a fencing contractor, for example, and that contractor might call you when he needs trees or bushes cleared in order for him to repair or install a fence.
In turn, you might call the fencing contractor when you discover damaged fences or when your customer indicates they are ready to install a fence. This joint venture benefits both you and the other business and can greatly increase the bottom line of your landscaping business without a great deal of effort on your part. The only effort you ultimately make is to establish a friendly business relationship with other, complimentary, businesses.
Work to keep your earnings steady year-round
Most landscaping businesses are directly tied to the seasons and many landscapers find themselves experiencing slow periods during the winter season. If you can figure out a savvy way to increase your earnings during the slow periods, this is an excellent way to grow your business and make your landscaping business a successful year-round venture. One of the ways you might do this is to offer snow shoveling services in the winter or other services that take advantage of the season.
Many landscaping business owners believe that their sole proprietorship is the ideal and only way to run their business and they do most of the work themselves. It’s always handy to have someone in the office who can handle the administration side of things, but it’s also important to consider hiring other landscapers to help you with the work. If you are able to increase your costumer base, you will likely need these workers to maintain a high level of customer service.
Many business owners believe that hiring people would cut too far into their bottom line, but many landscaping business owners report their bottom line actually increases when they are willing to increase their workforce. The average hourly pay for landscaping business workers, according to Entrepreneur magazine, is just $10 an hour. You can hire college students or others who are willing to work part time and bring them in when the workload demands it.
By focusing on savvy business practices and being willing to work outside a comfort zone, there are many ways to successfully grow a landscaping business.