#1 Start with a business plan. Before you invest time and money in marketing efforts, sit down and map out what promotional activities you will engage in this year. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Work on your business, not in it.” As an owner, it’s critical to step out of everyday operations to conduct critical business planning, including how you will market your business.
#2 Survey your customers. What is your landscaping company doing well—and what could you do better? Surveys help businesses take the pulse of their existing client base. People want to feel heard. By asking, “How are we doing?” you give clients an opportunity to voice concerns, and share compliments. If there are potential problems that could prevent a customer from renewing, you can perform the “service recovery” required to retain the client. It’s a lot less expensive to retain clients than to acquire new ones. Think of the zero-turn riding mowers or walk-behind mowers you use to cut clients’ lawns. If you know there’s something wrong with the equipment, you can fix it and avoid a breakdown. Surveys can help businesses “check in” with customers so they can avoid blow-ups that could result in cancellations.
#3 Ask for referrals. Your existing client base is a valuable source of advertising for your lawn care business. People buy from those they like and trust, which is why a referral can be one of the most powerful forms of advertising. Remind your loyal clients that referrals are important to your business. Go ahead and ask for a referral. Include a line on service invoices that encourages customers to tell their friends, family and colleagues about your business. During face-to-face meetings with clients, close a conversation by asking for a referral.
#4 Create a website. In today’s business environment, people go online to search for services. Your lawn care business needs an online presence. A website validates your professionalism and gives prospects the information they need to begin making a buying decision, including the landscaping services you offer.
#5 Get social. Build an online fan base by starting a company Facebook page for your business and participating in other social media platforms like Twitter. Ask your existing clients to “like” your page. Going back to the power of referrals, prospects who find your Facebook and other social media pages while searching online for landscaping will find an online community of people who support your business. This gives prospects confidence about working with you.
#6 Offer a pre-pay discount. Recurring revenue is a valuable for service businesses, including landscape companies. Securing your existing clients’ business before the season starts helps you plan your budget, and schedule routes. Encourage your lawn care customers to pay for their services upfront by offering them a discount when they sign a contract.
#7 Participate in home shows. You want your target audience to think of your company first when they shop landscaping services, so staying in front of prospects is important. Consider investing in a booth at a local home and garden show. Display photographs of your landscaping work and the equipment you use to get the job done, such as your zero-turn and walk-behind mowers.
#8 Suit up. Dress landscape crew members in neat, clean attire that displays your company name and logo. Also remember, the landscaping trucks that haul your commercial mowers act as moving billboards. Be sure to include your company name and logo.
#9 Join professional organizations. Join the local chamber of commerce and other community organizations where you can network with people and businesses in the community that might need your landscaping services.
#10 Be the expert. Leverage your knowledge about landscaping and lawn care by teaching others about the best practices in your industry. Volunteer to give presentations for local garden clubs or other community organizations. You can cover topics ranging from how to properly mow a lawn, to caring for walk-behind mowers or even starting an herb garden. Share your expertise by acting as the educator. This elevates your professionalism as a landscaping business. And, when potential clients think about lawn care, they will remember your company.