For many people fall is the best season of the year. There are lots of reasons autumn gets so many votes for being the favorite season. A lot of those reasons coincide with why many commercial landscapers think of fall as the best time to be in the landscaping business.
Cooler weather, the fresh change of colorful leaves, and a slow-down from the fast pace of summer are just a few high notes of the fall season.
At G&S Nursery, we can make a case for each season being terrific in their own way. There are highs and lows that go with each part of the evolving year. As a landscaper, should fall be your favorite? Let’s see as we compare all four seasons from the perspective of our customers that we serve all year-round.
Old Man Winter can get a bad rap. Sure, he does damage in the form of frozen fruit plants, busted irrigation pipes, and spreading the common cold among folks who work outdoors. But there are some positives that come with cold weather.
For one, winter is a time for commercial landscapers to reflect on their year. Usually business is slowest during January, February, and March. Those are the best times for landscape business owners to look at their financials and be honest about what’s working and what can be improved. Many owners can make a few tweaks in their business during the winter that will pay big dividends during the other seasons.
Maybe there are problem clients who need to be replaced. Or a new trend in landscapes could be researched so it can be offered as a new service when the weather warms up. Trade shows, which take place during the cold months, can be real eye-openers for trends. These shows offer new services to increase profits. They can also introduce tools and equipment to make many services more efficient.
Winter is a good time to replace or repair equipment. Work is slower so landscapers have time to consider new equipment versus patching up older models. A chat with a trusted accountant can help with these decisions.
Not every customer will be proactive on their winterization of their sprinkler system. That means repair work on frozen pipes. No fun in freezing weather, but it is part of the business and pays well.
What about fertilization? Clients need to be informed about turf care in the winter. Many think there is no need for any added nutrients in the
Ah, spring. It’s hard to say anything bad about this season! The flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and rain is falling. Not to mention, businesses and homeowners are ready to spend money on their landscape. Even proven commercial landscapers can have trouble keeping up with the demand during spring. Especially if they are offering maintenance to go along with installs.
Unfortunately, high demands could be the biggest positive and negative of spring. It is the rush of the year and many business owners start to feel the pressure of not having enough help on staff. Winter time is a good opportunity to line up employees and subcontractors. Bad hiring decisions are made in the busy season of spring as many of you can testify.
The spring months are the perfect opportunity to pitch clients on new installs. Have printed materials ready to show off what you can do for their landscape. Or a video on your smartphone of work you recently did for another customer.
It’s easy to waste money on advertising in the spring since calls are coming in no matter what. But take time to review ads to make sure they promote any new services you are offering this springtime.
Keeping quality workers on staff is a challenge. And there’s no worse time to lose your best employees than in the busy spring. Why not have discussions before you get a two-week notice? Ask guys what can be done to make their jobs easier and just have a feel for their level of satisfaction with the job.
It’s not hard to pinpoint the downside of summertime for landscape pros and regular people. It gets hot! Working outdoors in 95-degree weather is not easy, and it’s downright dangerous if we don’t hydrate, stay fit, and schedule work during cooler hours.
The general public may not like the heat of summer, but they also might not notice a drought. Landscaping professionals sure do. Water restrictions can really hurt a business that mainly does plant installs. Customers will hold off on projects during severe droughts since they fear wasting their money.
The upside of summer is obvious. In normal weather, it is awesome to get to work outdoors. Beautifying a property is much better than being stuck behind a desk with a terrible view of a cubicle. The beauty of summer is having customers spending lots of time outdoors. They want to spend that time at home in a great environment. Naturally, they will look to landscaping companies to enhance that experience.
Another positive of summer is that as a landscaper you can take advantage of the risks of dry weather. Clients fear losing parts of their landscape due to future droughts, so they are open to having irrigation installed. You don’t want to wait on severe weather to suggest these projects.
Landscape business owners can help customers in the summer by staying on top of water restrictions for them. A friendly text or email can alert clients to what’s going on with drought rules so they can adjust their irrigation settings. Or you can offer to do that for them as an add-on service.
Another way to help clients and increase the bottom line is to offer drought resistant plants. This can be offered in the spring when it is top of mind. Better late than never.
For clients that have let landscape beds deteriorate since the end of winter, summer will make dull mulch beds stick out like a sore thumb. Offer to spruce up flower beds with fresh mulch and have photos ready to show the difference it makes.
As we mentioned, G&S Nursery is in love with all four seasons. There is always something to do in each season to improve our business in the landscaping world. And outside of business, there are outdoor activities available in each season.
That said, we love the fall!
This season offers a freshness that’s unique to all other seasons. The crisp air makes it feel like a whole new world. And the new plant options for the cooler weather go right along with that feeling.
We have customers tell us often that they get reinvigorated during the fall. Spring and summer can really grind down owners and workers in the green industry. Twelve-hour days and weekend work is common for those six months of the year. So when fall offers cooler temperatures and a more humane schedule, it’s no wonder guys and gals in the industry breathe a little easier.
Get a head start on protecting irrigation systems. Do it in the fall for peace of mind. Insulate above-ground pipes and drain the water from all others using the specific method for each system.
Change up plants for fall color that can get clients excited about even more landscape changes you can offer. Customers are seeing these plants in their neighborhood so it won’t take much to get the sale. Again, have some visual marketing ready to show off your best fall landscape projects via your smartphone.
Fall is the best time to prepare marketing materials for the conventions and trade shows that you have time to attend in the coming months. No need to wait until the last minute and miss out on great opportunities to meet others in the landscaping industry. This business is all about relationships, as we all know. The more we can build, the stronger our businesses will become.
Fall means tons of leaves falling – literally. Someone has to clean up the mess! These cleanups can be huge profit centers for landscapers right before the slower season hits in winter.
So, which season comes out on top? Fall is #1 for us at G&S Nursery.
However, we will leave the choice to the real judges – you landscaping business owners out there who know the outdoors like no one else. It’s easy for “indoor folks” like accountants and bankers to like all the seasons. They don’t have to work side by side with Mother Nature.
Each season offers challenges and upsides. The challenges can be turned into opportunities. The upsides are made for us in the landscaping world
to enjoy daily.
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