What Smart Landscapers Do During Off-seasons

Compared to the spring or summer, landscapers might have a limited flow of work during the end of the year. Landscaping is a seasonal business. Demand falls when leaves fall! Plants recede during winter, and very few people spend time outdoors. During such off-seasons, businesses in the niche fields like landscaping usually face the challenge of remaining visible and relevant to their customers. If there is no need for landscapers at all, then how do you keep your service and business going? 
Follow these ideas to make the most of those off-season days and to continuously support your landscaping business.  
Related Reading: Tips to Stay Productive in the Slow Season

1. Pitch in with Differentiated Services

With proper planning and differentiation, you can transform a seasonal landscaping business into a year-round-business.

  • Provide differential and innovative services to shorten the off-season window: Offer clean-up services for falling leaves. People who maintain gardens and lawns will invariably require someone to pluck up the leaves as well. Also try to offer connected diversification, such as service to mulch flower beds. 
  • Offer to install raised garden beds: Provide custom designs depending on space availability and the customer’s taste. Many homeowners love raising their vegetables and flowers, but the hard set-up puts them away. 
  • Support to care for indoor plants: Offer support for greenhouses during the winter. Many people travel during the winter holidays. They need someone to take care of their greenhouses and indoor plants. 
  • Snow removal and salting services: Consider reaching out to local businesses with snow removal and salting services. Offer services to take care of the hardscape in the environment, such as clearing sidewalks, stairs, and patios. 

Related Reading: 5 Ways ReachOut Can Transform Your Snow Removal Business
During the last days of winter, offer yard preparation services. Many clients prefer keeping their gardens and yards ready for spring. These activities keep the staff active and help the business stay relevant. The extra revenue is the icing on the cake.
Offering different services for different seasons allows the business to reach out to clients the entire year. Flyers in the mailbox, decals in the van and other marketing initiatives improve visibility. 

2. Diversify the Business

Apart from differentiated service, diversify your business. Offer services in demand the entire year. Clients engage with the business for such services even when they do not require landscapers.
Ideas for diversification include:

  • Driveway cleaning using hydrochloric acid and pressure washer
  • Deck/ balustrade repair
  • Paving and paver edge works
  • Tree lopping and trim

Avoid mortar or rendering works during winter. Bricks and blocks will slump, and render peels off during the wet season. Such tasks are best left for professionals in the niche. 

3. Reset Marketing Efforts

Bombarding customers with ads during the winter months is spam. At the same time, remaining invisible only gives an opportunity for competitors. Design and order the promotional materials required for the coming peak season. 
Plan the marketing and product positioning for the next year. Revise pricing. Develop discount strategies. Relook the targeted customer demographics. Consider reaching out to new markets, to expand the business. Find out how to reach out to existing clients better. Consider any up-sell and cross-sell possibilities. 
Leverage the power of analytics. Invest in digital marketing. Develop ads appealing to targeted customer demographics. Use Google Analytics to place online ads. Google Ads show up only to the relevant audience, such as those searching for similar services. The chances of viewers considering such ads as spam or irrelevant are less. Even if there is not much response during the off-season, the effort will reap rich dividends when the thaw comes. 
Use the lean off-season to brush up on your website, or start one. The web assets represent the Internet store-front of the business. Trendy design and updated content increase the reputation and credibility of your business. 
Related Reading: 5 Ways ReachOut Can Transform Your Snow Removal Business

4. Dedicate Time for Introspection

Regardless of the marketing outreach or business diversification, winter essentially remains an off-season for landscapers. Make sure that your workforce understands the need for letting them go off during the lean period. Promise to re-hire the dedicated and skilled staff back, once things get busy at your end. 
Here are a few things that you can do prior to taking up a busy schedule in the new year:

  • Catch up with the administrative tasks. 
  • Update pending paperwork. 
  • Run an inventory check. 
  • Clean and service tools. 
  • Replace damaged tools. 
  • Brush up the tools of the trade. 
  • Repair and service tools, vehicles, and machinery.

Check if business processes are customer-centric. If not, work on changing it, to serve customers better. Benchmark existing performance against industry best practices, and roadmap any changes. Invest in training and development tasks. Offer employees an opportunity to gain new skills.

Check Out the tips to boost your business growth & efficiency:

Video credits: Invideo

5. Develop or Upgrade Field Management Suite

Roll out improvements to the field management suite during the off-season. In the peak season, the workforce would be busy catering to customers. They cannot afford any disruption or learning curve delays during such time. Review the accounting system. Invest in a new system, if required. Integrate accounting with the field marketing suite for real-time, accurate billing. 
These efforts may not bring in immediate revenue for your business. But it helps you stay fresh and prime when the new season starts. 
ReachOut field management suite empowers you to be ready and raring to serve the customer, without the distraction of administrative or marketing tasks. Contact us to find out how ReachOut FSM can enhance the way your field service business is managed and run. 

Digitize your field service operations from scheduling to invoicing with ReachOut. Connect your technicians with the companion mobile app to execute jobs and reduce paperwork in the field. Try ReachOut now and give your customers the fast and quality service they deserve.

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Aarathy is a Senior Digital Marketing Analyst at ReachOut Suite. She is majorly into content marketing and focuses on getting the messaging right across a host of marketing collaterals. While not working on content, you can find her juggling SEO, social media, branding and more. She enjoys exploring new frontiers in digital marketing and the associated challenges keep her going.

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