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6 Expert Tips to Fulfill Your Landscape Proposal Promise

Honest, hardworking landscape pros always have the best intentions at heart when they sell a project to a client. They sincerely want to deliver a top-quality project, on-time and on-budget, that will exceed client expectations and win more business.

The reality, however, is that no matter how skilled the professional is at the landscape tasks at hand, they often don’t have the business structure in place to adequately deliver on their promise and then fail even with their best intentions.

Topics: Business Organization Sales & Marketing

How to Win More Landscape Jobs When you Write Killer Proposals

As landscapers, we’re most comfortable with our hands in the dirt and bringing projects to life for clients. What many of us are not so comfortable with is the art and science of crafting proposals that sell. As a result, we can be prone to banging out less-than-stellar proposals that are fuzzy and even confusing, leading to a lack of understanding on the client’s part that can create unnecessary problems.

Topics: Sales & Marketing

Why is my landscape business growth stalling?

I spend a lot of time talking about marketing because that is a fundamental element of business growth that often gets overlooked in a “down-and-dirty” profession such as landscaping. We like to get our hands dirty, and get a great deal of satisfaction from that and so the “behind-the-scenes” stuff tends to get pushed to the back, often to the detriment of the business.

Topics: Sales & Marketing

4 Massive Mistakes Landscape Companies Make in Their Marketing & Sales Messaging and How to Avoid Them

Landscape business owners – like a lot of business owners – spend a considerable amount of time and money crafting traditional sales and marketing tools such as truck signage, brochures, and now websites.

However, more often than not, it’s not the marketing tools that fall short when it comes time to deliver – it’s the service itself. Time and time again, landscape companies make big promises on what they’ll do for their customers but fail to deliver, resulting in unhappy clients and stalled growth.

Topics: Sales & Marketing

Expert Advice to Establish a Landscape Business Pricing Strategy

Here is a question I hear over and over again: “Our pricing is all over the place, how do I set landscape service prices and stick to them?” Confusion about pricing strategy is commonplace in many service industries and that’s certainly true in the field of landscape. Too many business owners simply do not know how to set the price for their services and spend a lot of time struggling with it.

The root of the problem for many startup landscape companies is that the owners think in terms of working for an hourly wage. This is no surprise because non-employer businesses (that is, companies that don’t have employees) make up about 80 percent of US companies. Most of these mom and pop organizations are owned and operated by individuals who were employed in their field before they became business owners themselves. Used to the concept of an hourly wage, many simply increased that hourly wage for themselves once they went into business (“I used to make $20 an hour working for somebody else – I’m gonna charge $40 an hour for myself!”) and got stuck in that business model. Sadly, this is not a positive landscape business pricing strategy that can set you on a path to real success and financial stability.

Topics: Sales & Marketing

Competitive Advantage: What Makes You Unique?

Every business, like every person, is unique. Even businesses that provide products or services that are virtually the same have something unique about them that can be promoted to set them apart from their competitors. In classic marketing parlance this is known as a company’s “unique selling proposition” or USP. The problem is, many businesses don’t bother to think too long and hard about what it is that makes them different from everyone else. That’s a shame, because it just makes them have to work harder to compete and win new clients. And, really, who wants to work harder?

Topics: Sales & Marketing

Marketing A Landscaping Business: Getting People to Buy What You’re Selling

Owning a landscaping business – heck, owning any business – is not for the faint of heart. If you’re struggle with getting the kind of work you really like to do, then this post provides some tips to fine-tune your services to help you close more sales.

It all starts with you. Most small businesses are really extensions of the individuals who own them. Your beliefs and passions are all wrapped up in why you’ve chosen this line of work, and to open a business of your own. Once you understand that, it becomes easier to sit down to define and document your company’s purpose and mission. That, of course, should involve something that excites you and gives you a reason to get up every morning. Only then are you in a position to clearly state what it is you’re offering.

Topics: Sales & Marketing

Don’t Like Selling? Change How You Do It.

As the owner of a landscaping business, chances are you do everything from managing the books to driving the truck. And that includes sales.

If you’re like most people, selling doesn’t come easy – you’re uncomfortable asking for money and hearing “no” can be frustrating. As a result, sales might be your least favorite task. But I’m here to change your mind by arming you with a little knowledge and a proven way to make your sales efforts a success.

Topics: Sales & Marketing

Super Easy Ways to Avoid Price Wars with Competitors

If you’re a small business, it’s often hard to avoid competing on price. Perhaps you’re afraid to lose a prospect or worse a client to a lower-priced competitor. Or you’re looking to get established in a new market. Or you want to make sure you keep your guys working all season long. Whatever the reason, competing on price is a loser’s game.

So how do you avoid competing on price? Develop a compelling story around why you are providing a unique landscaping service at the investment level you’ve established and sell that story. There are actually several benefits to this approach – you get the chance to build a unique brand that sets you apart from the competition and that uniqueness enables you to establish a fair price without having to engage in price wars with the generic, me-too landscaping services.

Topics: Sales & Marketing

The #1 Pitfall To Avoid with Your Business’s Cash Flow Variation

One of the biggest challenges for landscape contractors is managing cash flow. Seasonal variations, fickle customers, weather, and suppliers can all wreak havoc on your cash flow – one week you can be rolling in dough and the next struggling to meet payroll. What’s a landscape professional to do?

First and foremost, establish a reliable banking relationship and an appropriate line of credit. Then use it. The Number One pitfall that traps small business owners such as landscape contractors and designers is using their own money to address short-term cash flow variations.

I know, I know. That’s probably not the advice you really wanted to hear, but you need to hear it. Banks are not the enemy. In fact, a good bank will be the very friend you need when you’re experiencing a cash crunch and need a little help.

Topics: Sales & Marketing