How to Future-proof Your Landscaping Business
In the landscaping industry, there are threats that are out of your control, such as government policies, economic trends, and climate change. There are also threats that you have power over, like mismanagement, weak branding, or poor long-term vision, to name some. With risk comes risk-management. You can safeguard your landscaping company by identifying weaknesses in your current business model and improving upon them.
Though risk management traditionally focuses on the now, we go further by bracing for future impacts. Future-proofing — like the name suggests — means anticipating how the future can affect your business and developing methods to outmaneuver tomorrow’s obstacles.
Below are some ways to future-proof your landscaping business.
Invest in Landscaping Technology Before it Becomes Mainstream
At a time where the cost of human resources is growing rapidly, workplace efficiency is critical and technological investments are the solution. Future-proof your landscaping business by investing in technology now, before an industry-wide push adds a premium to the costs. We rounded up some ideas:
- Time-tracking Tech
Make every minute count. Fleet tracking through GPS technology reduces time wasted on the road. Additionally, including a punch-clock in work vehicles means hours billed are strictly hours worked.
- Savvy Software Investing
Landscaping management software is critical. If you run a smaller business, your crew can flow through a job from beginning to end onsite through the software. The employee can build the contract, perform the work, have the client sign off, pay and be emailed a receipt all on-site. Easy as 1, 2, 3.
→ See our previous article to help you find the software that’s right for your landscaping business
- A.I. Says “Hi”
Robots are here, and they’re going to change landscaping as you know it. However, the imagined AI and real-world applications can be drastically different. For example, instead of a fully automated fleet of lawnmowers, an AI tool that measures property dimensions or helps you bid better on landscaping projects is a more practical investment option.
Reduce Landscaping Fixed Costs with Leasing and Contracts
In uncertain economies, it makes sense to minimize fixed costs. Human resources, material, and overhead can be reduced to benefit your bottom-line.
Some ways to optimize profits in your landscaping business:
→ Rent out unused office space. While you’re at it, rent out seldom used vehicles or machinery too.
→ Identify the tasks your office staff perform, they may be doubled-up needlessly.
→ If you’re already running lean, are your employees stretched thin? You can outsource some of your buying to GoMaterials. We’ll alleviate your buyers’ workload and find you the best prices in landscaping materials.
You can find other ways to cut down costs in our free ebook.
Rework your Brand Positioning
Sustainability and environmental-consciousness are hot topics thanks to the impacts of climate change. Consumer trends show that Millennial shoppers (remember, we’re future-proofing) focus on social and environmental responsibility in their purchasing decisions. Shift your brand values to align with those of your clients. It takes time to incorporate lasting brand changes, so the earlier a landscaping business can start, the better.
→ Some methods to promote sustainability include adjusting the types of chemicals or pesticides you use for care, lowering the emissions of your vehicles and machinery, reducing water-use in your processes.
Previously, the landscaping industry’s focus was on beautifying spaces. Show your customers that landscaping is more than aesthetics. The spaces you build or tend to are necessary additions that impact the local environment for the better. Your work reduces the heat in cities, helps private homes regulate temperature, improves soil irrigation, etc. Plantlife is vital in the fight against climate change! As an industry, landscapers are halfway there in appealing to virtue-shoppers
Nurture the Customer Experience
Prices catch customers’ attention, the experience makes them stay. Clients remain loyal to brands if they are treated well. This is exceptionally true for the incoming generation of spenders. If you can incorporate a customer-loyalty program or benefits into your landscaping business, it would be a boon.
→ Offer a discount after X amount of maintenance appointments.
→ Give return clients a small flower planter or branded garden spade when they book you at the start of a new season.
→ Donate a portion of your profits from seasonal bookings to local or industry-related charities.
Make your clients feel good when they buy from you and they’ll return year after year.
In short, legislature, trend momentum, and public opinion can change overnight. The systems, company culture, and processes of your landscaping business take a longer time to adapt to these changes. Periodical review of your strategy for all of these can ensure that your landscaping business remains a cornerstone in the industry!
What steps have you taken to future-proof your business? Let us know in the comments on social media!