As the winter months come to a close, home and business owners will begin to ponder their lawns and gardens. They know their landscaping is important for inspiring positive first impressions of their property.
And who will they turn to for the landscaping tune-up? Your landscaping company, of course! As such, now is the time to prepare your business and your team for the inevitable influx of client calls.
1. Hire helping hands
When the weather is colder and the ground is covered in snow, fewer people think to call their landscaper. It could be a few weeks or months before they pick up the phone to call you. But when that happens, it’s best to be prepared, Green Industry Pros explained.
“You can’t wait until things get really busy; that’s when you make poor hiring choices,” said Bill Bumgardner, co-owner of Bumgardners Landscape in Medford, Oregon, according to Green Industry Pros.
Put out the call for new employees, and make sure to look for people who seem compatible with your team. One landscaping business owner, Craig den Hartog of Holtsville, New York, noted that attitude and work ethic are more valuable assets than experience. A friendly, hard-working individual who has little experience might be able to adapt to your business better than a seasoned professional who isn’t a team player.
2. Reinforce safety standards
You need to be confident in your team when they’re on the job. The equipment and tools they use at your clients’ homes and businesses can be dangerous when used improperly. After the “off-season,” it’s possible that your team has forgotten some aspects of staying safe on the job. Prior to your busy season, be sure to invest in safety training for your employees.
Bumgardner told Green Industry Pros that each year, he requires that everyone on his team take an online safety training program before March to secure their employment for the summer.
In addition to basic safety training and equipment use reviews, employees would benefit from CPR and first aid training, DeSantis Landscaping of Oregon pointed out. The company spent an afternoon providing training sessions to its management staff and foremen.
3. Assess your equipment
At the end of your busy season last year, you probably looked over your equipment to determine what was fit to last another season, and which pieces should be replaced. Maybe you even invested in some new equipment over the winter. Regardless, you don’t want to go into the summer season without reviewing your equipment one final time.
Plus, waiting until spring could be beneficial. Den Hartog pointed out that spring often brings rebates and other equipment financing deals from some suppliers.
Your equipment assessment shouldn’t just be an analysis of things to be replaced and things that’ll hold out for another season. Make the most of your equipment by doing preventative maintenance. Spend some time reviewing each piece of equipment and performing tune-ups. Be sure all equipment has owners’ manuals in reach so your team can make adjustments as needed.
4. Invest in landscaping skills
Once your team has gone through the right safety training sessions, it’s a good idea to invest in their landscaping skills and knowledge. Your clients expect your employees to have more expertise than simply how to operate certain pieces of equipment. Customers like to know their landscapers are experts in their field.
To give your team the knowledge they need to confidently answer your clients’ questions as they pertain to pruning techniques and flower breeds, offer workshops or educational events. De Santis Landscaping said it hosts a Spring Kick-off Training Day, which is a day-long event that includes informative sessions about plant identification, pruning methods, and other relevant skills. The day is complemented with a barbecue and games, making it a fun team-building event as well.
Your busy season should be your most successful season. Set yourself up for a profitable summer by investing in your team and your business before your calendar fills up with jobs.