Since services like dethatching and aerating are harder for the consumer to understand, Del Conte has found that incorporating visual aids in the sales process is effective. Photos showing aeration cores or the amount of thatch that’s typically raked from a lawn can make an impact. So do graphics or illustrations explaining the positive effects of these services on overall turf health. “You should be able to get some of these items from your dealer,” Del Conte reminds.
Look at additional markets you could penetrate. For instance, if you’re in the commercial maintenance business, could you target segments of the residential market?
“Municipalities, golf courses and sports complexes are other potential customers,” Baudhuin points out. “With budget cuts, municipalities are looking to outsource certain functions to the private sector.” The same goes for golf courses and sports complexes. If any of these niche markets present real opportunity, you’ll need to think about buying larger equipment, such as mower- or tractor-mounted implements. Renting is also an option if you have just a handful of larger jobs.
Finally, look at additional services you could incorporate into your lawn renovation offering. Dethatching, aeration and overseeding are the most common. But contractors located in the mid-section of the country, such as Del Conte, have found additional revenue in the way of verticutting and re-seeding.
“I’m located in the Bay Area of California, and we have these large patches where warm-season grasses such as Bermuda and St. Augustine have invaded and dominated, because they are very aggressive in nature,” Del Conte explains. “Many property owners do not want this because these grasses go dormant and brown in the winter. We’ve created a nice business of verticutting and overseeding with cool-season grasses in the fall.”