“Now think about this,” Bass continues. “What if you recorded a video introducing yourself, thanking the client for the opportunity? What if you could set it up so that as soon as the meeting was confirmed, a link to that video would be emailed to the client? Well, with the automation tools available today, this is possible.”
5. Expanding your role to general contractor
Think about all of the different types of contractors out there today. The plumber, electrician, roofer, satellite TV guy, and so on. Where does the lawn maintenance contractor fit in?
First of all, he’s on a property far more often than any of the other contractors. Thus, the lawn maintenance contractor is in the best position to develop a real relationship with the client.
“There is an amazing opportunity to get in front of that customer week after week with a big smile, amazing work ethic, and clearly branded vehicle and uniform,” Bass explains. “If you take the time to have a meaningful conversation, you can learn some important things about how to better serve that client.”
A client might tell you that they could use a little help with other work around the property. “I see landscape contractors that are expanding their services everywhere I go,” Bass relates. In many instances, they are using sub-contractors to do the work. That’s just fine. “It’s perfectly legal and ethical to make money off of sub-contractors,” Bass reminds. So don’t forget about this strategy. “Landscape contractors are uniquely positioned to become more of a general contractor on a property,” Bass says.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Two entire chapters of Bass’ new book, “The E-Myth Landscape Contractor,” discuss the subject of using subcontractors. Visit this link to check it out, and you'll even be able to download chapter 2 for free, "Stories of Landscapers - Past, Present, and Future."
6. Do common things in an uncommon way
Finally, the lawn and landscaping business is not new. It’s a saturated market where many companies look a lot alike. Thus, growth-minded companies must find a way to do common things in an uncommon way.
“Think of McDonald’s,” Bass says. “They took something simple like hamburgers and fries, and did something remarkable with them.”
Landscape contractors can do the same thing. How do you approach water management? Just about everybody knows what smart controllers are and how valuable they can be. But just a few percent of the irrigation controllers in existence today are smart controllers. What kind of opportunity does that create for you?
What about lawn care? Are you doing what everybody has always done, catching grass clippings and putting down fertilizer every couple of months? What could you do differently that provides value to the client but is still agronomically sound?
Start thinking about that, along with these six game-changing trends, as you begin strategizing for the future. Business might not boom like it did 15 years ago, but prosperity is definitely on the horizon.