Marketing & Sales Insight for the Lawn & Landscape Industry

Use This Proven Framework to Manage Your Production Capacity (and to Increase Profit/Customer)

Chris Heiler

In my last article I suggested you limit your production capacity at least until you reach the profit margins you desire.

In this article I'll give you some tips on how to manage your capacity. But, first, a caveat to this discussion...

The stronger your positioning the easier it will be to manage your company's capacity for work, and thus reap the benefits that come along with this strategy.

On the flip side, a full service one-stop-shop trying to be all things to all people will have a difficult time managing production capacity in a logical and strategic way as compared to a company with a crystal clear identity.

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The Benefits of Limiting Your Production Capacity (or, How to Increase Profitability in 2019)

Chris Heiler

We've already burned through the first month in a new year, my friends. Wow...

At Landscape Leadership 2018 was one of our best years yet. I can say that based both on the financial goals we achieved as well as the meaningful impact we had on the green industry companies we work with.

I hope you had similar success in 2018.

In this article I want to share the single strategic initiative that I believe led to our success last year.

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Okay, MAYBE Pay Per Click (PPC) Can Work for Lawn Care Companies (A Recent Update)

Chad Diller

Roll back the calendar...it’s 2016. I’ve had my own frustrating experiences marketing at a $13 million lawn and landscape company and now, after coming to work at Landscape Leadership, I have realized my misfortune was a common green industry marketing epidemic.

Ask me the question, “Is Pay-Per-Click (PPC), specifically with Google Adwords, a good idea for a lawn care company?”

The answer then was, “No. Stop wasting your money.”

But...now I would say, “Maybe…” Let me explain why.

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5 Reasons Your Lawn Care & Landscaping Mailers and Print Ads “Don’t Work”

Chad Diller

“Yeah, we tried postcards and mailers and they didn’t work. Oh, and we spent all this money to put ads in this magazine and that was a bust too.”

I get it. I managed an annual marketing budget of over $300,000 for many years for a full-service lawn and landscape company and tried all sorts of mailers and ads. Unfortunately, it’s a lot of trial and error.

But, I may be able to spare you some frustration. After all, if you’re dropping tens of thousands of dollars each year on lawn care and landscaping mailers or advertisements, you should be able to achieve and measure success, right?

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The Right and Wrong Way to Diversify Your Landscaping Services

Chris Heiler

In my last article, "Squashing the Full Service Myth", I called bull shit on this idea that your customers want a one-stop shop for all their outdoor needs.

I can summarize it like this:

If "full service" is your company's calling card then you are undifferentiated to the point you are easily replaceable by any competitor claiming the same.

"Full service" is not a strategy, my friends. I think of it more as a "happy accident" you've either intentionally or unintentionally grown into.

While offering every service under the sun may seem like an ideal way to grow top line revenue (spoiler: it's not), this approach to diversification will undoubtedly limit your profit potential.

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A Candid Look at the Risks Associated with Creating Another Brand for Your Green Industry Company

Chris Heiler

Have you considered spinning off one of your service offerings or divisions into a separate company and brand?

This is not an uncommon strategy in the lawn and landscape industry. We've worked with numerous companies who have attempted this.

Here are a couple off the top of my head:

Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape -->

-> Kingstowne Pest Defense

-> Kingstowne Home Services

Neave Group Outdoor Solutions -->

-> Neave Pools

-> Neave Decor

-> Neave Masonry

-> and others

This is exactly what Archie and the Greenbelt team are scheming about in our Green Ways comic.

Greenbelt Outdoor Services -->

-> Greenbelt Pools

-> Greenbelt Lawn Care

-> Greenbelt Tree Care

In the branding world this strategy is referred to as "brand extension".

Let me be clear: I'm not endorsing this strategy. I'm simply calling it out for what it is and offering an honest assessment of the opportunities and risks in this article.

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3 Ingredients for a Perfect Lawn Care or Landscaping Photography Shoot

Chad Diller

Just as photography has the potential for a positive reaction, it also carries the tremendous capacity to leave a very bad taste in your mouth. As our friends at Greenbelt Outdoor Services in this week’s Green Ways comic are realizing, what they expected is not what they got. It’s like when a cook substitutes, miscalculates or completely omits an ingredient. Yuck!

The old saying of, “A picture’s worth a thousand words”, definitely holds true. If you’ve been following our content for some time, you’ve heard us advocating for the value of professional photography for marketing landscaping, lawn care, and tree services.

But your picture’s “thousand words” are going to come across as  bitter, dry, flat chocolate cake if you leave out the necessary ingredients or don’t execute them in a specific manner.

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Positioning and the Fear of Missing Out

Chris Heiler

Positioning is an exercise in exclusion.1

And this can be scary.

I find most of you understand the reasoning behind a thoughtful positioning strategy for your business; you even recognize and admire other companies who have sound positioning of their own.

Yet, you rationalize away a more narrow positioning for your own company.

You won’t commit.

Until recently I’ve believed it to be a fear of commitment that separates Just Another Landscaper from the well-positioned companies.

Digging deeper, I now believe it is really a fear of missing out (FOMO).

I don’t want to box myself in,” a client shared with me recently.

Translation: Limiting who he chooses to work with and what he offers will thus limit his ability to grow his business.

This is a myth.

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A 5-Point Checklist for More Effectively Qualifying Prospects (BANT+P)

Chris Heiler

This comic makes me cringe. Being a landscape designer in the past, I know Ted’s pain well; as I’m sure you do.

You and your sales people shouldn’t have to waste so much time pursuing bad fit prospects or those who ultimately won’t do business with you.

I know this is a huge frustration for many of you. But it doesn’t have to be.

To avoid this you will need to implement a framework your entire team can use to effectively qualify new leads that come in the door.

With formal guidelines in place you can then train staff and hold them accountable to your qualifying standards.

If qualifying is left solely to the discretion of your sales people you’ll end up with handfuls of bad fit clients and frustrated team members.

I’ve seen first hand how this plays out. On one extreme you may have a rainmaker – usually the owner of the company – who will chase anything and everything. The other extreme is where the Design Diva resides, who is only interested in the unique projects that appeal to him/her and his/her overblown ego.

Qualify prospects using the BANT(+P) framework

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