What it Takes to Get More Commercial Landscaping Contracts (& Fewer Residential)
Have you ever had this thought? “I’m so done with residential clients. If I could get more commercial landscaping contracts, I’d just walk away from this part of the business!”
So what’s holding you back? Maybe this is the right direction for your landscaping business to take. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to choosing a lane of B2C or B2B. But it’s a great consideration that could lead to a healthier organization.
In the ever-evolving world of landscaping, making the decision to transition from primarily serving residential clients to commercial properties can be intimidating. However, if executed correctly, this shift can result in significant business growth and specialization. As seen in the LinkedIn poll below, you can see that 61% of landscape companies have realized that picking a lane of either B2C or B2B is the best choice for their companies.
Landscape Leadership has supported numerous businesses through this pivotal transition. Drawing on our expertise, we’re offering insights on how to successfully reposition and maximize your marketing strategies to get more commercial landscape contracts and allow someone else to deal with Mr. Homeowner.
A Firm Commitment to Future Goals
Your company's focus defines its trajectory. Often, businesses are tempted to juggle both residential and commercial markets. However, based on our observations of companies ranging from $5 million to $300 million in revenue, it's evident that those that grow the most quickly are those with a clear and undivided focus.
Why is this so crucial? Think about a brand's identity. It's challenging to project proficiency in both residential and commercial landscaping simultaneously. Consumers often perceive a trade-off: a company that's creative enough for residential may not be production-focused enough for large-scale commercial projects.
Image Source: Level Green Landscaping
A culture of creativity is focused on maximizing innovation (and profitability within that context). Creativity is not compatible with production because innovation is highly inefficient.
An examination of the top 20 U.S. landscaping companies will reveal a significant trend: the giants often focus exclusively on commercial accounts. While revenue isn’t the complete picture, it appears these landscaping industry leaders have made a decision and stuck with it.
Revamp Your Brand Image for Commercial Landscaping Success
If you wish to get more commercial landscaping contracts, your branding should leave no room for doubt. Commercial property managers need to be convinced of your proficiency, and this begins with your brand presentation. Here are some tips to achieve this:
Prioritize showcasing commercial projects on your website, in marketing materials, and across social media. This may mean investing heavily in professional photography and videos for multiple years to capture enough visuals of the commercial contracts you currently service. Plan on continuing that investment over the next several years so you can share a wide assortment of commercially-focused visuals.
Below is one of the many videos we created for Yellowstone Landscape to focus on specific target accounts. These videos can be fine-tuned for Community Associations, Public Sector, and any commercial property type.
Commercial Landscaping Marketing & Sales Assets
Whether it's website content, blog posts, social media updates, or email campaigns, your content should discuss issues relevant to commercial property managers. This not only demonstrates expertise but also establishes trust. In order to do this effectively, it may mean rewriting most, if not all, of your website content to specifically and exclusively address commercial property managers.
Below is an example of one of the many helpful articles on the Turfscape blog. These topics are geared specifically to commercial property managers.
(Check out the full article here.)
Videos & Case Studies
A picture speaks a thousand words, but a video can narrate the entire story. Use visual media to highlight past commercial projects, emphasizing challenges faced and solutions provided. Property managers often pay attention to nearby or competing properties. They often want to have the premier property but with a hassle-free customer experience. Hiring a video production company to help tell these stories can help establish your credibility in the B2B sector.
Below is an example of one of the many video case studies on Level Green Landscaping’s website. They exclusively serve commercial clients and these stories are very compelling!
[RELATED READING: B2B Marketing Strategy & Best Practices for Commercial Landscapers]
A Gradual Transition Plan
Transitioning doesn’t mean severing ties with residential clients overnight. Instead, follow these steps.
Limit Capacity for Residential Clients
Consider supporting them at a premium price or for a limited period of time. You probably already have a few clients in mind that really need to go. For others, raising prices may naturally cause them to look elsewhere. If not initially, then you can score more profit until you tell them you can’t service them anymore. Be sure to give these clients plenty of notice.
Adjust Marketing Budgets
As you invest more in commercial growth, understand that your residential revenue will naturally decrease. Adapt by scaling back your marketing budget to generate fewer B2C leads and double down on your efforts to grow commercial landscaping leads.
KD Landscape adjusted their marketing budget over multiple years to invest heavily in commercially focused marketing assets such as a revision to its website, videos, in-depth blog articles, and case studies. This supports their aggressive growth in the commercial sector.
Focus on building a strong sales and marketing team skilled at securing commercial contracts. The standard networking activities should also be supported by digital content you’ve created. Imagine how compelling it would be for a commercial property manager to receive a series of emails containing commercially focused articles, case studies, and videos.
We built digital prospecting sequences for Monarch Landscape Management. This series of personalized emails with call reminders and tasks helps business developers deliver engaging content to prospective clients.
Specialized Support for Commercial Landscapers
Pivoting your business strategy is not a decision to be taken lightly. You’re going to need to ask yourself hard questions and make even tougher decisions.
Joining a peer group may also be helpful. Many industry consultants build groups with specific clientele focuses. You could learn a lot from these courageous business owners who repositioned their companies.
Likewise, not all landscaping marketing agencies understand the unique intricacies of supporting digital marketing and sales efforts for commercial landscapers. Find a marketing partner who understands the nuances of growing these types of businesses vs. a residentially-focused company.
Image Source: James Martin Associates
Remember, running a business is not for the faint of heart. Yet, those courageous enough to embrace change often find themselves on paths paved with opportunity and growth. If you believe that commercial landscaping is the future of your business, create clear goals and a plan and stick with it.
If you like regular insights like these, subscribe to our blog. If you’re interested in repositioning your marketing strategy from a generalist landscaping company to a commercial landscaping powerhouse, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to request a consultation.