As the new season begins for landscape contractors, it is time to get the game face on and the troops ready to march. The weather around the country is warmer than normal and the season is beginning 5 to 6 weeks ahead of schedule. Does this mean that you should start the season or wait for the normal season opening date. It is a financial opportunity for many because it’s been a very slow winter for many of the northern contractors, as the snow never materialized. The lack of natural moisture creates a dangerous issue for plants and turf. As well, the insect and disease issues will be on the increase, with little or no cold weather or snow cover in most parts of the country. It is time to start communicating with customers about these issues, the earlier the better.
Let’s look at it from a horticultural stand point. The plants and turf need moisture and they need it now. The customers are likely to resist, however, it is time to start selling watering with the irrigation systems and perhaps draining them at night in some parts of the country. The loss of plants and turf will not show until late May and early June when the customer will not remember the dry winter. You need to start the campaign now. The disease and insect issue will be more obvious than in past years, because many insect and disease issues where not killed off due to the lack of cold temperatures. This again is a financial opportunity to bill the client for additional services.
Starting the communication with customers now makes you the one on top of your game. Most customers will depend on you to tell them what is necessary to keep their investment in their landscape safe. Use this opportunity to get in front of your customers. Contractors are always looking for ways to market to their customer and sell more projects and services, this is one of those times. It also allows you to paint yourself as the expert, be ahead of the competition. By starting your season earlier it allows you to sell more landscape projects and increase revenues.
Now is a great time to start an email newsletter that will allow you and your staff to provide information to your customer on a timely basis. It is important that you get an email address from all of your customers, past and present. Email marketing is a great way to get customers involved in the landscape without making personal visits or asking for more work directly, it is a subtle way of passing on information with out feeling like you are bothering them. Inbound marketing is the wave of the future, start now and be ahead of the competition.
The lack of winter is a marketing gold mine of opportunity if you get out in front now, you can’t wait. Your competition is not waiting. Use this opportunity to educate and enlighten you customers. Start talking about the consequences of no action and how it will affect their investment.