As 2019 comes to a close, you might be starting to map out your goals, priorities and plans for 2020.
If you’re looking to grow your business next year, this three-part series will share tips, strategies and advice from other industry pros to help you earn more revenue, improve employee retention and engagement and prepare your business for long term success.
Saying yes to big opportunities
Owning a business and keeping it up and running is one of the most challenging career choices anyone can make, but it can also be one of the most rewarding.
Paul Fuller, owner and operator of Paul’s Lawn & Landscape, started off just mowing lawns. He’d worked with his father and brother since he was in middle school and officially started his business with two clients; soon it turned into eight. Slowly, Paul began mowing lawns for around 100 customers. But as his client base grew, so did the services they were asking for.
In order to sustain his business, he knew he’d have to start offering additional services or risk losing customers to other full-service landscaping companies.
Paul worked with his local Ewing store to propel him to become a $1 million full-service landscaping company. How did he do it? He said yes to a lighting job—something he’d never done before. Then, he leaned on the team at Ewing to help him complete that first job.
On the day of that first lighting job, Paul and one of the local branch managers at Ewing in Austin, Texas laid out the lights, wired the job and completed the first phase of the installation together. Paul said the customer was so impressed by their work he immediately told them to go ahead and complete the second phase. It turned out to be a $20,000 job for Paul.
Not long after that, Paul started attending every Ewing lighting, turf and outdoor living education course. He got his irrigation license and continued expanding his skills and service offerings to customers.
Strategy #1 for earning more revenue: Expand your services.
Don't shy away from new jobs or projects just because you haven’t done them before. Utilize the resources around you, like the Ewing staff and education courses, to help you try out new services.
To learn more about how Paul Fuller turned his lawn mowing business into a million dollar company, read the case study here.
Earning and keeping clients
Clients: you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. In order to grow a business you need a steady flow of new customers while also building on existing client relationships.
Once you have a customer, you want to keep them. Depending on the type of work you do, you can keep customers by setting up annual plans or contracts with them.
If you do maintenance work, map out a maintenance plan and present it to your customer. There’s never any shortage of work to be done on a landscape, from spring clean up and fertilization, to summer care and weed control to winterization in the colder months. Let your clients know you can do it all for them and set up an annual contract.
If you do installation work, offer additional services to them, like holiday lighting installs and takedowns, paver refreshes or lighting installations for larger customers like HOAs or local businesses.
Strategy #2 for earning more revenue: Set up longer-term plans or contracts.
Work with your clients early on to get more business from them. Part of this, includes letting them know you can do more work than what they initially hired you for. Present a year-long plan for them and talk to them about the benefits of working with a single contractor for all their landscape needs.
Earning new business is all about marketing. To find and attract new clients, you need to talk about your business or have other people (preferably current clients) talk about your business. This can be achieved in a few ways:
- Word of mouth: Ask your happy clients to tell their friends and families about your services. According to Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company, people are 77 percent more likely to buy a new product if a friend or family member has referred them.
- Social media: Putting your business on social platforms, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest or review sites like Yelp or Angie’s List, will give you access to thousands or potential customers. Three-quarters of Facebook users visit the site once a day and six in 10 Instagram users are on the platform daily, according to Pew Research. So if you’re hoping to get in front of potential clients, social media is a great place to start.
- Get involved in your community: It might seem like extra work, but performing community service projects can get your company’s name out there, build your portfolio if you’re just starting out and engage employees.
Strategy #3 for earning more revenue: Make marketing a priority.
When you’re running a business, marketing can seem like an afterthought, but if you’re looking to earn more business and grow your client base, it needs to be a priority. If you don’t have a lot of time or budget to spend on marketing, start small by asking your clients for referrals and get on social media, where you can reach thousands of people with less money.
Want more information about how to utilize social media? Read some of our other blogs on it:
- Leveraging Online Reviews to Expand New Business
- 4 Ways Landscape Companies are Using Social Media in 2019
When it comes to owning a business, there’s never a shortage of things to get done, but if you’re looking to grow the business, offering new services can spring board that growth. Then, getting out in front of your current customers and other potential clients will take your company to the next level.
Stay tuned for the next blog in the series How to Earn More and Strengthen Your Business in 2020 where we’ll share tips for improving employee retention and engagement.