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& Landscape supply

Managing Your Finances Starting with the Bid Process

Managing your business finances goes beyond “doing the books.” As a business, financial decisions are being made every day, from the bidding on a project to add landscape design and ongoing maintenance. Here are some tips to upsell your average ticket by delivering quality products that meet your customers’ expectations.

Creating Project Budgets

Whether your project bid includes one large install or routine maintenance, asking a customer for their budget may seem like the best approach when determining a project's cost. However, as the expert, you can help guide them to the appropriate estimated cost.

It’s appropriate and acceptable to offer current landscape design and technology trends outside of your customer’s budget by providing them with the information, features and benefits. By offering state-of-the-art trends, you can provide your customers with options they didn’t know were available and determine the project's appropriate budget. For example, irrigation controllers are available in conventional or top-tier smart controllers with weather monitoring to regulate watering schedules. Presenting the features and benefits of the products, you can help guide your customer to the right products for the job.

Securing a Deposit

With understanding the scope of the project and budget, you can begin the project. But one more financial question needs to be answered: how do you start the project without using your own money? This will depend on the scope of the work and the materials needed; however, requesting a deposit for the project is common business practice and should be enough to cover the materials. This helps keep your cash flow positive.

Add the expectation of a deposit upfront while discussing the scope of work so the customer knows this is part of the process. Also, be prepared to discuss how the deposit is just to cover the costs of the materials that need to be purchased specifically for that job. This is a common practice in the home improvement channel and not something to be afraid to ask for.

Recurring Revenue and Maintenance Contracts

Another aspect of any job is the related maintenance. This can include resealing pavers, flushing drainage pipes, calibrating irrigation systems or the general upkeep of landscape, all with a financial implication on your business.

Presenting a proposal for ongoing maintenance work after the project is done creates a steady stream of recurring revenue. For the customer, it’s helpful to define the scope of work even with maintenance projects. Some of the questions to consider are:

  • What is the frequency of the services?
  • What are the benefits of these services for the customer?
  • What upcoming seasonal work should you recommend?
  • If applicable, what solution-based products can your offer?

In many cases, the frequency and benefits are based off your recommendations. Consider performing an evaluation of the sprinkler system, measuring water pressure and other services to ensure the products work properly for the life of the product.

While the scope of seasonal work is specific to your area, these seasonal services range in benefits from nurturing the landscape to services to limit other concerns, like pests and weeds. Spring is the ideal time to flush drainage to avoid flooding and to use fertilizers to promote plant growth. During the fall, overseed turf treatments to keep grass full and healthy all year or offer holiday lighting to generate revenue during the “off” season. Each of these services have budget opportunities to deliver quality service to your customers. Establishing the benefits of these services will create a steady stream of revenue.

Make the Most of Your Purchases

When considering best practices, there are some options that are no-brainers, such as the Ewing ProAdvantage Program. Ewing recognizes you are a business owner first; that’s why we aligned ourselves with Savings4Members to provide you with back-office discounts on wireless, office supplies, ADP and more, including Plus Synchrony Financial homeowner-financing and Value Builder SystemTM. You also earn points with every dollar spent and earn points by buying products from some of your favorite vendors like Hunter, Rain Bird, FX, NDS and Ditch Witch.

Ewing’s ProAdvantage Program has more perks to support your business. Learn more about the benefits available to you.

Synchrony Homeowner Financing

Ewing partnered with Synchrony Financial to provide competitive options to finance your customers’ project. To help get a large project off the ground or to upsell that new landscape and add outdoor living for a few more dollars per month, financing could be a determining factor for your customer. Through Synchrony Financial, you could extend financing options for your homeowner customers.

Packaging financing options with your quotes could be the differentiating factor to help you secure a project from your competitors. Build it in as a solution that’s unique to you and your business model. It’s also a great way to help your customers afford some of the features and benefits that might be outside of their initial budget, like upgrading to a smart controller or adding in outdoor sound to enhance the space.

When you provide the forethought to your customers, based on your expertise and the customer benefits, it is easier to manage the money on any project no matter the size and scope. Learn more about the resources available to Ewing customers and sign up for the ProAdvantage Program to leverage partnerships and resources to help your business.

TAGS: Business Tips, Business Practices, Business Growth, Grow Your Business, Business Model, Business