Now’s the time for contractors to turn water bans and restrictions into opportunities to grow your landscape contracting business.
Spurred on by the driest January and February in the state’s recorded history, California recently implemented a ban on all irrigation and ornamental turf, leaving homeowners, Homeowners’ Associations, and commercial turf managers scrambling to comply while still maintaining their landscapes.
While California has put into place the most stringent measures in the country, many communities all over the U.S. are implementing water restrictions this summer. For example, even/odd watering days and requiring climate-based irrigation controllers are already restrictions in place in parts of Texas. Additionally, none of these restrictions and requirements are new to the green industry—they’ve been implemented before in times of drought.
We recommend that contractors look at these restrictions as opportunities rather than punishments. These opportunities can provide new revenue streams that will help grow your business and improve your customers’ existing landscapes.
Read California’s Executive Order on the drought here.
Market Retrofitting Solutions
The retrofit market is hot, providing the perfect opportunity for contractors to reach out to their customers to promote upgrades and retrofits to existing irrigation systems. Perhaps start with a simple email campaign or reach out via social media. Here’s one example:
“Mr. or Mrs. Homeowner, are you aware of the upcoming outdoor water restrictions? Here is a way to keep your yard nice and green: upgrade your controller to smart climate-based technology. Let us also replace spray heads in your landscape with efficient drip irrigation. Upgrade now and receive 12 months same as cash from Synchrony Financial.”
As more communities start taking a closer look at outdoor water usage, demand for much more efficient products in the landscape will continue to grow, so position yourself now to ride the wave.
Here is a more complete list of smart and efficient irrigation products to think about for upselling opportunities:
- Smart controllers (climate-based)
- Pressure regulating spray bodies
- Drip irrigation to replace the spray heads in landscape beds
- Soil moisture sensors
- Rain and freeze sensors
- Wind sensors
Leverage your relationships with satisfied existing customers by offering these upgrades to create additional revenue while helping your customers remain compliant with water restrictions and do their part to conserve water.
Cash In on Rebates and Other Incentives
When introducing smart irrigation products to your customers, there may be opportunities to leverage utility company and government rebate programs.
Utility companies across the country provide rebates for upgrading to smart irrigation products, xeriscaping, or rain barrels. For example, homeowners in Manatee County, Florida, can receive rebates up to $1,250 for irrigation upgrades.
Visit the county’s website for details.
Homeowners in Albuquerque, New Mexico, can receive rebates on xeriscaping and drip irrigation conversions. These rebates can help offset the costs of upgrades and make you look like a hero by offering a more drought-friendly landscape and some available public funds to help pay for it.
The list of cities and communities offering rebates and incentives is growing, so be sure to check out what programs are available in the areas that you serve.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Program also has a database of rebates offered across the country. Find the WaterSense Rebate Finder here.
Ongoing Maintenance Service Equals Ongoing Revenue
Expanding and offering additional services through a service agreement with your clients will help you generate a consistent, recurring revenue stream. Having a strong recurring revenue stream helps build your company’s value and increases the number of client touches that you have over the course of a season.
In many areas of the country, water conservation has never been more important, and homeowners are relying heavily on green industry pros to make sure their landscapes are compliant with new regulations.
Here are five ways to generate recurring revenue:
- Irrigation monitoring and audits. These help your customers remain compliant in times of drought or water restrictions and avoid hefty fines.
- Lawn maintenance programs that provide soil amendments. In clay soils, soil amendments improve aeration, permeability drainage, and root health. In sandy soils, soil amendments increase water and nutrient holding capacity.
- Conduct site inspections using a maintenance checklist to evaluate and resolve system inefficiencies. Look for broken/tilted heads, clogged nozzles, leaks, puddling, and other issues.
- Annual program that adds new compost, mulch, or pine straw to landscape beds.
- Annual irrigation audits to offer enhancement options and new efficient ways to irrigate the landscape.
Why is recurring revenue so important to your business? Our blog article, Increase your Landscape Business’ Value by Turning Repeat Customers into Subscribers, explains the difference between reoccurring and recurring revenue and offers tips for making the switch.
If you need help creating a recurring revenue model, check out our blog article, How to Create a Recurring Revenue Model that Appeals to Your Customers.
For more ideas on services to sell and other helpful information from Ewing’s team of experts, check out the blog articles and Ewing Education resources on our website, or visit your local Ewing location today.