4 Must-Have Efficiencies For The Spring Rush
Spring is that time of the year that most landscape businesses look forward to and the reason is not far-fetched. At this time of the year, the weather is warm and the trees grow their leaves. No matter how bad the year has been for your business, you can be sure that spring is going to be better for you. Spring is important for landscape business owners because this is when you have most of your landscape contracts. You can get the most from customers at this time.
However, it is not enough to look forward to Spring rush, you should prepare for it as well. Your business and everything attached to it should be well equipped to handle the Spring rush. And this is where most business owners miss out. They look forward to Spring rush but do not have the efficiency to handle the rush. You should have enough efficiency in your business to be able to handle all the leads that come in at this time.
These 4 things will set you up for the spring rush. They are not all you need in your business, but they are the basic must-haves.
Your estimate schedule
The estimate is the document prepared to help you run a projection of the number of crew members and resources you need to complete a particular project. You need to have proper planning in place to make sure estimates get to your customers in time. When customers contact you for a job, they really want to get the job done and if you do not send the estimate to them in good time, they may look for alternatives. You don’t want to lose clients to your competitors because of a delayed estimate arrival. You should have one or two estimators that prepare these documents and send them to customers within 24-48 hours. This helps you to close more deals with your clients during the spring rush.
Follow up on your estimates
After sending the estimate to customers who made inquiries, you shouldn’t leave it at that. You should have an automated system to follow up these estimates. Whether they responded when you sent the estimates or not, you should follow up until you get an answer. Following up allows you to close more deals, rather than sending estimates without hearing back. You don’t want to be contacting your clients after a week or two, asking if they got the estimates. You should do that every day after the estimate has been sent. Your estimators should be able to calculate how many estimates are accepted compared to how many were sent out. This is a means of measuring your wins against your losses. But you shouldn’t give up on the losses; you should still follow up till you get an answer.
Project management videos
When your estimator goes to inspect a project, it is their duty to make videos of the entire project before leaving. This is a way to get more jobs done in due time because you have already updated the crew on the job requirements using the video. By doing this, the crew already knows what to do by the time they get to the project.
Even though you have your year-round employees, sometimes you may need to hire extra hands to get through the spring rush, especially if your projections are high. You don’t want to wait till the middle of the spring rush before recruiting help. It is best to get through the hiring process before the season starts so you can train and make them ready to service your customers to help you reach your goals. Most business owners know that they will be overwhelmed with jobs at this time of the year, but they have no idea how many people to employ. One formula that has worked over the years is to take your revenue for the previous year and divide by the number of crew members you had on the field. This is your dollar per man value. Then take that number and use it to determine how many crew members you need based on your projective revenue. You then take your projective revenue for the new year and divide by your dollar per man value. The number you get is the extra number of members you need to meet your projective revenue. Next, you should put out posters for applicants and interview as many as you can because you also need the best staff working for you.
Marketing for the spring rush
This is the time of the year when customers are looking for landscape businesses to handle their mowing jobs. You should put yourself out there in their faces. This is the time to work on your marketing strategies, run ads to get leads, put out posters and fliers.
- Get a website: If you did not have a website before, now is the time to get one. It could take months to start ranking well for keywords in your industry, so now is the best time to build a website. If you do not have a website, your business wouldn’t pop up when clients search for what you do, and you would be missing out on the business rush that accompanies spring. While social media is good for advertising and marketing, you can’t rely on them alone. Get your own website ahead of spring and wait for the extra business it brings your way.
- Start advertising for the spring rush: The earlier you start marketing your services at the beginning of the year, the better for your business. Most landscape business owners let down their guard at marketing at the beginning of the year, so there is not much competition at this time. So if you run ads at this time, you tend to have more impressions for less money. The goal here is not just to market your business, so your ads should be directed towards rendering grooming services in the spring. You could also incentivize commitment through a discount for customers that book ahead of schedule.
- Join local trade associations: This is a way to network with other business owners both in your field and outside. Take advantage of the slower business during winter to network with people and your business will be the better for it in the long run.
- Social media: As much as you can’t rely solely on social media pages for marketing, they are still as important. Customers are also looking to social media to find the best services. Now is the time to work on your online presence if you have not maximized its potential. You should also work on your brand personality, reviews and quality of work. You could hire a social media manager if you do not have the time to run it yourself.
- Wrap up your truck: When you take your truck out for a job or for a quote, you’re using that medium to advertise your brand. You’re getting your business in the faces of people as you drive round town. You could invest in a full truck wrap, or you could stick with magnets or stickers to save cost.
- Business cards: Get professional business cards and get them out to people. For instance, when you go out networking with other entrepreneurs, you could hand them your business cards. It is also a great way of marketing your business.
Now that you’re in the offseason and there aren’t that many jobs to do, this is the time to get your brand in the faces of prospective customers ahead of spring. Use the winter time to dominate the market and get your business out there both online and offline, and be fully prepared and equipped when spring demands start to come in.