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How to Grow a Landscape Business

Dave Orecchio
by Dave Orecchio on Feb 5, 2019 11:45:00 AM

It’s a problem that we’ve seen before: An owner of a landscape company wants to grow their business, but spends all of their time in the field providing services—leaving seemingly little to no spare time to find and acquire new customers.

Perhaps that even sounds like you?

What makes this problem worse is, clients don't want to be called. They want to control who they speak to and when they do it.  

how to grow your landscaping business

Most landscape business owners have discovered that buying behavior has changed because of the growth of the internet and smartphones. Clients are researching landscape companies online first before reaching out to them. This means landscape business owners must market their business online first. This video is a two-minute excerpt of a longer case study about marketing a landscape business.

Listen to Monique Allen, the owner of The Garden Continuum, explain how this change in client behavior affected her landscape business. 

While we can’t magically add more hours to your day, there is something else we can do instead: Help you identify the high-value activities that will give you the greatest return on your marketing investment, allowing you to accelerate your growth and increase your revenue.

Here are a few high-value landscape business marketing activities to get started

Create a landscape business plan

First things first: If you want to grow your landscape business, you don’t simply need a series of tactics. You need a strategic plan. This will be your guide in everything you do—and help you decide what not to do too.

To help you develop a business plan, we recommend that you think about the following:

Your Goals:

Write down exactly what you want to achieve with your growth initiatives. Be specific, and have a clear timeline for achieving them. “I want to generate more revenue this year,” is not a goal—but “I want to increase revenue 30 percent within the next six months” is. Further break down your revenue goals into the types of landscape business you want to achieve. For example;

  • How much landscape architecture, design and build do you need?
  • How much landscape maintenance work are you seeking?
  • How many new customers do you need to achieve these revenue targets?

Your Measurement Tools:

Setting goals is the first step, but you’ll also want to have the proper tools in place to ensure you’re on the way to achieving them. Depending on your specific goals, metrics you might want to track the number of new leads generated through your website; signups for your email newsletter; or daily, monthly, or quarterly visitors to your website.

Are you tracking your deals, contacts and companies you are selling to? There are many customer relationship management (CRM) systems available. Our favorite is Hubspot, and they have a free tier. Capturing your contacts, companies (for commercial sales) and knowing where in your sales pipeline each opportunity is helps you to not forget opportunities. 

Your Timeline:

Setting clear deadlines to implement new initiatives and achieve milestones is a crucial element of your plan. This will help ensure you’re making timely progress in accomplishing the goals you established—and provide you with the opportunity to reassess and recalibrate your activities if you find that you’re not seeing the results you anticipated.

It is also important to set measurable and achievable goals. These goals can be a stretch from where you are today but please include an action plan to achieve them. So long as you are measuring progress, and you know what is working and what is not working, you can test progress along the way and take corrective action for those activities which are not yielding positive results. 

Your Budget:

A well-crafted marketing plan requires the right resources to properly implement and sustain it. By setting your budget up front, you’ll be able to understand the return on investment you’re getting for each of your marketing activities, allowing you to determine exactly which ones give you the most bang for your buck. 

When it comes to marketing investments, depending on which ones you choose, it may take a while for the investments to pay off. Be sure to set proper expectations and be consistent with them to give them a chance to yield fruit. 

Identify your target market

You can’t sell to your dream customer if you don’t know exactly who that person is in the first place. As the owner of a landscaping business, you might feel that your services are straightforward; however, there are actually many different types of customers that might be the best fit for your particular company. For example, does your landscape business: 

  • Serve residential homeowners, or corporate clients who need help maintaining their commercial properties?
  • Specialize in custom luxury projects, or more standard landscape services such as lawn maintenance? Or perhaps something else entirely?
  • Work in specific towns or areas, or have a wide geographic market?
These are just a few questions to get you started—you can continue to drill down from there. But regardless of your specific answers, what is very clear is that the phrase “landscape services” means something very different to each one of these types of customers. The only way to make sure your company’s messaging resonates with your target market is by knowing precisely who those customers are. (Our favorite way to help clients identify their target market is to develop a buyer persona. You can find out more about that here).

Invest in your digital marketing presence to gain clients

No longer is it sufficient to simply just have a website. As customers spend ever-increasing amounts of time online, they are becoming increasingly sophisticated in what they expect from a business’s digital presence. And it’s your responsibility to ensure that what you’re offering measures up.

As an example of the results that can occur when you do digital marketing right, we partnered with The Garden Continuum, a Medfield MA landscape business to help them grow. Read the full case study to learn more about how a custom marketing strategy helped them increase their leads by 625 percent, with nearly 70 percent of initial sales calls resulting in a sale.

trades-pillar-garden-continuum-homepage
Your landscape business online persona includes everything from your overall website design to ensuring that your site is responsive, meaning it looks and works just as well on a mobile phone as it does on a computer. Landscape projects often lend themselves well to online image galleries; just make sure that the photos you choose are clear, high-quality versions and relate to the types of projects that showcase your differentiated skills.

Your web presence isn’t only about looks. You’ll also must include in-depth, helpful and educational content. This means that you’ll have something more than just a mere "brochure" site that simply lists your business's services (and not much else). Instead, visitors to your website want to find information that can help them plan new projects, understand what's needed to take care of their current landscape, and how they can work with you.

There is a real science behind creating the content as well, something called the buyer's journey. Here is an article about modern website design, and tip number 10 talks about the buyer's journey. The important point is that your website should have content to support each (buyer's journey) stage of your clients research. You need a lot of purely educational content in order to deliver value early in their research so you gain their trust as a knowledgeable vendor when they are ready to initiate a landscape project. 

learn how to grow your landscape business

TWEETABLE TIP

Landscape business owners want to grow sales, but spend all of their time in the field—leaving little to no time to acquire new customers. Learn how to grow your business even when you are in the field. #landscape #businessowner #sales

VIA @dorecchio


Putting It All Together

Each of these activities alone are a powerful way to help grow your business—but they become even more potent once they're connected and integrated with one another in a cohesive way. And we believe that best way to do that is to adopt the inbound marketing methodology. It's a strategy for increasing leads, creating a predictable sales cycle, and growing revenue like we've helped other landscape businesses—and we can help yours, too. 

Interested in a one-on-one chat about your landscape business and how a new way of thinking can help you grow it? Take action and book a call now to discuss how

transform and grow your landscape busines

Bristol Strategy is a full funnel inbound marketing agency and inbound sales agency offering the full complement of services to enable our clients to surpass their business objectives by transforming the way they engage with their buyer online.  Reach out to us to learn more about how our experience and capabilities can help your business grow. 

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Dave Orecchio
Written by Dave Orecchio
Dave Orecchio is one of the earliest adopters of Inbound Marketing. As one of Hubspot’s first customers and CEO of a Boston-based startup, he experienced the benefits of this effective digital marketing methodology. Dave now provides Inbound (marketing & Sales) services to businesses to help them grow and realize the positive results that an integrated program can provide. Dave is a high-tech marketing and sales expert with more than 25 years of business experience.
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