In a crisis it’s time to take a fresh look at your business. What are your customers’ needs during the crisis? How can you better manage your costs? How can you protect and keep your employees?
Much of the landscape maintenance business will continue during the COVID-19 crisis. Lawns will need to be cut, and gardens maintained. However, many of your customers, especially those in retail businesses, will be financially suffering. It’s time to outreach to connect and reassure.
Reach out to Your Customers
The financial impact on many customers will last well into the 2020 season. It’s time for you to establish trust and compassion with your clients, especially those most valued. Your customers want reassurance that 1) your company is operating in a safe manner with policy guidelines in place and 2) that you are sensitive to their budgets in these difficult financial times. Clients are proven to trust the vendor who appreciates the importance of controlling capital improvement costs. When you demonstrate awareness that everyone has a budget, your customer will be impressed.
What can you do for your clients?
- Have a COVID 19 policy in place for your workplace and your employees. See CDC Guidance.
- Send a letter to all your clients explaining that you have a policy in place to assure the safety of your employees, their property, their employees, and their clients.
- Include in the letter how you are committed to continue to service their property and how you are ready to discuss any cost management measures if necessary - delay of capital projects, delay or reduction of planting or other services, or deferring payments.
Evaluate your business costs.
It’s time to take a hard look at where you will spend money in the upcoming season. The largest expenses for a landscape company are:
- Wages & compensation
- Fuel for operations
- Equipment purchase
- Equipment maintenance
Wages & compensation are fixed to the services offered; however, some administrative hours could be reduced. Insurance is somewhat fixed based on facilities, equipment and liability but it may be a good time to review your policies. Fuel costs are way down, hopefully for the summer. Equipment purchases and maintenance are probably areas where you can save money and reduce costs.
Look to delaying the purchase of new equipment or deferring payments on existing equipment. Invest time from delayed projects into maintaining existing equipment. Look to online aftermarket part suppliers such as MowMore.com to save up to 30% over original equipment suppliers and dealers. Quality parts coupled with good maintenance will reduce costs by preventing expensive downtime and unexpected costly equipment breakdowns.
Your landscaping business can survive and even thrive in time of crisis if you take the right actions in managing your costs and reaching out to your clients to build a new level of trust and engagement. Although difficult today these efforts will pay off in great client loyalty and improved revenue in the future.
Author: Paul Hamilton, Owner/Partner at MowMore.com
MowMore.com is an online supplier of quality equipment parts for professional landscapers. MowMore is small enough to provide personal service but big enough to provide great pricing. Save your business time and money by shopping at MowMore.com.
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