Keeping Commercial Clients Happy
Most commercial clients are considered easy clients because their property manager is the main point person in your relationship. They have few demands, and generally just want those boxes checked and their expectations met.
The best way to win these types of clients is to show them that you care, that youre doing the job properly, and that youre not missing anything.
That means that you need to keep track of the notes you make on their account, and ensure that your crew completes all the work they want.
From the start you should make notes of the job requirements during the site walkthrough with the client.
Using quoting software, like Jobber, helps you to add materials, services, and labor as you go so that you dont have to worry about remembering to add them later on.
Your secret weapon in keeping your client happy will undoubtedly be your CRM and job checklist . That way, you never miss a step with each phone call, email, or site visit.
Where: Spell Out The Location
Sure, your property address is quite clear on the contract, but is it obvious where the seasonal color should be installed? The location-specific services will be performed on your property should be drawn out. In fact, some contracts literally include drawings for clarity.
Are there certain areas of your property you dont want included in your contract? Perhaps you have native wetlands or an employee-maintained vegetable garden that should be left untouched. Or maybe you have water features or ponds that require specialized service. This should also be spelled out within your contract to avoid misunderstandings.
Likewise, if certain areas require additional attention or out-of-the-ordinary requests, those should be detailed as well. While you may have discussed these items in detail with your landscape provider and feel confident everyone is on the same page, its best practice and protects all parties to put it in writing.
Being Specific About Measurements And Quantities
Stating the specifications of your landscape area and your estimation of the amount of the materials required while bidding can get you much better deal. Landscape service providers will get a fair idea of the total work and will bid accordingly. This would make the selection process much easier and accurate.
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How To Get Started With Commercial Lawn Care Contracts
Commercial lawn care contracts are centered around building relationships. From the very beginning, you should be focused on getting to know the property managers and real estate board members in your service area.
1. Make contact with them.
You can do this through phone calls, emails, postcards and flyers, or meetings.
Even though some property managers wont necessarily be looking for a contractor right now, they might be in the future. The objective is to build a relationship so you can ensure youre the one who gets the job.
2. Make sure you have quality references from previous clients.
Ed explains that referrals are one of the most important parts of landing commercial clients.
If they offer a fixed contract, theyll want an established company for it. Theyre not just going to hire anybody to do it. They want to see a reputation.
Most commercial clients will want to call the property managers youve worked with in the past. So, tailor the references you give based on the client for the best results.
For example, if youre trying to land a contract with a condo property manager, try to find a referral from another condo property manager youve worked for before.
How to get started without commercial experience
If you dont have referrals yet, Ed suggests getting your lawn care name out there by doing some basic industry discovery.
Are Commercial Lawn Mowing Contracts Worth It
Whether commercial lawn care contracts are worth taking on depends on the individual business owner and strategy. If you are looking for the best profit margins, then commercial landscaping maintenance may not be the option for you. However, if you have the commercial-grade equipment and are looking for long term, consistent work, commercial landscaping can be rewarding.
The contract includes specifics such as the height to which the grass has to be cut. This makes the clients expectations very clear, which leaves little room for misunderstanding or mistakes. Ensuring all employees understand exactly what to do is key to success in commercial landscaping.
There are factors to be considered before deciding if commercial landscaping contracts are worth it. To better understand these, we have listed the pros and cons below.
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Whats Included In A Commercial Mowing Contract
You commercial lawn care contract should include the following details:
- Your businesss and your customers name, address, contact information, and the date.
- Your businesss license information.
- The time period in which your services should be rendered.
- The frequency of your visits.
- The number of workers assigned to the project and the amount of hours they will work per day.
- The equipment that will be used.
- The pricing.
- An outline of the services you will provide, along with a list of exclusions.
- Clauses to indicate which party takes responsibility for damages incurred to things like fencing, irrigation systems, etc.
- An agreement on the application of pesticides, including the names of pesticides to be used.
Go The Extra Mile When Placing Bids
Placing bids on commercial lawn care projects consists of much more than simply sliding a number across the desk on a piece of paper. This part of the process can make or break your plans for landing the account, so its wise to take it seriously. Make sure that you get your bid in professionally by following the basics: have a good website, good looking company optics , and the proper proposal.
Do your homework, so you know exactly how low you can bid before youre paying out of pocket and get information on the competition and how many others are bidding so you know how competitive you need to be in your pricing. Some good questions to ask yourself include:
- How many competitors are submitting proposals?
- Will you need to buy new equipment or hire more team members for this account?
- What are the upsell possibilities?
- How long has the prospect been in business?
- How often do they switch landscape contractors?
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Commercial Lawn Care Contracts
A lawn care and landscape maintenance contract is essential to every new account. Commercial lawn contracts are the agreed-upon services and schedule that the landscaper will provide for each client. Each client will have different needs, of course, which should be addressed when drawing up the contract.
In addition, this contract prevents clients from taking advantage of you and your business while also holding you accountable for the agreed-upon and promised services. For example, you may be scheduled to show up for regular maintenance one day and the client may ask for you to provide an extra service. This is something that can be problematic without a lawn care and landscape maintenance contract as it can cut into your allotted time for your next client.
Performing extra services on demand may also raise client expectations rather than be viewed as a one-time favor. Theyre also risky because the client may be under the impression that they wont have to pay for those extra services.
These risks are the reason that a lawn care contract is essential to your landscaping business, as they protect you and set reasonable expectations for your clients. You can even throw in clauses about performing services on demand for an added fee or maintain that extra work must be scheduled prior to your visit.
Dont Forget: Your People Impact Your Profitability Too
While its these 5 tips that have helped Bruce to secure profitable commercial mowing contracts, he says theres an extra piece to the puzzle that is sometimes overlooked, and thats your people. While you can put together the perfect-sized crews, match up the right equipment for the job, and get all your numbers in line, if your people dont care about being productive for you, then it can still hurt your bottom line.
But how can you get people to care about being productive? Bruce says that you likely have more control over it then you realize.
It sounds so simple but people forget the Golden Rule all the time, he says. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Its really that simple. If you want your people to work hard for you, then you have to treat them right. Too often business owners fall into the trap of treating their people like a commodity and thats a huge mistake.
If you take care of your people, then they will take care of you, Bruce says, adding that its not just about money or paying them more. Yes, you should pay your people well. But theres more to it than that, he says.
If youd like to talk more about Asset has helped successful companies like Precision Landscape Management become even more profitable, give us a call at 800-475-0311 or contact us for a free demo.
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Knowing Your Labor Costs
You can have the right machine for the job and the perfect sized crew but if you dont know your labor costs, then you are still going to fall behind, Bruce says. In fact, he surmises this may be the number one mistake commercial landscape companies makethey dont know their actual labor costs. As a result, they are underbidding jobs.
This happens a lot in competitive markets where there is a lot of pressure to be the lowest bidder. But Bruce says you have to evaluate the value of each of your commercial mowing contracts and determine whether its really worth going after the jobs that make it challenging to turn a nice dollar. It may not be .
When Hiring A Commercial Property Maintenance Company There Are Several Elements To Consideryou Dont Want To Hire A Company That Can Just Get The Job Done
Getting the job done isnt enough. What you really want is to hire a landscape design firm that listens to your needs AND wants and creates a plan that stays within your budget. You want a company that will consider your yard their own.
Being blindsided by sneaky, unseen costs is a tale as old as time. Fortunately, you dont need to fall victim to those common mistakes. Many landscaping vendors will quote low prices to get your business, only to inflate prices the following year. But with solid due diligence, you can ensure you select the right vendor.
There are several places within contracts where hidden costs can slide through. We want to make sure you know EXACTLY what youre paying for before signing a contract.
Learn how a reputable commercial grounds maintenance contractor asks the right questions to provide you with the most accurate and comprehensive quote, the first time and every time.
In this article we help you identify and understand:
State the size of your property and exactly what services you want done and where.
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How To Get More Commercial Landscaping Business
Every small commercial landscaping business dreams of landing its biggest contract and accumulating more revenue. However, many commercial landscapers dont understand how to draw in more commercial landscaping business.
Many commercial landscapers dont understand how much work goes into securing a high-paying lawn care client. First, you have to brand yourself. Then, you must set appropriate bids and convince prospective clients that youre better than your competition.
Here are five steps to secure more commercial landscape maintenance contracts:
Take A Professional And Scientific Approach
When bidding for a project, make it a point to be systematic and clear about what exactly you can provide.
Make sure your proposal is professionally made, with a strong and cleaning branding. Ensure that it is formatted so that it can be easily understood as well.
You can also check out our landscaping estimate template for a guide on delivering a consistently accurate estimates.
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Landscape Installation And Design
Landscape installation and design services can include everything from an initial build from scratch on a new property, or making adjustments to a landscape thats already being maintained. This can consist of everything from adding a simple flower bed to a landscape, to adding a 500-gallon fountain or a paved patio. General upgrades, like the initial installation of an irrigation system, can also be included under this category.
Color care refers to the installation and maintenance of annual flowers, typically in spring and fall. Not all properties get flowering plants that change with the seasons, but annuals are an investment that need special care.
The Schill team protects that investment by making sure that flowers are watered daily, whether via the propertys irrigation system or manually by one of our water trucks.
Lawn Care Contracts Vs Landscaping Contracts
The difference between lawn care contracts vs. landscaping contracts includes the types of services involved, the payment or subscription services you offer, or if you are working as part of aroofing contract orconstruction contract already in existence.
While lawn care contracts address specific services, such as mowing, mulching, and pest control, landscaping contracts are different. Landscapers may engage in land grading, irrigation, and material work, meaning that the work is more complicated.
As such, you will want to note a few differences as listed below:
- A detailed description of all materials and parts being used on the project
- Who is responsible for maintenance and inspection of newly installed systems
- An agreement that the client allows the landscaping contractor on the premises as needed or with specific notification requirements
- A more in-depth list of current and ongoing services being provided
- Offset costs by allowing a customer to keep a logo or signage posted in the landscaped area
- Other matters that need to be tackled as relevant
Due to the extensive nature of landscaping work, it must address your unique needs. Avoid making the mistake of confusing one contract for another when asking another party to agree to the terms.
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Include All Details Regarding The Service
Every landscape is different and so is their maintenance process. While writing the contract, include the details of the landscape services you wish to avail. Clearly mention of the particulars like what maintenance services you are exactly looking for, how many times they should be performed in a year and so on can be perfect guidelines for the bidders to follow while bidding. Such details would make the contract more precise and save you lots of hassle at the end.
The Frequency Of Your Lawn Service
Remember that with each visit, you are paying for the gas, time, equipment, expertise and number of crew members needed to maintain the landscape.
Another important factor to consider when creating a service calendar is the day AND time of day that youre requesting service, as this also affects the cost.
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Set Up A Website And Enrich It With Relevant Content
A recent study shows that 86% of customers research a company online before making a purchase. Building an online presence is critical for obtaining more commercial landscaping contracts.
One of the best ways to do that is to set up a user-friendly website for your business and enrich it with relevant, SEO-focused content to showcase your landscaping expertise.
SEO helps get your website in front of the eyes of your target audience. Learn how you can grow your commercial landscaping business with a high-quality SEO strategy.
The Scope Of The Work
The size of the property and level of difficulty to manage are the most visible cost factors. Determining exactly what work you want to be done and where ensures that your expectations are met. It also allows the landscaping personal to devise a clear plan and provide you the most accurate cost estimate. The more specific you are the better.
Questions to consider: Does one area need more attention than another? How do you want those spaces maintained? How might that change from season to season?
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Building Relationships When Seeking New Accounts
A big part of finding commercial lawn and landscaping accounts is connecting with the right people. You cant just call companies out of the blue and expect them to give you the commercial landscaping contract.Cold calls and emails dont work that well, Durden says. Instead, he says attending community events or meetings will allow you to talk directly with the property managers. Then, if you follow up with a call, its a warm call.There are also several organizations that can put you in contact with the decision makers. Durden suggests getting involved with real estate groups, such as Commercial Real Estate Women . Another organization he recommends is Building Owners and Managers Association International. Its members are building owners, managers, developers, corporate facility managers, leasing professionals and asset managers. Chamber of Commerce meetings, CEO forums and other networking events are also good places to meet potential clients. Build your sphere of influence, and the world gets much smaller, Delany says.
Ask About A Basic Maintenance Program
Basic commercial lawn care programs cover well, the basics: mowing, trimming, weed control, etc. But basic maintenance doesnt condemn you to a basic landscape.
Even if you have high standards, you can make basic maintenance packages work for you by planting flora that doesnt need to be replaced every year.
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Can I Upsell Work To Make A Profit On This Contract
Maybe you lose money on the mowing, but you can make 200% on the fertilization package.
In this instance, you might be able to accept the job with the right upsells.
Keep in mind, even when you’re dealing with a high-profit job, you should ALWAYS be looking for ways to upselleveryone.
A great job costing tool, like Service Autopilot, will be able to tell you if a job is worth it.