Due to a low-barrier to entry, new landscapers always seem to be popping up all over the country. Whether it’s the mow-and-blow guy down the street or the national chain one block over, landscapers are being forced to find new ways to stand out above the competition.
Believe it or not, with a little time and effort, a landscaper can increase his or her standings at little to no cost.
BusinessInsurance.org came up with 10 ways to make a small business stand out.
Here are how those 10 steps can apply to landscapers:
1. Ask yourself what makes your business different.
Take a minute to sit back and really ask yourself what makes your landscaping business different compared to all the others around. Why should a client come to you instead of any other landscaper in the area? What services do you offer that make you unique, or what can you offer to a client that is above and beyond expectations?
2. Develop an X-factor.
It’s important for landscapers to add value to his or her business without a dollar sign always attached. Find out what makes your business truly unique. What can you do that your competitors can’t do? Do you have someone on a crew that has a strength that you’re not using to its full potential?
3. Develop a unique value proposition.
Are your clients or customers getting value from your service? Is there a way you can provide additional customer service or something unique? Creating value could either be having better prices than competitors or offering more bang for the buck. Also, people love free stuff. Have you tried giving away free memorabilia as a small extra?
4. Make your marketing stand out.
Take the last three points and apply them to your marketing campaign. Use your unique factors and take them to market. Make your marketing different than your competitors, and really spend some time (and money) in creating worthwhile marketing materials. Get involved with your community and even go as far as hosting events. Marketing doesn’t always have to come in the form of pamphlets and brochures.
5. Make your brand stand out.
Marketing is not the same thing as branding. Your landscaping company should have a catchy, eye-popping logo. However, the logo should also be an extension of what your company represents. Branding is one step of your marketing campaign, and it should magnify what makes your company unique.
6. Make your business cards stand out.
Believe it or not, a business card says a lot about a company. There are many ways landscapers can go and research what makes a good business card. In fact, if a business card is unique enough, someone might be willing to hang on to it a little longer just for the “wow” factor. One word of advice, if someone puts a business card in their front pocket or wallet, it means they are probably going to look at it again. If the business card goes straight into a purse or back pocket, you can forget it. Your business cards should be an extension of your business and go hand-in-hand with marketing and branding.
7. Make your blog stand out.
Do you have a blog? You should. Every landscaper needs to start a blog to start sharing and caring with an audience. Your audience is made up of clients or potential clients who want to connect with a human. A website says a lot about a business, but a client is going to hire a real person who needs to have a voice. Blogs can provide tips, helpful hints and plant suggestions that could help a large audience. A blog shows a landscaper knows what he or she is talking about.
8. Don’t be mediocre.
Don’t do the same thing over and over just because it has been that way “for as long as you can remember.” Change is a good thing, and when every aspect of your business is consistently taken to the next level, it can change things dramatically in a good way.
9. Position yourself as an expert.
How well do you know your industry? When it comes to landscaping, you can’t fake it until you make it, because the proof is in the landscaping itself. If you don’t know your industry forwards and backwards, you are not going to be taken seriously. Get certified, join organizations and start building a credible resume behind your business.
10. Break the rules.
Rules should be considered more like “guidelines” in the landscaping industry. There are obvious rules to follow, but when it comes to standing above your competitors, try and do the opposite of what they do without losing value in your services.