How landscapers make the most of rainy days

Photo: Carol StarkPhoto: Carol Stark

While rainy days don’t make landscapers melt into a puddle, wet weather does cut into valuable time that could have been spent mowing, trimming or tending to other landscaping projects.

However, rainy days are not necessarily a waste. Try to take them as an opportunity to shift gears and focus on the inner workings of your company.

Clean up

When you’re busy with a ton of other jobs, cleanliness can fall by the wayside so use this time to tidy up your shop or warehouse, organize inventory and empty the trash that may have accumulated in your trucks.

“Typically we try to focus on equipment maintenance and shop organization,” says Andrew Bice, vice president of maintenance operations for Blackjack Horticulture in Birmingham, Alabama. “Oil changes, blade repair, that sort of thing.”

Contact customers

You need to let people who were expecting you know that you won’t be coming due to the weather, as well as when you do plan to come. This sounds like a no-brainer, but customers value you taking time to keep them in the loop, rather than assuming the weather is self-explanatory for your absence.

The other people that you can be contacting during your downtime are your top customers. Find out what they like about your company and why they chose you instead of your competition. Also try to find out what bothers them and make a serious commitment to solve the problem. Just taking the time to ask for their feedback is likely to improve your rapport with clients.

Update your website

Trends are always changing with websites, but keeping it simple is a good rule of thumb. Clutter can distract your visitors from important information. Also keep that important information limited to short paragraphs for streamlining purposes.

Rainy days are a good time to update the site: Add some new pictures of completed projects and include some more recent testimonials so visitors will know you’re still receiving favorable reviews, instead of seeing one that was written five years earlier.

Teach a skill

Some companies, including Blackjack Horticulture, don’t bother bringing in crews if the forecast promises an uninterrupted deluge for the day. That’s understandable, but you may want to make an exception occasionally and use the time as an educational opportunity. Perhaps there is a new service you want to introduce; rainy days are a perfect time to train your teams. Or you could devote time to reviewing existing company policies and reiterate the necessity of following them.

Don’t forget to use this time to learn yourself. Let your employees share experiences that they have encountered recently, particularly any unexpected challenges. Brainstorm ways to overcome these difficulties.

Bad weather will always be around, but don’t let it keep you from being productive.

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Landscapers use a variety of attachments for doing everything from snow removal to jobsite cleanup, and regardless of how often they are used, every landscaper has a favorite attachment.
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