Every time I visit or talk to a landscaper, I like to ask them how they survived the economic downturn. Answers have included: doing things the right way, having a solid foundation before the recession, offering new services, keeping good relationships with clients and not having a lot of debt.
No matter their response, one thing was always clear: They made it.
However, what if we fall into another recession? Would these same survival techniques work again? Charlie Hall, an economist who serves as the Ellison Chair of horticulture at Texas A&M University, says those in the green industry will need to switch up their strategy.
“The competitive advantages that allowed you to survive are not going to be the same competitive advantages that allow you to survive into the future,” he says, according to the Oregon Association of Nurseries’ Daily Digger publication.
Here are Hall’s three ways green industry pros can survive another recession:
1. Make clients want your services. People don’t view landscaping as essential. To many, it’s still a luxury. However, green material generates $1.09 to every $1 spent — the only kind of home improvement that generates increased value. Landscapers need to learn to sell these benefits to make the green industry more competitive with others.
2. Improve operations. Business owners need to keep a solid foundation for their company. This could mean pricing service correctly, which shows clients the true value they create. Hall also says they should sell themselves in water management, since he predicts water supplies and prices will only become a larger issue over time.
3. Adapt to new marketing techniques. Landscapers should use social media to the fullest to market their business. Not only does this get their business’s name out there — it also helps them focus on the younger consumers, who will soon be the future.