How to Recession Proof Your Landscaping Business in 2023
A devoted and strong client base is a landscaping business’s best defence against an incoming recession. If you don’t have that, you may be getting a bit nervous as the word recession has been tossed around lately.
The landscaping industry just got over supply chain issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2008 recession when the housing market collapsed is still fresh in many minds. Small businesses took a beating during the 2008 recession, with 1.8 million small businesses shutting their doors between 2008 and 2010.
With inflation on the rise, a recession is right around the corner, and landscaping businesses that haven’t prepared could be in for a tough time. In the past, some have operated at a loss, missed payments on loans, and owners have not paid themselves to keep their business afloat. And lay-offs are bound to happen, which is something no one wants to see.
So, let’s look at some of the lessons we can learn from past recessions and recession-proof your landscaping business for the next possible downturn.
Build a devoted and strong client base
A devoted client base that wants your service can help you avoid any recession conversations. These customers know the value of your service and what your team brings to them. Long-time customers aren’t going anywhere, even when things get a little more expensive.
To find strong clients, you may need to focus on those who can easily afford your services, even if the price increases. For example, someone paying you for weekly lawn cutting isn’t going to turn down your service because your prices increased a dollar or two to cover the extra gas. It might take a substantial price increase for them to decide they would instead do the cutting themselves.
Creating a devoted client, however, can take time. You need to be a client-first company that thinks of delivering value to your customers and is willing to go the extra mile. Recessions are when people are looking for a deal and are eager to turn to a start-up lawn care company that offers to cut at a cheaper rate. But suppose you can prove your team’s value and have been doing it since they became loyal customers. In that case, a recession isn’t going to scare them off and have them looking for alternatives.
KEEP READING: Customer Education Is More Important Than You Think
Find recession-proof customers
The type of people you work with can be the best recession-proof lesson to learn from the past. While it’s great to have devoted clients, it also helps to have clients who simply need your service or can easily afford the service.
Commercial businesses such as real estate firms, doctors, dentists, attorneys, and banks need their landscaping to look great outside their offices. Appearances matter, and for these professional services, they want to make a great impression on their clients. An overgrown lawn isn’t going to sell legal services.
Businesses generally need to hire out to do the landscaping unless someone from the company decides to take it on themselves, and many professionals simply won’t do that. Some small businesses will, but lawyers, accountants, and Realtors are not going to be mowing lawns when they have plenty of work to do. Spend some extra time marketing to commercial customers and build up a clientele that needs your service, even when a recession hits.
Start adding services to your business
While some companies will scale back, others will scale up. The more services you offer, the more a customer might need you. For example, tree trimming, power washing, and window cleaning are services that have low entry points but could result in significant revenue drivers.
It’s a fine line to add new services as you want to ensure each service drives enough profit to warrant doing it. But, on the other hand, with more people starting a businesses during a recession, potentially in lawn care, picking up services can help you become stand out as a one-stop shop for specific customers. And that can put you in line for a new batch of potential customers.
Homeowners associations are an excellent target for extra services. That’s because even when a recession happens, owners need to maintain the appearance of their homes, which means every service is in play.
Lawn cutting can be your recession-proof service
There has been a lot of mention of lawn care, and that’s because lawn maintenance is one of the most recession-proof services you can offer. As mentioned, those who buy lawn care services are already paying someone to do the manual labour themselves. Is a recession going to get them to cut their own lawn?
Some may do so because they could experience a lay-off themselves. But lawn care maintenance must be completed at every home to maintain the yard. If you have customers that have invested in their lawn, they want to keep that investment.
Many landscaping and hardscape building projects can get put on hold. Still, maintenance is something that has to continue to happen. The lawn always needs to be treated, cut, trimmed and maintained. Setting up a secure foundation for lawn care maintenance customers can keep you afloat during a recession, mitigating losses in other build areas.
Recession-proof your business with management software
With a more significant focus on lawn care maintenance, you’ll need landscape maintenance software to manage your clients and ensure your crews are working efficiently. DynaScape’s Manage360 has an entire maintenance module dedicated to efficient crew management. Schedule your crews for the best possible routes to lower gas costs while also making them complete more jobs in less time.
Give them the crew tracking mobile app to go from job to job, tracking each job from start to finish for the most accurate billing to keep customers happy. Lawn maintenance isn’t recession-proof if you don’t have the systems and processes to make it that. Talk to us today about how our Manage360 software can help your landscaping business prepare for the recession and come out scaling up.
KEEP READING: 5 Tips for Operating a Landscaping Business During a Recession