Winter can pose quite a challenge for landscapers. It’s their off-season when patio projects and beautiful backyards aren’t being built. Unless climate permits of course, in which case, build away! But for those landscapers who have the misfortune of Mother nature bringing in packs of snow and cold weather, fall and winter can be a difficult season. Especially for those who are just getting started in the business and don’t have the capital of summer projects to take them through the winter months.
Luckily, even though backyard projects may be coming to an end, maintenance and seasonal projects begin. Landscapers don’t have to put away all their tools and let their crews sit idle when there is work to be done. Especially for those who have invested in landscape business management software and are using crew tracking and maintenance scheduling tools. It may not be the lavish profits of full designs and construction projects, but it’s income you can take advantage of through the slow season.
The most typical off-season work for landscapers is snow removal. They have the trucks already for summer use, so what’s adding a detachable snow plow to the front and plowing parking lots and driveways. It’s a perfect way to flex your landscape business management software, showing that software isn’t just for those busy months. And that it can still help earn you profit in the off-season.
When the snow comes falling, businesses, condo units and residents want to know someone is going to be on scene to clear away the snow. Setting up snow removal contracts in your landscape business management software is a great way to earn some recurring revenue. It’s basically your lawn maintenance, but with snow on the ground. The same scheduling you do for your crews in the summer can work in the winter. Your snow plowing will need to be more flexible depending on when snow is falling. But snow removal contracts can be great profit generators in the winter months for landscapers.
Planet Trees and Shrubs
As long as the ground is not frozen, fall and winter are the perfect time to transplant bushes, shrubs and trees. Schedule your crews for each of your clients using your landscape business management software and get them into the yards of your clients to transplant. This can also include other activities such as pruning, trimming trees back and planting winter annuals and raking the soil. It might be the off-season but think of the prime season and what your clients will want their yard to look like when the snow melts and it’s ready to use again. And for future projects that you could be doing in the summer months.
Other activities that can be completed during the winter months include:
- Removing dead plants from flower beds and planters
- Draining sprinklers
- Dethatching and aerating the lawn
- Fertilizing the lawn
- Wrapping young trees in protective burlap
- Moving patio furniture into storage
Christmas Lights Installation
One of the most profitable winter jobs for landscapers is putting your design skills to the test and installing Christmas lights. Keep the project work coming with Christmas displays, which between materials and labor hours, could net you over $1,000 for each installation, depending on the size of the display and the property. This kind of off-season work does require more planning than other work in this list. And it requires proper insurance to cover your crews that are going to be climbing up ladders and on roofs.
With landscape business management software, however, this can be a great revenue generator during the winter. Schedule your crews for each project and the takedown as well. Ask your customers when they want them up and down and plan out your crews to accommodate. Get yourself a wholesaler in materials for lights and other Christmas items and put your designs to the test to brighten up any house on the street. Your work is on display each off-season and could make you a busy and in-demand company come to the next off-season.
Does anyone enjoy raking leaves? If you have customers that have plenty of trees, and maybe you planted them, an add-on to your project work could be lawn maintenance. And that includes leaf removal. Some customers won’t want regular leaf removal, except if their backyard is full of trees and it’s a weekend activity to have to rake up what has fallen this week. Depending on how long winter snow holds off for, it could be up to eight weeks of leaf removal. Much like your regular lawn maintenance, schedule your crews using your landscape business management software and keep your customer’s lawn, which you work hard on during the summer, still looking great.
Training and designing
The off-season is the time to relax, but it’s also the time to learn. If you have decided to go with a landscape business management software that includes a design element, there is always time to brush up on new techniques and get more training in your software. Never stop learning as a landscaper. A tool, module or element inside your landscape software may change the way you look at off-season business.
You can’t turn your landscaping business into a multi-million-dollar business if you don’t work all year long. It may not be the same glamorous results you get from completing award-winning backyards, but it’s still revenue. And whoever turned down revenue? Don’t have your crews taking the winter off and keep them busy by scheduling recurring maintenance for the winter months.