Is it time to expand your service line and offer your customers more of the landscaping design trends that they may be looking to add to their yards? Often, adding a new service line won’t cost you in new tools or even materials. Instead, it’ll take you time to build a little bit of skill. Or, maybe there are some services that you always could have offered, but just didn’t realize there was a demand for among your customers.
Offering a wide range of services, especially when they don’t need unique tools and equipment, can help you get new customers and charge more for services that appear to be premium. But, which services should you offer? It all depends on the outdoor landscape design trends in your service area, or in the areas that you’re looking to expand into. Here are five of the biggest trends, why you should add them to your service line, and tips on doing them right.
1. Vertical Gardens
A must for those who serve urban areas, vertical gardens are a technique to make the most of smaller spaces by growing up instead of out. Clients who prefer vertical gardens tend to have small spaces in urban and suburban areas. They are looking for options that will give them privacy from their neighbors, make their space look greener, and allow them to fit in more plants in less square footage.
In order to offer vertical garden styles, you may need to develop the skills to build trellises, arbors, retaining walls, stepped garden beds and other vertical structures for the garden. You might also look into sourcing vines and climbing plants as great options for vertical gardens. Some clients will want vegetable climbing plants as well. In this case peas, beans, cucumbers, and other vines are a great option.
While you may think that you’ll need to charge less for vertical gardens, because they are smaller, the amount of work that goes into them is large, and the value is typically great for clients too. You may be able to charge more than you expect.
2. Rock Gardens
Rock gardens are outdoor spaces that primarily or exclusively use rocks for décor. They are an ideal option in hot climates where water usage is a concern or cold climates where few plants can offer year-round interest. Customers who are looking for rock gardens are usually looking to save money on the maintenance or watering of their space. They may be landlords, seniors, or others who can’t maintain a garden. They might also be drawn to rock gardens for their beauty and easy integration with other styles and features like Asian-inspired gardens and waterfalls.
In order to offer rock gardens, you will need to find a supplier that offers a wide range of rocks. Ideally, you would always have the choice between several interesting rock mixtures in different colors and sizes. You will also need an assortment of larger rocks for centerpieces.
Rock gardens may not get you ongoing service contracts for maintenance. However, they can be profitable upfront. As customers know these designs will save them on maintenance, they may have a larger budget for installation.
Xeriscaping is all about minimizing or eliminating the need for irrigation in gardens. You may have also heard it called drought-tolerant landscaping. In climates that are exceedingly hot, or in conditions where water isn’t available year-round, xeriscaping may be the only option. However, it is increasingly gaining popularity across the country.
Clients who are interested in xeriscaping usually are concerned about their impact on the environment. They don’t want to waste water, but still love green spaces and plants. They may be curious about whether xeriscaping is even a possibility in their climate. Successful drought-tolerant gardens that don’t need outside water can be created for very dry and very wet conditions.
In order to offer xeriscaping to your clients, you will need to do a great deal of research about what plants will work in your specific climate. You may need to find new suppliers who offer these niche plants. It’s also likely that you’ll need to learn new techniques that will make the garden more successful, including amending starting soil, building swales, and layering plants to maximize their success.
4. Outdoor Kitchens
This is easily the biggest trend in outdoor landscape design, but it is also one of the hardest ones to offer your clients. Outdoor kitchens are literally kitchens in the backyard. They need the basics of a countertop and barbeque but may also include more advanced elements such as mini-fridges, smokers, sinks, ovens and more. Clients who are interested in outdoor kitchens are usually interested in entertaining and increasing the value of their home.
In order to offer outdoor kitchens, you may need to increase your skills or partner with subcontractors who can do the necessary electrical, plumbing and other work.
5. Arbor or Trellis
Arbors, trellises and other vertical outdoor structures are popular options for back and front yards. Clients who are looking for these structures are often interested in getting more privacy from their neighbor, enclosing an entertaining space, or adding more greenery or garden space.
In order to offer arbors and trellises you may need to focus on your wood-working skills and learn to make more stable and long-lasting structures. It can also help you have several pre-set designs for these structures and allowing your customers to select between them, rather than making a custom structure every time.
Ready to Add New Services?
How can you make it easier to jump into a new service line? One option is proposal and estimating software that can help you estimate new kinds of jobs to achieve a profit and correct problems with your early estimates so that you can move forward more successfully.
Arborgold offers estimating help and so much more. Take a tour of our software today to discover how it can help you offer new services and run your business better.