In the lawn care industry, the first snowflake can be cause for dread. Winter means bare trees, sleeping rose bushes, and snow-covered grass. So, what can a lawn care specialist do to put food on the table in the off-season? Plenty!
Don’t let crisp cool air and the twinkling lights of the holidays make you sweat. Instead, use the season to your advantage by trying these winter lawn care tips.
In the winter, there may not be a big calling for lawn care, but when the snow begins to fall, there’s certainly a need for removal. Investing in a plow for the front of one of your company trucks is a great idea if you have the budget for it. If not, using smaller equipment, like a snowblower, or even a shovel and some good old-fashioned elbow grease will do the trick.
Snow removal, like lawn maintenance, is something many American’s just don’t have time for. Between work, family life, and other obligations, most people don’t want to spend their spare time digging out the driveway after a snowfall. Lawn care businesses who specialize in the upkeep and beautification of properties will excel at this task and make money in the process.
A major bonus to taking on snow removal work is that you already have a client base. There’s no need to grow your snow removal winter business from the ground up. Simply use the same mailing list to let your customers know that during the off-season, you can clear driveways and shovel parking lots instead.
Winterization of Plants and Shrubs
If there’s one thing a lawn care business owner knows how to do, it is caring for plants. Many home and business owners forget about their plants when the frost hits, and this could be costly. Plants that should rebloom in the spring could die, which means buying more or removing the ones there for something else. Rather than lose all those beautiful shrubs and bulb plants, offer your clients winterization services, including covering plants and shrubs until the spring thaw.
Commercial Contracts for Next Year
If you haven’t yet, creating a longer sales cycle for next year will extend your income through the cold season. Commercial contracts, which include winter work or increased prices, will ease the burden that cold weather has on the lawn care industry. While you’re waiting for spring to come, work on creating some commercial contracts for the new year.
Commercial contracts are a great source of year-round revenue because you can agree on a lump sum or payment plan. That can be customized to suit your current financial needs while still giving the client what they ask for. Upfront payments for future work will keep your business thriving until more work becomes available. Remember, as soon as spring hits, your clients will need lawns rejuvenated, plants unwrapped, and gardens tended.
When you think about it, landscape and lawn care is a form of decorating. So, why not transfer those skills of lawn beautification into the winter with Christmas decorating? The holidays are a great time for residential and commercial spaces to liven things up with lights, brightly decorated trees, wreaths, and large, flashy displays.
Whether you offer installation service only, or you rent Christmas decorations as well, this is a highly lucrative gig for the first month of the winter season at least. Most homeowners don’t want to climb ladders and install lights on roofs. Meanwhile, business owners aren’t likely to want to decorate their properties alone, especially the larger commercial sites. It’s a perfect winter option.
Indoor Services for Hotels, Business Complexes & More
Not all plant care and landscaping are done outside. Greenhouses, indoor botanical garden centers, plant nurseries, and businesses like hotels with a multitude of indoor greenery all need maintenance. Finding sites that require gardening year-round is tough in small rural areas, but in large cities, there are plenty of opportunities.
A great place to look for winter business is social media. Your local Facebook community pages are filled with opportunities off-season. Whether on the Facebook Marketplace or through posts from your followers, you’re sure to find some need during the winter. You can also use social media to post your latest winter services and offer promotional prices to the first ten clients who respond.
Prepaid Renewals With Discounts
If you’re worried about keeping the cash flowing during the down season, consider a prepaid option for current customers. Offering a discount on prepaid services for spring will help pad your pockets until the busy season picks up, and you’ve got more accounts to even the bank books. Just be wary as you schedule these prepaid services that you’ll wind up performing them without further pay come spring. Prepare for this by seeking new leads during the winter.
Firewood Delivery Service
There’s nothing cozier in the winter than a crackling fire. On the other hand, marching out into the cold to chop wood doesn’t sound so appealing. You can use this to your benefit by offering a firewood delivery service. This is a wonderful addition to any lawn care or landscaping company as you likely have access to wood during tree removal, and firewood is used year-round.
In the summer, bonfires and campfires are a great way to continue your firewood delivery when the snow melts. The best part is, any clients who already know you sell and deliver wood will be happy to share the news with friends and family.
Managing Your Winter Lawn Care Business
Hopefully, this list gave you some ideas on how to make money during the cold months. Of course, managing a series of off-season businesses through winter has the potential for confusion.
Using business management software, especially one designed for lawn care companies, is key. Arborgold, a business management firm, offers several organization and scheduling apps for a variety of professions. You can learn more about how to use Arborgold for other green industry application here.