Confidence in the lawn care industry was riding high in 2016, according to the latest Lawn & Landscape State of the Industry report. More than 8,600 people answered the survey, which indicated how the mood of the industry has shifted, dramatically, since 2011. Just five years ago, 20 percent of the respondents said they were not confident the industry would experience any growth the next year. Only 2 percent of those surveyed in 2016 had the same negative outlook for 2017. What else does the study have to share about the green industry?
Value of Marketing
With so many in the green industry positive about the future, what is the role of marketing? Many in the industry have expressed confidence that business will continue to grow as more and more homeowners and businesses outsource lawn maintenance. Still others credit the ease of online marketing with the growth in business.
To take advantage of the green industry potential, you must have a sound marketing and technology system in place, one that takes a holistic approach to growing and retaining customers. A sophisticated direct mail program will use list selection to help you determine the best households to target so your marketing funds are invested wisely. Meanwhile, it is essential to stay on top of inbound/outbound calls during peak selling seasons. This allows you to maximize every inquiry and focus your team on providing the best possible customer service. Finally, don’t neglect your existing customers. They should be receiving emails, postcards, invoice messaging, informational inserts and phone calls to keep them informed about additional service options so they don’t feel left out.
Before 2017 even started, the green industry experienced some big changes—the new overtime rules. The Department of Labor, which is behind the changes, estimated that the rule will affect 4.2 million, and lawn and landscape workers will be included in that figure. Over the next three years, survey respondents ranked the overtime changes as 14th out of 25 options they were most concerned about.
Figuring out how to handle these kind of changes can be daunting for a small business owner. Look into any questions you have sooner, rather than later. Also, take advantage of the assistance of any local, regional or national peer support groups you belong to. They can be a great resource when it comes to helping you navigate these new regulations and any other changes the future holds. Finally, look into any professional development seminar opportunities to help keep you and your front-line team members growing and learning.
The State of the Industry report found that a shortage of quality labor still topped out the list of concerns for lawn and landscape professionals, with 45 percent citing it above high health insurance costs and high worker’s compensations costs (42 percent and 41 percent, respectively).
To protect yourself from this concern, be sure your business has an operations road map that helps you streamline responsibilities. Consider adding training to help employees in areas such as customer service techniques. If the employees are trained well in how to handle every aspect of their jobs, not only will your customers benefit, but also the employers will feel valued as a part of your business.
How will the green industry grow and change in 2017? Stay up-to-date and ready for whatever comes with the help of Spring-Green’s industry leading marketing and technology and collective knowledge. Learn how your lawn care business can benefit from Spring-Green’s 40 years of experience in the green industry. Call 1-800-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmygreenindustrybusiness.com.