Making your landscaping shop attractive to potential clients
How would you feel if you knew a potential customer was visiting your store? Would it give you a competitive advantage? Are you sure everything looks and works efficiently – what makes you proud to showcase your headquarters?
On the flip side, when everything is messy and disorganized, it can set a bad tone for the appearance of your business.
Joseph Barnes, director of marketing at Yellowstone Landscape, a national commercial landscaping company headquartered in Bunnell, Florida, says company visits are becoming more frequent and sometimes even an expectation that is set out in a job advertisement before a hiring decision is made. Often these visits can even be unannounced. Landscaping companies would benefit from making sure their shop is performing at its best, knowing that potential customers want to take a look.
In fact, a recent store visit helped Yellowstone get a big seven-figure job. The customer told them that visiting the store was a major factor in the customer’s decision to choose Yellowstone as their landscaping provider.
“They came to see us twice and saw how proud we were of our store,” explains Barnes. “The way you run the store gives the customer insight into the way you do your landscaping. You want everything to be well organized and meet these high expectations. “
Neat and tidy must set precedents
One of the first things potential customers will notice about your shop is whether or not it is messy. If the crew areas are completely disorganized, it could set the tone that you are not leading a tight ship. The customer can translate what was problematic, how your services are performed on his property.
“When you think about how your business will make prospects, think about these crew areas,” Barnes continues. “Is it easy for the crews to have access to edge trimmers, blowers, and other equipment? Are there extras and are they well organized? Can potential customers see that the crews have their safety equipment set up and easy to grasp? And how is it all organized? “
Also, when prospecting customers are looking around your store, it’s important to realize that they are likely to translate “clean and tidy” as “safe”.
This is a big deal as security is a top priority for many customers when making recruitment decisions. If you see open sacks of chemicals or oil spills everywhere, you may be wondering how you will behave on their property.
“When you tell your customers that safety is a top priority, but then they walk into your store and see spills and equipment all over the place, that sounds like lip service,” Barnes warns. “Customers come to see the conditions under which you are working and then decide whether you can work safely and efficiently on their property.”
This is how you treat the crews
Customers could also pay attention to how well you treat your crews to see if you have happy, hard-working employees. You probably look at the overall environment and get a feel for your corporate culture.
“During a store visit, prospects can also take a look at your break room and office areas,” says Barnes. “Are there good meeting places? How does it look like team members are being treated? Does it seem to be a positive work environment? “
Of course, it’s important to remember that potential employees on your team also come to the shop for an interview – and how everything looks and works will impress them too.
“At a time when attitudes are so critical and labor shortages are a problem for everyone, you want to do whatever you can to differentiate yourself,” added Barnes.
An insight into your efficiency
Your prospects are also likely to look at all of the gadgets you have in the store or in the yard. Are there broken and broken devices lying around? Are there broken trucks in the yard? It’s not that they don’t understand that devices are breaking, but when everything is lying it makes a bad first impression. Barnes says Yellowstone employs in-house mechanics. When equipment or vehicles need to be repaired, it is obvious that work is on.
“I think a lot of customers might be interested in learning how to handle repairs so they can be sure they’ll always be up and running with no downtime on their property,” added Barnes.
For customers, the way in which the shop is set up and operated gives an insight into your efficiency. At the end of each work day, Yellowstone has lined up all of the trucks and pointed them in the same direction. They are replenished at night. That said, when the crews show up for work in the morning, they can pretty much simply turn the key and exit the gate.
“We’re a big national company, but no matter how big you are, you can,” Barnes summarizes. “Whether you are a small company working outside of your home or a larger company like us, be proud of the place you work. Show that you are organized and run your shop well. It can be an important competitive advantage. But it will also improve business – which will benefit everyone. ”