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How to make the most of 2021

January 22, 2021 -  By
Employee leaving yard sign (Photo: Weed Man)

It’s in the details Leave-behind cards and keeping track of customers’ preferences can help with customer relations and communication. (Photo: Weed Man)

The year 2020 was good for landscape and lawn care professionals in many markets. According to the 2020 LM Industry Pulse survey, 45 percent of respondents said they would beat their revenue goal for the year.

It was a good year for franchises, too. Jennifer Lemcke, CEO of Weed Man, says her company experienced a 13 percent revenue growth in 2020.

Blaine Young, vice president of franchise and business development with NaturaLawn of America, says his franchise experienced double-digit revenue growth and added two franchises for 2021 and possibly a third.

Lemcke says a perk of being part of a franchise network is sharing ideas with other franchisees.

“(Franchises benefit from) learning what is working in some markets and then implementing those same ideas in other franchise locations, who might be experiencing similar issues,” she says. “This is something we took full advantage of throughout 2020, and it paid off.”

Young and Lemcke share tips on how you can build on 2020 and boost your sales in 2021.

TAKE STOCK. Lemcke says now is a good time to reflect on 2020 and gather some lessons learned. “Be sure to look back on 2020 and analyze what went well despite the challenges you were faced with,” she says. “Maybe some things didn’t go as planned. That’s OK, but now is the time to start strategizing ways to improve. Be ready to pivot on a dime and adapt to change, if needed.”

PLAN FOR SUCCESS. Although NaturaLawn wrapped up planning for 2021 before the end of 2020, Young says now is still a good time to get organized for 2021, whether that’s strategic goals or initiatives for the year. “Don’t let something happen to you; make something happen,” he says. “Don’t react; be proactive. Have a plan. Work the plan, adjust and modify the plan when needed.”

TAKE THE BULL BY THE HORNS. Along the same lines as planning, Lemcke says you need to think about marketing for 2021. Weed Man experienced a great demand for home services last year. Buying behaviors are changing, and the industry needs to adapt.

“Don’t wait for customers to come to you; go out and find them and be enthusiastic about building your customer base,” she says. “Don’t just let 2021 fall into place. Take the bull by its horns and make the most of it!”

DETAILS MATTER. NaturaLawn keeps a log of key customer information and also tracks pets, breeds and names. It’s those details that help forge a relationship with the customer on a more personal basis.

“Relationships, managing expectations and communication: they are a must,” he says. “It is who we are. It’s what we’re about.”

Essential communication includes leave-behind information about the lawn applications and work completed during the appointment and how a customer can get in touch with the technician if needed.

TAKE RECRUITMENT SERIOUSLY. Lemcke says success falls upon the strength of your employees. Don’t overlook your “people” plan. “Always be on the lookout for your next hire,” she says.

BE SOMEONE TO WORK FOR. Young says it’s also important to love what you do. That passion will rub off on your employees.

“Go to work every day with a smile,” he says. “Be positive. Be passionate. If you’re the owner, that’s only going to make your employees want to work for you. That’s only going to make them enjoy being there more. When you’re passionate and positive, it’s only going to make your customers appreciate more that they chose you to take care of their lawn.”

Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University and has been in B2B publishing for seven years. She can be reached at cherrick@northcoastmedia.net.

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