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TAG: profiting from design

The site visit proposal

September 1, 2013By

Question: We’re a smaller landscape design/build company. Most of our projects are between $2,500 and $5,000 and rarely get over $10,000, so selling design fees is really tough in our market. Any suggestions on how we can improve our closing rates without a plan?—Jonathan Chaseman, JC Landscape Construction, Gresham, Ore. Answer: As much as all of us want the glamorous,... read more

The design/build brain

July 10, 2013By

Q. When creating job descriptions, what’s the best way to separate the roles of design and production? —Mark Muzio, The Landscape Design Group, Waltham, Mass. A. This is a great question that companies of every size constantly struggle with, regardless of how many years they’ve been in business. Although my answer is straightforward and simple, creating a highly functional design/build... read more

Bigger project, smaller deposit

May 30, 2013By

Question: How much money should companies require as an initial deposit? I’ve heard various theories on this and wonder what your experience is with deposits.—Benjamin Parsons, Living Landscapes, Andover, Mass. Answer: That’s a terrific question, Benjamin. First, let me begin by making a distinction between a deposit toward a design fee and a deposit toward a design/build installation. Design fees,... read more

The problem with negotiating

March 19, 2013By

Question: We work in a very competitive market and quite often our clients want to negotiate the price when we present the proposal. We don’t want to artificially inflate the prices to give us some wiggle room, but we also don’t want to lose money. What’s the best way to handle this?—Edward Thompson, Sunrise Landscape, Milton, Ontario Answer: The short... read more

Everybody gets the same leads

February 26, 2013By

I was at your workshop last week at the Green Expo in Atlantic City, N.J. (It was great, by the way). Can you explain what you mean when you say, “Everybody gets the same leads.”? One thing’s for sure, I definitely don’t get the same calls as some of the bigger companies. —Helen Somerset, Pinelands Landscape and Construction, Voorhees, N.J.... read more

Retainers vs. landscape design fees

December 20, 2012By

Q: Can you explain the concept of using a retainer agreement instead of a design fee to get a commitment from the client toward both the design and the installation? —Dylan Mickelson, Bright Lights Landscaping and Outdoor Lighting, Las Vegas, Nev. A: I just got back from PLANET’s Green Industry Conference in Louisville, Ky., where I was a speaker, as... read more