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What Do Landscapers Do in the Winter?

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Business Advice

Employ these winter landscaping services this off-season to stay productive and profitable while preparing for spring. We’ll give you the inside scoop on what other landscapers do in the winter months.

What Do Successful Landscapers Do in the Winter? Tips For Staying Productive and Profitable

Landscaping is largely seasonal work, yet running a successful landscaping business requires a year-long commitment and a steady income. If you’re wondering how to stay productive and profitable in the off-season, we’re here to help. 

In this blog, we’ll give you the inside scoop on what successful landscapers do during the winter months, exploring effective strategies for generating winter income, maintaining equipment and preparing for the busy season. We’ll show you how to expand your business to include winter landscaping services and jobs (hint: snow removal and winterizing are lucrative offerings!), network with potential clients and develop marketing plans that can help you protect your profitability during the winter season.

Winter Landscaping Services: Snow and Beyond

Spring may be the busy season for landscapers, but there’s plenty of lawn care that needs to happen during the winter. Your winter lawn care and landscaping packages should include fertilizing, dethatching and aerating lawns, removing dead plants and planting bulbs for spring flowers. 

What other services do landscapers do in the winter? Snow and ice removal ranks high on the list of offerings cited by landscape companies. If your business isn’t providing these winter services, you’re missing out on valuable money-making opportunities. Here’s a closer look:

Offering Snow Removal Services for Winter Income

Snow removal for commercial properties, including parking lots, requires a hefty investment in equipment, vehicles and additional insurance. But, you don’t have to fork out the big bucks to expand your winter offerings with residential snow removal. With a few shovels and a snow blower you can clear your customers’ driveways and sidewalks. No matter the size or scope of your snow removal business, snow removal business management software can help you manage it with ease and efficiency.

Managing Ice and Preventing Hazards

In addition to snow removal, landscapers often offer their customers ways to protect their landscaping and their home’s exterior from ice and freezing temperatures. This can include draining sprinklers and irrigation systems, spreading sand on walkways to prevent and de-ice, and tenting exposed plants to protect them from frost damage.

Winter Pruning and Tree Care

According to Davey Tree, once leaves drop and before flowers bloom, it’s prime time to prune and trim trees. During the winter down time, turn your attention to tree care and maintenance, helping your customers protect their trees from winter damage and get them primed for spring. The care will also boost their lawn’s health by giving it better access to sunlight.

Generating Winter Income for Landscapers

Have you considered expanding your business beyond landscaping services? Winter is a smart time to do it. Let’s look at three potential revenue streams:

Expanding into Holiday Light Installation

According to Angi (formerly known as Angie’s List), U.S. homeowners pay an average of $218 to $664 to have holiday lights installed on their property. Homeowners with larger, multi-story homes pay upwards of $1,800 to have lights installed each season! You can get in on the action with minimal equipment and costs, although be mindful of insurance coverage and be sure to involve an electrician in a job that requires an electrical upgrade or rewiring.

Providing Property Management Services

Landscaping expertise lends itself well to a host of property management services, including gutter and window cleaning, power washing, and trash and debris removal. Some landscapers also offer to help customers market their property to sell or rent by amping up their curb appeal through exterior maintenance and manicuring.

Equipment Maintenance and Preparation for Spring

Even if you’re taking advantage of wintertime service offerings to expand your business during the off-season, you also need to invest time into maintaining your core business and preparing for its future. That includes maintaining and managing your tools and equipment to ensure they are in tip-top shape and ready for the busy season. 

Winterizing Equipment and Performing Routine Maintenance Checks

Take stock of the equipment that is essential to your business and perform any needed maintenance. For most landscaping companies that includes:

  • Vehicles
  • Gas or Electric Handheld Equipment, including blowers, trimmers and shears
  • Mowers
  • Landscaping Tools
  • Standard Toolkits
  • Technology, including laptops, mobile phones and software and services

Investing in New Tools and Equipment

It’s especially tough to spend money when business is slow, but a successful busy season—and a strong business—requires an investment in the tools you need to do the job. 

Some landscape companies keep equipment costs in check by buying used equipment. If you decide to go that route, reduce the potential risk of buying faulting or poorly maintained equipment by having a reputable mechanic inspect the equipment before you purchase it and asking for an equipment or vehicle inspection report and/or a documented maintenance history. If you’re not sure whether to buy new or used, check out this helpful guide that includes the pros and cons of both.

Networking and Marketing for Lawn Care Businesses

Marketing pays off by generating both new and repeat business. If you’re ready to ramp up or kickstart your marketing efforts, the off-season gives you time to do it. 

Start with these effective marketing strategies

Attend Industry Events and Trade Shows

Industry events and trade shows are an excellent way to learn more about the issues and trends in your industry, keep up to date on continuing education credits and network with your peers and potential partners. There is no shortage of events and many of them are conveniently scheduled during landscapers’ slower months. The National Association of Landscape Professionals offers a handy list of events and conferences, including info on their Elevate event.

Build Relationships with Clients

The slower pace of winter gives you an opportunity to connect with your current customers and strengthen relationships. Many landscaping companies send a holiday card thanking customers for supporting their business and wishing them well in the coming year. A card shows that you value their business and serves as a reminder that you’re committed to serving them well. 

Other helpful touchpoints with customers during the winter season include sending an email with helpful tips for winterizing, dropping off a door tag that advertises expanded services like holiday light installation and even just reaching out to talk about their lawn and garden plans for the new year.

Develop a Comprehensive Marketing Plan

The tips above are important components of a meaningful marketing plan that can help drive business year-round. You can find several articles, webinars and eBooks on our website that will help you create a comprehensive marketing plan that includes social media marketing, content generation, advertising and more.

Planning and Strategizing for the Upcoming Season

The winter season, much like the new year, is an ideal time to take stock of your business, measure its performance and decide what’s needed to get to the next level.  

Think of it as a three-step planning process:

Analyze Financial Performance and Budgeting

Take a cold hard look at your performance and budget. If you’re coming up short of your goals, this eBook will help you create a budget that helps you make more informed landscape business decisions to ensure your profitability.

Set Goals and Objectives for the New Year

We’ve created a webinar to help you build the ultimate strategic plan. It will help you devise key strategies to create meaningful improvements, set goals and business objectives that align with your budget and complete a skills gap analysis to uncover areas for improvements.

Train and Educate Staff

Building a successful landscaping business requires a team of dedicated, well trained staff. The landscaping industry’s winter lull is a great time to train and educate your staff, ensuring they are well informed of industry best practices, understand the goals of your organization and know how to do their jobs safely and efficiently. An online training platform like Greenius can help by providing on-demand, customizable training from a single platform. 

Questions? We have Answers.

How Do Landscapers Survive in the Winter?

Smart, savvy landscapers think ahead to ensure they have a continual revenue stream. They expand their service offerings and proactively use the slower time to strengthen their business through financial and strategic planning, networking and training and development.

Do People Landscape in the Winter?

Homeowners invest in the care of their lawn and garden and expect their investment to be protected year-round. While the bulk of lawn maintenance occurs during the spring and summer, there’s plenty of landscaping work to be done in the fall and winter. Typical landscaping services in the off-season include leaf removal, lawn aeration, winterizing, tree pruning and trimming and planting bulbs for spring blooms. Some homeowners also look to their landscaper to install holiday lights, remove snow, protect against damage from freezing temperatures and ice and provide property maintenance such as power washing.

Is Being a Landscaper Stressful?

Losing revenue during slow winter months can be stressful for landscapers. The industry’s low barrier to entry and outside challenges including a persistent labor shortage can also weigh heavy on landscape business owners, making it critical for them to effectively and efficiently manage their business and seize competitive advantages.

How Can I Make the Most Money in Landscaping?

Efficient and effective business management and ongoing staff training and development can help landscape company owners maximize their profitability while strengthening their business and creating long-term agility.

Have additional questions?
Chat with us live during business hours or contact sales.

Stay Profitable All Year Long With LMN

The busy season may be the most lucrative time of year for your landscaping company, but the off-season provides ample opportunities to grow and strengthen the business so that it can retain year-round profitability and success. 

We’ve shared effective ways for maximizing your down time through planning, networking and maintenance work and looked at winter jobs like snow and ice removal, winter lawn care and property management that can help you generate winter income.

LMN can help you continually strengthen your business with landscape business management software that was created by landscapers for landscapers. Try LMN for free or book a demo to learn more about how we can help you grow your business.

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