Are you just starting a landscaping business? Are you hoping to grow an existing business? If so, commercial landscaping may be the right direction for you.
Join us for this introduction to the many benefits of commercial landscaping. Discover how to get commercial landscaping leads. Learn about different types of commercial landscaping jobs. And become handy at DIY marketing and advertising for your business.
First things first, though. Let’s look at the benefits of specializing in commercial landscaping or adding it to your menu of services.
Why You Should Maximize Your Commercial Landscaping Business
If you own a landscaping business, you may only serve residential customers. But branching out to commercial clients offers many benefits.
First, there’s the added income that comes with broadening your customer base. Keep your 100 residential clients, for example, but add 50 businesses. That’s growth that gives your bottom line a big boost.
Commercial landscaping clients usually have bigger budgets. You can work the same number of hours and make more money, which is the goal of any business.
Those bigger budgets translate to more work. Commercial landscaping clients frequently have larger demands. Whether planting summer flower displays or plowing parking lots in winter, you’ve got yourself a cash cow.
You can usually get more four-season work from commercial clients. Homeowners often only need landscaping during nice weather. So, unless you’re in a southern state, you may see a drop in business when autumn rolls around.
But commercial landscaping clients often require cold weather service. They need help with:
- Maintaining parking
- Clearing walkways
- Keeping trees trimmed
- Post-storm cleanup
- Seasonal and holiday displays
- Winterizing irrigation
- Preparing beds in spring and fall
- Large-scale lawn care
Residential customers don’t necessarily have the same urgency behind these jobs. However, commercial customers are concerned with liability issues around safety. They also worry about how customers perceive their business based on how it looks.
More refined processes
In general, commercial clients are easier to work with. When it comes to tasks like billing and scheduling, they are faster and more consistent. They do these things with multiple vendors, so they have a process in place.
They are also easier to contact. Phones are almost always staffed during business hours.
People will see your vehicle with your logo parked at the business’s location. Employees and customers will be more familiar with your name. They may be more likely to call you for their own landscaping needs.
Using a well-known business in your portfolio or website testimonial section will carry more weight.
Satisfied commercial clients will often recommend you to other businesses. We’ll talk about that more below. But for now, know that one happy commercial client can be worth its weight in gold for generating more work.
How Much Do Commercial Landscaping Leads Cost?
So, where do you find commercial landscaping leads? You might think you have to buy them. That’s certainly one way to find new customers.
You could also generate your own leads through marketing and advertising. We have some expert tips for you below on how to do that, too.
But which one is right for you?
That depends on multiple factors, such as:
- How much time you have to find leads
- How your business is set up to pursue and land leads
- Whether you have office staff or only landscaping employees
- The ease of finding commercial leads in your particular community
- Your comfort level with initiating business contacts
Let’s say you run a five-person landscaping business. You’re totally mobile, with no office space. All four of your employees are busy at least 40 hours per week. They spend most of their time on-site providing landscaping services.
Therefore, you decide that buying landscaping leads is best for you. What can you expect to pay for them? You’ll find the cost ranges from a paltry amount to something you need to budget for.
Why such a difference? The cost of landscaping leads varies greatly depending on several factors. First, there’s your location and the amount of competition in your industry.
Even more important, there’s also the quality of the leads. You can divide commercial landscaping leads into three basic categories:
Cold leads are essentially names out of the phone directory. You might know they’re a business in your town. But you don’t know if they need landscaping or have a landscaping service at the moment. Anyone with a bit of time can come up with a cold lead.
Qualified leads are more likely prospects. They’ve been vetted. For instance, you’ve been told a shopping plaza is actively looking for a landscaping company. That would be a qualified lead.
Exclusive leads are qualified leads taken to a new level. They are not only leads known to need landscapers—they are ready to commit to a contract. They may already be familiar with your work.
An exclusive lead will usually be offered to you alone, not to your competition. It may come through a mutual acquaintance or from a service.
One way to get qualified and exclusive leads is to work with a lead generation consultant familiar with your industry. You ideally want a source that works within your industry. They should specialize in landscapers, plumbers, HVAC specialists, and other similar contractors.
Also, look for these features when buying leads from a service:
- Geotargeting to find leads in the right zip codes where you operate
- Multi-target programs if you serve a wide area or have several branches
- Opportunity to obtain sales-ready leads that you can close quickly
- Integrations with your CMS platform, if you use one for your funnel
- Ability to pause or resume lead generation based on your schedule
- Variety of pricing models (per click, per lead, per appointment, etc.)
- Data management extras to track performance within your metrics
The idea behind choosing the right lead generation service is to find one that makes your life easier, not harder!
Find Commercial Landscaping Leads in These Categories
There are many kinds of commercial landscaping jobs. Which ones are best for you to focus on? That depends on your services and the competition in your area.
If you operate in a crowded market, you may wish to specialize. This helps bring in clients looking for expertise.
If you’re in a noncompetitive region, offer a wider variety of services to meet everyone’s needs. Here are some categories you may wish to explore.
Shopping plazas, strip malls, and retail locations always need to look spruced up. They also need to be safe for customers. Property owners or mall associations hire landscapers. You would likely mow lawns, rake leaves, plant flowers, trim shrubs, and maintain parking areas.
If you’re in the south, expect to do more watering and irrigation management. In the north, having a snowplow is almost a must.
Hospitality and healthcare businesses
Hospitality businesses and healthcare facilities also value safe, tidy properties. These clients include:
- Hotels and motels
- Spas and resorts
- Medical office parks
- Nursing homes
They need the same kinds of services that retailers do.
Private schools and worship centers
Some landscape companies specialize in serving educational and religious institutions. This includes parking lot maintenance, especially in a snowy climate. Your hours will likely be dictated by when the buildings are minimally occupied.
Landing this type of client often hinges on being well-connected in your community. People like to give work to businesses they know and trust.
Networking is a key way to meet people and acquire customers. The close rate for in-person meetings is 40%. So, keep shaking hands and offering to meet face-to-face to review your services.
Apartments and condos
If you provide service for private schools or colleges with dormitories, you can also go after residential facilities. Apartment and condo management hires landscapers to keep properties looking welcoming.
You may also work for a property management company that acts as an intermediary.
Expect lots of lawn and shrub maintenance, as well as some tree trimming and flower bed upkeep. You may also need to provide pool maintenance, especially with hotels and motels.
Developers and construction companies
Businesses putting up new buildings sometimes partner with landscapers. They put in new lawns and landscaping components. Developers can be a great connection, as they can be an ongoing source of work.
Not sure if you’re ready for this level of commercial work? Try pairing up with a general contractor who does additions and remodels first. Also, contact commercial real estate agents. See who is doing curb-appeal jobs before listing their properties.
Golf courses and athletic facilities
Another fantastic client type is an athletic facility, like a soccer or baseball field. A golf course is also a high-level job that needs consistent service. These are particularly good for lawn maintenance companies. You should be knowledgeable about irrigation too.
Municipal properties and parks
Local governments run some athletic fields and most parks. You usually need to go through a bidding process to get landscaping jobs there or at other municipal properties. A contract is announced and you submit a bid for how much you will charge for labor and materials.
Ask your local government how this works near you. Be aware that you will have to present excellent references. You also need the proper types of business licenses and insurance.
How to Market for Commercial Landscape Business
Nearly half of all small business owners handle their own marketing. If you want to go after some of the job types listed above, how can you generate your own leads?
Follow these pro tips for creating commercial landscaping leads using marketing and advertising:
Create a website and optimize it well.
Prospective clients will look for a website to see if you’re legitimate. Build a simple website with photographs of your work and testimonials. Include keywords that customers would use when searching for your specific services.
Gather online reviews
Speaking of testimonials, make sure former clients give you good reviews online. Reach out to check on their satisfaction with the job. Ask them to review you on Yelp or Google. Send a reminder a day or two after service to jog their memories, if needed.
This practice not only increases the number of your reviews, it also adds a layer of customer service.
Set up social media accounts where your clients are most likely to be found. Engage with people there rather than simply posting. Host live events where you—the local authority—answer landscaping questions. Post free ads on “Business Monday” or whatever community groups allow.
Network in person
Join the local Chamber of Commerce and membership organizations. When you socialize at Chamber meetings or Rotary events, it’s perfectly okay to promote your business. Remember, people do business with people they know and like.
Sponsor local charities and sports teams. Sponsorships usually equate to free advertising and increase community goodwill. For instance, you might get to hang a banner at softball games. Or your landscaping business is announced as a donor at a silent auction.
Consider paid advertising
Buying ads in the local paper, on the radio, or on Facebook can put your business’s name in front of thousands. If you’re going after a specific niche market, consider placing an ad in a trade journal or industry magazine.
Partner with related businesses
Above, we mentioned getting business from property managers, real estate agents, and contractors. Are there plumbers who do commercial trench work that needs landscaping afterward? You could also pair up with swimming pool builders or pest control specialists.