You may think fall is not a great time to start your landscaping business.
But just like any sport, the offseason provides the perfect opportunity to get ready for the main event.
Here’s how you can use the fall and winter months to set your landscaping business up for success in the spring.
Why Is Fall the Best Time to Start My Landscaping Business?
If you waited until spring to start your lawn-care franchise, the season would be over before you were ready to cut the first lawn. Starting in the fall gives you plenty of time to prepare.
Ordering and receiving your equipment takes some time. You’ll first have to complete your training before you can pick and choose the tools you want to incorporate into your business.
Mowbot’s franchisees go through at least a week of training that focuses on learning how to run a business as well as technical aspects related to installing robots, maintenance, and repair. This will allow you to better understand the capabilities of the different models before you select your product mix.
After training, it takes a few weeks to process documents with our partner, Husqvarna, to give you authorized dealer status. When you add it all up, the average wait time, including getting set up as a dealer and receiving your bots may take up to five weeks.
We suggest allowing yourself at least four to six weeks to spend time with your new equipment. You’ll want to get familiar with installations, troubleshooting, property evaluations, and your pricing model.
It’s a great idea to practice installations and get used to the technology by doing demos on the lawns of your family and friends. Keep in mind, it takes three to four weeks for one of these machines to completely learn a property.
Winter is also a great time to start marketing. Customers will be ending contracts in the fall. At this point, they’ll likely have fresh perspectives on what they like and dislike about their current provider. It’s the perfect time to engage and get some leads for the next growing season.
You can start building relationships with commercial landscapers in the winter months so you can be included in their yearly contracts. Those are typically out for bid at the end of the fourth quarter. You can even go ahead and do installations so that your robots are in place and ready to go when the cutting season begins.
A big part of landing commercial accounts is connecting with the right people. You’ll want to talk directly to decision-makers (such as property managers). It’s usually best to meet in person instead of calling or emailing potential clients. Get your foot in the door by collecting all of the information you can about the prospect, and then visit their property.
Remember this: A lot of work goes into putting a bid on a property, so make sure you’ve done your homework first and understand not only the client’s expectations, but also your capabilities. You want a good mix of properties on your roster so that you’re not too dependent on one account.
Booking Home Shows
We suggest booking your home shows in November to take advantage of discounted rates and find good spots. If you wait until January or February, you’ll usually end up with overpriced and out-of-the-way exhibit locations, as well as less opportunity for sponsorships.
Events like home shows are a great way to build awareness for your business as the home improvement season gets into full swing. You don’t want to miss out on opportunities to meet some of the experts in the industry and network with people who could become your clients.
The fall and winter months are also a good time to decide what your business cards should look like because you’ll be handing them out at home shows in the spring. You’ll want to include contact information such as your website, email address, and phone number, but you also want to make sure the cards stand out with a great design.
You’ve put in so much work so far; don’t let it go to waste by not fully preparing for your grand opening. We suggest putting boots on the ground in the community at least four weeks before your typical cutting season starts.
At Mowbot, we issue a field demonstration kit and digital marketing program, which we advise using heavily ahead of the first 45-50° days. Our customer support center and in-house marketing support will help you get established quickly. We also build your website, set up PPC and SEO to generate leads on an ongoing basis, and provide you with customizable advertising materials.
Why Fall Is the Best Time to Jump into Landscaping
Now you know why you should use the fall and winter months to start your landscaping business and prepare for spring.
The time before cutting season allows you to complete training, as well as order your equipment and get familiar with it. You can also start the marketing process while building connections for commercial projects. Finally, you can reserve great spots at home shows and get ready for your grand opening.
At Mowbot, we guide you through every step of the franchise journey—from signing your agreement to the day of your grand opening and beyond. Speak with a development director about opening your business today!