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Landscape Views Issue 21

This is a column by landscapers, for landscapers. In it, you’ll find knowledge, views and insights from professionals just like you, who are currently working in the industry


Q. With customers spending less, what do you do to make your business stand out?


Finelawn

Interviewee: Nic Eman – Business Development Manager Location: North Island

Staff: 15


We are seeing customer spend slowing down, so we’re pushing to provide existing customers with more value-adds within the service we provide. For example, we’re offering a free, one-off aftercare lawn service following an installation.

It gives our new customers a no-obligation look at our aftercare service. If they believe it adds value, then we can continue to develop that relationship.


We’re also focusing more than ever on the quality of service and product in all of our customer interactions to ensure they have a great experience with us.


Additionally, we’re looking at our marketing activities and have increased our digital advertising budget. We’ve found that digital ads best meet our target audience and sales channel, so we’re looking to Google ads and Facebook to help increase our sales. We’ve partnered with an agency, which means we can use their experience and expertise without having to pay for an additional member of staff.


Overall, we’re confident we can get through tougher economic times by finding new customers and by ensuring we deliver quality and value in everything we do.

Boons Garden

Interviewee: Nic Scott – Director

Location: Nelson

Staff: 2


Luckily enough, our clients haven’t had to tighten their belts yet. Our target market is high-end projects with bigger budgets, which tends to allow us a greater variety of work, which we prefer.


However, we’re still planning for a future that involves smaller budgets. We’re undertaking a revamp of our website, which hadn’t been touched for about six years. We hope it will help us broaden our client base and mean we can rely less on word-of-mouth for new work – which, although it is free and can be great, might not be enough to help us through a potential downturn.

We pride ourselves in the care and attention we give to customers, so that’s not really an area I’ve looked to change or improve. We really go above and beyond for our clients. For example, when we see things on a plan that won’t work onsite, we can use our experience to improve things once construction starts.

If the landscape and construction industry does take a steep downturn, we also have a strong maintenance base of work to fall back on.

John Pepper Landscapes

Interviewee: John Pepper – Director

Location: Canterbury

Staff: 1


It’s not so much that the slowdown hasn’t affected me, rather it doesn’t really change how I do business. I’m semi-retired and having less pressure to complete jobs suits me down to the ground.


With less time pressure, I find that I can keep in touch with the artistic side of the job more efficiently. I believe that’s the best way to make a business stand out.


While completing a job quickly and moving on is good for revenue, it doesn’t always give a landscaper a chance to form a relationship with clients. In my opinion, the desire to move quickly can lead to unethical practices if the work isn’t carefully considered.

I’m all about relationship building, which is why we haven’t spent much money on marketing, even when I was working full-time and had a crew I could call on. We could do extra marketing bits here and there to push our online presence, but I’m only one person with a digger and a few other tools, so I don’t have capacity to take on extra work.


My website is minimalist on purpose. It has a few pictures of completed projects and some contact details, and that is absolutely fine with me!




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