A handy guide to deciding what, if any, extra services you could be offering.
Hey Clippers! Dave Tucker here to talk about ways your lawn maintenance company can earn money in the off season.
In most parts of the United States, the grass doesn’t grow all year round. And leaves only fall in, well, the fall. So what’s a lawn maintenance business owner to do when the leaves are down and the lawn is hibernating?
As it turns out, there’s a lot of options to choose from! You can hang Christmas lights, deliver packages, or take the winter off. The possibilities are endless—but you don’t necessarily want to pick something at random. If you’re going to explore your off-season earning potential, it’s good to employ a little strategy.
We pulled together a list of five things to ask yourself when considering a new business venture. Hopefully these questions can help you think critically about what’s right for you.
Is this a product or service your existing customer base would buy?
There’s nothing wrong with branching out, of course. But the road to profitability is much shorter if you can sell to your current customers. Let’s use Christmas lights as an example. Would your lawn maintenance customers hire you to do their lights as well? (Here’s a hint: Ask them!)
What’s your risk tolerance? What about your workers?
If you’re looking into additional services, you’ve got to think about risk. Christmas lights require ladders and rooftops. Are you and your workers comfortable with that? Or would you rather keep your boots on the ground and stick with snow removal or package delivery? These are good things to think about before you start putting things in motion. Otherwise, you could sign up ten Christmas tree customers, only to discover that half your guys are afraid of heights!
Do you want to take on another seasonal line of work?
We’ve talked before about the fact that springtime is extra nutty in the lawn maintenance business. Some folks love the intensity! Others are hanging on for dear life until the grass slows down a little. It’s worth asking yourself which camp you fall into.
If you don’t mind a little stress, you could consider another intensely seasonal gig. For example, you might deliver packages for those two crazy weeks before Christmas. If you want a breather, you might prefer weekly snow removal or a part-time gig at a ski chalet.
Will this distract from your core lawn maintenance business?
The answer to this question depends heavily on your unique situation, so think carefully. Is your lawn maintenance business stable and profitable? Can you add a new service offering without taking away from it? Or would you be better served using the off-season to develop a training program for seasonal workers? Or scheming up a better marketing plan? Be honest with yourself!
How big is the market you’re considering? How much volume can you do?
Do a little research and figure out, realistically, how many customers you could potentially land for your new offering. Then think about how much work you could take on. If you’re looking at snow removal, think of it this way: Pretend there’s a big storm overnight. How many driveways could you clear before folks could leave for work? Can you find that many customers? And is the potential revenue worth the early wakeup call?
If you’re struggling to figure this out, talk to someone who’s already doing it. Call a business owner a few towns over (not your competition!) and ask them for their advice. How many jobs do they do? How much do they get paid? Let those numbers drive your decision, so you can make a good one!
Branching out to another business venture can be a lucrative move for your lawn maintenance business. Do your due diligence, make smart decisions, and you can reap the benefits!