Starting up a business of any kind in 2022 is an uphill struggle. Recent economic struggles have blossomed into full-blown recession, borrowing is harder than ever, and spending is on the decline. But, as summer gives way to winter, the landscaping market opens up once more with lucrative and seasonal work – making it a strong time to start a business. But how should you approach marketing it?
Your Business Plan
Any good marketing strategy is only as good as your long-term business plan. Before you begin making major decisions over the allocation of your marketing budget, or the areas into which you plan to invest time and energy, you should first shore up your business plan – and ensure you are compliant with government guidance.
Your business plan should give you a clear idea of your specific niche within landscaping, as well as some specific goals to achieve within your niche. For example, if you wish to work specifically on commercial landscaping architecture jobs, what does success look like for you? Is it a set volume of clients by the end of year one, or something else entirely?
Identifying Your Audience
In knowing your niche and having a robust business plan to back it up, you can now identify your core demographics for whom your services will mean the most. These demographics will be responsible for the vast majority of your business, and catering to them properly in your marketing bids will grant you higher success rates for winning contracts.
In the same breath, you stand yourself in good stead by understanding your competition within those demographics. A good start for getting your head around this initial research is to undertake a SWOT analysis, or Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Strengths and Weaknesses refer to your business plan as it stands, and any hiccups you may encounter on the road to launch. Opportunities refer to specific ways in which you might leverage your business to your demographic, whether new potential clients developing in the area or a diverse range of domestic customers.
Lastly, Threats refer to external factors from competition to market conditions. With your business plan as it stands, what might scupper your progress, and how might you respond? You might have an edge on your competition as an eco-friendly outfit, using sustainable equipment in the form of a cordless self-propelled lawn mower and other greener alternatives to quintessential landscaping tools. But does your green standing track with your price plan, or are competitors likely to win out in a weaker economy?
As demonstrated, marketing is less about the kind of marketing you undertake and more about the strength of the business behind the marketing. By communicating your business’s core values and properties clearly, you can ensure a regular flow of custom.
This can be done online through a testimonials-led social media campaign and websites, and offline using flyers and postcards illustrating your services. Offline advertising is arguably more effective for domestic landscapers, as word-of-mouth fuels your popularity.