Standing Out from the Crowd…

In previous posts, we have underscored the importance of distinguishing your company from competitors. If you cannot give your customers a compelling reason to choose you, you may find yourself competing to be the low cost provider.

One of the initial ways we work with landscape business owners is to first arrange a strategic marketing audit of their business. While this exercise includes a lot of elements, one of the most important is defining a positioning and branding strategy.

Landscape business owners that specialize have a number of competitive advantages including:

  • Perceived expertise to the customer
  • Less operational burden
  • Avoidance of price wars. Enjoy better profitability which will contribute to long term sustainability. Position as an expert rather than low cost provider. People pay more for trust and excellence.
  • A differentiated brand will provide greater fortitude during economically challenging periods.

Fortuitously as I was pondering this topic for today’s post, I happened upon a great podcast episode which speaks directly to this. I will summarize the podcast here and include a link below:

  • Scott Molchan built a 7 figure landscape business through specialization, namely water features
  • Scott and his partner recommend finding something you like, something that excites passion
  • Learn as much as you can in that chosen area. If you have a passion for it, this should be easy.
  • Market your business! (We of course spend a lot of time on this topic). Scott employed some intelligent marketing practices prior to the digital age. Scott developer strategic relationships, provided seminars, met with local garden clubs and groups. Scott also arranged pond days with local landscape suppliers which were welcomed as it brought customers in. Customers would come in to learn how to build a pond. Scott notes that when realizing the challenge, many customers would opt to have a professional perform the job.
  • Scott lamented not having tools like Facebook, Youtube at his disposal then. Now, it is much easier to reach your customers through a variety of means. The seminars Scott once offered can now be offered virtually.
  • Scott would consult and help local landscapers if they were having trouble on a particular water feature installation. Another example of relationship building, providing expertise and value.
  • They would attend farmers markets and sell fountains and kits and sometimes generate leads for more complex projects.

The big takeaways for your business are:

  • Find a niche, an area of specialization you are passionate about.
  • Learn as much as you can in that area. However, do not delay. Get started and learn as you go. Your expertise will grow through experience.
  • Market, market, market! Get your business out there. This is much easier and highly cost effective in the digital age. Rather than a sales mindset, adopt a service mindset. Host seminars (can easily be done online), develop ebooks, guides and other lead magnets and offer to customers. This will showcase your expertise, cultivate trust with the prospect and bring a lot of traffic to the top of your sales funnel.
  • Leverage strategic relationships with local garden clubs, associations, suppliers and retailers…even other landscapers potentially. Again, this can easily be done if specializing.