“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. That quote by Benjamin Franklin rings as true today as it did more than 200 years ago. It’s often difficult to get into the spring mindset while winter is still raging, but spring is only 3 months away. Waiting too long to plan for your landscaping needs can lead to a smaller pool of available contractors, higher pricing, and disappointing results.
It is critical to plan for spring commercial landscaping services in early winter. Here are the top 3 things to keep in mind.
Commercial property managers often face a very short window for budgeting. Property management teams typically create budgets for each coming year toward the end of the current one.
When planning for a landscaping season, be sure to give yourself adequate time to draw up a complete budget. What regular, ongoing maintenance services will be needed? Are there any special projects desired for the coming year? Do these areas need to be converted from turf to ornamental beds or vice versa? Are any shade trees getting close to the building that will need limbing, pruning, or removal? A comprehensive budget, set ahead of time, can account for ongoing maintenance as well as any special projects.
Discuss the budget with staff. Plan for success – understand any shortcomings that occurred in previous years, and how that impacted your property and business. Be prepared to review the budget each month and make adjustments as needed to stay on track.
Plan Out Future Projects
There is no better time to plan out how to maximize your curb appeal than during the winter months. Curb appeal is essential for commercial properties. It can increase rental rates by 7% and drive more business. When spring arrives, most commercial landscaping contractors are already geared up for the busy warmer months… leaving less time for idea exploration. By comparison, the winter months allow for more dialogue between the client and the contractor. With most special landscaping projects starting in the spring, this early dialogue lets the contractor spend adequate time with the client in order to better understand their specific needs and develop a project that will bring about the desired outcome.
And, planning early could potentially provide advantageous pricing. Having in-depth discussions about your needs early in the process allows the contractor to plan and procure early, as well. It is a lot harder to obtain favorable pricing and lead times at the last minute.
Finding the Right Contractor
There are many factors to consider and several questions to ask when searching for the right commercial landscaping contractor. Can your commercial landscaping services provider handle ALL of the needs specific to your property? Are they available and able to respond timely if you have an emergency? What is their coverage area? Can they handle both large and small tasks? Do they have an adequate fleet of equipment or do they rent equipment, potentially leaving them without the right machinery when they need it? And beyond the tactical questions, are they engaged with the local community? Are they a well-established business? Do they have strong reviews?
The longer you wait, the harder it will be to secure the right contractor. Some commercial landscaping contractors’ routes get completely booked for the season well in advance of spring. Taking the time to have meaningful conversations with contractors during the winter allows a commercial property manager to compare levels of service, pricing, and capabilities, and avoid getting boxed out of bookings by waiting too long to secure services.
Finding the best commercial landscaping services provider is a balance of understanding your needs, spending the time to search for the right provider, and ensuring you give yourself time to plan. And for spring, that time is now! Contact us to start planning your landscaping services for the spring today!