Well, it’s mid-September, and the long hot summer is finally coming to a close. For many of our clients, mid-September to late October represents the last hurrah of their 2016 season. There’s still going to be another several weeks of great weather across much of North America, and this means opportunity. Companies have one last chance to get a lot of work done (and book that revenue) before seasonal realities like increasing rain, shorter days, the departure of seasonal workers, and the cold of winter settle in.
And in this last golden season, your company’s immediate priorities will probably depend on where you stand on backlog. If you’re fortunate enough that your company has more than enough work to do, you might be simply fighting to get it all executed before winter.
Other companies might be starting a planned transition to fall-specific work like leaf removal, prepping their equipment to move into snow management, or even diversifying into specialty work like installing holiday decorations. But in this time of plenty for many, we see some of our customers struggling to keep their crews fully engaged as the season winds down.
This time of year, the demand for your work is probably slowing up. Clients’ thoughts are moving inside as they prepare to cocoon up for winter, and they’re not thinking about expanding outside like in the spring. The grass isn’t growing as fast, residential clients aren’t preparing their homes for a summer of outdoor living, and property managers haven’t just spent a while winter fielding complaints about ice, mess, and potholes.
So whether you’re a landscaper, an asphalt pro, or anybody else doing outdoor work, the phones just aren’t ringing like they were back in May. So how can you acquire more work, to keep those crews busy (and profitable) for the next 6 weeks? One effective way to get it done is to focus on what more you can sell to your existing clients.
Upsell to the People you Already Know
With a short time to book new revenue and new clients harder to come by in any season, it makes sense to focus your September efforts on existing customers. By leveraging the existing business relationship, you get quick access to a client you already know has buying potential. And by approaching clients with work they may not have been thinking about, as the season winds down, you may find quick acceptance and few concerns about competition.
Chances are that through the season, there have been jobs where the client left part of their work on the table. Whether they were waiting to see how they liked the first part, planning to finish up next year, or simply deferring the cost for a bit, they only allowed you (or even someone else) to complete part of the larger job. September could be just the time to re-visit these unfinished jobs and get the green light to finish them up before cold weather makes it impossible.
Extras on Your Contract
If your business includes property maintenance contracts, fall is also a great time to up-sell your clients on one-time services that fall outside your normal contract. Look for dead trees that need removed, drainage issues that could be resolved, or opportunities to add or remove existing planting beds. Anything that is aesthetically unpleasing could be targeted, and if the issue includes a seasonal safety concern, that’s an additional motivation. Anything you can do to leverage an existing client relationship to get a couple days’ work for your crews will add needed revenue for your bottom line.
The Go iLawn / Go iPave Advantage
And if you use our Go iLawn / Go iPave software, you’ll already have property maps, takeoffs, and jobsite imagery of these existing client sites to help you turn a quick bid, show it to the client, and guide your crews to get it done quickly.
What are your tricks for winning late season work and extending your season? Let us know in the comments.
Good luck this September,
The Go iLawn / Go iPave team.