by Amy Hill, editor
As we head towards the end of October, those of you running landscape and lawn care companies, especially in my area, are attempting to get in as much work as you can and finish strong before you slow down for winter.
Many of you offer snow and ice removal services for these winter months. But for those that don’t, it doesn’t mean it’s time to sit back and wait for spring to arrive. The next few months are the perfect time to analyze your company, take some classes, attend trade shows and network with other professionals in the industry.
Not sure where to start? First of all, have you checked out the industry associations in your area? Have you had a chance to catch up with the research being done by extension personnel at your state university? These are great resources to look into to find out about upcoming events such as conferences, short courses, certification classes or tests to earn certifications.
Trade shows are another biggie. GIE+EXPO is coming up next week, but if you can’t make it to Louisville there are plenty of regional shows around the country. One of the biggest in my region of the country is New England Grows that takes place each mid winter in Boston. It’s offers great education and lots of products to see. There are other great landscape and turfgrass conferences in every region of the country. Check around to see one that may be close to you.
It’s worth taking the time to check out the opportunities that these events offer. There’s almost always keynote speakers addressing the latest challenges and/or trends in the industry, as well as educational sessions and classes, with most giving attendees a chance to earn certification credits, whether it’s for turf care, landscape skills, pest control application, irrigation and more. It’s also a place to meet up with a bunch of other lawn care professionals and landscapers, many that may be from your area, that you can hang out with and discuss the industry: the challenges, what works for you, what you might be help with–or a chance to just vent!
Another thing to work on while you have a little downtime is social media marketing. Get set up with a website or a Facebook page if you don’t already have one. If you do, take the time now to bump it up a notch-update your blog on your website or add some photos of your projects from this season. Post information on these sites, such as specials for clients that sign up now for next season, or some kind of incentive for a current client giving your company name to another potential client that ends up hiring you.
It’s been a busy season for most of you, and you should definitely take a little time to relax, but your business doesn’t quit growing just because the grass does. Take advantage of the approaching slow season to make the changes that will make next year more successful than this year.