As the year for lawn maintenance and landscaping comes to a close (in most areas of the country), you now have some time to sit back and analyze your company and see where you are headed for the next season. New construction and landscape installation were slow for most of this year, so as you look ahead to 2011, have you thought of all the services you could be offering your clients?

You might want to look around your own yard and consider anything and everything outside: gutter cleaning, driveway paving, pest control (mosquitoes, wasps, hornets), pressure washing, etc. For example, when you are mowing around a client’s swing set, have you thought about how easy it would be to take care of the hornet’s nest that may be infringing on their child’s haven? Or, how about pavement maintenance, such as seal coating and crack sealing? Not only are you in a position to give your clients the best-looking lawn in the neighborhood, they can come to you to make sure their driveways are just as pristine as their flowerbeds.

What about deck painting, or house painting for that matter? A lot of the companies we talked to this year saw maintenance as their number one service, and they tweaked the definition of lawn maintenance to include just about anything their clients asked them to. The companies that were the most successful were the ones that gave their customers no reason to call someone else.

If you aren’t a snow and ice removal contractor, the next few months may be a time for you to relax, but it’s also a great time to educate yourself. Pick one extra service you’d like to offer next year and learn more about it. Take a class or attend a seminar, and give your company an edge on the others in your area.

Now is the time for you to start looking outside the box. If you are just offering lawn mowing, you’re not taking advantage of the full potential of your company. Instead of just being a lawn maintenance company, how about becoming an outdoor maintenance company?