We have had tremendous and steady growth in the green industry over the last several years. Consumer behavior such as cocooning and increased spending for home improvements have really drove this growth in our industry. This year, we expect another good year as the demand stays consistent, new installations, and improvements continue. But of course, the pressing question now on everyone’s mind is “when will this momentum slow down?”
To properly position your company to withstand any possible economic down turns, the real question you should be asking yourself is not when it will slow, but how you will weather the storm when it does.
Below we outline 3 ways to help your company protect itself during an economic downturn:
1: Establish Yourself as a Service Business
Customers often see green industry professionals as installers. They need a job done, and they call you to come complete it. Now is a good time to begin re-branding yourself as not just an installer, but also a service company who can help the customer care for and maintain, the lighting, turf, irrigation, or landscaping they have installed.
- Remind customers that you fix and maintain systems that you have installed, or even ones that other landscapers have previously installed
- Take the time to train and re-train your staff on service style commitments and conversations
- Make the most of online classes and trainings that can be done during rainy weeks or the off season, so you are as diversified as possible in what you can offer a client. Read further on top turf training, lighting training, and irrigation training recommended by Central
The good news is that customers are known to still budget for maintenance services during an economic downturn because they don’t want to see their initial investment go to waste. Thus, establishing yourself as a service business can protect you if new installations become less frequent for a time while customers tighten their spending.
2. Add Mosquito Control or Other Services as a Way to Diversify
Insect and pest control offers a great opportunity to expand your business services. Expanding and diversifying the services you offer will not only set you apart from competitors as not just an installation company, but it will also give you the flexibility you will need to see your company continue to grow even if some projects see less activity than others during a down economy.
Mosquito control is a great place to start! Mosquito season can begin as early as February or March in some parts of the country. When temperatures reach a consistent 50 degrees, mosquito eggs begin to hatch and the mosquito season begins. Mosquito season is also extending, since many areas of the country are staying warm late into the fall and early winter. More and more, homeowners are calling in professionals to make sure that their families are protected. They want regular and ongoing control so that they can enjoy their outdoor spaces without the worry.
There has been a lot of proven success in the industry when adding mosquito services to your company’s offerings:
- 96% of homeowners are bothered by mosquitoes & 77% of homeowners say mosquitoes limit backyard activities
- 84% of homeowners will take some form of control action against mosquitoes after just two bites
- 50% of homeowners receiving a single control service treatment would be willing to pay for recurring service, paying between $50-100 per treatment
- In 2021 industry sales in the pest control market were $18.1 billion
When transitioning to becoming a service focused company to your customers and not just an installation company, it’s important to have the right solution to meet their needs. Some customers may request an all-organic kid and pet safe option, some may want the strongest formula available, and another customer may want something in between.
To make it easy, we’ve compiled a list of three effective control products for mosquitos including traditional, lower impact, and 100% organic.
Fast-acting and long-lasting solution for several hard to control pests including mosquitoes, cockroaches, fleas and ticks. Three active ingredients provide three modes of action control insects. This product offers a 90-day guarantee.
- Combination Chemistry® contains adulticide and two insect growth regulators (IGRs)
- Breaks the life cycle of insect reproduction to control fleas, stored product pests, cockroaches, mosquitoes, Lone Star ticks, and other listed insect pests
- Quick- acting & long lasting
- Low-odor, for indoor/outdoor use
Low-Impact: Bifen I/T
A professional strength insecticide/termiticide. Can be used indoors/outdoors on residential, institutional, public, commercial, and industrial buildings. Effective against ticks, mosquitoes, termites carpenter ants and other pests of structures.
- Can be used on lawns, ornamentals, parks, recreational areas and athletic fields to control chinch bugs, crickets, fire ants, scorpions, aphids and other listed insects
- Long-lasting residual for up to 5 years
- Low-odor, for indoor/outdoor use
Bifenthrin is not likely to reach groundwater because it binds tightly to soil and it is not absorbed by foliage or translocated throughout plants. Bifenthrin is low in toxicity to birds.
100% Organic: Central Organic Insect Control
Central Organic offers 100% organic control for a wide spectrum of insects, including ticks and mosquitos. It has an all-organic formula which will not harm beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, and earthworms, but will eliminate ticks, mosquitoes and other insects, and is EPA-exempt.
- Central Organic Total Insect Control can be applied with a traditional sprayer or can be used with a fogger device
- The product has residual effect for 4-6 weeks, so you should develop a plan to offer to apply it to your customers on a monthly schedule
3. Let Everyone Know
Even if your business model has been installation-focused up until now, it’s easy to begin setting yourself apart from the competition as a service-based company also. Whether you recently added a new service like mosquito control, or outdoor lighting, it’s now time to let everyone know! Use marketing and advertising strategies to promote your services to new and existing customers. Some easy ways to do this are:
- Add the new services to your website this will familiarize both new and existing customers with all of your services
- Send targeted emails and mailers to existing customers letting them know you can provide them with the ongoing services they need to protect their landscapes and investments
- Create door hangers and mailers to target new customers, letting them know you offer the services they need
- Announce and implement service packages so the one-stop-shop customer can make a commitment to the services you provide on an ongoing basis (i.e., winterization check-up package, seasonal pest control, quarterly test and check-up of outdoor irrigation and lighting systems, etc.)
- Utilize social media to post photos, articles, and links to the service work you do, or to related industry articles letting customers know why these services can be very valuable to them as home or business owners
Central is here to help. If you have questions or need other recommendations, contact your local Central rep. We’re always adding new and innovate products to our warehouses to make sure we’re meeting [and exceeding] your needs. We stay at the leading edge of the industry and we’re ready to help you grow!