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What do landscapers do in the winter?

Find out how to make money and position yourself for future success during the landscaping offseason.

When your job involves taking care of plants and making sure landscapes look pristine, what do you do in the winter? The plants all recede during this time, and no one wants to spend much time outside once the temperatures drop. 

So, as a landscaper, do you need to prepare a side hustle for winter? Or plan on joining a factory shift for a few months? Or maybe just save the money you made when business was booming? 

The choice remains yours, and the good news is that you certainly do have choices when it comes to your winter activity as a landscaper. If you simply hate the cold, you can take the winter months off and pick up seasonal work elsewhere. If you made enough money during the summer to support yourself in the winter, you can take a break and focus on sharpening your business procedures. Or, you can market winter services.

Use these ideas to make the most of those winter days and to continuously support your landscaping career. 

Understand the services you can offer in the winter.

Remember that landscaping involves way more than simply tending to plants. You can also take care of the hardscapes in the environment, including sidewalks, stairs and patios. In the winter, these surfaces can become dangerous when coated in ice or snow. You can also find some things to do to care for plants and cater to your regular clients.

Get a Snow Removal and Salting Contract

Consider reaching out to local businesses or landlords about providing salting and snow removal services. These contracts require you to get up early in the morning to clear sidewalks and stairs before anyone arrives to the building for work. Although it won’t be a constant source of income (as it completely depends on the weather), this winter service can represent a nice supplement to your summer savings.

Getting Creative About Caring for Plants

What else can you offer during the winter? At the outset of the season, you can still take care of leaf clean-up and mulching around flower beds. Continue reaching out to homeowners and clients about this service.

Another interesting service to offer involves installing raised garden beds. You can even make custom designs based on the client’s desires and available space. When it gets closer to planting time, you can fill them with a rich compost or soil. Homeowners often love taking care of their own vegetables and flowers, but the harder installation work can represent a barrier. 

Start seedlings indoors at this time of year so that you have your own plants ready to go when customers are ready to fill in their gardens. Have a good understanding of your client base before you start. Do you mostly tend to flower gardens? Which flowers are popular? Do you get requests for vegetables and fruits? 

Finally, identify clients with greenhouses that may require some support during the winter. When your clients travel for the holidays, they’ll feel good knowing a pro will look after their greenhouse. 

Sharpening Your Marketing and Business Endeavors in Winter

Regardless of the landscaping services you choose to provide in winter, you won’t get any business if you don’t inform your clients, both existing and potential, about your winter services. That’s why you need to focus on your marketing efforts, preferably year-round.

If you’re still in the beginning stages of growing your landscaping business, you might feel like you spend a lot of time waiting for the phone to ring, especially in winter. These colder months represent a great time to hunker down in front of your computer and get your marketing plan in order. 

Do you need any promotional materials? Order them now. Do you want to offer a springtime discount? How will you reach out to existing clients? Does your website need work? If you feel in over your head, consider hiring a marketing team to assist you in growing your client base.

Other Business Considerations

You also need to reflect on the previous year and decide what needs to change for the upcoming seasons. For example:

  • Did you have all the tools you needed throughout the year? Did any of them sustain damage? Run an inventory, and properly clean and store all your tools while you do so.
  • Did you have enough team members to handle the workload? Does anyone on your team need a little extra training in using certain equipment or in proper techniques? Recruit new people now, and plan how you’ll train your team if needed.
  • Did your accounting system prove easy to use, or do you need to make a change? Consider how landscaping software like Smart Service can make your business easier to manage. 

Even if you don’t rake in the dough during winter, any time you spend marketing and streamlining your business will pay off in the long-run. Make the effort!