Are seasonal flower beds a profitable upsell?

Lawn care business owners should always be looking for ways to sell more to their current customer base. One of the ideas on how to sell more is by offering seasonal flower beds. Should you consider offering this service? Is it profitable? Would it be worth your while? Or should you subcontract this out and focus on your core competency? Let’s take a look.

Gary wrote us and asked “I have had a home owners association contact me wanting a quotes for their entrance maintanence and then a quotes for planting of their flower beds up front… I don’t know much about seasonal flowers and I was wanting some help as to what type of flowers to suggest for the beds.

I figure a seasonal type bed would look the best for them so there are different blooms as the year goes by, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

I am going to try and get by one of the Nursery’s and speak with them before hand also, but the meet is set for 12pm tomorrow and I would like to have a little information to walk in with.”

Tianna responded and said “One of my niche’s is flower bed design!! I make a lot of extra money doing so. What I have found with flower beds is that it’s a very personal thing! What I might think is lovely the home owner might hate! Some people love lots of greenery and shrubs…and some may want lots of flowers…some perennials and some annuals. It’s all up to the client.

Not to knock what you are about to do…but I speak from experience…don’t get in over your head doing something that you’ve never done before. Unless flower bed design is something your thinking about continuing doing. I would still recommend starting out doing a residential project first though. Especially if you specialize in maintenance. I don’t know how your company is set up…or if you have employees..but I’ve found that even though the income for these projects might seem great…the time and energy you’ll spend figuring out how to go the job right will take away from your regular customers. There is a lot more to flowerbeds than…dig a hole and put something pretty in the ground. Spacing…sun light requirements…weather to go with annuals or perennials?? You can definitely figure it all out…but to know it all before your meeting might be pushing it! lol

Have you thought about maybe during your meeting treating it as a consultation?? Getting more info about what your clients wants…and then letting them know you’ll get back to them with your plan in a week?? Then you would have time to sub out the flower beds…and you can take the maintenance portion? Ok Ive babbled on long enough! I wish you all the luck in the world…let us know how it goes!!!!”

Keith added “Flowers beds are too labor intensive to be profitable in many cases. Timing, proper soil conditioning, watering, adding nutrients, replacing dead flowers…ugh.

I have always had better results with tree and shrubbery beds instead of flowers. Flowering trees (weeping cherries, etc.) always get applause this time of year.

Know your zone and know what works best in your soil. Be selective in your approach of shrub selection to get coloration through the year. Hollies with heavy berry growth give a nice touch, nandina get colorful in late summer, barberry show red through the summer. Add bulbs for color intensity.

Pick plants that fit with your project. Don’t force a plant where it doesn’t belong. Think about long term growth…don’t plant a tall growing tree under a power line. Learn about landscape design and follow some simple concepts; symmetry, triangular plant spacing, three level display.

One of the hardest parts of landscaping is educating your customer. Go in with a plan and a solid understanding of every plant you plan to install.”

I hope this discussion really gets you thinking about whether offering seasonal flower beds is an upsell your lawn care business could easily perform with a good profit margin. It also points out something to think about if you are a new lawn care business owner. You could initially focus on offering this service and market yourself to other mowing businesses in the area. It could be a great niche for you to specialize in. Consider what the forum members had to say and if you have further questions please jump in on the discussion at the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

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