Jump To Section
– Early April Networking Opportunity
– Strategic Networking Opportunities All Year Round
– Landscapers Can Be Golden For Tree Job Leads
– What’s In It For The Landscaper?
– How Can I Network with Landscapers?
– Act Now For More Tree Trimming Leads
There is a calendar-sensitive business growth opportunity for tree firms right now, this Spring. We thought best to share it before it evaporates in the summer heat. If you’re a tree service company and want to start your season early with more tree service leads, read on.
Despite being lead generators on commercial terms, we’re always on the look-out for ways to help U.S. tree service businesses get great tree service leads for free. Sure, we understand that the most sustainable business model in our industry is to grow a tree company on the back of great work. It cultivates repeat business and reduces marketing expenses. It also makes sense to let your customers know that you would appreciate referrals if the opportunity ever arose.
However, if you’re starting out or want to expand your business, you will need other sources of tree trimming leads and tree removal leads; other sources of referrals. So if you have a little time on your hands, need more business and the budget is tight, the suggestions below are for you.
Since writing this post, I see that the guys at the Tree care Industry Association (TCIA) have also begun to share the value of networking in the industry. Their December 2021 podcast on the topic of Networking can be heard here free of charge. They talk in general about the role of networking in the tree service sector and how it has benefitted them personally and in business. They also delve lightly into examples of networking techniques that have worked for them individually.
We know the following two, specific networking opportunities will also work because we’ve taken a close look at government contracts across the U.S. The numbers are compelling.
Early April Networking Opportunity
Between now and the end of May, something remarkable happens every year. Calls from U.S. homeowners to landscaping and lawn care businesses more than double in volume. This beats the slower rise in calls to tree service companies. Check the trends for yourself with the Google Trends tool.
Hardscapers get a lot of attention too at this time of year. For example, interest in fire pits ballooned this time last year as people chose to extend their living area to the outside during ‘stay-at-home’ orders in 2020. Same looks to be happening in 2021 as well.
Here, I use the term ‘landscaper’ very loosely. By landscaper, I mean any contractor who creates amazing outdoor living spaces or who mows lawns or tends to shrubs and flower beds, or even make fantastic park vistas in people’s yards like Capability Brown.
Strategic Networking Opportunity All Year Round
Not many tree service owners know this. But there are 2.46 billion additional reasons why tree service owners should network with their local landscapers.
The sheer scale of landscaping contracts issued by federal, state and local government departments is little known amongst small tree firms. For example, in 2019, some 10,498 landscaping contracts were in operation. All told, they bring in US$ 2.46 billion to the green industry every year. That’s $234,398 for each contract each year on average. Whilst some contracts relate to pure landscaping work such as cemetery maintenance, mowing government land etc., a significant proportion ( we say at least 20%) of these government contracts will involve tree work, land clearing, vegetation management. The landscaper may not be sufficiently endowed with the necessary heavy equipment – which is where your tree service business can make a difference.
A full explanation of this chart and how to find local landscapers active with government bids and contracts is detailed in our separate Business To Government (B2G) Tree Service Marketing article here. In it, we detail no less than 6 ways to find government bids information whether it’s for local, state or federal contract.
Landscapers Can Be Golden For Tree Job Leads
Landscapers and lawn-care owner-operators are going to see a lot of home-owner yards in the next couple of months; at a much faster rate of climb than you will. So wouldn’t it be great if they could act as your look-out for tree work for your business at this time of year? They could be your eyes and ears in your service area at a time of the year when your trade is still relatively slow, albeit growing steadily.
So if they wanted to, landscapers have the power to bring forward the start of your tree trimming and tree removal summer season. Such referrals will come in two forms:
i). Opportunistic Referrals For Tree Trimming Leads
The landscaper has noticed a problem tree in their customer’s yard that they can’t deal with on their own. Their tree loppers can only reach so far, after all. For sure, most landscapers will be able to trim small trees. But how many will have a bucket lift at their disposal? They won’t have your large tree felling skills or even have the insurance coverage for such dangerous work. Tree service businesses are the one with the heavy equipment, the credentials and the insurances.
Back to the tree problem seen on site by your landscaper; she can ignore it or suggest a tree service company as a solution or she could subcontract your tree services. You want to be on his list.
For this scenario to work in your favor, you’ll need to let the landscaper know you’re available at relatively short notice to fix a problem tree or remove it, as appropriate. You could also brief the landscaper on what to look at for – a particular pattern of tree damage caused by a local tree pest, for example. Perhaps you want them to identify dead tree limbs for attention or branches scraping against their customer’s property.
ii). Strategic Referrals For Tree Removal Leads and Tree Cutting Leads
This is where the landscaper needs your help and involvement with a series of private landscaping projects and government contracts either repairing, planting, moving, removing, replacing or trimming trees. Such relationships can be great in the long term but rarely happen without them being comfortable with your company and confident with its abilities, skills and resources. So start with soliciting opportunistic referrals from landscapers to build confidence in your business.
What’s In It For The Landscaper?
Her season will peak at the end of May/ early June. However, the remaining 7 months of the year is a different story. Consumer interest in landscaping slowly dries up until the trough in December, as will phone inquiries to her business. So the landscaper’s challenge will be how to remain busy for the rest of the year after the early June business zenith. How can she extend her season?
That’s where you come in.
Seasonality affects the tree care industry of-course but the calendar pattern is different. The summer season for tree services is less peaky and lasts from May to August in most states. For example, calls from people needing a tree service will rise between now and the end of May but the rise is much more gradual. Interest tends to plateau from beginning of June and doesn’t start declining until the end of summer i.e. mid-September. In essence, the season is longer and later in duration for tree firms.
If the landscaper helps boost the growth in your business between now the end of May, what can you do for her in exchange?
Your seasonality gives you something of value to offer landscapers. You can be the ears and eyes for landscapers in your service area later in their season. You’re a U.S. tree service owner out in the field delivering various tree services with intimate knowledge of the customer’s yard. How often do you notice that a property-owner could benefit from some landscaping? You must see bare patches of sod, poorly-tended lawn and uninspiring-looking yards all the time. This on-the-ground intelligence has real value in the right hands.
From the landscaper’s perspective, what type of landscaping projects are suitable for later in the year? What type of work is she looking for? How can you help her later in the year in exchange for tree removal leads or tree trimming leads now?
It’s worth a discussion, isn’t it.
The potential for a mutually beneficial business relationship between a landscaping business and tree business is clear.
She helps to start your season off with a bang and you extend her season for the rest of the year.
Now it’s up to you to pick up the phone or pop by the landscaper’s yard in person.
How Can I Network with Landscapers?
No need to over-complicate this. There are 4 possible paths to follow:
i). On The Phone
Call your local landscaper saying you want to pop by for 5 minutes to “see if there are ways we can help each other”. You’ll want 3 or 4 good referrers on board for the exercise to be worthwhile. So to end up with this number, you’ll need to call a fair multiple e.g. 20 or 30 in your city. Use Google Maps to locate the ones nearby and those with better review profiles. Call a bunch at a time. Aim to follow up the call with a visit to show you are serious.
ii). In Person
Nothing is stopping you from rocking up to your local landscaper’s yard out of the blue, of-course. But they may appreciate a little prior warning. Respect social distancing norms when you’re in front of your landscaper. Try and turn up in your bucket truck if you have one. Alternatively, take your chipper-body truck. This will quietly (or not so quietly) reveal what heavy equipment and resources you have. This will reinforce the difference you can make to their work and reputation by having you available on site in case of need.
After exchanging pleasantries, tell her the ‘deal’ i.e. you can help her later in the season if she notices anything between now and the end of May for you. Repeat for other landscapers nearby.
ii). Live Networking Groups
Post-COVID, Business Network International (BNI) has completely changed its local networking model. Their weekly meetings are now online. So no more meeting at dawn in a stuffy room. To find landscapers ready to deliver and receive referrals in your city, select the ‘Advanced Search’ function on BNI’s page here: https://bniamerica.com/en-US/findamember . Then punch in “landscape” (without the speechmarks) into the keywords box and include your City name in the City box too. Using this simple method, I found 5 landscapers in Dallas and 3 in the Houston area. Then ask to attend an online meeting to see what it’s all about. They may let you in to a couple before having to pay the subscription fee. You can at least break the ice with your new landscaping contact.
Also check with your local chamber of commerce to see if they have an online meeting equivalent. Ask the chamber if there are any landscapers, fencers, general contractors and property managers in attendance so you can judge if the event will be worthwhile.
iii). Via Social Media
Reach out and connect to landscapers in your area through the LinkedIn platform. Engage with them through regular and relevant content. Send messages after you get to know your LinkedIn contacts.
This platform is designed for sharing referrals online. It’s a type of electronic BNI but without the costly sub or the early morning meets. It’s easy to target specific business niches such as landscapers and lawn care franchises. On Alignable, you can easily build your profile and say what type of referrals you’re looking for (and also what reciprocity you are prepared to offer). This helpful article tells you more:
Act Now For More Tree Trimming Leads
Remember that this opportunity window is only useful to you if you act in the next week or so. After the end of May, landscapers will be less useful to you in the short term as their business will begin to fade away once it peaks. Even after May, you can still build relationships by giving them referrals so they repay the favors early next Spring.
Another way to bring forward the start of your peak season is to use us. We’ll deliver high-quality tree removal leads and tree trimming leads on an exclusive basis and at modest cost. All year round!
John Hackwood helps tree service business owners get new customers. He’s an expert at helping them get tree removal leads and tree trimming leads using proprietary methods and making things super simple to understand. He has been a marketing professional since 1988 and is using this considerable experience to help small businesses in the US tree service sector.
His agency, MarketingDirector.com, only serves the US tree service industry. MarketingDirector.com’s marketing solutions drive live phone inquiries from prospects in specific local areas direct to tree service clients. The highly-qualified live calls are raised by a unique cocktail of digital marketing tactics.
Unlike other lead generation companies, MarketingDirector.com only sells the live calls to singular clients in each ‘fenced’ geographic service area. In this way, every client enjoys exclusivity in their own area, safe in the knowledge that their calls will not be taken by their competitors.
If you’re interested in learning how John can help you grow your tree service business then click on blue button below.