When the spring home buying season begins heating up, that can be good news if you own a landscaping or subcontracting business. As sellers prepare to put their homes on the market, there’s a good chance they may be looking for help with renovations, repairs or simply sprucing up their property’s curb appeal. Capitalizing on those opportunities begins with doing a little spring cleaning of your own to make sure your business is ready for the potential uptick in demand as the season gets underway.
1. Update your website
If it’s been some time since you’ve made any changes or updates to your site, ask yourself if there’s room for improvement.
For example, does your site clearly identify the services your landscaping or subcontracting business offers? Are your rates up to date? Are your logo and contact information prominently displayed, or is there a contact form that home sellers can use to reach out to you quickly? Does your site include recent testimonials from previous customers?
You may also consider adding a blog component to your site if it doesn’t have one already. If you’re not sure what to post, think about topics a home seller would be searching for. If you run a subcontracting business, for instance, a brief post discussing the home renovations that yield the highest return on investment may catch a local seller’s eye.
2. Evaluate your tools and equipment
When you’re in the landscaping or subcontracting business, making sure your tools and equipment are in good working order is a must. If you have something that can’t be repaired or you don’t think will last through the season, now’s the time to think about replacing or updating it.
If you don’t have substantial cash reserves because business was slow through the winter, small business financing may be a solution. With financing, you can get the working capital you need to purchase equipment, tools or supplies now, rather than having to wait until sales begin to pick up. Just remember to compare financing options carefully to find the one that’s best suited to your business needs.
3. Fill out gaps in your crew
Having enough workers to meet demand is just as important as making sure you have the right equipment. If you’re a solo subcontractor with no employees, it may not matter much but it’s a different story if you run a landscaping or painting company. After all, you don’t want to suddenly see your schedule fill out with appointments and have no one hand to help you fulfill them.
Again, this is where financing could provide the funds you need to hire and train seasonal, part-time or full-time workers. Bear in mind that if you’re hiring seasonal employees, you’ll still need to follow federal and state labor laws for those workers.
4. Formulate your spring operating budget
The spring home buying season may bring higher revenues but it may also result in higher expenses — something you could be planning for ahead of time. Mapping out a budget for what you anticipate coming in and out of your business through the spring can be helpful in maintaining a positive cash flow.
If you’ve been keeping accurate records, your expenditures and sales data from the previous spring can give you a start point for estimating this year’s budget. You can use those numbers to create a sales forecast and make any adjustments for expenses that may have increased or decreased over the last year. If you’re thinking of tapping into financing, remember to factor in those costs as well.
5. Step up your marketing efforts
Building buzz for the spring home buying season means attracting attention to your landscaping or subcontracting business when sellers are looking for ideas and information. The more avenues you’re willing to explore, the more opportunities you may have to connect with homeowners who need the services you have to offer.
For example, you may consider making an appearance at home & garden shows in your area. You can ask for referrals from existing clients, volunteer to teach a class at your local community college or library on a topic home sellers would be interested in, and establish a presence on social media channels or forums where sellers are likely to spend time.