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Making the most of downtime during the winter
Patty Vaughan | December 18, 2014

While some landscapers are busily plowing driveways and clearing paths from snow and ice, others might be sitting and twiddling their thumbs praying for an early spring.

However, I’m here to say quit sitting around and start working. Even though the grass isn’t growing and flowers don’t need to be planted, there is plenty to do for your business during downtime.

Here are a few suggestions:

Plan your marketing campaign

Getting your next year’s marketing campaign underway is something that needs to be done right away. Landscapers may have been putting it off all year, but now is the perfect time to get it done.

RELATED: How To Deal with Rain Delays

Marketing is “key to survival,” says Steven Cohen, landscape-snow industry consultant with GreenMark Consulting Group. “Brand delivery is an essential tool, and how you deliver that message is imperative,” Cohen says. “Whatever you do concerning your marketing, remember brand differentiation between yourself and your competition is what you ideally need to achieve.”

Marketing your business can give you that extra boost next year, so why put it off?

Clean the shop

While your company may be waiting for some extra business to walk through the door, get your shop looking its best. While you have the time, take a day to really go through and clean the shop.

Throw away or giveaway things you haven’t used in years, or take time to make your shop reflect how you run your business – clean, orderly and organized.

Complete maintenance on equipment

When the springtime hits, there is nothing worse than having a lot of downtime. While you have some time, get your mechanic to tune up every mower, truck and piece of equipment in your shop.

If you don’t have a mechanic, take it to your local guy to get the job done. Don’t put off getting your equipment in tiptop shape, because you don’t want it breaking down when you will need it most in the spring.

Order plants for springtime

It’s never too early to start thinking about plants.

“What landscapers need to be doing now is preorder with their growers for annuals,” says Jeff Gibson, landscape business manager, Ball Horticultural Company. “Anybody that is doing color work in the country, ideally, is at minimum talking to their growers and giving an idea of what they want for the spring.”

You don’t want to be left with table scraps by ordering too late in the season.

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