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Work-Life Balance: Is It Attainable for Landscape Business Owners?
Business Topics
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Achieving work-life balance sounds like a fantasy to many business owners in the landscaping industry. Often working 15-hour days during the busy season, many express that they are constantly on the edge of burnout, with little time for a weekend away, let alone a real vacation.
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Working with Your Unilock Territory Manager
Business Topics
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Working hard to keep their businesses running smoothly, landscape contractors are often forced to balance many roles throughout each day. When the heat is on and the season is at its busiest, the landscape construction industry can be demanding to say the least. Unilock Territory Managers help keep business operations moving smoothly. Let’s have a look at some of the contractor support services that Unilock offers day in and day out.
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Why and How to Integrate a System for Acquiring Customer Reviews
Business Topics
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In the old days, hardscape business came largely through referrals and word of mouth. The digital era has shepherded in new ways to promote business and also new ways for customers to search for products and services. Online reviews have become an incredibly powerful tool that customers use regularly to decide who to hire. When your landscape business has positive online reviews, those reviews serve essentially as online referrals.
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Understanding the Different Types of Landscaping Customers
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In the landscaping industry, contractors will come across a multitude of customer requests. Since landscaping needs span a variety of different requirements from homeowners, from lawn maintenance to designing an outdoor living space, the same sales technique may not apply to every situation. Every homeowner is different, and every landscape contracting business is different, which is why there is no “one size fits all” sales formula that will work for every customer.
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Is It Time to Rethink What Forms of Payment Your Landscaping Company Accepts?
Business Topics
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Even as forward-thinking landscaping businesses strive to satisfy customers with design customization options and incredible customer service, they often fail to provide options and flexibility regarding the payment methods they accept. Statistics indicate that consumers are moving toward a more comprehensive digital lifestyle in practically every aspect of their finances; few consumers even carry cash or checks anymore. Asking these modern-day consumers to write a check for their new outdoor living space can be surprising, and maybe even a bit off-putting.
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The Three P’s of Attending a Unilock Contractor Advantage Seminar
Business Topics
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Shortly after Unilock began manufacturing concrete paving stones and retaining wall systems nearly 44 years ago, we determined that offering contractor training was essential. Our Contractor Advantage Seminars were born from the deep respect we have for the manufacturer/installer partnership that is part of our DNA. So each and every year, we work hard to produce seminars that bring real value to our customers, as well as drive the overall industry forward. It’s not just something we do each year; it’s something we are determined to do better each year.
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The Essential Marketing Tools for a Successful Hardscaping Business
Business Topics
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Business success almost always comes down to effective marketing. Word of mouth around the neighbourhood you’ve served will only get you so far. As noted management guru Peter Drucker famously proclaimed, “The purpose of a business is to create a customer”—and marketing helps move that creation along. It was an insight made well before the existence of the internet, which is helping hardscaping contractors land the right customers more than any other marketing tool they’ve had in their arsenal.
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Take Your Hardscape Projects to the Next Level with Exterior Design
Business Topics
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There is a rapidly emerging opportunity for landscape construction professionals today that very few businesses are taking advantage of. Homeowners are experiencing a disconnect between the outdoor living spaces they see in product catalogues and luxury shelter magazines and the ones they receive when a landscape contractor has “finished” installing theirs.
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Sustainability: Is It Right for Your Landscaping Business?
Business Topics
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Sustainability—reducing the environmental impact of operating a business—is a concept frequently debated for businesses both large and small, and landscape contracting companies are no exception. What risks and benefits are there in providing sustainable outdoor living designs for homeowners? What kinds of sustainable material choices are available? These are questions worth evaluating when deciding how to operationalize sustainability in your landscape contracting business.
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Strategy and Planning: Making the Most of Winter’s Downtime
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High-performing contractors share a common, once-a-year habit: They efficiently use winter downtime to sow the seeds for success when the busy season picks up again. The winter offers an opportunity to take stock of where your business is at the moment and where you want it to be.
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Selling Landscape Lighting: Low-Voltage LED Is Here to Stay and So Is a Growing Opportunity
Business Topics
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Are you integrating outdoor lighting into your hardscape projects? If not, you may be missing out on a large upsell opportunity. Many contractors in the U.S. and Canada are successfully training their teams to install low-voltage lighting systems and they’re adding a new, substantial revenue stream in the process.
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Selling Hardscapes: Connecting Concrete to Homeowners’ Emotions
Business Topics
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The hardscape industry has undergone major growth over the last few years, with purchases shifting from being mostly utilitarian to luxury in nature. For those landscape contractors that have been selling hardscapes for over a decade, the days of installing 10’x10′ patios featuring a single-size, 4″x8″ Hollandstone paver might not feel so far away. This kind of purchase was made for simpler reasons, such as needing a flat surface on which to set patio furniture. Today’s hardscape customer has more extensive plans in mind.
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Save Precious Time by Prequalifying Leads
Business Topics
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“What a waste of time.” Sometimes, that is what springs to mind after a potential project falls through. Perhaps the prospective client walks away after you spent hours making your pitch, or you learn a client has chosen another design/build company that claimed the project could be done at half the cost.
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Prequalifying Leads: Gathering and Managing the Information
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In the previous post we discussed why you should prequalify leads. This post discusses how to approach it and what to do with the information to make it work for you.
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Premium Pavers: Why Should You Recommend Them on Every Hardscape Project?
Business Topics, Product Knowledge
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A major portion of the landscape construction business is selling the right products for the right projects. When it comes to pavers and retaining wall systems with higher square foot prices, however, some contractors shy away from pitching them for fear of scaring away the customer. Unilock products like EnduraColor Plus pavers, while costing more, are actually very sellable to homeowners when presented in the right way.
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Polymeric Sand and Sealers: Putting the finishing touch on your hardscape job, in style
Business Topics, Paver Installation, Product Knowledge
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Owners of landscaping businesses across the U.S. and Canada are often on the lookout for growth opportunities. But ambitious small-business owners can easily find themselves spending days (and nights) working to grow their business, taking precious hours away from day-to-day business operations and even personal and family time. Finding new ways to increase sales in the landscape industry with minimal additional work is not an easy task, but it may not be impossible.
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Offering Irrigation to the End Consumer through Partnerships
Business Topics
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When it comes to curb appeal, most homeowners who pay even the slightest attention to detail know that a lush, green lawn and well-planned landscape make a big impact. In fact, an attractive landscape ranks as one of the top features that homebuyers consider when they’re in the market for a new property.
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Managing Foremen Proactively Through Incentivizing – Part 3: Intangibles
Business Topics
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To some degree, most employees are motivated by money. For some of your employees, money will be the number one reason why they come to work every morning. But, for others, money isn’t everything. As a manager, it is important to identify the other, non-monetary things (such as company culture or recognition) that motivate your employees.
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Managing Foremen Proactively Through Incentivizing – Part 2: Monetary Incentives
Business Topics
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In part one of this three part series, we explored the way that management styles can make or break your business. Once you’ve solidified your leadership techniques, establishing ways to retain your best employees will be incredibly important. In part two of this series, we will discuss monetary incentives.
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Managing Foremen Proactively Through Incentivizing – Part 1: Effective Leadership
Business Topics
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When it comes to running a business, nothing is quite as important as the way you manage your employees. No matter what kind of business you run, the best managers know how to encourage, guide, and incentivize their workers.
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