It was a beautiful day – a warm breeze blew through the trees, a golden sun glinted on the lawn – but Mrs. Smith was miserable. She was stuck in bed with a pile of tissues building up around her. Who gets a cold in the middle of Spring?
All Mrs. Smith wanted to do was sleep.
Unfortunately, just as the cold medicine was starting to kick in, there was a knock on the front door. It was 11 am on a Tuesday – not a normal time for visitors.
Naturally, Mrs. Smith was suspicious, and a little scared. A few years ago, someone had broken into her neighbor’s house in the middle of the day. The thought of burglars terrified her.
Mrs. Smith shouted, “Be right there! One minute!”
She climbed out of bed, wrapped herself in her sheets, and made her way to the front door. Just in case, she looked out of the window. She gasped.
There were two men standing outside, both of them covered in sweat and dirt. They were wearing stained t-shirts, and stained jeans, and something about them looked rough. What if they were burglars? She almost called the police. But before she could dial the emergency number on her phone, she remembered something – wasn’t Tuesday the day the lawn company came?
A voice called from behind the door, “Mr. Smith? Mrs. Smith? Is anyone home? We can’t mow in the back because it’s locked! Helloooo?”
They weren’t burglars – they were lawn care professionals. Mrs. Smith wasted no time in opening up the door.
Why Do Your Employees Need Uniforms?
Mrs. Smith’s dramatic reaction to the unknown people at her front door might be an exaggeration, but it illustrates a good point:
“Uniforms are the best way to make people see your lawn care company, instead of seeing random strangers working on a lawn.”
There are plenty of benefits to Uniformed Employees:
- Marketing – uniforms make your company visible to other potential clients. These clients will only be in neighborhoods that you’re already working in, which will help your route density.
- Recognition – A simple uniform will ensure Mrs. Smith won’t be calling the police on your employees just for showing up on her property. Instead, she’ll be happy to see you working on her yard.
- Professionalism – Uniforms look good. When all of your crew members are wearing the same logo, it makes your company look much more professional, and less like a local jump-start operation.
- Trust – You have established a company. That’s a big accomplishment. Uniforms make it clear that you are proud of your team’s work. People tend to be more respectful of employees in uniform – they look like the “real deal.”
Who Pays For the Uniforms? How Many Should You Get?
All right. Let’s say you’re sold on the idea of getting some uniforms. Who pays?
- Make your employees pay? – If you tell your team that they have to start wearing uniforms AND they need to pay for them, you’ll probably make people angry. However, if you’re very strapped for cash, or if it just doesn’t make sense to have all the money come from the company’s profits, maybe you could offer to chip in for part of the cost. This option will also encourage your employees to keep the uniforms in good condition – or else it will come out of their paycheck.
- Or make the company pay? – It’s a business expense, just like marketing or equipment repairs. Uniforms can help you make more money and improve the way your clients perceive you. There are tons of cheap ways to get uniforms, some for as low as $7 a pop. You can print them, iron them on yourself, or buy them in bulk.
Lawn Care Uniform Comparisons
Only you know how to pick out the best uniform for your lawn care company, but hopefully this short chart will help you get a grip on all of your options.
- Very affordable
- Very Comfortable
- Can have almost any design on them
- Look less professional
- If design is printed or ironed on, it will fade quickly after too many washes
- Very professional – great for working on jobs in wealthier areas
- Depending on the fabric, they can be very comfortable
- Dry-fit options are available
- More expensive
- The wrong fabric will make these shirts very hot
- Can be affordable
- Long sleeves are the best protection against heat and sun
- Great for cold weather too
- Looks great
- Can also be expensive
- Buttons will get lost – you need to have a way to sew them back on
Head Wear and Leg Wear
Lawn care uniforms can include more than just a shirt. Company hats are a very low-cost and an easy way to get your guys into uniforms, since most of them will be wearing hats anyway.
You can also decide on a single type of leg wear for your team – all khakis, all jeans, or even all shorts – though you’ll definitely get some resistance on that last one. If you decide to go with these additions, be sure to explain to your employees that uniforms will eventually land more jobs, which will help increase their paychecks.
One Last Tip
Leave a nice button-up or polo shirt with your company’s logo in the truck for when you need to do an onsite estimate. When clients see you in a clean, nice shirt, many of them will show you more respect, and think more highly of your authority.
Clothes really can make the man (or landscaping professional, if you prefer).
Patrick Hoffman is Marketing Director at Service Autopilot. He specializes in managing marketing campaigns and giving marketing strategies to the Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Cleaning Industries. When he's not writing, he's reading books on marketing, self-improvement, or science fiction.