What do you do when the grass stops growing?
You can’t keep mowing. There’s no reason to edge, blow, etc.
When the grass goes dormant, so does your revenue…
…unless, you start offering services specialized for this time of year:
For many landscaping and lawn care owners, Fall and Winter are actually the richest seasons of the year.
It’s the perfect time to market and upsell more expensive services. Here’s a quick list of services that will make you a ton of money this Fall and Winter:
1. Fall Cleanups and Leaf Removal
Fall Cleanups are the first thing that come to most Landscapers’ minds. Here, you’re mostly interested in “freshening up” your client’s property.
- New mulch
- Trimming and removing dead plants
- And, of course, removing all the fallen leaves.
2. Snow removal
In the Northern U.S. and Canada, the snow comes early.
There are entire businesses built on Snow Removal alone. However, it can be pretty hard to get your foot in the door.
For snow plowing: get a plow on your truck, fit some ice-ready tires, and sign up for insurance.
Or you can start with residential snow shoveling, and sell your services from door to door.
Either way, the key to success in the snow industry is to be SAFE and RELIABLE. Snow storms are unpredictable, which means you need to always be ready. There are big bucks waiting for you, if you can do this right.
3. Holiday Decorations and Hanging Lights
“Tis the season… to make money.”
Design, install, and upkeep. That’s really all you need to worry about here. With a few ladders, and a good eye for what looks good.
This is one of those strange services that some companies make “oodles” of money on. Seriously, if you can figure out the right model for this service, you will make more money in the Fall than any other time of year.
- Holiday Lighting
- Colorful Decorations
- Pumpkins and Corn Stalk arrangements
Most clients want their decorations finished before Thanksgiving (so the whole family can see it), so you may need to hop on this one ASAP.
4. Irrigation Winterization
Winter’s Fury doesn’t care how expensive your sprinkler system is… The cold will break your pipes… unless you winterize properly.
That’s where your company comes in. Winterization for Irrigation Systems is a fantastic service to upsell to existing clients or even a good way to pick up new clients who are new to the area.
Turf Magazine has a great article on how to get started with this service.
Here’s what the service usually includes:
- Blow out
- Pressure Test for Leaks
- Repairs and Turn Off Timers/Valves
5. Fall Aeration + Over Seeding
Scorching summers do terrible things to lawns.
But that crispy-fried grass is actually the sound of opportunity knocking.
As a Lawn Care Professional, you can fix your client’s worn-out, brown-spotted lawns. Fall Aeration and Over Seeding will thicken up the grass, and prepare it for harsh winters.
Here’s a really quick guide from Gertens.
6. Garden and Flower Clean Up + Winter Preparation
This one ties in really well with #7. You can turn this into a natural upsell for more flowers.
Gardens and flowers still need to be weeded in the Fall. And, in many cases, you might need to cut annuals down to the ground to keep them from dying in the Winter.
Flower Garden cleanups are about presentation and good health. Remove the diseased plants, and prepare the healthy ones so they can survive the winter, and look beautiful come spring. You might even need to cover up some plants.
7. Flowers to Add Autumnal Color
“Oh, how pretty!”
That’s what my mom always said whenever the flowers came in. You could really see the excitement in her eyes.
She loves her flowers, and doesn’t mind paying a little extra to have someone else plant them – especially when it looks professional.
Flowers are the perfect upsell this time of year, as most homeowners are thinking about entertaining (and impressing) their in laws for the holidays.
8. Fertilization and Weed Control
Careful! This one depends heavily on what kinds of grasses you’re treating. Warm-season versus cold-season grasses will need different fertilization times.
This is a big upsell, and can make you a very sizeable chunk of profit-to-work ratio.
It also has a small window, so you may need to jump on Fertilization before it’s too late. However, the “small window” can work towards your benefit, as it’s easier to create a “deadline rush” when you market this landscaping service.
From Pennington, here’s a in-depth guide on how to get started with this service.
9. Pest Control
Just because the weather is cooling off, doesn’t mean the bugs disappear.
A change in seasons is the perfect time to advertise your Pest Control seasons.
But what makes the Fall/Winter period so perfect for this service? RODENTS.
Rodents and insects love to find their way indoors when it starts to get cold. Use the “Eek! A rat!” angle to advertise this service, and your clients will shower you with money to deal with this pesky problem.
10. Plant Your Trees and Shrubs (NO Pruning)
According to this Texas A&M article, September through December has “distinct advantages” to planting trees and shrubs.
Tree and shrub planting is a fantastic Fall service to sell, especially if you work in the South where temperatures rarely dip below 40.
Remember, Fall is NOT a good time to prune and trim your larger plants.
11. Power Washing and Sealing: Decks, Gutters, Trash Can, and Driveways.
For Decks, Driveways and Gutter cleaning, you don’t need much more than a pressure washer and a ladder. These are inexpensive, and quick to get into.
If you’re really hurting for cash, and you want to keep your team active, try out these services.
Trash Can cleaning is actually a very serious service. We’ve seen some people attach rigs to the back of their trucks, or they rent out an entirely new vehicle like this one:
In general, your goal here is to provide a “Fresh and New” feeling for your clients. Whether that means sanding down rough spots on decks and pulling out the rotted wood, or removing the built-up grime that accumulates on their driveway.
Fall is the perfect time to sell these services – and you are the perfect person to do it. Why? Because your clients already recognize you as their “outdoor expert.”
Fall is a Great Time to Make Money in the Landscaping and Lawn Care World
With these 11+ services at your disposal, you should have no end to the work you can sell in the Fall.
Whether you live in the south or the north, there’s always work you can sell to keep your teams productive.
These “add on” services are guaranteed to make you money when you price them right. So get out there, and keep growing!
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.