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
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
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
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.
Welcome to Part 4 in the Lawn Care Gear Series. In this part, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about lawn care uniforms for your team.
Why Do Your Employees Need Uniforms?
Uniforms are the best way to make people see your lawn care company.
There are plenty of benefits to uniformed employees:
Just like wrapping your trucks, uniforms make your company visible to other potential clients. These clients will be in neighborhoods that you're already working in, which will help your route density.
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.
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.
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?
Alright. Let's say you're sold on the idea of getting some uniforms… So, who pays?
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. You could end up losing great employees.
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.
Offer to pay for X shirts every year. If they need replacements before the year is up, then they have to cover the cost. I recommend you purchase 7 shirts for them each year.
Also, this option will also encourage your employees to keep the uniforms in good condition - or else it will come out of their paycheck.
Your Lawn Care Company?
Just like marketing or equipment repairs, buying uniforms for your team is a business expense. 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. Keep in mind, if you do it yourself, you’ll have to buy the logo decals separate.
Just be sure to save your receipts, so you can use it as a tax write-off.
Here are some places you can check for lawn care uniforms:
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.
- Lightweight and cool
- Very affordable (great for those on a tight budget)
- Very Comfortable
- Can have almost any design on them
- Looks less professional
- If the design is printed or ironed on, it will fade quickly after too many washes
- Not easily mendable
- Shows stains more easily
- Not as durable
- Very professional - great for working on jobs in wealthier areas
- Depending on the fabric, they can be very comfortable
- Dry-fit options are available (so it's MUCH cooler)
- Less expensive in the long-run
- More expensive upfront
- The wrong fabric will make these shirts very hot (be sure to choose a moisture wicking option)
- Looks great
- More durable than polos and t-shirts
- Won’t show stains as easily
- Easier to mend than t-shirts or polos
- Buttons will get lost - you need to have a way to sew them back on
- Not nearly as cool as moisture-wicking polos
Lawn care uniforms can include more than just a shirt. Company hats are a very low-cost and 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 - and even increase their paychecks.
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.
Uniforms really can make a landscaping professional look the part.
Fix Your Pricing in Under 10 Minutes
Honestly, it doesn’t matter where you’re at in your lawn business. You should implement uniforms from the very start… the sooner, the better.
Uniforms show your leads and clients that you’re a professional that deserves to be taken seriously. This means you can charge higher prices, because your clients believe you’re worth it.
Even a uniform as simple as this helps increase your professionalism: same Hanes t-shirts (same color), jeans, work boots, and your company hat with your logo.
At the end of the day, your budget and branding will determine what’s right for your business.
Follow the tips in this article, and you’ll be on the right track to growing your lawn care business in no time at all.
Originally published Feb. 19, 2016 6:18 PM, updated Aug. 28, 2019 10:28 AM