Maintaining your commercial landscape is an important part of the overall way your business is perceived. Besides maintaining your investment in your landscape and increasing your property value, having a beautiful landscape that is expertly maintained actually leads to more customers, sales, and overall enjoyment of your business.
According to loveyourlandscape.org, a benefit of commercial landscapes include higher rental rates in areas with high-quality landscapes. Shoppers claimed to spend 9-12% more for goods and services in business areas with a high-quality tree canopy.
Choosing between in-house landscape maintenance and outsourcing the care of your landscape can be a complex decision with a lot of considerations. Some of the biggest factors that come into play are the differences in costs, liability, and standards of work based on the route you choose.
When you are ready to approach a commercial landscape provider, here are some considerations.
1. Choose a Landscape Provider with Best Business Practices
When deciding to outsource your commercial landscaping, choose a contractor that utilizes best business practices in terms of insurance, chemicals, contracts, etc.
- Liability Insurance: This is the industry standard for outsourced commercial maintenance.
- Herbicide/pesticide application: Safety in application reduces exposure risk.
- Contracts: Check your contract for things like water management, mowing schedule, and care term to be certain that your landscaping needs are met.
This risk reduction from selecting a landscaper who utilizes best business practices can lead to a lower overall risk exposure that protects your investment.
2. Consistent Standards is an Important Consideration
A consideration with in-house landscape management is the possible difficulty in maintaining consistent standards amongst your employees with the seasonality, turnover, and different experience levels of your employees.
A standardized, high level of service with consistent expectations is a must in selecting your landscape provider. That consistent support enhances the experience of your client and you can expect peace of mind in the following areas:
- Safety Focused: Seek a team that is extremely dedicated to safety practices and standards. Crews should ensure that work is done safely for all people on your property. OSHA and company safety regulations and inspections should also be maintained.
- Training Expectations: With a consistent outsourced crew, there is no need to always be investing in or worrying about the level of training that members have. Select a grounds maintenance provider that maintains certifications and trainings, so you have peace of mind that your property is being taken care of.
- Standard Operating Procedures: With an outsourced team that maintains consistency and best work practices, your crew should be trained to the same standard. Cleanups, planting, turf care, and other specifics of your landscape care should not vary in quality of service so you can maintain a high curb appeal for your customers.
- A Great First Impression: You should expect that your clients and guests will always be wowed by your business and property with the high standards of your constantly maintained property. Curb appeal can make all the difference in perceived value.
3. Choose a contractor with a Holistic Approach for Long-Term ROI
A holistic approach to your landscape maintenance can not only enhance the overall health and beauty, but it can also lead to a long-term return on investment.
Holistic grounds-management takes into account sustainability, eco-friendly solutions, and care that focuses on both the present and future health of your property. You can select a landscape contractor that offers services such as:
- Xeriscaping: environmentally-friendly landscaping that utilizes native and low-water plants for water conservation. These plants tend to be hardier and reduce landscape replacement rates over time.
- Water Management: A smart irrigation controller in conjunction with an expert water manager is the best way to save money on water, keep your system up to date, recognize inefficiencies, and maintain landscape health.
- Proactive Damage Prevention: Proactive damage prevention involves things such as drainage issues, grade issues, or pest problems that can pose a threat to your landscape.
4. Consider Specialization and Knowledge Background
When it comes to the inevitable and unexpected mishaps such as irrigation system failures, bug and disease outbreaks, or specific plant health care, the costs can grow quickly.
When outsourcing your commercial landscaping to a knowledgeable contractor, seek a provider that provides access to arborists, plant health care specialists, Irrigation specialists, and certified landscapers. This will help you prevent water waste, plant loss, and low curb appeal.
5. Seasonal & Local Zone Knowledge
Select an outsourced maintenance provider with extensive knowledge of local plant hardiness zones to ensure that your property is being taken care of properly. With this knowledge, your provider should know:
- Soil type to efficiently irrigate your property as well as select plants that are likely to thrive
- Seasonal averages to avoid planting too soon or freeze damage to trees
- Drought and rainfall averages to avoid over or underwatering
- Plant type for longevity and eco-friendly options (elevation knowledge)
These are the major considerations when it comes to deciding to outsource your commercial grounds maintenance and what to look for in a top-quality provider. The overall goal is to have a beautifully maintained landscape that serves your clientele and boosts your property value. Weigh the risk, knowledge, and time requirements for the two options when making a decision.