The success or failure of a landscape business does not begin with how well they render its lawn care services. It starts with how good they are at landing landscaping contracts. After all, no won commercial landscaping bids directly equate to no clients and, worse, no money.
Bidding for commercial landscaping contracts can be a challenging act. Why?
A bid too high, and you could lose out on the job of lowballing contractors. Conversely, bid too low on your lawn services contract, and you lose money. Many seasoned landscape contractors and startup entrepreneurs lack knowledge of how landscaping contracts work. This means they often end up losing sales or getting taken advantage of in their contracts.
Landscape Marketing Hero is here to prevent that from happening. Join us as we take a deep dive into the world of landscaping contracts. We’ll share everything there is to know about landscaping contracts— what they are, how to negotiate and what they entail.
What Exactly is a Landscaping Contract?
Do you know how love in romantic relationships is often sealed with a kiss and engraved in each other’s hearts? In landscaping, contracts serve a similar purpose, minus the corny reference. Landscaping contracts are filled with a signature and etched in a legally binding document— it’s as simple as that.
A landscaping or landscaping services contract is a legal document that is willfully entered by the client and the landscape contractor. The paper outlines everything there is to know regarding the deal between both parties. This includes the project duration, payment terms and structure, material breakdown, service to render, etc.
The purpose of having such placeholders is to ensure that both parties are on the same page. It also serves as a reference and legal protection in case any disputes arise during or after the landscaping project. When both entities agree and sign the contract, it becomes legally enforceable, which both parties must follow.
But what exactly do landscaping contracts work?
Every state has rules and jurisdictional laws, but the overall process is similar. Landscapers will submit their respective bids for the project, and the property owner will evaluate and choose their preferred contractor. Once selected, both entities will negotiate the terms of the contract (which must align with the state jurisdiction). The key is offering up as many details as reasonable to set the objectives and parameters for the project.
The benefits of having such a legally binding document are:
- Specific descriptions of services to be rendered protect both entities from potential liabilities and disagreements
- Clear-cut payment terms and conditions, so contractors understand what to expect from the project
- Guarantees and warranties from the service provider for the client’s peace of mind
- Clients fully embrace your proposal demonstrating the existence of a real business relationship
- Clients are assured of your promise to repair, replace or even refund should you fail to fulfill your end of the bargain
- Prevents unnecessary litigations that may come after the project’s consummation
Residential and commercial lawn service bids are a complicated task. On top of ensuring you win the lawn care bidding, your landscaping contracts add a layer of complexity. The slightest miscalculation or misstep in the agreement could mean losing thousands of dollars.
But don’t worry, that’s where your legal department comes in— to ensure everything is in place.
Landscaping contract fiascos only happen when you find and work with your ideal customers. The question is: how do you find them? Landscape Marketing Hero is the answer. We are committed and dedicated to helping landscapers find the best-fit customer for their businesses.
How are Landscaping Contracts Negotiated?
When it comes to landscaping contracts, the bidding process can be a tricky one. As a landscaper, you want to ensure you are offering enough to win the job. However, you don’t want to underbid and lose potential profits.
One important tip is to research your competition and their prices thoroughly. This will give you an idea of a competitive price for the job. Assess the material and labor costs, the scope of work, and the available budget when determining your bid amount. Ensure that you remain profitable while being open to discussing different options or appropriating your offer to the client’s budget.
Once you have submitted your bid, there may be room for negotiation with the client. During this process, transparent and open communication is key to success. Be straightforward with what they can expect and what you can offer based on their budget.
Transparency regarding the price and any potential additional charges that may arise during the project is essential. Ensure all details are correctly relayed to prevent confusion and disputes after the project.
Now you know how landscaping contracts and negotiations work. When everything’s been set, provisions are documented in black and white, and both parties have signed— it’s landscaping time. Ensure you thoroughly follow the above tips to provide top-notch service to your clients without reservations or repercussions.
The more important question is, “how do you land your next landscaping bid?” Discover below!
How To Land On Your Next Landscaping Bid?
Landing residential or commercial landscaping bids can be challenging. You can’t just show up at their doorstep and expect a positive reception to your proposal. But following these tips can help increase your chances of securing those landscaping contracts.
The first step to winning a bid on landscaping contracts is to build relationships with your target market. It’s easier to nudge consumers to be your customers when you have an existing relationship. Moreover, you and I would agree that you’d instead do business with someone you know than strangers.
This is where relationship building comes in. How do you go about connecting with your market?
Begin by thoroughly researching the potential client and their needs. Understand that all clients are different, which means they also have varying needs. By knowing your prospects, their property and purchasing power, you tailor the best possible solution catering to their requirements.
Another tip is to start networking with the decision-makers in your target market. This could mean attending industry events and conferences, joining landscaping-related groups, or even reaching out directly through email or phone. Building a strong network helps you discover landscaping opportunities and allows gathering valuable insights and information to benefit your bids.
Use Referral System
Here’s another bright idea.
Suppose you already have customers whom you’ve worked with before. Consider asking them if they have friends and family that need any landscaping service for their property. You could present your business and let them know that you’re available should the need arise.
However, there’s a caveat to this tip.
Customers will be putting their names on the line when they give any recommendations. That means that the referral system only works on satisfied customers because they’re certain about your performance. The happier the clients are, the more likely they will share your excellent work with their family and friends.
If it weren’t helped, a paid referral system would be a fantastic strategy too. Some clients may be reluctant to be an ambassador for anyone to avoid feeling guilty if things don’t work out. However, monetary compensation or a discount for their next appointment might do it for them.
Target Locally-owned Businesses
Sometimes, it’s good to drive around town, scour the city and scout the place for potential leads.
A stroll could give you insight into commercial landscaping bids that research may never do. Try to look for retail entrepreneurs or residential homeowners that need some landscape sprucing on their property. Simple greetings and a quick conversation may help you build a network that leads to signed landscaping contracts.
Devising an elevator pitch that you seamlessly integrate into your conversations is one good way to introduce your business. If they already have a landscaper, you could emphasize your unique selling proposition or expertise that sets you above competitors.
The secret here is being friendly, communicating well, maintaining professionalism and leaving a positive impression. Your simple talk might change their mind.
Consider Personalized Marketing
Finally, marketing and advertising are among the best and often most-overlooked aspects of securing landscaping contracts. While traditional advertising, like flyers or newspaper ads, might still work, modern-day personalized marketing is the name of the game. A good mixture of both can go a long way in establishing connections with potential clients.
By connecting with specific individuals that may benefit from your services, you establish personal relationships and better understand their needs. Here are several ways to do this:
- Providing relevant and valuable content to your market. The power of blog articles can never be underestimated in 2022. All your customers are searching for reliable businesses that know are experts in the landscaping department. Publishing helpful content that exudes authority, expertise and trustworthiness is a great way to attract clients and win landscaping contracts.
- Optimizing your content and website. Search Engine Optimization is a technique that modern-day businesses use in order to land favorably in Google. As most users utilize the search engine to find landscape contractors, SEO keeps you at the forefront of their fingertips.
- Publishing targeted ads. Advertisements on online platforms like Google or social media sites like Facebook can also attract potential clients. Make sure to target your audience and focus on the services that you excel at. When you become the landscaper that meets a customer’s need in their time of intent— you win the deal.
- Keeping an active online presence. If there’s one thing all customers hate, it’s dealing with faceless corporations. Maintaining a solid online presence humanizes your business and helps you connect with prospects better. Have people handle your messages and emails. Set up a website and social media pages where you can consistently post relevant content to users.
By combining being a reliable expert, caring business leader and trustworthy friend, clients will soften up better to your offers. The only way to do this is by establishing a solid reputation in the landscaping industry. After all, winning your prospect’s hearts at first glance is better than getting their yes during the negotiation process. Strong marketing, branding and advertising can do just that!
What Includes a Landscaping Contract?
After covering how to land and negotiate commercial landscaping bids, it’s time we dissect landscaping contracts in their entirety. Below, we’ll look at the essential parts of a landscaping contract and what they mean for you and your client.
Names and Contact Information
This section lists the landscaping company’s and client’s contact information and any relevant property addresses. It’s necessary to have accurate contact information if any issues arise during the landscaping project. Moreover, be sure that the property address is correct to avoid any confusion about where landscaping services will be performed.
Terms and Condition
While every section of landscaping contracts is essential, the terms and conditions are perhaps the most vital components of everything. This aspect outlines the responsibilities and roles of both parties, including payment arrangements and timelines for project completion. It’s important to carefully review this section before contract signing to ensure that everything coincides with your agreed-upon terms.
The terms and conditions serve as your legal defense in case any issues arise during the landscaping project. Make sure to include a clause for unexpected complications or weather-related delays. Additionally, outline the process for resolving disputes.
When it comes time to negotiate the terms and conditions, feel free to speak up if something doesn’t feel right. Remember, this is a partnership, so both parties should benefit from the agreement.
The Statement of Work
The statement or scope of work precisely outlines what landscaping services will be provided. In writing this section of landscaping contracts, it’s important to be as descriptive as necessary. Include all specific tasks and peripheral activities involved during the project, along with any landscaping materials to be used. Furthermore, this section features the timeline or duration for when the landscaping work is expected to begin and end.
Statement of Lien
In landscaping contracts, the lien statement protects landscapers in the event of a payment dispute. A lien is a claim against a property for unpaid services, and it ensures landscapers are compensated for their work. Simply put, this section allows landscapers to place a lien on the property if they’re not paid for their services. This is especially important when working with large commercial properties where multiple contractors may be involved.
There are cases where landscapers may not be able to place a lien on the property. For example, when working for government agencies or non-profit organizations. However, in cases when it’s allowed, filing a lien against the property protects landscapers from non-compensation for their services.
Copy of Invoice Template
In order for landscapers to get paid, they must provide a copy of the invoice to the property owner. This section allows landscapers to include and fashion a copy of their invoice template to the client. The purpose of this is to ensure that it is clear how they will be billed for your services.
Limitation of Liability
The Limitation of Liability is another line of defense to protect landscapers who diligently and carefully fulfill their duties. Some clients may pin problems on landscapers for some damages indirectly related to their activity. This section excuses landscapers from property damage liability unless it is proven to be a direct result of their negligence.
State or Federal Legislation That Applies to the Contract
It’s no secret that landscaping involves a lot of physical labor. Contractors and clients must adhere to state or federal employee benefits and safety regulations. This section includes any applicable laws that the landscaper and client must follow during the duration of the contract.
Modification and Termination
No landscaping project is perfect, and amendments to the original contract may be necessary. This section outlines the terms and procedures for making changes to the agreement. It also includes information on terminating the contract. Such extremes may be required if either party cannot meet their end of the bargain.
A mutual agreement must transpire to end the contract.
Dated Signature From Both Parties
Last but certainly not least, the mutual signing of the contract makes the deal official. Both parties must include their signatures and the date of signing. This section also provides room for witnesses to sign should the need arise.
Now that you know what to include in landscaping contracts, you’re ready to negotiate and land your next bid. If you’re still making your way to finding prospects, effective marketing and advertising go a long way!
Landscape Marketing Hero is committed to helping you find the ideal customers for your business. Book a call today, and let us demonstrate how we can boost your revenue through unrivaled marketing strategies!