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Marketing Plan for a Landscape Business to Target Residential Work

In the next issue I will outline a marketing plan for landscape businesses that specialize in commercial work.

Running a typical small to medium sized residential landscaping business is not easy. Running a bad one is harder, but running a profitable one is fun. One way to make your landscape business more profitable is to do a marketing plan. Sure it may take a little work, but to be successful it is essential. Next time you have a rainy day, or simply no work, make this a priority. In this issue I have constructed the framework of a basic marketing plan, designed for a small to medium sized landscape business, which specializes in residential landscaping. This plan is full of examples, which are random and do not relate to any particular business. Hopefully the examples will help you formulate your own plan. I have tried to simplify the planning process a much as possible, so the task should not be too hard. So sit down with a pad and paper, or a computer and get to it. At least make it your next rainy day project; that is if we ever get so lucky and it rains.

Executive summary (Read this quickly and come back to it at the end)

The executive summary provides a quick run-down, or synopsis, of the overall marketing plan. This helps your group as well as others quickly identify the main points. This summary should be written after you finish the rest of the marketing plan, (done last) but placed at the beginning of the first page.

A table of contents should follow the summary so readers can easily find more details about each point. Off course if this is only for you, and no one else, you can dispense with some of these formalities, although if you are going to do the exercise, then the extra work may help the bank, or your employees better understand your business.

Research Phase (I find this the fun bit)

Here is where you gather information about landscaping market forces, your business, and what economic, customer, and other trends are occurring. Just put on your landscaping, and common sense thinking cap. A little reading, internet searching, and peer discussion can be helpful. This is a good excuse for a few research beers with some landscape mates.

The Market

How many people are currently having landscaping done by any firm competing in the residential market in your area of operation, or even in a wider market ? Don’t get too worried if you cannot find this information. How many prospects have potential use for residential landscaping? What is the geographic market you need to look at, and then find information about it? Make the size a little bigger for the research phase. EG: You may live and work in the Eastern Suburbs, but you should investigate the inner North, West and South. Is the market growing, flattening, or shrinking? For the nursery industry, the landscape market segment has continued to grow its market share of the garden segment. In 2002 it increased its share by 20.1%. Landscaping has become one of the major growth markets in the nursery & garden industry, with landscapers holding 25% of total garden product distribution for the year ending 30 June 2002. While other sectors grow or remain stable, the retail nursery sector continues to lose market share at 18.2%, down 2.8% from 2003. Basically landscapers are supplying more plants to the public than they used to. (If you mainly do paving, try to find similar information about that part of the industry). Growth segments make for good opportunities. Reasons why the Residential Landscape market maybe growing. (I am sure you will find more)

A general decrease in people’s gardening skills
The media’s high profile garden and makeover shows
People are becoming more time poor
A more stylish outdoor living area is replacing the traditional backyard How large is the potential market? It is hard to define, but in your market area, how many people per year would...
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