The official start of fall is not too far off and with it comes a number of opportunities to install different seasonal displays for your customers. While the motives for commercial and residential clients to invest in seasonal displays will differ, this can be a profitable add-on for your business.
Mark Borst, LIC, president and owner of Borst Landscape & Design based in Allendale, New Jersey, says his company started doing seasonal color and displays in the late 90s. They have a dedicated garden division that plants pansies in the spring, annual flowers for the summer, mums in the fall and they also install Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas displays.
Borst says while their maintenance division brings in just over $3 million annually, the garden division is producing $1.8 million in revenue with their seasonal work.
“It’s a great cycle because it starts out in April, we take a break for Christmas, and then we’re back on January 1 taking all those displays down,” Borst says. “It probably takes us two or three weeks to get all the displays down so it’s nice January work too.”
When to Start Selling?
Bart Poulin, principal at Greener Horizon based in Middleboro, Massachusetts, says they typically start advertising in late September and push for a decision by end of October.
“Commercial clients don’t like seeing empty flowerpots, so using greenery along with holiday decor helps keep them full,” Poulin says. “We remove the decor and keep the greenery after the holiday to keep the planters full for the winter months.”
Similarly, Duke’s Landscape Management, based in Hackettstown, New Jersey, proposes their fall displays in September and their winter displays in November.
“We like to have the fall displays installed just before Halloween so they last the holiday and hopefully into Thanksgiving, depending on Mother Nature!” says Aaron Williams, a production manager with Duke’s. “And for our winter displays, we look to have them installed just after Thanksgiving to look great for the month of December.”
Williams says emphasizing the use of colors and textures goes a long way when selling to clients.
“Providing a colorful and dynamic display will help to recapture that liveliness and help employees enjoy going to work during these gloomy days to a place that cares about their happiness,” Williams says. “When it comes to HOAs, I like to use the interactive feature when selling to them. Doing something for a community that they will actually use and enjoy helps make the sale.”
Borst says for their holiday displays, they typically start selling before each season hits. He says clients are sporadic with the displays as some years they’ll want them and other years they won’t.
For Morin’s Landscaping Inc., based in Hollis, New Hampshire, they don’t have a specific season they start selling seasonal displays.
“Seasonal displays are easy to sell,” says Matt Chapman, a manager with Morin’s. “Not many companies do them in our area and we put a lot of effort to have them stand out! It is a nice way to soften an entrance to any professional building or clubhouse.”
Advice for Others
Borst advises that other companies looking to add this as a service make sure they have a detail-oriented individual who can run it, as it is very hands-on with the client.
“I would recommend highly trying to find that person that can do it,” Borst says. “If there’s an owner that has a passion, obviously, that’s great. I didn’t know anything about it. So, I would be the wrong guy to run it, so I was extremely fortunate that I found somebody, gave them the opportunity to do it and they just ran with it. So, really worked out well.”
Poulin advises setting up an auto-renew clause for residential clients, as this allows you to keep your price down and protect any financial investment for that specific home.