The last few months have been a scramble for most landscaping companies to figure out how to adapt to the COVID-19 world. Some, have found new ways to service clients.
Timberline Landscaping found a new form of revenue during the pandemic. This Colorado Springs, Colorado-based business is now disinfecting high-touch outdoor areas such as playgrounds and benches.
“We’re just trying to foresee what’s going to happen out in the future and what services might be reduced and try and think of add-on services that we can do with the equipment we have,” says Josh Pool, chief operations officer for Timberline.
The disinfecting service requires little input as far as equipment and manpower, according to Pool. Typically, a two-man crew power washes objects like playground equipment and then uses their backpack blowers to dry it. Then using their backpack sprayers, they mist down all the surfaces with a hydrogen peroxide disinfectant.
“After we power wash it, we’ll spray it on and then let it dry for five minutes and that kills all the viruses it’s labeled for, including coronavirus,” Pool says. “It’s a pretty quick process and does a lot of good.”
Pool says even it can even be done by one man, but it goes a little faster with two people as one is power washing while the other is drying right behind.
The company has a good relationship with a vendor in town that sells janitorial supplies, so Pool says they’ve been able to find them the cleaning supplies they need.
“Everybody is being paced on what they can purchase so it’s reduced amounts,” Pool says. “With us offering this to schools and cities and things of that nature, they’re able to put us on a higher end of that pacing program so if we need it, we can get it.”
Pool says their staff is on board with this additional service, but they wondered about how they’d pick up the additional work, as there hasn’t been a huge downturn in their regular services. The one area Pool says they have seen a drop in is their snow removal services, as not as many businesses need their properties cleared.
“For the most part, we have some indoor crews and some that deal with downtown areas that are used to this kind of work pick up this service,” Pool says.
Pool says there hasn’t been a lot of pushback from the community over this service. While there are some that say they are not essential, he says there are others who are thankful and grateful someone is out trying to protect them. Timberline plans to keep this service even after concerns over COVID-19 die down.
“We do a lot of HOAs and commercial businesses that have outdoor areas and I think just with what’s happened now everybody’s going to be very cognizant of what they’re touching, what’s been cleaned and things of that nature,” Pool says. “I think we’ll have still have it as an add-on type service for those type of clients.”
Pool encourages fellow NALP members to stay in touch with their client base to determine what their needs are as most probably won’t want to do enhancements on their properties right away. He suggests offering rejuvenation and other services to spruce up a property rather than adding to it can be a good option.
“Monitor your manpower and make sure you’re correctly staffed and you’re not doing a lot of overtime and things of that nature,” Pool says. “We’re focused on efficiencies and making sure we’re running lean as much as we can.”