Choosing the right landscaping company pays many dividends for home and business owners. Effective design and skilled maintenance increases the value of your property, supports a healthy ecosystem, and shapes outdoor spaces to reflect your style. On the flip side, a botched job can result in long-term headaches and damage. What do you need to know to sort out the good from the bad? Here are eleven of our best tips:
First Things First: Are They Legally Compliant?
The first checkpoints are the basics. Is the company licensed, bonded and insured in the area they service? This information should be prominently displayed and easy to locate on their website, marketing materials or through government agencies.
What’s The Company History?
Longevity is key. How old is the business? How long have they been operating in your area?
While startups may be full of potential, promises, and enthusiasm, there is no substitute for experience when it’s time to make critical site decisions. A seasoned landscaping company has had time to become familiar with common problems and the best-fitting solutions for their local clientele.
Community Connections: Are They Good Neighbors?
Generosity is a sign of health in a business. How is this company involved in the community? Do they participate in service projects, work with civic groups, or have a track record of collaborating with other professionals? Read more about Frontier Landscaping’s Community Projects here.
Roots: Local, Regional, or National?
Numerous studies and statistics highlight the significant advantages of working with a locally-owned business. As your friends and neighbors, local businesses have a vested interest in knowing how to serve you:
- Local business owners know you. They’re familiar with the local market’s particular needs and interests, and offer products and services tailored to the area based on their knowledge and experience.
- Every contract matters to a local business. Being available, offering personal service, and having work that stands the test of time is the foundation of their success.
- Local businesses are generous! Statistics show they donate products and services 2-3x more than national chains do to actively improve the quality of life in their communities.*
- Local businesses are better at creating living-wage jobs for your neighbors. A community diversified with local, independent businesses creates jobs for its citizens with a positive long-term impact.
- Local businesses conserve energy and resources in the form of less fuel for transportation of products, and are more likely to partner with other local businesses to grow the regional economy using regionally-sourced products and materials.
Testimonials and Reviews: What’s The Word On The Street?
A few quick stops online gives insight into the company’s reputation. Are they registered with the Better Business Bureau? If there have been complaints, have they been quickly resolved?
Insider Tip: Statistics show that people are over 50% more likely to leave a review for a business when they’ve had a bad experience than when they’ve had a positive one.**
What does this mean? Online reviews may not always provide a full picture of what it will be like to do business with a company. Ask yourself: Are negative reviews rare, or commonplace?
Also — Is there a local business that’s done well by you? Take a minute to leave them a positive review!
See what our clients are saying about us.
Size Matters: Can They Handle Your Project?
Does the landscaping company have the machinery, staff, and skill required to handle a complex landscape installation or tree service job? If you need extensive renovations or remediation of large-scale issues, can they handle all aspects competently? Are their maintenance crews available to keep up with the schedule you need?
On the flip side, is their customer service on point and attentive for small projects as well as high-end projects?
Affiliations: Is Professionalism A Priority?
Is the company you’re considering a member of established and respected trade organizations? Vetted companies understand the value of professional associations, and invest in giving back to their industries by participating in some or all of the following:
- National Association of Landscape Professionals is the national trade association for the landscape industry, representing the voice of 100,000 landscape industry professionals who create and maintain healthy green spaces.
- International Society of Arboriculture has served the tree care industry for 90 years as a scientific and educational organization. ISA is aligned on many fronts with other green organizations to foster a better understanding of trees and tree care through research and the education of professionals as well as global efforts to inform tree care consumers.
- Washington Association of Landscape Professionals promotes professionalism and education to its members and educates the public about the landscape industry.
How Skilled Is The Staff? Certifications and Licenses
What’s the training and experience of the company staff? Licensed arborists, certified backflow testers, irrigation specialists, and certified pesticide applicators are required to put in hours of studying and preparation to get licensed, with strict continuing education requirements to maintain their credentials. A company with certified professionals is clearly passionate and committed to the highest standards of work.
What Does The Contract Include?
How receptive is the staff to questions about your installation, maintenance or tree contract? A trustworthy company isn’t afraid of your questions and will work with you to make sure you are fully aware of all aspects of the agreement you’re making when you sign. Take time to understand the details of how billing is broken down, and the scope of work that’s included.
Price Guide: Cheaper Isn’t Better
Value is getting the best service at the best price. Don’t fall prey to a landscaping company with cheap rates! The largest percentage of a landscaping contract is labor. A ridiculously low price tag translates into less time and attention at your jobsite, inferior materials, and poorly-trained workers.
A Telling Detail: Is There A Warranty?
This value-added service is a great point of comparison when choosing a landscaping company, and are required by law in some states (including Oregon). Does the landscaping company you’re considering routinely offer a warranty on their services? Are they willing to stand by the work they have done?
Now that you know what you need to know, it’s time to find the answers!
Most of this information will be readily available on the company’s website, where you should also be able to examine photos of their work. Take time to scroll through and get a feel for their values, style, and capabilities.
With a little research beforehand, you’ll have a list of qualified, competent companies to provide excellent service for your needs.
Frontier Landscaping offers expert, reliable service for installations, maintenance, as well as comprehensive tree services. Ready to talk about your needs? Give us a call at (360) 574-8979, or send us an email: [email protected].
*Civic Economics – Andersonville Study of Retail Economics.
**A Survey of Customer Service from Mid-Size Companies – ZenDesk.com