Small Business Brief


7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Professional Landscaper

When new customers first arrive at your brick-and-mortar business, what do they see? Is your building run down with a half-dead yard full of weeds? Or is it neat and tidy with welcoming landscaping?

The outside of your store can make or break a client’s first impression of your business. That’s why commercial landscaping accounts for about 51% of all revenue in the lawn care industry.

Hiring a professional landscaper makes a big difference in how new and returning customers view your business before they even step through your front door.

Want to ensure you make a great impression from the very start? Use the 7 questions listed below to help you hire the best professional landscaping contractor for your unique job.

1. Will You Take the Time to Understand My Vision and Create My Dream Yard?

Ready to hire a professional landscaper? You probably have a rough vision of what you want for your yard or garden already established. Getting input from a landscaper can help you figure out what’s realistic or not, but it shouldn’t crush your dream completely.

A great landscaper will take the time to understand your vision clearly. They should also work with you to create your dream yard by keeping reasonable elements and improving others. If a landscaping company does not agree to hear out your ideas, find someone else who will!

2. Where Do You Buy Your Sod, Trees, Plants, and Shrubs?

One of the most important questions to ask a landscaper is where they source plants, trees, bushes, sod, etc. You want to find a landscaper that uses locally grown plants for a few reasons.

First, plants grown in nurseries near your business will cost less than plants they need to ship across the country. This means you can get cheap sod or trees that won’t die in a week or two.

Second, if the landscaper source plants from near your location, they’re more likely to live longer and grow better. The plants will not experience the same amount of transplant shock or suffer from diseases and pests while adjusting to their new environment.

Finally, locally sourced flora ends up requiring less maintenance and attention. Since the plants already know the environment, they’ll grow hardier and require less watering, fertilizing, and care than plants not from your area.

3. How Long Will the Initial Project Take?

Another important question to ask before hiring a landscaper is how long the project will take. Bad weather and other unforeseeable issues can arise just like any other construction project. Narrowing down an exact completion date often proves difficult.

So if you need to have your landscaping done before a big opening or sale event, be sure you inform the landscaper before the project begins. Always try to leave enough time for these unavoidable hiccups so you’re not rushing to get things done the day before.

4. Will the Professional Landscaper Company Handle All Future Maintenance? If Not, What Are My Maintenance Responsibilities?

Some landscaping companies include future maintenance in the initial cost and others do not. You need to discuss things like the replacement of dead plants and fertilizing before signing any contracts. Some landscapers offer maintenance packages or can refer you to a lawn care company for weekly care.

Clarify who takes responsibility for what maintenance tasks so there’s no confusion after the crew leaves. You do not want to spend lots of money on professional landscaping to have it all fall apart within the first few weeks.

5. Can You Help Lower Costs?

Hiring a landscaper may seem like it will cost more than doing it all yourself, but that’s often not the case.

A professional landscaper has better connections to nurseries and other suppliers in your area. They can get discounts or find other ways to source cheaper plants and sod that you wouldn’t necessarily know.

When in doubt, be direct. Tell the landscaper your budget from the beginning. If you’re still not comfortable with the estimate, ask if there’s anything you can change to help lower costs.

6. When Will My Plants Reach Maturity?

A professional landscaper does not plant full-grown trees, plants, or shrubs most of the time. Usually, they choose young, immature plants that will eventually grow to their full size. But how long will that take?

Be sure you ask your landscaper how long each plant will take to reach maturity and their full beauty. Don’t worry if your landscape looks slightly underwhelming at first. Trust that the flora will grow in the time specified.

7. Do You Also Build Outdoor Living Structures or Install Lights?

Finally, your dream landscape may include more than well-placed plants or trees. Do you dream of a small pergola where customers can wait for an appointment? What about a whimsical trail of lights leading into your business?

Ask the landscaping contractor if they do more than plants. Many offer construction services like building outdoor living structures and installing outdoor lighting as well. 

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Hiring a professional landscaper does wonders to improve the appearance of your brick-and-mortar business. But don’t forget that they have their own ideas and experiences that they bring to the table, like hiring a muralist or interior decorator.

Be sure you remember these 7 questions to ask a landscaper when conducting interviews. They’ll guarantee you find a partner who truly understands what you want and can deliver it.

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