Landscape Industry Specialist isn’t a phrase you hear very often. It clearly refers to an individual with a lot of knowledge who works in the landscape industry. But how could such a person help you to grow your business? Richard Bickler of Arbour Landscape Solutions explains.
What does a Landscape Industry Specialist do?
Being a Landscape Industry Specialist means using industry experience and knowledge to help landscapers run their businesses as efficiently as possible.
My Mum was a garden designer and so I’ve grown up with an eye for layouts, features, landscaping materials and planting schemes. I’ve always felt that using quality products, good workmanship and clear communication leads to best value at the end of the day. And in my 25 year career as a landscaper I was fastidious about working to high standards.
Those 25 years taught me a lot about running a business too. They taught me the importance of communicating with suppliers, team members and clients to get best results. Also that small hiccups cause a disproportional amount of stress (late deliveries, running out of nails etc). In 25 years I also discovered just how many landscaping materials are available picked up a lot of tips on how to use them.
I may not be a hands on landscaper anymore but I’m still putting my experience to good use.
Keeping abreast of innovations in the landscape industry and selecting the most practical ones to recommend to clients is just one of the roles of a landscape industry specialist.
This solid wall system is new to the UK market and I think it has an enormous amount of time-saving potential
Here’s what this Landscape Industry Specialist has to offer
• Product sourcing and supply
• Timely deliveries
• Installation Advice
• Promote your workmanship
• Consultancy and problem solving
• A better work-life balance for you
• Proven track record & recognised in the industry.
Product sourcing and supply
My core business revolves around making quality products easily available. How many hours a week do you spend sourcing materials? Probably too many.
When I was actively landscaping, procurement was something that took me away from the job in hand. Clients, who expected materials to arrive by magic would “tut” loudly when I was either off-site or talking on the phone to suppliers. Not only was that a strain on some client relationships, it did actually slow the job down, but you know how that feels!
What I needed at that time was someone who could do what I do now…. Take the design and make sure that components arrive on time, on budget and in the right order. Not just the pretty bits either – the fixings, mortar, grout – all those twiddly bits that are easily overlooked (until you come to need them!). My business was successful but couldn’t support a procurement person and I’m sure that 99% of landscape businesses are the same.
So now, as a Landscape Industry Specialist, I’m your one-stop landscape shop. I’ll talk to all of the suppliers on your behalf, get you the best prices possible and organise the deliveries. I’m blessed in that I need very little sleep so feel free to ring me 24/7 – if I can’t get to the phone I’ll call you as soon as I can.
Keep materials costs under control
Because I’m a frequent buyer, I get great deals from suppliers and pass the savings on to my customers. In addition, you save on telephone-time, research time and admin time. Which frees you up to reassure your client that they are paying for your landscaping expertise not your telephone skills.
Oh deliveries. How I used to hate chasing up late deliveries. The frustration of paying my team to twiddle their thumbs while we wait for the turf/slabs/plants to arrive. Finding out they’ve sent the wrong sized lorry and it can’t get anywhere near the site.
One thing that this Landscape Industry Specialist is particularly proud of is organising deliveries that actually do turn up on time (if not early). That way you can keep the work flowing smoothly.
No way would I ever try and teach my Granny to suck eggs. But if you need tips on which materials to use and how to install them for maximum durability/longevity etc I’m here to help. I find that the most frequently asked questions are about new innovations like our solid wall system.
As a long-term APL (Association of Professional Landscapers) member, I’m proud of my industry and I want to ensure that UK landscapers are known for their high standards of workmanship. So if I can help you to figure something out – call me.
Promote your workmanship
If you’re proud of your projects you should let the world know about them. I love digital marketing. I use social media to share news and views and I’m also happy to showcase your work on my website and to work with you to create backlinks for SEO.
If marketing isn’t your “thing”, let me help you to put your work online so that you can show it to potential clients in the future. You can either send me images or let me know where you’re working and I’ll come and get some video footage and/or snaps. If you’re an ALS customer, there’s no charge.
Consultancy and problem solving
If products fail, there are problems on site or if communications break down with clients I can help. Sometimes all it takes is a calm, neutral person to listen to all sides and find an acceptable solution.
A better work-life balance for you
If you can delegate some of those jobs that take a disproportionate amount of time in theory you will enjoy your work more, be more productive and have more time to do things you enjoy. I can’t promise to make everything run smoothly for you – but I can help iron out some of the lumps and bumps.
Online landscape supplies store. Place orders any time of the day or night and get the paperwork emailed to you within minutes.
Want to be the first to know when the new website goes live? Drop me a line and I’ll be sure to send you the news.
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