In 1967, the movie “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” was released. It was a satire about a nobody who wanted to be somebody, with the premise centered on climbing the corporate ladder. Good thing they weren’t talking about landscaping.
If you were to take that title and apply it to a business today, it might very well have the subtitle “Been a Long Day.” While we know this little ditty as one of the show tunes, we also know the truth.
Sometimes in business, every day seems like a long day because in real life, succeeding takes effort. That involves strategic planning, which in landscaping means knowing the climate, the things that grow and flourish there, and the aesthetic value of a well-planned landscape.
And just like some things are untruths, there are some things you can’t unsee – such as a commercial landscape that has a negative effect on your business.
Part of seeing success involves seeing your business through the lens of the consumer, which means standing back with a critical eye and then brainstorming your plan. If you are a savvy business owner, your plan will involve the assistance of your landscaping designer.
Not all of us are born with a designer’s eye. Nor do we all know what is involved with the particulars of what’s needed to get the results we desire.
One thing we can do, however, is to put ourselves in our customers’ shoes.
People will remember how you made them feel.
While this may sound absurd, it’s not. As consumers, we do know how a certain business makes us feel, and whether or not we plan on returning to that business. Or, as Theodore Roosevelt stated, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
So just how does a business convey that they care about their customers? There are several ways.
Whether it’s fine dining, an office complex for a meeting with an attorney or a physician, or a casual meet-up establishment, a consumer can sense right away the level of care that is invested.
Here are some questions, some dos and don’ts, and some ideas. Remember, these are the things your consumers would be saying about you. The next time you venture out, take note of the curb appeal. What do you see?
Is the lawn well-manicured?
Do – hire a landscaping company to tend to the upkeep, and schedule routine maintenance.
Don’t – hire someone without a vested interest. The only way to achieve a professional outcome is to hire a professional.
Is there a trash receptacle outside? Does it have a lid?
Do – get the garbage emptied every day.
Don’t – put the receptacle right next to the entrance where it can attract flying pests. Also don’t leave trash on the ground unattended – it’s like ringing the dinner bell for critters that feed on compost.
Use of Color
Look at the entranceway. Is it bright and cheerful? The entrance can say “welcome” whether there’s a mat or not.
Do – Consider containers with flowers.
Don’t – use flowers that attract bees – your customers should never be expected to walk through bees. The honeybee became Oklahoma’s state insect in 1992. Close to 100 people die each year from anaphylaxis caused by allergic reactions to bee stings, and in 2019, CDC warnings indicated that bee stings were on the rise.
This is where your landscaping company can help. They will know which plants to avoid to ward off some of those not-so-sweet honeybees.
Is there a bench where customers can take a breather or wait for a ride? This is Oklahoma – surely you’ve provided some shade. The Oklahoma heat can get above 100 degrees. Maybe you’d like to open a lemonade stand next to the entrance, and don’t forget the diet version – not everyone can have sugar. It’s kind of a bummer if one customer cools off while his or her partner overheats.
Do – use wood – it’s kinder to the gluteus maximus than iron during a summer scorcher.
Don’t – place the bench in an area with rocks or stones. Not only is it a falling hazard, but it is also an invitation for critters that like to hide in the shadow zone – like scorpions.
Nor would you prefer to place a bench in the dirt. Think of it this way: “Beyond this point there be dragons.” Not real dragons, of course, but consider the ones that appear out of nowhere. In the blazing Oklahoma sun, they can look like monsters, but in reality, these tiny creatures are better known as lizards.
And while they do not harm humans, it is funny when you consider that something small enough to fit in your hand could make us hurt ourselves trying to get away from it.
While there’s not much you can do about lizards in Oklahoma, you can avoid placing a bench in the dirt since this is a favorite place to lay their eggs.
What about the terrain? Navigating can be harder for some individuals than others.
Do – Make sure there’s a railing.
Don’t – Use wooden ramps. Even wood can freeze.
Edgings can provide borders around plant and flower beds, trees, and hedges.
Floral arrangements – from garden paths to containers in the entranceway, these can accentuate your colorscape in your door and window frames.
Dwarf shrubs, custom farm signs with greenery, wagon wheels, wagon beds with flowers, and just about anything that creatively announces the theme of the business can add appeal.
Outdoor lighting – from string lights to lighted rocks, luminaries, and solar lights, these have great visual appeal while creating a casual or elegant ambiance.
Water features – fountains, waterfalls, and ponds enhance the landscape outside office suites. For stand-alone offices, consider a well-maintained birdbath.
Novelty signs – regional establishments are often adorned with signage and visual statues that are easy to see from the highway.
Not only do they make these places of business easily identifiable, but you can think of them as something you don’t see anywhere else.
A landscaping designer can create a pleasant experience for patrons and employees. But a designer will also move beyond the basics, creating new experiences with trees, flowers, and shrubs. In addition to mulching, digging, and planting, the landscape designer coordinates urban infrastructures for businesses and parks.
With an eye for attracting customers to your establishment, Perimeter Landscape provides your business with the professional services needed to cultivate optimal enjoyment, whether you work, shop, play, or dine there.
Give us a call today. We make your landscape our business.