Lawn and Landscape Magazine
Three contractors in drought-stricken California share how they’ve successfully marketed their irrigation services – and how you can, too. Though California has been plagued by drought, some forward-thinking contractors have found that the key to successfully selling drip irrigation services is to emphasize water conservation. Marketing water management has helped these businesses thrive, even during the economic collapse, and it’s a lesson anyone selling irrigation services can learn from.
“In this economy contractors are crying there’s no work, but I’m keeping as busy now as I did five years ago,” says Mike Garcia, owner, Enviroscape in Redondo Beach, Calif. What’s Garcia’s trick? He says he’s learned that clients will spend money if it means saving money in the long run.
“I’m looking at the trends and have found that wherever people are hurting, if you’re able to offer a solution, that’s where you can make a business.”
That trend right now is water conservation, and Garcia has focused on rainwater harvesting, something he says may be initially costly to install, but a justified expense when you consider that the price of municipal water will only continue to rise.
To demonstrate its power, Mike Garcia converted his own backyard swimming pool into a rain-harvest collection system complete with pondless waterfall. He uses the harvested water to keep his landscape green year round and says that instead of needing 12 months of tap water to keep his landscape alive, it now only requires two months. And by unplugging his pool pump, he cut his electric bill $100 per month.
The innovation is drawing attention, even without a lot of marketing effort. “Right now, because it’s such a new concept, people are just dropping by and it’s spreading by word of mouth,” he says. “Municipalities, garden clubs and even television crews have come by, just to see the new technology. I’m currently giving bids out.”
Garcia has also put together a YouTube video to share the process with his clients. Facebook has also proved to be a great marketing tool to share photos and information. And Garcia says that in order to entice residential customers, he throws in a little pump or builds a small waterfall for aeration, but mostly to add some aesthetic appeal. “People have a hard time with the idea of paying a lot of money for something that’s underground, which they can’t see,” he says. “So I tie in a little waterfall and they really feel like they’re getting something out of it. It adds a little appeal to the backyard.”