The first few months of working with a new commercial landscaping company are critical to the success of the partnership. Having a defined onboarding process will ensure that both you and your new provider have what you need to do your jobs well. By following the five steps below, you will learn how to effectively onboard your new landscaping company.
1. Exchange important contact information
Once a contract is signed and a start date determined, both you and your new landscaping company should exchange all necessary contact information and important details about the property. You’ll need to know the landscaping company’s main contact and backup contact. In addition, it’s important to know who you should reach out to if you have questions or problems with billing. Understanding who to contact when problems or questions arise will save time and undue stress down the line.
This is also an ideal time to share important details about the property. For example, is a key or key code required to gain access? Is there an after-hours protocol? Make sure the new landscaping company has what they need to do their job well.
2. Complete a walk-through of the property
Following the exchange of key contact and property information, the next step is to walk the property with your new provider. This should happen within the first couple weeks of signing a new contract, as it’s the best way to get your new provider up to speed on the property.
During the walk-through, be sure to point out any areas that have been problematic or could use some improvement. For example, do you want your landscapers to pay special attention to your monument sign? Has there been a particular area that has trouble with pests or disease?
Another item to discuss on your walk-through is any requirements or restrictions for onsite workers. Is there a designated area for them to take breaks? What restroom is available to use? Are there any sensitive times of service? Be sure to communicate any of these details with your new landscaping company.
3. Identify your goals and preferences
Sharing your goals for the property with your new landscaping provider is the best way to ensure your satisfaction with their work. Quality service can have different meaning to different people. What does quality look like to you? Is it lush, green grass? Zero weeds? Perfectly pruned shrubs? Maybe it’s all of the above. Whatever it is, let your provider know so they will continue to be proactive about these issues.
It is also helpful to share your communication preferences. How often would you like to be contacted? Do you want a weekly update, monthly update, or do you only want to be contacted when there is a problem? Would you prefer to be contacted via email, text message, or phone call? Sharing your communication preferences will be helpful to both you and your new Account Manager.
4. Get a startup plan and property reports from your new commercial landscaping company
There are a few key documents that your new provider should share with you during the onboarding period. They should create a startup plan outlining the maintenance strategy for the first few months of service. The startup plan is crucial because it outlines the initial tasks to be completed. The plan should also include important documents such as: an irrigation report, maintenance rotation map (for larger properties), property photos, hazards/liabilities, and suggested enhancements. Each of these documents is an excellent guide that both you and your provider should be referencing throughout your new partnership.
5. Receive an annual budget
Receiving your annual budget will be one of the most important steps of onboarding your new commercial landscaping company. Your landscaper should put together an annual budget for you outlining the allocation of money each month. We recommend that you sit down with your landscape provider to discuss their proposed budget in detail and make sure you understand how the money is being spent. This is also a great time to pre-approve certain monthly or quarterly projects, which will save you time down the line.
Are you transitioning to a new landscape company, but need help with the onboarding process? We’re here to help!
CLICK HERE to download your Landscape Company Onboarding Checklist. Or, call us today at (760) 598-7065 with any questions about the onboarding process.