Hiring a lawncare company can be easy. Hiring the right one to fit your needs may take some time to find. In a world filled with decisions, it’s common to feel bombarded with choices.
- Who Do You Trust? Reviews offer simple, relevant guidance and show the truth of what a company is all about. Search Engines and Social Media such as Google, Facebook and Yelp reviews are controlled by the customer and once posted, share the customers experience to the world. Asking neighbors and friends what lawn services they use and what they think of them, is a great way to find a company that might be right for you.
- Experience. The longer a company is in business, the more knowledgeable they become and the more they develop strategies to effectively deal with your problems. Make sure the lawn service is licensed according to state laws. A lawncare company in Connecticut must have a Supervisory License to treat lawns.
- Franchise vs. Local.
a. Franchise or National Company – The benefit of a franchise is that there are plenty of reviews to evaluate them from. A few things that are concerning about franchises are they usually don’t have a tie to the community and you may be just another yard to them as they rapidly grow their company. You may not work with the same people every time and their program may not be tailored to how you want it due to corporate guidelines.
b. Locally Owned and Operated – Local lawncare companies have a tie to the community and know the area, including which grass types are appropriate and different problems to look out for. Local companies can’t rely on online sales to stay in business. For that reason, they are often deeply invested in the community. The well-being of the local economy directly influences the health of the business. Local owners rely on repeat customers, referrals and their local reputation to stay in business. When reputation matters, a missed appointment, hostile confrontation, or a commitment not kept, can cause a customer to negatively affect the business. The down side of a local company may be they have a limited scope of services and have less brand recognition.
- Do They Offer What You Need? Before considering a lawncare professional, consider your goals. Do you want to have someone strictly take care of your lawn or have a company that provides multiple services and can be your outdoor professional? Services such as Tree & Shrub Care, Landscape Bed Weed Control, Mosquito Management, Tick Control and Core Aeration provided by one company is easier to communicate with and will ultimately improve results.
- Beware of “The Guaranteed” Problem-Free lawn. This is common sense. Nothing is perfect or problem-free. There are many factors that go into a healthy lawn, including the weather. If there’s a lot of rain in spring or if there’s a drought in the summer, your lawns performance will be challenged. No lawncare company can claim to predict the perfect lawncare season to anyone.
- What’s Excluded vs. Included? What are the add on charges? A Fertilization program from one company could be completely different from another. You should really look into what you are getting and what is ala carte. When looking into a program, what you want to look for is:
a. how many crabgrass pre-emergents you are getting. One application is good but sometimes you may have a bad outbreak due to the pre-emergent control fading while crabgrass is still coming up and two applications has much better coverage for longer control.
b. Insect control is important to prevent insects such as Sod-Webworm, Chinch Bug and Bluegrass Billbug from damaging or even killing your lawn. Some companies include insect control and part of their program, some ala-carte it, and others will leave you in the dark and try to control the damage when it’s too late.
c. Check to see if weed control is an ongoing service with each application and that difficult to control weeds are included. In our area, we have a bed Nutsedge problem and control methods are sometimes an additional treatment and charge in with some companies.
d. There are also lawn programs that are Nutrient Enhanced with Soil Conditioners, Micro-Nutrients, Bio-Stimulants, Bio-Root Enhancers, Humeric Acid, Iron, Etc. These added enhancements improve the root structure and deepen the color of your lawn.
- Are They Problem Solvers? Did they visit your property for an estimate to know what they are dealing with? There are a lot of lawncare companies you can call, get a price over the phone and can come out to do the first service as discussed within a few days. In my 13 years in the lawncare industry, I have noticed that not every lawn is the same and you definitely can’t see the grass or problems by looking at it from a satellite. A company that comes out to your lawn to analyze your lawn, diagnose problems and physically look at your lawn before starting a program will set you on the path to success for a healthy lawn and nip problems in the bud.
- The price of lawncare can fluctuate significantly from one company to another but ultimately you want to compare apples to apples. What is the value that you are looking for? Getting a cheap price may result in unsatisfactory results, constant upselling and not the warm and fuzzies you are looking for. To learn more, check out an article Dave wrote on How Much Does Lawncare Cost.
My final thought: Not all lawncare companies are created equal. Do your homework and find a company that fits your needs not theirs. Here at Green Meadow we realize we may or may not be a good fit for you but will do every thing we can to help you find what you are looking for.