Why associations are important for your landscaping business
You’re probably aware of various associations and register schemes in the landscaping industry, however you may be hesitant to join these associations. We wanted to answer the common questions businesses have about these associations:
- What do they do for you and your business?
- Are they worth the investment?
What can they do for you and your business?
- An important marketing point – It’s key to helping you gain a trusted reputation in the landscaping industry and works both online and offline as a marketing tool.
- It creates great visibility for your business – You have an online profile that you can update and through the association’s presence at industry events you gain visibility too.
- To gain more leads – Anyone enquiring through the association’s website can be directed to you, anyone searching their database looking at landscapers in their area can come through to you, project images being shared via social media will potentially push leads your way etc.
- To gain recognition – When you are starting out in your landscaping business you need to get recognised as a good installer. Industry awards are great for getting your work out there and recognised by the industry and peers. Awards are also an important for marketing to potential customers, helping build their trust in your business.
- Increase brand awareness within the industry – Being part of an association immediately places you with a recognisable brand and helps get you and your brand noticed as a reputable landscaper.
- Peer-to-peer support – There are opportunities to be a part of round table discussions at local cluster meetings. You can also meet fellow landscapers at regional and national awards held yearly, as well as meetings at industry events.
- Training opportunities – Being part of a manufacturer led register means there are opportunities for training on installation of new products and popular products (largely for free).
- Access to industry events – Attending industry shows (Futurescape, GLEE, The Landscape Show), going to association dinners and award celebrations.
- Entry into business awards – This can be great to use in marketing your landscaping business via website & social media. It also presents a great PR opportunity, celebrates a project and gains peer & industry recognition.
- It puts you in front of the right customers – If you are looking to gain better quality landscaping projects and clients being a part of these associations and registers are key. Potential customers are always looking to avoid rogue traders and by being a part of one of these associations will give them greater confidence in you and the service you provide.
- Support with legal and technical issues – Landscapers are susceptible to professional non-payers and product installation issues. Being part of these associations and registers means you have someone who can advise and guide you to a resolution. Some offer a free legal advice service if you are a member.
- Access to designers – Some offer a free design service or can recommend you to reputable designers that can help your business grow.
- Discount on products/services – This can range from paving to insurance to points schemes.
And more! This is just a list that continues to grow and grow.
Who are these associations and affiliations?
The two main industry giants are BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) and the APL (Association of Professional Landscapers). These association leaders are great for reputable landscapers looking to grow and develop. The benefits are huge, but the cost is to be considered. You must apply for membership and when you make the application your business and workmanship on projects are assessed in detail. Being a part of one of these is an accolade for your business and shows your clients you are a reputable landscaper.
Other registers that you can be a part of are manufacturer led installer registers. Examples include; Marshalls, Bradstone, Brett, London Stone etc. These are more affordable to be a part of, generate more leads but their assessments are not as in-depth as the industry leaders. However, the benefits are great. You will generate leads, enter their yearly awards (for free), have support, training and more.
What are our recommendations?
We would suggest picking one of the two big industry leaders – APL or BALI – as this is a higher cost but worth it. Then look at the manufacturers you deal with on a regular basis and apply to join their installer schemes.
Do not dismiss how important these associations and affiliations can be to your landscaping business. Particularly when it comes to marketing and growing.
The main advantage is that it gives your landscaping business accreditation and improved reputation in what is a rogue industry. It puts you above the cowboys and there are many out there!
As always should you need some advice on associations, affiliations or just need to speak about marketing your landscaping business please give us a call on 02381 800108 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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