Just like nearly every other industry in the world, tree-care businesses occasionally find themselves in need of additional clients. After all, you not only need to keep your crews busy, but you must also ensure the bottom line continues to require black, rather than red, ink.
But unlike many other industries, tree-care services must often cope with times in which clients are difficult to find. For example, in the months following the passage of a large storm system, fewer local residents will need trees removed, as Mother Nature has graciously completed the job free of charge. Similarly, droughts and unseasonably cool years may slow the number of tree installation projects local property managers need.
But fortunately, tree-care professionals are uniquely prepared to expand the slate of services they offer. In fact, there area a wealth of “tree-adjacent” services you can offer to help fill up your work calendar, keep your employees working, and ensure adequate cash flow.
We’ll identify a few of the best such options below so that you can maximize profits and remain successful when you find your phone ringing less frequently.
Stump Removal Services
Stump removal services are perhaps the most obvious realm into which tree-care services can expand – you may even already be offering these services in the regular course of business. In such cases, you’ll simply want to become more aggressive with your advertising and marketing efforts. But, if you don’t already offer stump removal services, you’ll clearly want to start to do so when clients are at a premium.
There are several ways to remove tree stumps on a one-off basis, but if you intend to do so in a profitable fashion, you’ll want to use a commercial-grade stump grinder. Purchase one if your budget allows, but you can rent one if you’re operating on a shoestring. Just be sure that you properly train your staff in the tool’s use and consider the transportation ramifications, as you may need to make adjustments to your fleet too.
Holiday Light Installation and Removal
Each year, homeowners and property managers go to great lengths to set up (and later take down) holiday-themed lights and decorations.
But while most enjoy designing these types of visual attractions and enjoying them once installed, few relish working in the high places these types of decorations and lights are usually placed. For that matter, it simply isn’t safe for amateurs to work on roofs or other elevated places. But you and your team are ideally suited for this type of work.
These jobs will generally be seasonal in nature, but the season in which these services are in demand is often the slowest time of year for tree-care professionals. Additionally, you’ll likely find that most clients who hire you to install these decorations will also hire you to remove them once the season concludes. So, consider expanding your operations in the November to February window to take advantage of these opportunities.
Gutter and Roof Cleaning
As with the installation and removal of holiday lights and decorations, gutter and roof cleaning services allow you to leverage the fact that your crew is already comfortable and skilled at working in high places. Also, you likely already have most of the equipment (primarily a bucket or scissor lift and the associated safety gear) you’ll need to provide these services. You may need to purchase some minor equipment (most notably, a commercial-grade leaf blower or two), but you probably won’t find this cost prohibitive.
Note that gutter and roof cleaning isn’t just a residential need – commercial buildings and structures also require roof- and gutter-cleaning services. Commercial clients will not only prove more lucrative, but you may find you have less competition for them as well, given that many of these roofs and gutters will be higher than many other roof cleaners are willing to work.
As a final bonus, roof and gutter services will give your crew the chance to monitor the trees near buildings and houses. You can use these unique opportunities to look out for potential tree problems and recommend appropriate services to address them.
Invasive Plant Removal
Invasive plant removal is one of those services that wouldn’t have enjoyed much demand only a few decades ago, but now that the public has become more cognizant of the problems invasive species create, you’ll find many affluent homeowners and eco-friendly businesses will readily pay for these types of services.
Importantly, this is a service for which tree-care professionals are already well-prepared. Not only is your crew already comprised of experts in the art of tree removal, but they’re also experienced enough with the local trees that they can easily, quickly and positively identify which species are non-native and must be removed, and which ones are beneficial contributors to the local ecosystem.
Note that invasive plant removal can involve the elimination of trees and other woody plants or herbaceous growth. Feel free to serve those in need of either or both, but because of your tree-centric background, your business will be especially well-suited for removing trees, rather than weeds and shrubs.
Obviously, you won’t be able to just start offering these services tomorrow morning. You’ll need to train your staff (or potentially hire new employees already trained to perform these services) and purchase new tools or equipment. You’ll also need to advertise the new services you offer, though you can certainly reach out to familiar clients and directly inform them of the new opportunities.
Nevertheless, you should be able to get these new services up and running within a relatively short period of time. This will not only allow your business to survive lean times, but to grow even larger than you previously were.