Landscaping

Do Landscapers Work in the Rain? 4 Tricks to Keep Your Cash Flow Despite the Clouds

September 15, 2022
7 min read

Wet weather can put a damper on many services your landscaping business offers. But cloudy days don’t have to rain on your profits parade. You can do a lot of activities to keep your business in the black and your customers happy when the weather turns for the worse.

So, let’s dispel some myths around the question, do landscapers work in the rain, and cover what you can do to stay busy despite the gray clouds. 

When to avoid aeration, dethatching, and mowing in the rain.

You don't want to mow the grass when it’s downpouring, or it's been an all-day soaker. Mowing in the rain isn’t ideal, but it is possible if it’s just sprinkling or light drizzling.

Although cutting wet grass can result in an uneven lawn, and it’s riskier for workers, investing in high-quality equipment, and rain gear can help you avoid these issues. Only use gas-powered machinery if you choose to complete lawn maintenance in the rain. 

Additionally, dethatching and aeration aren’t possible during heavy rains. Trying to dethatch in a downpour will tear grass roots and result in muddy soil, completely negating your dethatching and aeration efforts anyway. 

Fledgling landscaping businesses might not have the money to invest in the ideal gear for rainy days. Or you simply might not want to deal with mowing and grass trimming when it rains at all as part of your company policy. 

Ultimately, what you decide to offer and when you choose to work will depend on your climate. For example, canceling landscaping jobs will hurt your revenue if it’s stormy in the springtime or even all year. But if rain is rare or otherwise light, it’s often safer for your workers and your bottom line to reschedule. 

Managing rainy days for landscaping businesses: Top activities

Landscaping is much more than simply mowing. We’ve listed the top activities for working in the rain that will help you plan for inclement weather, manage scheduling delays for your customers, and remain productive. 

Best of all, these activities will make it possible for you to protect your profit margins when the weather doesn’t want to cooperate with your plans. In addition, your customers will appreciate your flexibility and foresight, allowing you to meet their expectations and protect your business reputation. 

#1. Establish a company policy for rainy days

Rainy day policies help set customer expectations and inform customers beforehand of what you’ll do if the weather isn’t good during their scheduled lawn care day. 

We recommend including the following in your rainy day policy:

  • Why it’s crucial to ensure worker safety and reschedule lawn care for a dry day
  • You’ll be in charge of deciding whether it’s safe to conduct certain lawn care activities during wet weather
  • The steps you’ll take for rescheduling a rainy day appointment 
  • What you’ll do during prolonged inclement weather to ensure customer satisfaction

Include your rainy day policy in your landscaping contracts, appointment confirmation texts, and quotes. When a rainy day strikes, send your scheduled customers an email that outlines the rescheduling procedure. 

#2. Complete safe rainy day work 

Rain might not be a worthy reason for rescheduling a job, especially if you’re offering convenient and safe services for completing in rainy weather. For example, you can safely landscape your customer's yard if you aren’t digging, using power tools, or cutting the grass. 

Most landscaping businesses will work in the rain doing these activities, using manual tools:

  • Pruning trees, hedges, and shrubs
  • Trimming bushes
  • Installing compost and mulch
  • Sodding
  • Weeding

However, if your customer’s yard is flooded or otherwise extremely muddy, it’s a good idea to reschedule. Slippery conditions risk worker injury, and working in muddy conditions will only result in a mucky, messy yard. 

#3. Make your schedule flexible

Building flexibility into your schedule will reduce calendar headaches, overtime, and give you more breathing room to reschedule appointments during rainy weather. 

Here are some suggestions:

  • Set aside a makeup day — Schedule four days a week for work, and leave the fifth day free as a makeup day for rescheduling services due to rain. 
  • Offer multi-day service windows — Instead of booking lawn care services for a specific day, offer a two- or three-day service window. Be sure to incorporate this offering into your company’s specific rainy day policy if it rains during the customer's entire service day window. 
  • Alternate offerings and prioritization — If you offer lawn care and landscaping services, alternating schedules make it easier to write your customers rain cheques. For example, you would prioritize landscaping services during rainy weather and alternate lawn care and mowing when it’s dry. 

Planning ahead and building flexibility into your schedule helps you avoid delays, cashflow crunches, and keeps your customers happy. Additionally, alternate scheduling reduces the risk of overtime and weekend work. 

#4. Finish essential indoor work when it rains

Back office tasks never end. So when the rain starts pouring, head back to the shop and catch up on work you often struggle to find time to complete. 

Paperwork 

Take time to organize and complete the paperwork that brings in the cash, such as quotes, bids, and invoices. If you need to hire a new worker, use this time to write and post job descriptions. 

Cleaning and inventory

Tidy up inventory and the office and dispose of any leftover debris. Clean the company truck and restock your essential supplies. Head to the store to top off fertilizer, soil, tools, and gear you need to complete your next set of jobs once the clouds depart. 

Maintenance 

Develop an equipment maintenance checklist to go through on rainy or slow days. The list should include mower, tractor, aerator, and power tools inspections. Check the oil, tire pressure, and air filters in your machines as well to ensure they’re in good working order for the next sunny day. 

Training 

Take a rainy day to train your employees on new landscaping techniques or skills you usually don’t have time to teach. Worker safety refreshers and brainstorming sessions for problem-solving are productive activities with long-term benefits for your business, employees, and customers. 

Marketing

Landscaping companies often don’t have time to engage in effective marketing. But if you’re taking a hiatus from lawn care due to rain, use this time to update your website. Post enticing project photos and customer reviews on your social media. Look into new marketing campaigns like flyers or running geotargeting ads

Client retention 

It’s much cheaper to retain an existing customer than to close a new one. So, use your rainy downtime to strengthen your current customer relationships. For example, send handwritten thank you notes. Or ask for feedback and reviews. 

#5. Send prompt scheduling updates 

The minute an inclement weather report rolls in, notify your customers that you’re rescheduling. Likewise, if a bad spell of stormy weather or dangerous conditions is forecasted, communicate that you’ll need to reschedule at least a week out. 

Here are some ideas:

  • Email blasts — Send an email to all of your clients at once who you’ve booked that day. Let them know how you’ll follow up with them individually for rescheduling, or inform them that they'll receive an automated follow-up email.
  • Call or text — Talking to your client individually can help manage disappointments and soften the blow. Lock them in for a new appointment time. 
  • Social media announcement — Give your clients the option to follow you on social media for rescheduling updates. You can post a single rainy day message to your clients and communicate that upcoming appointments might need to be moved, even if those clients aren't specifically scheduled for the rainy day. 

While these methods are effective, they can be time-consuming. Additionally, relying solely on social media to communicate scheduling issues is risky. The algorithms might not cooperate with you, and not every client uses social media. 

So, what can you do to ensure seamless scheduling and communication? A customizable, automated scheduling system is in the forecast. 

VIIZR is your customizable scheduling tool

When your business operates primarily outdoors, dealing with rainy days is inevitable. So always be prepared, no matter the weather, with VIIZR

Updating spreadsheets and making individual calls wastes precious time. But with VIIZR's customizable scheduling capabilities, you can bulk schedule or reschedule depending on your needs in just minutes. 

VIIZR also enables you to set up automated notifications, keeping your customers informed when you need to update appointment times. In addition, your employee assigned to the job will get an instant notification to keep them in the loop.  

That’s not all VIIZR can do to help you build and manage your landscaping business, whether you do landscaping in the rain or not. Manage invoices, work orders, maps and routing, customer history, and more. 

Flexible scheduling and seamless business management through the VIIZR app keep your business running smoothly, employees engaged, and customers happy. 

Try it for FREE today.

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