They say, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but unfortunately, this adage doesn’t often apply in the world of advertising and business. The reality is that customers are bound to make judgments about your business based on how it looks. As a result, exterior maintenance services are a must to ensure that your business location appears well-groomed and welcoming to visitors. These five key factors will help you to find the right commercial landscaping contractor for your specific needs.

Scope of Work

First, walk around your property to note how much work is needed to bring it back up to standards and what kinds of work are necessary to keep it that way. If you have a parking lot to keep clear of ice in the winter, a landscaped garden and lawn area to maintain in the warmer months, and issues with pests, you will need to find a company that can manage all of the above. On the other hand, you may only have a small lawn area that needs occasional maintenance and watering, which requires much less time, cost and diversity of labor.

When you determine your expectations before hiring a landscaping contractor, it minimizes miscommunication and narrows your list down to the most qualified candidates right off the bat. Once you have chosen an expert exterior maintenance company, they can also review the scope of work to be done, pinpoint anything to add or take out and find ways to save you a few bucks, too.

Frequency of Work

Once you get an idea of the big picture of your commercial exterior maintenance requirements, you will have a better idea of whether you need full- or part-time services and seasonal or year-round maintenance. If your property only contains a parking lot and sidewalks, then a winter season package for snow removal may be all that you need. Or, you may require full-time, year-round services if you have multiple properties across several states.

Establishing the frequency of your facility’s exterior maintenance will help you to find a contractor who can meet your demands. Plus, it could save you money on unused services or extensive repairs resulting from a lack of sufficient service.

Accountability

A trustworthy commercial landscaper incorporates accountability into their contracts. Many companies implement methods to track the amount of work done in a single period, such as daily or weekly reports and analytics, before/after photographic proof, GPS tracking, and automatic scheduling of frequent services. Ask your prospective contractor about the kinds of technology they use to keep themselves accountable to the scope and frequency of work they promise to do.

Track Record

In the day and age of the Internet, it is easier than ever to vet companies to find the one with the best reputation, customer service and work quality. Check out their website, Google business page or Yelp listing to find out what their previous clients have to say about them. You can also ask the company directly for references, but be aware that they will likely provide you only with the most positive testimonials.

A few bad reviews shouldn’t nix an otherwise strong option, however. Instead, ask the landscaper about the bad reviews and how they would handle similar situations in the future. The way a company handles negative feedback is perhaps more telling than their positive feedback.

Safety Precautions

The safety of your customers, employees and staff should always be your number one consideration when making decisions regarding your business. The same applies even when hiring an exterior maintenance company, whose function is to use various tools and machines in a public space. Request information from your prospective contractor regarding their safety policies and insurance before you hire them. As long as they are bonded, licensed and insured, then you can rest assured that they take your physical and legal safety seriously.

A facility that appears well-maintained, safe, full of beautiful plant life and clear walkways is more likely to attract and retain customers. Through proper commercial landscaping and exterior maintenance, you have the ability to control people’s assumptions about your business. A power as valuable as this makes it worth taking the time to vet your prospective contractors to determine who will perform the job up to your highest standards.

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