In the world of landscaping, there are two main branches of work – commercial and residential. While both have their unique challenges and benefits, they can often require different approaches and skills. In this blog post, we will explore the joys and pains of commercial work, as discussed with our guest Chad during episode #321 of Kid Contractor podcast.
Commercial work refers to landscaping projects that are undertaken for businesses or public spaces, such as parks, schools, and government buildings. Residential work, on the other hand, is landscaping for private homes. While some landscaping companies specialize in one or the other, many offer both services. It all comes down to the preferences of the business owner and the type of clients they want to work with.
One landscaper, who was interviewed on the Kid Contractor podcast, shared his experience of moving from primarily residential to commercial work. The landscaper explained that he was drawn to commercial work because of the simplicity of the bidding process. With commercial jobs, he said, you often have a set amount of time to submit your proposal, which can be as little as 15 minutes. In contrast, residential clients often require several meetings before they sign on, which can be time-consuming and draining.
Another advantage of commercial work is that the specs for the projects are often straightforward and consistent from year to year, especially for city or municipal projects. For example, if the job is to do copson asphalt reinstatement, the specs do not change much from one project to another. This consistency allows landscapers to estimate the cost of the job more accurately and with less effort.
That being said, commercial work does come with its own set of challenges. One of the biggest is working with general contractors (GCs). While there are many good GCs out there, some may use language that can be a red flag for landscapers. For example, if a GC asks if a landscaper offers free estimates, it may be a sign that they do not value the landscaper's time and expertise. Therefore, landscapers need to be wary of such language and make sure to communicate their value and professionalism to potential clients.
Another challenge of commercial work is the labor pool. As the landscaper interviewed on the podcast explained, it can be difficult to find skilled workers to expand the team. Additionally, commercial work often requires heavy equipment, such as excavators and dump trucks, which can be expensive to purchase and maintain.
Despite these challenges, commercial work can be very rewarding for landscapers who are looking for a change from residential work. It allows them to work on large-scale projects, expand their business, and work with a diverse range of clients. With the right skills and approach, landscapers can thrive in the world of commercial contracting.
In conclusion, whether you're a seasoned landscaper or just starting out, it's important to understand the differences between commercial and residential work before you switch to one over the other. While both have their pros and cons, commercial work offers a unique set of challenges and rewards. By understanding these, you can make informed decisions about which type of work is best for your business and how to succeed in your chosen field.