I started my landscape career almost 20 yrs ago and I have worked with hundreds of people in this trade and associated trades. That exposure has taught me the single most important company asset is its people. For better or worse, your people define your business by fulfilling the promises you make to a client. A company’s brand and growth relies on the fulfilling of these promises. Happy people equates to quality work.
So how do you, as a consumer, determine if your contractor employs qualified and quality people and if they are happy?
Do not be afraid to ask for references. A reference will tell you a client’s experience with the company and its employees. A reference request does not happen often but when it does, I have no problem providing a client with a list of past and present clientele.
Is the work in house or contracted out to a third party?
95% of the work we complete is in-house and we do this because it gives us greater control of scheduling and the product. If any portion of the work is sub-contracted, you are well within your right to ask how much of the work is sub-contracted, who is doing the sub-contracting and the qualifications of the sub-contractor.
- Feel free to ask to meet the sub-contractor,
- Feel free to ask for sub-contractor references.
Experience and qualifications:
There is a large selection of landscaper businesses in Greater Victoria, some good, some bad. New landscape businesses seem to appear weekly.
There is something to be said about a landscape contractor that has weathered the highs and lows of the economy; they must be doing something right!
- How long has the company been in operations?
- Who owns the business?
- How many employees do they employ? Seasonally or full time?
- What qualifications do the employees have?
Do some ‘digging’;
Social media, google review, internet search, word of mouth; they are there to help you in your research of the business and its people. You can learn a lot about what others are saying with some easy internet searching or asking around.
Better to do your homework before the work starts than regret later. Happy landscaping for 2018!