Analyzing Your Landscape Design Practice

Questions to ask yourself before setting up a marketing program:

  1. How do your design goals affect your business goals?
  2. What matters most to you as you go about your work?
  3. What are your feelings about going after new work?
  4. Why are your running this business anyway?

How to assess your own finances:

  1. Do you use standard accounting methods to keep track of the firm's income and expenses?
  2. How stable has the office been (size of staff, gross income, amount of work, and so on) over the past few years?
  3. How muc can you set aside for marketing each year?
  4. Would setting aside 10 percent of last year's earnings for marketing cause cash flow problems?

Analyzing your service capabilities:

  1. Have you become known for high-quality client service? Or are unhappy clients a constant, nagging problem?
  2. What in the past have been the strongest services that you have offered?
  3. Do you have a "full service" practice?

Examining your specialization potential:

  1. Do you avoid specialization?
  2. Are you considered an expert in any area of design or practice?
  3. What is your firm's history or project specialization?
  4. Could you associate with others to offer a joint speciality with a variety of expertise?

Assessing your personnel strengths and weaknesses:

  1. Do you have turnover problems, or is your staff stable, loyal, and enthusiastic?
  2. Have you individuals on your staff who could carry out marketing support functions?
  3. What are teh individual qualities of your staff that could contribute to your marketing efforts?
  4. What areas of expertise should be strengthened, or should personnel be brought in fresh to open new marketing possibilities?

Cataloging your project management abilities:

  1. Have you documented the time table and cost of your past jobs?
  2. Are there patterns of inaccuracy or irresponsibility that can be identified from your records?
  3. If you have a strong record on budget and schedule control, do you emphasize it to prospective clients?
  4. How can you improve your project management capabilities?

Reviewing your location considerations:

  1. Is your office cramped for space or unable to expand should a lot of new work come in?
  2. Are there possibilities for work nearby that have never been tapped or explored?
  3. What are the likely kinds of work to be found within an hour's drive?
  4. How do transportation networks and geography affect your practice?

Facing the realities of your local regional economy:

  1. Are things so slow that the size of your prospecting area should be substantially increased?
  2. What re the business sectors in you area that will definitely not need your services?
  3. What are the specific growth possibilities there that relate to your practice?
  4. What is the long-term economic prospect for your region?

Looking for opportunities in the national economy:

  1. How does your firm deal with a deteriorating national economy?
  2. How do foreseeable future trends in national consumer demand affect your design field in particular?
  3. What potential economic developments can you capitalize upon?
  4. How do population/age statistics influence your expertise?

Here are some ideas for immediate sources of work and promotion.

  • Ask your former employers if there is any work that you could do as a subcontractor?
  • Approach contractors and suppliers for leads and possible jobs?
  • If you have a specialty (or can define one based on prior work), contact individuals and organizations that might need such services.
  • Present yourself as a practicing professional to as many people as you can. Try relatives, neighbors, church members, PTA members, acquaintances, old school friends, local alumni of your school, and everyone that you meet.
  • Join the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, and other service organizations.
  • Contact local newspaper reporters and editors and arrange for articles announcing your practice.

Good luck and don't give up. Marketing success is around the corner.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License