Having a professional landscape designer on your staff can set you apart for your competition, particularly when it comes time to bid high-value projects for residential and commercial landscapes. You don’t have to have a landscape designer working for you full time, but you should at least have a go-to person that you can promote as working with you. Offering the services of a professional landscape designer can launch your business into a new league. Here is how to choose the right person for your business.
Know Your Business
Before you hire anyone to work for you, you need to understand what you are hiring them to do. Do you focus mostly on residential landscapes or are you interested in commercial jobs? Do you want to include landscaping and hardscaping or do you need help with water features? How many landscapes do you do in a month or in a season? The more you know about your business, the easier it will be to narrow down your choices when it comes to selecting a landscape designer.
Look for Horticultural Training
The credentials that a person needs to advertise their services as a landscape designer vary from state to state and sometimes even within a state. Look for someone who has at least a year of training and the credentials to back it up. The benefit of having a well-educated landscape designer cannot be overstated. Their knowledge of plants will help them not only meet aesthetics needs, but functional needs as well. A well-educated designer can tweak landscapes for specific needs such as attracting birds, reducing disease, benefiting pollinators, timing blooms to coordinate colors, and so forth.
Make sure that your designer has the credentials necessary to submit plans to permitting agencies for approval. Having someone who can handle the bureaucratic side of things will be invaluable for you and your clients alike. The more experience the designer has with local and state agencies, the faster projects will move and that means less money lost while you and your crew sit around waiting for approvals.
If you are going to have a landscape designer on your staff, you need to talk with that person about salary or fees because that will have to be factored in to every job you do. Do you have the volume of work at the right price points to support a designer? If not, how will a designer help you get that work and what kind of benefits can you offer the designer until things start to pick up? Are you bringing the designer in as an employee or as a partner?
Why Go Through the Hassle?
It may seem like a hassle to hire a landscape designer to work for your company, but the payoffs can be tremendous. They can improve customer relations, help you land bigger jobs, and give you the clout you need to go after things like municipal projects. Having credentialed professionals in your company will always boost your reputation and give you an advantage over the competition.