Look out the window of your building and you probably see some kind of landscaping. It might be sloping green lawns, walkways bordered by shrubs, or small trees shedding their leaves.
Or you might see dollar signs…or hassles…or weeds among those shrubs. If so, it’s time to think about outsourcing the maintenance of the grounds around your commercial buildings. Why? Because outsourcing has three big benefits, whether you’re the one in charge of the facilities, the CFO or the person managing the property: you’ll save money, improve curb appeal and get peace of mind.
Benefit #1: Save Money
You might not look at a vast expanse of lawn and see dollar signs when you think about outsourcing, but take a look at your facility’s outbuildings and you will. All of the capital expenditures for equipment like trucks, trailers, mowers, trimmers and blowers can be a thing of the past when you outsource your grounds maintenance. Not only that, but the costs associated with maintaining and fueling this equipment can also be taken out of your budget line items - costs such as gas, oil, parts, licensing and even insurance. (And if you already own all of this equipment because you’ve been maintaining your grounds in-house, we’ll address that issue below).
Payroll offers another significant cost savings. When you outsource your grounds maintenance to a reputable vendor, you no longer need staff to do the work, nor do you need the supervisors or managers to oversee them. That saves you money on payroll taxes, health insurance and 401ks, but it also reduces your risk because you won’t have the risk of liability or the cost of worker’s compensation.
Benefit #2: Increase the Attractiveness of Your Property
Everyone wants to (and needs to) keep costs down, but that is not the only benefit to outsourcing your grounds maintenance. You probably will also get better results when you hand the task over to a vendor rather than manage it in-house.
For one thing, the landscape maintenance company will want to keep your business, so they will be highly motivated to do an excellent job, and they will be certain to have well-trained and skilled staff in order to do so. Ideally you will choose a vendor that invests in the continued education of their employees, providing opportunities to earn certifications, get on-the-job training, and even learn plant identification.
Rather than have an expensive expert on staff, you can have an affordable expert on site…when you outsource your grounds maintenance.
In addition, this level of expertise and experience makes your landscaping provider a resource for suggesting better ways to manage your property and keep it looking attractive and neat. This might mean dealing with water issues, improving curb appeal, or choosing low-maintenance shrubs.
When you have that kind of expertise working on your behalf, you can be assured that your grounds will look better than you could manage with an in-house team, without going over budget.
Benefit #3: Get Peace of Mind
Finally, there’s what you might call the peace-of-mind benefit, meaning outsourcing your grounds maintenance frees you or your facilities manager to focus on inside issues, plus it lowers the likelihood of tenant complaints. All of this not only lightens workloads but decreases stress levels too. It doesn’t fit into the typical “save time and money” type of benefit, but this intangible benefit is a big one.
Choosing a Vendor Who Can Help You Make a Smooth Transition
When you decide it’s time to outsource, you might be wondering about all of the equipment we mentioned above, or those employees you’ll no longer need. These are valid concerns! So look for a vendor who is going to help you transition from maintaining your grounds in-house to outsourcing, one who will either buy your equipment from you or help you to sell it, and one who will consider hiring the employees you’re about to let go.
You want your relationship with your landscape provider to be long-term and productive, in addition to being an arrangement that saves you money, time and gives you a better end result. Choose that vendor carefully.