You’re a homeowner in a modern world, and as such you turn to google or facebook to search for a landscaping company for either your lawn care, yard work, or design needs. You search for Port Hope landscaping company and are immediately bombarded with options. How do you pick a company that will be right for you? While there is no magic answer, there are a few things you can do to ensure you make the right pick! This first blog focuses on choosing a local business vs a large corporate entity.

 

As you scroll through the seemingly endless listings you will start to notice two categories of options. The corporate conglomerates and the local businesses. I won’t go on a rant about my opinions on international companies but there are some things you, as a consumer, should be aware of. Accountability is a big one when considering the two choices. A local business is inherently tied to its brand as it appears in the local community. In a town like Port Hope or Cobourg, this is especially huge. While a large corporation is tied to brand as well, a specific complaint may not necessarily have as much of an impact on its overall image.  

 

Example 1: Company X – a large corporate landscape company with over $40 million in annual revenue is hired to do weekly lawn care and fertilizing at your property. They sell you on the promise of lush green lawns at low low prices. 3 months into the season your lawn looks average at best and you feel they haven’t lived up to their promise. You call their customer support line and are treated like just another customer, being told that there is nothing they can do and you are stuck in their complex contract. You complain but they won’t budge, saying there is nothing more they can do. After much back and forth and many phone calls you finally manage to get out of their contract.

 

Example 2: Company Y – a local business based in Northumberland County, is hired the next year to do the same lawn. At the 2 mark month the attending crew notices your lawn is not coming in green as expected. Seemingly looking burnt/malnourished. The crew takes a proactive approach looking to rectify the problem before it becomes worse. In consultation with the homeowner they customize a fertilizer blend and get the homeowner to start a regimented watering schedule. In less than a months time the lawn is looking great. The homeowner, notices a dead patch not fixed by the corrective actions and calls Company Y to see if there is anything that can be done. A crew comes the same day and works to identify the program and get it back on track.

 

These can be replaced with the situation of your choice,such as backyard construction, gardens, etc,  but the comparison remains.You may be thinking to yourself this seems like an extreme set of examples, but in reality it’s not as far- fetched as it may appear. It breaks down quite simply to the tendency of a local attitude. The foreman on the crew of company Y, his son plays on the Port Hope Timbits hockey team with the homeowner. The owner of company Y, he is in the same volunteer group. While there may not always be a direct connection like that the fact remains there is always the sense of community. With a large corporation a customer is identified by their client number. In a small town business they are known by name. Even taking away the societal norms of a local business the brand of that business is still directly affected by local word of mouth. There is an elevated sense of accountability to all involved. Not to mention buying local means supporting a local family, not enabling a millionaire to buy a third house.

 

The point of this is not to say all large corporations are bad, they have in fact brought many great things (netflix for the win). I do however wish to empower you, the consumer, to make informed choices when you choose a landscape company, or any service company for that

matter. More knowledge means better decisions!