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Expand Business Beyond Irrigation


Thinking of branching out from irrigation services? Add these lines of business for extra income without significant startup costs.

February 28, 2022

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How Fertilizer Feeds Turf

Irrigation is a lucrative business, but you can expand your business and bottom line by adding a few services.

Offering Drainage Solutions

Drainage goes hand in hand with irrigation; you likely already have the tools you need for the job. Additionally, you can combine installs for better customer service and more revenue.

If you’re an established irrigation expert, you already have the leads to get started, because almost every homeowner with irrigation needs stormwater management. Most customers take their contractor’s advice on landscape work. Check out our Equipped for Drainage page to watch videos on how to begin offering these services.

There are many benefits to call out to potential customers, ranging from protecting landscapes and their home’s foundation to maximizing the usability of outdoor space. It can also help prevent ecological problems downstream by reducing pollution and mitigating erosion. While there can be different solutions required to solve stormwater issues, there are some standard practices that can be applied across many properties. Look for these issues on your jobs - speak up and offer solutions to customers.

Identifying Issues and Solutions

Job length can vary due to products used, length of pipe runs, depth, soil type, etc. Be sure to call before you dig; do not break ground until all buried utilities have been identified and marked off with flags or paint.

Downspout runoff can cause washed out landscape beds and foundation problems. Washouts are expensive to fix long term, and it’s advised to fix them now as a cost-effective measure. Some products include NDS downspout adapters and catch basins to move the water away from the problem areas. Read this runoff tools article for more information.

Soil can become saturated or even flooded when water collects in low areas. This is both unsightly and unhealthy, as it can attract mosquitos, kill plants, and cause foundation issues. Grates and catch basins with filters work well to fix these issues at the problem point and prevent debris from entering the downstream drainage piping. If the water has no safe place to be discharged, consider adding a Flo-Well dry well to detain the water. Read this ponding and erosion article to learn more on this subject.

Call customers after a solid rainfall to offer services when the problem is top of mind to fix.

Calculate runoff or ensure project sizing with a NDS calculator. This tool can calculate peak flow runoff, pipe sizing, flow well and easy flow detention volumes.

Offering Lighting Installations

Lighting is an emotional buy, and an easy upsell. It adds ambiance and levels up outdoor living areas. Lighting can even increase property value by up to 20%, which is a great value proposition.

Unlike some other lines of business, it’s easy to see the differences lighting makes in showcasing a property. Neighbors can also notice the difference immediately and use your services; a good installation can lead to a lot of referrals. Consider giving a discount in exchange for using the project in your marketing efforts. For other tips on getting into lighting, watch videos on our Equipped for Lighting page.

Like drainage, you should have most of the tools you need already, as well as a full list of prospects.

How to Begin

Review past projects and see where lighting may add value. Identify potential customers from your review. Once you land a project, take before and after photos to solidify the difference lighting makes.

Ask lots of questions, especially on your earlier projects.

  • What do your customers want? Some common goals include illuminating an outdoor seating area, spotlighting unique features, lighting pathways, and/or adding nighttime curb appeal.
  • What’s the budget? This is necessary. If your client doesn’t have one, create two versions, one simple, one full feature. You can always land somewhere in the middle.
  • Where is the power source?
  • Is the client planning to expand the space and add additional lighting in the next few years?
  • Does the community have any lighting restrictions? Scout other homes in the area. See what works and identify what can improve.
  • Are there any gaps in coverage or dark spots?

Always check local codes and permit requirements before beginning a job. Insurance coverage is recommended. Some areas may require a certified electrician on the job.

Learn by practicing and get constructive feedback from customers on likes dislikes with demo. Further differentiate from competitors by offering outdoor audio installations.

Know the Product

Low voltage lighting is offered in good, better, and best categories.

  • Good: made of aluminum or composite, usually offers a 3–5-year warranty, standard light output options (20,000- 30,000-hour avg lifespan), and budget-friendly
  • Better: more durable aluminum or mid-grade brass, typically offer 10–15-year warranty, LED lamps feature enhanced light output with 35,000- 50,000-hour life, and offers greater peace of mind
  • Premium: premium copper or brass, LED lamps feature color changing and/or color temperature changing, typically backed with lifetime warranty, meet standards for quality focused customers, and can be integrated in smart home system and have remote control capabilities 

Show Solutions During a Demo

Demo kits are the fastest and easiest way to show homeowners why they need outdoor lighting. Demos are also the best way for newer lighting contractors to practice their skills. They can significantly raise close rates and improve communication with client.

Again, lighting services are emotional purchases; lighting is more inviting and creates a safer home. When clients get a firsthand look at work, they’ll be more confident in signing a contract. Watch this video for tips on closing the deal with a lighting demo.

Boost Business with SiteOne

SiteOne has the resources you need to start offering drainage and lighting services. Shop online or in your local branch to get started. Associates can help you with any questions you may have about the job, including technical and design support. We also offer training through our Learn section and SiteOne Universities.

For additional support for drainage solutions, NDS also offers a Professional Drainage Contractor Certification in person and online.