“Back to School” for Interior Landscapers

Depending on where you live, sometime between this week and Labor Day, students in the United States will be returning to their classrooms. From preschool to college, students will be packing their book-bags and heading to class. What does this season mean for interior landscapers? There are several ways to be involved with schools that you may not have considered.

Clients

The first way to engage schools is as a client. Schools, especially universities, colleges and technical colleges have many public spaces. Dormitories, libraries, the dean’s office and the student union are just a few of the places that would benefit from having indoor plantscapes.  Take a walk around some of your local campuses and see where they could benefit from well cared for plant life. Don’t forget outdoor planters for prominent outdoor spaces. Meet with the appropriate coordinator and come prepared with specific ideas and explanations for why students, faculty and visitors will benefit from your services. For a few ideas of important facts to share see this post on clean air and this post on morale.

Partners

The second way to consider schools is as a partner. Many high schools and universities have greenhouses. Students propagate and study many different varieties of plants. Agricultural clubs and classes are always in need of materials such as pots, seed trays, soil and more. Often the plants used do not have a designated purpose at the end of the semester or school year. Consider partnering with these classes. Offer to provide some materials or tools in exchange for use of the plants when they are finished with them. You may even be able to dictate what varieties they plant and how many. This sort of partnership is beneficial for you by providing inexpensive plants for use with clients. Do not rely wholly on these plants. Schools cannot be treated as suppliers that demand perfect specimen in specific timeframes. But you can find uses for the plants you will be able to obtain within your plantscapes.

Volunteering

The third way to be involved in schools is as a volunteer. You can work with classrooms and teachers to spend time with kids teaching them about caring for plants or speaking about careers in landscaping. Kids need care and support from a variety of people in their community beyond their teachers. Volunteering can also help your business. Clients love supporting businesses that are involved in their community. It may also be a great way to network. Children have parents that may be potential clients or partners and getting to know kids can help you become acquainted with more adults in your community.

To get started, call the school and determine the best person to talk with about their needs and your gifts and skills.  Be prepared to  to fill out an application or get a background check in order to work with kids. This is a common practice for the safety of the children.

Marketing

Showing support for your community will make your community a better place and benefit your business. As the school year gets underway take advantage of these three opportunities to get involved in a new arena. If you have never partnered with a school now is the perfect time to get started and try something new. You never know where important business relationships will develop. Have you partnered with a school before? Are there other ways to partner with schools?

Photo “a deadwood stop sign in front of the elementary school” courtesy of Bradley Gordon

Fiberglass Planters

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