If you own a business, you know that your storefront is often the first thing that potential and existing customers see, creating the first impression of your business. Landscaping and a well-manicured lawn is a simple yet effective way to impress your clients and make your employees proud of where they work.
Whether you do consulting work in an office or run a popular restaurant, here are some landscaping tips from the Pros that will make your business a more enjoyable space for clients and employees:
Think about All Seasons
While all of the seasons in Minnesota have their moments of beauty, landscaping that is only designed to be enjoyed during one season can make the rest of the year look pretty drab and unappealing. Even if you have a stunning maple that provides shade in the summer and color in the fall, don’t forget to add trees or shrubs, such as evergreens, that can be enjoyed during the winter months. A bonus? Evergreens can be decorated during the holiday season.
Almost everywhere you go, from the shopping mall to the bank, there are indoor seating options, but outdoor seating is often overlooked. While a nice table and chair set can be cumbersome and prone to daily wear and tear, simple benches can be inviting and comfortable. Skip the cushions and go for a natural and low-maintenance look such as limestone blocks or a sturdy metal bench; just make sure that your seating options are safe and sturdy.
Build a Patio
Think of a patio as your outdoor waiting room. On days when the weather is nice, you may have clients who prefer to wait outdoors rather than under the fluorescent lighting of your office. Some patios that are built outside of a business look more like a caged in area than a welcoming space. Choose a design that is simple and easy to maintain year-round.
Water features, from a small babbling water fountain to a coy pond, is a welcoming outdoor addition to any business, especially in the heart of a busy urban area where it’s least expected. A water feature doesn’t need to be elaborate or flashy, just the simple trickle of water can be calming to customers, employees, and passersby.
Don’t Be Afraid of Color or Variety
Many business owners might be hesitant to have landscaping that looks too “wild” or colorful out of fear that it may look too disorganized. Color and variety is fun to look at and can be a great conversation starter. It can also help you stand out from other businesses on your block. When giving directions to customers, you can use your landscaping features as an identifier. Depending on your business, you may even be inspired to have a “statement piece” incorporated in your landscaping such as a sculpture or an interactive piece.
Keep Some of Your Lawn
Maintaining a lawn can be a lot of work, and while it may be more sustainable to reduce the size of your lawn space, patches of lawn (even small ones) may be more inviting and a nice visible breakup from a parking lot and other spaces covered in asphalt and concrete. If you aren’t interested in hiring someone to do upkeep required for a nice looking lawn, consider having the lawn replaced with native plants and other ground covers.
Consider Edible Landscaping
If you own an insurance company, edible landscaping won’t do much for your business, but if you own a restaurant or coffee shop, a little edible landscaping of herbs, cherry tomatoes, and even edible flowers can be a great selling point for your customers.
Landscape with Native Plants
Supporting and keeping business local is a big deal throughout Minnesota. Why not landscape with plants that are native to the state? Not only will you be showing your employees and customers that you care about “keeping it local,” but you might even introduce people to plants they didn’t even know existed. Native plants are nice to landscape with because they typically require little to no maintenance, use less water than other plants, can withstand harsh weather conditions, and can help reduce pollutants in urban areas.
You don’t have to have a large business to afford or enjoy the benefits of landscaping. Even if you have a small bench and a few container gardens leading to the entryway to your business, you are making your space more inviting and comfortable for customers and your employees; small efforts go a long way.