Smart Finance Guide
Champagne taste on a beer budget
Offering financing options can help customers afford the landscaping designs they want.
story by Katie Tuttle | illustration by Justin Armburger
When it comes to designing projects for customers, your team may find itself in a rut when it comes to what it thinks up and what the customer can actually afford.
Third party and consumer financing is a good way to get out of this rut, especially when it comes to getting customers to bump up the size of their projects.
When it comes to financing, imagine it as yourself buying a new appliance and paying with a credit card. You don't physically hand money to the store from which you purchased the product. Instead, you pay from your bank account to your credit card company and the credit card company gives money to the store.
If your client decides to finance a project, either part or all, they first need to get approved by the bank you've partnered with. Once they get approved, the bank acts as a middle man of sorts. Your company gets paid from the bank and the customer pays off the total cost, plus any interest to the bank.
And with that kind of flexibility, your clients can expand their project budgets or get what they want sooner.
“I know there are some cases where someone was planning to spend something but since they could finance it, they were able to do more,” says Dave Reed, vice president of landscaping at Meadows Farms in Chantilly, Va. “We used to hear with some of our fringe customers that they had to wait to get their taxes back, but when you offer this, that kind of timing is not an issue.”