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Being A Pro In The Service Business: Uniforms

Being a Pro in the Service Business:Uniforms – Image medianet_height= ‘280’; medianet_crid=’124211550′;
Being a Pro in the Service Business:
Uniforms – Image & Perceptions
Article by Jack Stone
Copyright © 2003 by ProGardenBiz
ProGardenBiz, an online magazine
http://www.progardenbiz.com

Women's Cotton Mandala Lover Short Sleeve  Tops TeesThe time has come for all faded jeans to pass. For all torn tee
shirts to seek the shortest path to the rag barrel. The time has
come for UNIFORMS!

What work does your company do? Irrigation and sprinkler
installation, landscape contractor, lawn maintenance,
interiorscape plant care, nursery and growing grounds,
waterscape, landscape design? These all have one common element,
our customers and how they view us.

Many of you have probably noticed the increasing frequency with
which you see your competitor and his employees wearing some
sort of uniform. Whether they are wearing a green tee shirt and
jeans or work shirt with company name, employee name, logo and
matching cap and pants, it all boils down to making you look
like a businessman who doesn’t really care about the quality of
his work.

It’s all a matter of image and perceptions, both by your
customers, present and potential, and employees. Landscapers and
gardeners who wear uniforms generally get a higher dollar per
hour labor rate from their customers than than those who don’t
wear uniforms or they get more work and sign more contracts than
their competitors. This alone should be reason enough to
convince you to start wearing some sort of uniform.

Uniforms do a variety of things all related to image. They tell
your customer that you are professional, reliable, consistent,
and organized. That you have a high sense of self esteem. That
you care, because if you care about yourself you’ll care about
them. That you can be trusted, because you or your employees
don’t look like burglars. People who look like they know what
they are doing are treated with respect. Uniforms separate you
from your competition. They become an important sales tool as
part of the concept of “first impressions”.

Uniforms also contribute to your employees sense of pride, of
belonging to “the team”. It reduces their clothing expenses,
thus a uniform becomes a pay raise! Some contractors even have
slight variations in the uniforms of the various crews working
at large residential communities or their landscaping and
maintenance departments to promote a healthy sense of
competition.

Other considerations are that many government agencies require
contractor employees be readily identifiable when working on
public or government property. With increasing frequency
homeowner associations and property management companies are
requiring uniforms.

What uniform is right for you? Before you can answer that
question there are a few things you need to know. Uniforms come
in a variety of forms. You can choose from tee shirts, work
shirts (long and short sleeve), pants, shorts, caps, jackets,
windbreakers, coveralls, vests, belts, socks, shoes, and gloves.
The quality of the material is also important. Are you going to
provide a summer as well as winter uniform? Remember, the
“weight” of the fabric of shirts and pants can vary. Is the
company name -going to be silk screened on or are you going to
use patches? Each employee should have a clean shirt for each
day they work. Can your employees be counted on to launder your
uniforms properly? Many companies that make uniforms have mens
and womens styles, but not all.

Most landscapers and gardeners who wear uniforms or provide them
to grey shirt comic their employees choose tee shirts with the company logo silk
screened on the back. This is the least expensive of your
options, especially if you have a high rate of turnover or lots
of seasonal work. The short sleeved work shirt with company
name, logo and employee name is the preferred option. A well
made work shirt can last for years especially if its laundered
properly and isn’t abused.

Making the Uniform Work

To make your uniform do what its supposed to do you should
devise a dress code. A dress code is an understanding between
you and your employees as to what you expect them to look like
while on the job. For example, on hot days your employees should
not be allowed to remove their shirts. Half naked gardeners
running around a condominium community do not make a good
impression. That uniform shirt draped on- a shrub or tied around
a lawn mower handle does you no good. Besides, its actually
cooler to wear a shirt. Sweat accumulates on the shirt grey shirt comic instead
of evaporating completely away thus keeping the skin cooler
longer. When using power equipment while mowing, edging, using a
weed whip or any other equipment they should wear pants. No caps
unless they are the company cap. Hair should be clean and neat.
Long hair should be tied back. Beards should be trimmed neatly.
No smoking except on breaks and lunch. As you can see there are
many considerations that should go into a “dress code”.

Whether you work in the garden, do grounds maintenance,
irrigation repair or lawn care you need to compete effectively
in the marketplace. Uniforms will enhance your business and are
for everyone in every aspect of the Green Industry.

Uniforms and a combined dress code will add professionalism to
your business. It will bring you more clients, create a better
work atmosphere, and help you to make more profits. And that’s
why we are in business.
__________________________________________

About the Author:

Jack Stone is a Contributing Editor for ProGardenBiz Magazine,
an online magazine for professional gardeners and landscape
contractors. Visit ProGardenBiz to find out how you can get a
free subscription, start-up guidance, business ideas and
inspiration at http://www.progardenbiz.com.
__________________________________________

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in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines and active URL
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