On a monthly basis, we cover a host of add-on opportunities for landscape contractors and lawn care operators. There’s a number of common services that exist outside of what we consider the core four: maintenance and lawn care, design build and irrigation.

Add-ons like holiday lighting, landscape lighting and mosquito control are traditional ways to go if a contractor wants to diversify their service mix. Then, there are fringe ones that we don’t cover as much like parking lot striping, dumpster rental and maid services.

But this month we wanted to find companies that are truly providing unique services or, in some cases, a completely separate business.

Owning a landscaping company provides some unique advantages that companies in other industries don’t have when it comes to expanding services. Some of you have to lay off employees during slow times or have pieces of equipment that go unused for long periods of time. Why not use that talent and investment to make money and have some fun if your core services aren’t keeping you busy, profitable or engaged enough?

In the case of our cover subjects, Kathleen and Andy Dangelo, they love wine (who doesn’t) and had space on their property to fill so they built a winery. But they aren’t just going to sit back and sip merlot. Eventually, they’ll use the space to host clients, and show those potential customers the quality of work they do.

The Dangelos could have told themselves it’s not feasible to build a winery, but after researching the market, they decided it made complete sense to do it.

Owning a landscaping company provides some unique advantages that companies in other industries don’t have when it comes to expanding services.

We found another company that is creating columbarium gardens to place urns. Probably not the line of work Jeff Reynolds, owner of Custom Stonescaping, thought he’d be making money from along with landscaping. A priest approached him at a home and garden show and introduced him to the idea, which he knew nothing about. After some research, Reynolds decided it made sense. Not only is it revenue stream, but it’s also meaningful work for his employees.

“The guys really enjoy building them and they feel a sense of pride,” Reynolds says. “It’s one thing to build a patio for someone to grill a steak. It’s another thing to build something at a church that’s built special.”

I know there is a lot of value in concentrating on your core services and not losing focus on what made you successful in the first place. But keep an open mind about the capabilities of you and your employees. Your columbarium or winery might be out there; you just have to be willing to take the leap (after some research of course) when the opportunity presents itself. – Brian Horn