Tips for Becoming a Successful Irrigation Contractor

Irrigation sprinklers watering a bed of flowers

Irrigation sprinklers watering a bed of flowers

How to Become a Successful Irrigation Contractor in 2022

The springtime and summertime bring warm weather, and these months are the most important for irrigation and lawn-care. If you are an irrigation contractor, the next few months are more than likely your busy season, and your customers will rely on your knowledge and expertise to assist them in taking care of their lawns and keeping their grass green and healthy. Here at Hydro-Rain®, we like to think of ourselves as an irrigation professional’s best friend. Not only do we manufacture high-quality irrigation products that are built for speed to make the lives of irrigation contractors easier, but we also offer free online irrigation training to help them stay in the loop with the most up-to-date practices in the industry. Whether your irrigation career is brand new or you are an industry veteran, we hope that these tips will be helpful for you.  

Education is Key to Success

No matter what your career is, the more education you have in your field the more success you will have. The same is true about being an irrigation contractor. Continuing your education will help you learn the ins and outs of your industry, re-learn things that you may have forgotten, and learn about changes or updates to industry best practices.

That is exactly why we offer the Hydro-Rain® Academy for irrigation contractors. Whether the courses are for you, your crew members, or both, it always helps to further your education. We created our training courses to teach you skills that will help you save time and money, making a huge difference for small businesses. Adding a course certification to your professional resume will make your customers feel better about hiring you.

The Value of Customer Relationships

As a contractor, you need the phone to ring in order to make money. Customer relationships are the lifeblood of contracting work, and word-of-mouth is the lifeblood of small local businesses. As an irrigation company, your relationships with your clients are essential. These relationships can lead to repeat business from the same customer and referrals. It’s important to consider what your potential customers will look for before hiring you, ranging from your certifications to your online reviews. Loyal customers can leave reviews online, speak highly of you via word-of-mouth, and become repeat customers.

It is important to communicate with your customers, especially during the off-season, so they don’t forget about your business. Make regular posts on social media pages that your customers can like and share with their friends. Send a monthly email newsletter by using a platform like Constant Contact where you can update them on new services that you are offering, updates to the industry, or just general information about irrigation or lawn care. You can even include discount codes in your social media posts or email newsletters to encourage referrals and repeat business.

Relevance Sets You Apart

Technology in our modern world is rapidly changing, and irrigation products are constantly being revolutionized with new features and new possibilities. Make sure that you are continually doing research in your industry, attending conferences, attending virtual webinars, and reading articles about the latest changes to irrigation. Customers are smart and can tell when a company is outdated, using old technology and antiquated business practices. Staying relevant will help set you apart from other lawn care and irrigation contractors in your area.  

Contact the Irrigation Specialists to Further Your Irrigation Career

Whether you are already an irrigation contractor looking to refine your expertise or someone just starting your career in irrigation, following these tips will help you become more successful. If you have any questions about our Hydro-Rain® Academy or any of our great irrigation products, please contact us today! Hydro-Rain® offers free online training for irrigation professionals to help you become a master at your craft. Reach out to us for all of your irrigation needs, and we will respond as soon as we can.

Tips for Taking Care of Lawns – Spring 2022 Edition

Man mowing lawn with a lawn mower

Man mowing lawn with a lawn mower

How to Take Care of Lawns this spring

As spring rolls along and the weather gets warmer, it’s time for homeowners to start thinking about getting their lawns ready for the 2022 season. Taking care of their property so that the yard can stand out with lovely green grass is not a tricky process, but there are a few things that you need to make sure you do. Here at Hydro-Rain®, irrigation is our business, and lawns are our specialty. Today, we would like to share some of our pro tips for lawn care to help your customers’ lawns thrive this year.

Prepare Your Lawn Mower

The success of any lawn is reliant upon the mower. It is essential to cut the grass regularly throughout the warm months, and to do that; you need to ensure you have a working mower. You could choose to take your mower to a shop for routine seasonal maintenance or do it yourself at your shop. Some tips for preparing your mower include:

  • Change the oil so that it is fresh for the new season
  • Clean the undercarriage to make sure the blade isn’t blocked
  • Sharpen the edge for a clean cut
  • Replace the spark plug and air filter
  • Keep the mower in the sun to warm it up so it starts easily
  • If you have a gas mower, fill a can with fresh gasoline
  • If you have an electric mower, check and charge the battery

Make Sure the Yard is Mower-Friendly

While raking the fall leaves is nice, it is also good to rake up twigs and debris in the spring. Throughout the off-season, sticks that fall from trees, trash blowing from the road, or kids’ toys and pets’ toys could be hidden in the grass. These items could damage your mower and affect the way the grass grows in certain spots. Clean up the yard and remove any obstacles before mowing. It also helps to trim low-hanging tree branches or overgrown shrubs that might make it difficult for you when you are cutting the grass.

Kill Weeds and Feed the Grass

Most lawns experience weeds to some extent. If your customers have weeds, be sure to use a weed-killing product that will kill the weeds. Some products are both weed & feed, meaning they will kill the weeds and feed your grass simultaneously. Applying weed and feed will help the whole lawn consist of excellent green grass free of weeds. You might also need to add fresh seeds to any bare spots throughout the yard to keep an even layer of grass across the entire lawn.

Proper Irrigation is the Key to Grass Growth

As you might have guessed, this is the step in the process that we at Hydro-Rain® are most passionate about. Like any other plant, grass needs the correct amount of water to grow. As irrigation experts, we specialize in products that help homeowners, irrigation professionals, and even agricultural producers care for and water their properties. Our B-hyve app ecosystem is an app for your smartphone device that allows you to save water by controlling the irrigation system using Wi-Fi. B-hyve even combines artificial intelligence, live weather feeds, landscape data inputs, and system efficiency (including customizable Precipitation Rate) to help create a custom, dynamic irrigation schedule specifically for your lawn. Check out the video to learn more!

Need Help? Contact the Irrigation Specialists

We hope that your customer’s lawn thrives this season by following these tips! If you have any questions about our B-hyve app ecosystem or any other irrigation products, don’t hesitate to contact us today! Hydro-Rain® offers products built for speed, which can even help save water this year. Reach out to us for all of your irrigation needs, and we will respond as soon as we can.

Dear Irrigation Contractor – What Your Potential Customers Will Look for before Hiring You

Sprinkler watering a lawn

Sprinkler watering a lawn

All Irrigation Specialists Should Consider what their Customers Look For

As an irrigation contractor, you know how important it is to create great relationships with your clients. It will make the work that you do more rewarding, but it will help to ensure repeat business, receive positive online reviews, and get referrals and recommendations. Building a good rapport with your customers is paramount to the success of your landscaping or irrigation business. Hydro-Rain® is not only a manufacturer of helpful irrigation products, but we also offer business tools for irrigation contractors to help them perform their jobs to their highest efficiency. Part of doing so is to consider what your potential customers will look for before hiring you.

What Products You Use

Many customers will do their research and look into what types of products are recommended in the industry. Customers will be interested in the types of irrigation products you use, the different components, and why you use those specific products. If it is not clear on your website, they might call to ask you over the phone.

Whether or Not You Offer a Warranty of After-Sale Service

For many people, irrigation is a significant investment, so choosing the right irrigation contractor is an important decision for them. Customers often feel more secure with hiring your services if they can be reassured with product warranties in case of a deficiency and after-sale service to reinforce that the products are working and will be cared for. They might even check to see if these services include winterization and start-up in the springtime.

Online Reviews and Customer References

As we mentioned in the introduction, online reviews and customer references are crucial to the success of any contracting business. Customers will look online to see if others have left reviews for you on Google, Yelp, or other review-based platforms. They might also ask you for the names and phone numbers of a few of your recently serviced clients as references. Providing references is more authentic and reassuring for some people than online reviews, and it is important to have this information available if they request it.

Whether or Not You Cut Corners

Chances are, your potential customers are pretty smart. They might be skeptical if your prices are too low, and they might check to make sure that you are both licensed and insured. It is essential to make sure that you are both! They also might check to ensure you aren’t using cheap products or lazy methods in the irrigation work. Building trust is an integral part of starting a positive customer relationship, and the best way to do that is by being trustworthy.

Questions? Talk to the Irrigation Experts

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us today! Hydro-Rain® not only offers built-for-speed products, but we are an irrigation contractor’s best friend and offer helpful articles and services for irrigation contractors to make their jobs easier and their work more efficient for their customers. Reach out to us for all of your irrigation needs, and we will reply to you shortly. Our commitment to the essential values of integrity, lasting relationships, and fair dealing is at the heart of Hydro-Rain®, so let’s work together to bring your customers the best in irrigation!

What You Need to Know About Starting an Irrigation LLC

Starting Your Own Irrigation Business

When it comes to starting any business, it can feel very overwhelming to consider the long checklist of items you need to handle. The same goes for starting an Irrigation business.

There is a lot to take on when starting an irrigation business, and it is well worth it. Whether you’re serving those in farming, homeownership, athletic fields, and more, there are plenty of customers for you to go after. It’s essential to break down the basics when you decide to start. Here is a list of 10 steps for you to take to get your irrigation business going.

10 Steps to success

1. Start Planning

Plan out your business and start prioritizing specific tasks. Starting everything off with a strong focus and organization will save you trouble down the road. Here are some essential things to consider when planning your irrigation business:

  • What will the startup costs be?
  • Who is the target market?
  • What will your services cost?
  • What is the name of your business going to be?

2. Legal Entity Formation

One of the most common business formations is an LLC. Establishing your business as an LLC protects you from being sued individually. Starting your LLC is relatively easy, requiring a state fee and paperwork.

3. Open a Business Bank Account and Credit Card

It’s imperative to separate your business account from your personal accounts. Not only for asset protection, but the separation helps you build business credit that provides better interest rates and higher credit lines.

4. Set Up Business Accounting

Business accounting is the heart of your operation, as it’s essential to know what is going on with your finances and of the utmost importance to track every expense for your business.

5. Get Business Insurance

Insurance is one of the most important aspects of starting a business. Having business insurance will protect your company’s well-being in the event of a loss. You’ll want to get started with general liability insurance.

6. Obtain All Licenses and Permits

It’s essential in your irrigation business to determine what permits and licenses you need to operate. A failure to obtain these items can result in hefty fines or even lead to a shutdown of your business.

7. Register for Taxes

There are a variety of state and federal taxes that you’ll need to register for before opening your business. You’ll need to apply for an EIN before doing this.

8. Set Up Your Business Phone System

Make sure you separate your personal life from your business. One of the best ways is by setting up a dedicated business phone. Additionally, it helps establish legitimacy within your business and makes it easier for customers to find your business.

9. Create Your Website

Having a website is extremely important to any business, as most customers are looking for services online. Having a website allows you to answer questions and showcase your business to those who visit your website.

10. Establish Your Business’s Brand

Creating your business’s brand means establishing your mission statement and deciding on what values your company has. It is essential for your public persona, overall recognition, and trust.

Starting an irrigation service business is a great business. Using these steps is a great way to help you get started, and having the suitable types of tools within your business are a great path to success.

Check out the products with Hydro-Rain and fill out this application to get started.

How the Hydro-Rain Academy can Help You become an Irrigation Specialist

Looking to Become an Irrigation Specialist? Then join the Hydro-Rain Academy!

The world of irrigation is changing. Are you ready? Water quantity and quality is becoming more critical every year. New regulations, rules, mandates, and laws are being enacted that require irrigation professionals to adapt.

Hydro-Rain recognizes that the most crucial part of any irrigation system is you! Irrigation systems that are correctly installed and maintained save water.

The Hydro-Rain Academy can help you improve your business by learning

about irrigation. And how you can save water, meet the new regulations, and make more money. Whether you are just beginning your journey in the world of irrigation or a seasoned veteran, the Hydro-Rain Academy can help you work smarter and faster.

What Courses Does the Hydro-Rain Academy Offer?

Hydro-Rain Academy currently offers 15 different courses that cover a variety of different technologies and practices that will help you to enhance your irrigation expertise. Take a look at the full course catalog and learn more about three of our most popular courses below.

B-hyve Pro Technician

This course will teach you details about using the B-hyve Pro App. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be awarded a certificate from Hydro-Rain, as well as your choice from a selection of Hydro-Rain gear as a token from us for a job well done.

HRC 400 Controller Technician

This course teaches Landscape Sprinkler Technicians all about the HRC 400 Wi-Fi Smart controller by Hydro-Rain. This course is taught to you by a Hydro-Rain senior product manager to help you understand how to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

B-hyve Pro Smart Watering Specialist

Learn about smart watering and what separates a truly smart controller from a remotely managed controller.

Contact the Irrigation Experts

Do you have questions about the Hydro-Rain Academy? We are more than happy to answer them. Please feel free to send us a message with your questions or inquiries and we will reply as soon as we can. You can also call us toll-free at (888) 493-7672. Enhance your knowledge and become even more efficient at what you do in the irrigation industry.

Join the Hydro-Rain Academy today!

How To Become a Certified Irrigation Contractor

How Can I Become a Certified Irrigation Contractor?

When you hire a contractor for a project at your home or business, you want to make sure that they are a credible and competent company or individual who is an expert in the field. One of the best ways to become more credible and to earn the trust of potential customers is with a license or certification, proving that you have studied the ins and outs of a particular industry and that you are qualified to assist with those projects. For landscapers and irrigation specialists, becoming a CIC (Certified Irrigation Contractor) helps you stand out with a competitive edge in your industry. Here at Hydro-Rain® we manufacture the highest quality irrigation products, and often work with CICs. Let’s take a look at what the requirements and benefits of becoming a CIC are.

Requirements to Become a CIC

In order to earn and maintain your certification, there are several important requirements that you must meet. These include:

  • Register for the exam with the Irrigation Association
  • Pass the exam (recommended three years of related field experience)
  • Comply with the Select Certified Code of Ethics
  • Remain in good standing (continuing education every 2 years)

Part of being in compliance with the Select Certified Code of Ethics includes using responsible procedures for irrigation systems, including the design, installation, management, and maintenance. This is where our irrigation products can help, since you can rest assured that the quality of our products will make your job easier, allowing for you to stay compliant and maintain your certification. You can register for the exam at a date and time that works best for you.

Benefits of Becoming a CIC

Becoming a Certified Irrigation Contractor can be beneficial for your career in the efficient water management industry. Some of these benefits include:

  • Gain the trust of potential customers and reassure existing customers
  • Gain more credibility within the industry and potential employers
  • Demonstrate your commitment to your craft and industry

According to the Irrigation Association, earning a certificate to be a CIC can also quality you for the EPA WaterSense program, which can even further benefit your credibility as an industry expert. Completing the WaterSense program and earning that certification can get you listed in the EPA’s online directory, and even qualify you to use WaterSense promotional labels directly on your business cards. Learn more about the WaterSense program.

Contact The Irrigation Experts

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us today or visit the Irrigation Association CIC page here for more information! Hydro-Rain® is built for speed and is an irrigation contractor’s best friend. We offer a contractor-grade line of products to make your life easier, and in turn keep your customers happy. Reach out to us for all of your irrigation needs and we will reply to you shortly. Our commitment to the essential values of integrity, lasting relationships, and fair dealing is at the heart of Hydro-Rain®, so let’s work together to bring your customers the best technology in irrigation.

5 Ways to Troubleshoot a Wireless Controller

How Do You Troubleshoot a Wireless Irrigation Controller?

Do you have clients who have trouble with their wireless controllers? If so, you’re not alone, and you could probably benefit from some tips on how to troubleshoot their devices and WIFI network to resolve the issue. Fortunately, there are several easy steps for irrigation contractors such as yourself to take in order to test their WiFi and get their wireless controllers back in action. At Hydro-Rain we manufacture irrigation products that are built for speed, allowing you to meet the demand of your customers. Let’s take a look at five steps you can take to troubleshoot wireless irrigation controllers.

1) Measure the Signal Strength of Your Wireless Controller

The Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) measures how receptive your wireless device is when receiving a signal from a router or access point. Essentially, this measurement can help you to determine how much signal you are getting. There are apps such as Airport Utility (created by Apple for iPhone users) that allow you to check the RSSI values once you enable the “WIFI Scanner ” setting in your iPhone. Solid objects can actually absorb WIFI signals, including walls and windows, which can cause your signal to be bad (and for you to have low RSSI values). You can even do a much simpler test of seeing how many WIFI bars your smartphone gets when next to your irrigation controller. Measuring the signal strength at the location of your sprinkler controller is important to determine if that is the problem.

2) Move the Location of Your Wireless Devices

The second step you can try piggybacks off of the first. If you find that your device has a very low RSSI value (therefore a bad signal) you should consider moving your devices. If your router or other WIFI device is stowed away under a desk, inside of a closet, or blocked by wall or furniture it weakens the signal strength. Similarly, if your controller is tucked away behind a thick wall or large furniture it will weaken the signal received from the router. If your router is already in an open space in line with your sprinkler controller, you can try simply restarting the router and/or the controller. Sometimes the oldest trick in the book of unplugging, waiting ten seconds, and plugging back in is all devices need. Connected Controllers can even be managed remotely on your smartphone, so the connection of your phone might also improve by putting your router in a more open space.

3) Update Router and WIFI Network

The next step for troubleshooting irrigation controllers is to make sure your clients have updated their WIFI if any of their network settings have changed. Similarly, have them make sure to update their router firmware. Many people purchase routers through an ISP, so they may need to contact them to confirm that the firmware is up-to-date. If the WIFI network and router firmware are updated, you can also try changing both the frequency and channel of the WIFI network.

4) Changing WIFI Frequency

For frequency, while 5G networks have faster speeds, they tend not to have as great a range and are not able to penetrate through solid objects very well. 2.4G on the other hand is not as fast of a signal usually, but it has a wider range. A full strength connection of 2.4G will work better for your sprinkler controller than a weak signal connection of 5G. 

5) Changing WIFI Channels

For the channel, it can be helpful to change the channel to prevent interference from occurring by neighboring networks. Each 2.4G frequency has multiple channels (11), but only channels 1, 6, and 11 do not overlap and are therefore a better bet for a solid signal to your device. This shouldn’t be as much of an issue on 5G. Eliminating other networks can help as well. Sometimes wireless devices pickup on nearby WiFi signals, and if you aren’t using them it is best to remove them to prevent any possible interference with your wireless controllers.

Contact Us For The Speed You Need

Hydro-Rain® is built for the speed, and since your customers demand speed, your business must demand it as well. Contact us today for all of your irrigation needs and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Our commitment to the essential values of integrity, lasting relationships, and fair dealing is at the heart of Hydro-Rain®, so let’s work together to bring your customers the best technology in irrigation.


            

            

                        
            
            
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