Working in the landscape industry has its challenges. Offering quality at a competitive price, battling price fluctuations, and more competition entering the industry is just the tip of the iceberg. Many in the field are facing these problems head-on, and they are trying to find solutions. As young homeowners continue to drive new demand for landscape design and maintenance, landscape businesses need to find a way to meet the demand. That means using landscape design software, hiring more crews, and growing their business to match the demand.
Let’s look at some of the top concerns from the industry and how landscape businesses are trying to overcome it.
Quality Labor Shortage
Finding quality workers is a challenge. With more competition entering the field, there are fewer workers to go around. Also, some areas are struggling with wages and having their services undercut by discount businesses. Finding good employees can be challenging, but sometimes you just have to make do with what you have. And it might be time to adjust your crews and figured out how to best utilize them while working in the field. With landscape design software, some of the manual work now automated can reduce the number of employees you need. If you’re doing designs and estimates in a fraction of the time, then one person can do the job of two or three people. Similar, finding out who does the best job in the field can help you field super-crews that can provide quality service in a fraction of the time.
High Fuel Costs
It’s a tough pill to swallow every time you go to fill up the company truck or gas cans of fuel for your equipment. As fuel prices continue to climb, there are only two options for most landscape businesses. Firstly, eat the costs yourself. Secondly, pass it onto your customers. Some companies are now increasing their estimates and building charges in for gas. Others are simply biting the bullet. But how about a third option? How about going green? Battery power may be the answer if you are already paying large sums for gas. Using data from your landscape design software, see exactly how much you are spending on fuel. And then compare it to the cost of buying battery-powered equipment. While these green technologies might come with a heavy price tag at first, you will see the savings long-term in not paying for it at the pump.
With more competition comes some landscape businesses that want to be the discount brand. They will offer services for lower prices, while still offering their employees a competitive wage. With start-up costs being low, it’s not difficult for anyone to get into the business of cutting grass or shoveling snow. So, now it has forced many landscape businesses to offer higher quality service and put a greater focus on customer service. Budget companies also don’t invest as heavily in landscape design software, so landscapers are turning to these solutions to offer more quality to customers in designs, estimates and services.
High Overhead Costs
Costs for landscapers continue to increase. There are different insurance costs, the already mentioned fuel costs, compensation costs and just the cost of doing business. These costs can be easily put back onto the customer, but many landscapers are not wanting to put the burden on their customers and risk pricing themselves out of jobs. And if prices do raise, it’s more often just a temporary fix. So, the question becomes, where do you increase costs and when do you absorb the costs. One solution is to really dig into your costs, overhead and expenses and start to budget better. Landscape design software should be able to help you recover the costs that are needed to run a business. And then evenly distribute the costs over all your customers. What you are doing is starting a practice of ensuring your overhead is considered all the time. And then when you are negotiating prices, you are taking it off potential revenues and margins, not the cost of doing business.
Lower Margins On Work
There are many reasons the margins on work being completed is getting lower. We have already talked about plenty of them. Increased competition lowers prices. Expenses, such as gas, are increasing and cutting into profits. And it’s harder to get more skilled workers to increase the work you do. And if your margins are getting slimmer on each job, it’s hard to advance forward. Especially when you need to buy new equipment or start a new crew, the money might not be there.
To increase margins, you can find discount supplies. However, your customers may not like the cheaper alternative. Or you can find better practices to slim costs down. If your designer is using a landscape design software, they are spending less time designing by hand, which lowers the overhead. But you still get a great design and fast estimate for your customers. Finding ways to automate your business will help reduce the overhead that may be crippling your bottom line.
Face concerns with landscape design software
Concerns for landscapers will always pop up. What is a concern today might not be one tomorrow. Or it could be an ever-larger concern for some companies. Gas prices change, fewer people are getting into the landscaping field. It’s harder to build crews and carve out good profit margin. Every concern can’t be solved with a landscape design software, but it can be the foundation in which to battle present and future concerns. As your company grows, you need greater insight into your overhead and budget and how crews are performing. That’s something you can’t get unless you are tracking it. And the way to track it is through a business management software.