There is that old saying in the business world that “time is money”. Every minute someone is designing, working on a bid, planting, shovelling or putting the finishing touches on a picture-perfect backyard, costs the business in expenses. And that in turn, eats away at the profit you are earning on each landscaping job. The overhead costs for each job can quickly spiral out of control and cost a landscaping project at the end. Hours add up, wages need to be paid, and all that extra time spent can take a massive bite out of your revenue.
So, when we talk about saving time, we are also talking about saving money. And with landscape design software, there is an opportunity to save on both. That is if you are willing to change your business and not just automate the way your business runs but rethink how you do business, to begin with. You can have the nicest drawings in the industry, but if those drawings are taking hours to complete and costing you a pretty penny, what is their return on investment against your closed deals.
Landscape design software saves design time (obviously)
This one might be the most obvious to point out, but your landscape design software will save time on designing. The best pencil crayons and designers can’t match the ability of design software to turn ideas into amazing and beautiful designs in a fraction of the time. With color swatches, patterns and other design elements, an entire design can be rendered into a presentable piece faster than someone can manually color each flower, tree or stone being placed.
Where landscape design software really saves time is on repetitive tasks. Store designs and concepts you have used before and reused them on new designs. Why redraw what you already have done before? And to really wow your customers when presenting, show multiple angles of the same design. But you only need to create it once, as design software will give you the ability to create different views of the same original drawing. The manual way of designing can be very labour-intense. But with design software, you are not only saving time but getting beautiful, colorful and 3D rendered designs that will win you more business in a fraction of the time.
Designs to estimates
Now that you have this beautiful design, you need the facts and figures that go along with it. You need the estimate. How much sod was used in your design? What kind of plants and trees did you use? How much time is it going to take to do the entire project? All of these questions require someone to calculate in order to give the customer an estimate along with their design. And plenty in the industry are still using spreadsheets for each project and manually pulling costs from their master cost book into their estimate.
All of these spreadsheets equal a lot of time being wasted. Whereas, if you already pre-loaded all of your cost books into your landscape design software, you could import your design and have a full estimate prepared. Every shrub, tree, plant and stone are accounted for out of your cost book. Did prices change? Update your cost book and your estimates change as well. No more having to go and manually update each bid to include the new cost of materials.
Some landscapers are only thinking about the project and estimating and budgeting for that. But if you’re going to save money, you need to be thinking of everything you spend money on. And that isn’t just materials and labor hours for the project. It’s all your overhead, like storage fees, dump runs, inventory, equipment repair and if you have an office, the overhead expenses of running it. Those costs need to be built into every single project you complete. They are a part of your business and should be part of your final quote.
By planning your budget out before estimating, you can include overhead charges and decide how much you want to make back on each project. Save time when estimating by having a set method already in place to charge overhead back to the customer and include it in the final estimate cost. Remove the manual work of trying to calculate your overhead, and then how to spread that around to all your project work. Load your overhead budget into your landscape design software and let the estimating tools do the rest.
Time not spent is money earned
Every hour spent working on some aspect of your landscaping business costs money. But there is only so much you can return back to the customer. Offering designs and estimates is part of the overhead you eventually have to make back. But if you are spending hours upon hours designing and estimating with manual processes, it can be very difficult to recoup the loss. By reducing the time it takes to make designs and estimates, you save money. And by automating the budgeting of your overhead, you save money not having to calculate it. Turn to a landscape design software and speed up some of the processes that are eating away at revenue.