The landscaping market has increasingly become more competitive—so much so that just being able to offer a great project isn’t enough. There are plenty of other must-dos for landscaping businesses to stay competitive and grow. Between new equipment, landscaping software, and keeping up with the latest trends, landscapers can keep their business in front of the competition and stand out in a very crowded field.
It’s important for any business owner to always be thinking ahead about how they can improve their business. If you want to grow, you need to be evolving with the times, both in designs and industry trends with technology. So, for the landscaper looking to having a booming and thriving business, here are some essential tips to follow.
Become as efficient as possible
There are plenty of areas in a landscaping business that can benefit from a brush-up to make them more efficient. Efficiency is generally measured in dollars saved. Whether we are talking about spending fewer hours doing a task because of automation or buying the most effective equipment for the job, it’s all about doing what is right for business. Efficiency can come in the form of deciding to buy a piece of equipment rather than rent it. That’s because, over the course of the year, you would save money on rental fees if you purchased equipment outright.
Relying on pen and paper for all of your designing, tracking, quoting and invoicing also isn’t an efficient way to do business. Landscaping software provides the tools for those tasks that will complete them in a fraction of the time. How many more designs and bids can you do in a month if you are saving 30-50% of your time doing both. And to grow your business, you need to do two things. First, add more customers through more designs and bids. Second, lower the expenses on tasks by becoming a lean and efficient landscaping business.
Stay on budget, know your budget
Having a budget is critical for any future success of your landscaping business. But many landscaping businesses operate without knowing their budget. There are many expenses inside a landscaping business that you may not have accounted for when you are bidding on projects. It’s not all materials and labor hours that need to be in the estimate. There are also your outside costs, such as the overhead of office and support staff, warehouse and storage fees, insurance, and utility bills. All of those costs need to be recouped throughout the year and be included in your projects. But if you don’t know the budget for them, how can you account for them?
One way to stay on budget is by using landscaping software to include those overhead expenses in your project costs automatically. Let the software calculate the percentage of these expenses that need to be included in each job for which you bid. It’s important to think company-wide when estimating and not just on a single project. There are plenty of budgeting methods available, and your landscaping software should manage it for you, so you know where you are year-to-date in your budget.
Know what your homeowners want
The customer base is starting to change as the population changes. Think about the people buying homes today that need lawn care and landscaping. Millennials make up a large portion of that market. And many millennials support environmental issues. That means you need to make environmentally-sound decisions when it comes to your bids, the equipment you buy, and the plants you suggest. Perhaps that means buying battery-powered equipment, rather than gas engines, or starting to recommend more organic lawn treatment programs. And going paperless with landscaping software is a no brainer, as millennials are a generation of people who are built on e-bills over paper bills.
These new wants by homeowners could have an effect on your budget, on your expenses, and how you design landscapes. To grow your business, you need to be ahead of the trends, or at the very least, with them. If the largest portion of your upcoming market has environmental issues at heart, then being an environmentally friendly landscaping business should be in your plan of action.
Embrace the technology that is available
We have already talked a lot about landscaping software, but it is an industry essential if you want to grow your business. It encompasses all of the tips we have discussed, automating many of the processes you do on a daily basis. From quoting to tracking to billing, landscaping software is covering every part of your business. Pens and paper just aren’t doing it anymore. Technology sells and appeals to your customers. Be it a fantastic-looking design from multiple angles or rendered in 3D to give them a full view of their backyard, or something as simple as automated billing. Technology is available to help grow a landscaping business, and it should be something to embrace by everyone in the industry.
If you want to grow your business, you need to be willing to change your business. The company that doesn’t change doesn’t grow. Sticking to the system and processes you have always done in the past might not be what will make you succeed in the future. Take a look at your own landscaping business and see where you would benefit from a few extra hours, a better budget, or being more aligned with your customers. And then see how landscaping software can be that essential piece to accomplish it all.