There are many schools of thought in the landscaping industry. And one of the biggest challenges is moving forward to the new school reality of today’s modern landscaper. There are many who resist the move from their old school way of doing things, just because it’s what they know and are used to. If it’s working, why change it? Why get deep into the waters of technology and professional landscape software when what they currently do brings in profit?
It can be hard to convince people to make changes to their business if they don’t see the benefits far outweighing what they are currently doing. The investment of time and money might be too much for them, even if that new school of thinking will make their daily lives easier, help them win more bids, and ultimately, earn more profit.
And even within your own organization, you might have people who are resistant to change for many different reasons. One of the hardest jobs as a landscape owner is getting people to understand why you are making a change and what that change will do for your business.
Starting with the simplest changes
There are some very basic things that old school landscapers are still not doing that make perfect sense today. Are you emailing your landscaping quotes instead of using snail mail services to get your quotes to your customers? Many new school thoughts are around digitalizing files so that they are easy to access and require physically less space to house them. Gone are the days of cabinets filled with paperwork from jobs, when instead they are all stored on a computer system, or in professional landscape software.
Even how we connect with customers has changed, as some people believe that you must phone and talk to each customer. New school thoughts believe texting is perfectly acceptable and a fast, convenient way to speak with your customers. This is a big change to some people who believe texting is not made for a business setting, while truthfully, most people prefer to text than talk on the phone.
And some landscapers haven’t started accepting credit card payments and still want cash or a cheque. That could be because they don’t have the means to accept credit card payments and have never bothered to look into it.
While some of these changes aren’t groundbreaking or don’t seem like they are business altering, they can start to show you where you are in your school of thought. If you are still using paper files, you aren’t automating and doing manual processes. If you’re calling instead of texting, you could be wasting time every time you pick up the phone and don’t get an answer. And if you aren’t accepting credit cards, it may be because you don’t have a landscape business management software that is capable of completing these transactions.
Working with professional landscape software
Adding technology into a landscaping business drastically changes how that business runs. And because of the very nature of software and technology, some old school thinkers don’t want to even look into it. It’s either too expensive, too time-consuming to learn, or they don’t see the value it will bring to their business over what they are currently doing now. As workforces shift and we adopt new remote style working conditions, landscape business management software allows employees to work from home or in different locations. And for some, they want to see their workers in the office and see the work being done.
It takes convincing that using professional landscape software is the best strategy for a business. And that the cost, which may seem high to some, will be returned in greater numbers by the automation, streamlined processes, and analytics a business will get from a software solution. Those are just some of the reasons that modern, new school thinkers are starting their business on the foundation of software and technology. That’s because they see that more information, greater access and a digitalized system is more valuable than a paper-based system that requires a lot of manual work.
Software is challenging for some people. But facing challenges is what leaders are supposed to do in the landscaping industry. With training options available, there is a way for the old school thinker to become a new school one and leverage the same value out of professional landscape software that other companies are already doing.
Changing your employees’ mind
Sometimes the battle isn’t with the owner, but rather with your own employees. The owner of the landscaping company may want to embrace professional landscape software and all the tools it brings to the team. That includes things like:
- Mobile landscaping crew tracking apps
- Timesheet tools
- Landscape design software
- Automated quoting and estimating tools
- Scheduling tools
- Budget recapturing
But the owner has to sometimes sell those benefits to the people who work under them. And those people might not want to accept change. Asking someone to input their time on a mobile app might seem like more work to them than just writing on a timesheet and handing it in. Change is often hard to accept if they don’t understand the benefits of that change. Some landscape designers still want to use pencil and paper and refuse to work with CAD software programs to complete designs.
So, what is the business owner to do? Firstly, getting their people involved from the very beginning makes them part of the decision process. Secondly, offering plenty of training will get them used to the system they are going to use. Finally, show them why the new software is better for the business can flip the switch from an old school thinker to a new school one. Unfortunately, some just won’t accept change, and some landscaping business owners have had to make tough decisions that they want to fully embrace the new way of thinking over living in the past.
Bring a fresh perspective to your business
While change can be difficult for people to accept, sometimes a new perspective on your business is really what you need. Just because you are changing from what you were doing before doesn’t mean you failed as a business owner. Change doesn’t mean what you were doing was wrong. It simply means, we now have more means to accomplish greater things. If someone were to ask you simple questions like, “would you like all this paperwork to be gone?” or “do you wish it was easier to schedule your crews?”, the answer would be a resounding “Yes!”.
With professional landscape software, you can take the processes you have built through many years of being in business and simply improve them. As technology advances, your business needs to advance as well. So bring in a fresh perspective and look at new ideas to implement into your business. Start with the basics, and before long, you’ll be looking for full professional landscape software solutions.