by Joe Salemi, Vice President, DynaScape Software
For most of you, the Spring is the busiest time of the year with new jobs breaking ground and seasonal maintenance contracts getting underway. As the Spring approaches many of you are working to ramp up your businesses so that you and your teams are able to hit the ground running. It’s this preparation and ramp up that is intrinsically critical to the successful launch of your Spring operations.
Well managed, well run, professional landscape companies are typically the most prepared to go into the Spring rush with all hands on deck with the smoothest of transitions. It’s no fluke, there’s a ton of hard work and co-ordination that goes into this.
These companies put significant attention and effort toward the following key areas:
- Investment in people: making sure they have the right people in the right positions (and making sure they have enough key players in all areas of the operation). Through the “off-season” key members of the team have been upgrading their skill sets. Leadership has made sure that the right training is in place for their returning field crews and new team members.
- Equipment: they have inspected every piece of their equipment to ensure safe, efficient working order. Any equipment that needs to be replaced is done so, and any new pieces of equipment needed to increase productivity and capacity are added to the fleet.
- Software systems: they have reviewed their workflows and efficiencies in the software systems they use to operate the business. For some, this means Excel spreadsheets and accounting packages. For others it means a fully integrated landscape design, CRM, sales management, estimating, job + crew tracking, job costing, and billing system (like DynaScape!).
- Consultants + Peer Groups: Owners and leaders in the business connect with industry consultants to help them work ON the business rather than IN it. They also engage/participate in peer groups to get a sense of what other successful landscape companies are doing and learn about best practices to implement in their own businesses.
I reached out to a few landscape industry friends to see what advice they would offer their peers as they prepare for the Spring rush. The advice is they gave is priceless!
Matt Hiner, Hiner Outdoor Living, Colorado Springs, CO
“For the Spring rush we do a few things to prepare. We’ll do some basic housekeeping things like go through all our equipment and make sure they are good to go and restock small tools.
When it comes to handling clients, we will lean on our processes – but we try and take a proactive approach to things too. For annual services we send out reminders and incentivize them to prepay and get on the schedule early to reserve their spot but also allows us to be more organized and efficient. For the procrastinators it’s very important to be polite, upfront and set proper expectations about how long they may have to wait for your services.”
Matt Hudson, Matt Hudson Consulting, Jupiter, FL
Take the time over this next month before the spring rush begins and really get clear about what you want to accomplish during this upcoming spring season. You only get one Spring per year and you want to make the most out of this opportunity.
Set tangible and measurable goals that you want to accomplish this spring. They could be financial goals, both top line revenue and net profit goals month by month, they could be safety goals, they could be operational goals, or anything else that is important to your business this spring.
Once your goals are set then begin preparing to achieve them. Take a hard look at your business and identify what you do best and where your weaknesses are. Find ways to leverage your strengths during this upcoming season and be proactive on improving your weaknesses so they don’t cause you pain in the near future.
Get clear, be prepared and enjoy the ride!”
Patrick DuChene, DuChene Design Solutions, Ocean City, MD
“I think the most important thing that any designer can do, especially those using a software program, is to take time before the rush to address the redundancies they experienced on 2019 and turn them into tasks that are much easier to accomplish in 2020. For example, I have decided that this year, I am going to streamline my automated takeoffs process within DynaScape Software that will save me approximately 15-30 minutes per drawing throughout the year. For other DS users, one recommendation I have is to work hard at fully utilizing the plant and hardscape takeoffs function within the software. This is a massively under-utilized tool in the community that is bleeding hours and hours of precious time from many designers’ busy and often overloaded schedules. Do not try to change everything you do…just pick the 2-3 of the most time-consuming tasks you have, address how to improve upon those tasks, and enjoy the time savings through the season.”
Improving processes, leveling up skill sets, adding software systems are all things that DynaScape can help you with to make the absolute most of the impending Spring rush. We believe in well run, well executed landscape businesses and commit to partnering with you to for a safe, profitable, and prosperous 2020 landscape season.
Let DynaScape help you get started!