The Old School vs New School Landscaper

The Old School vs New School Landscaper

professional landscape software

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 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 a 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 working 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 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.

What’s The Maturity Level Of Your Landscape Business?

What’s The Maturity Level Of Your Landscape Business?

maturity level of landscape business

It’s always good to know where you are in business, especially in the landscaping industry. Whether you just opened your landscape design or maintenance business, knowing where you are can be the difference in moving forward, or staying still. A business not moving forward risks either going out of business or losing profit.

Ben Collinsworth, General Manage with Yellowstone Landscape, presented the maturity level scale at the Lawn And Landscape Technology Conference and talked about how using this scale to see where your business is at is important when wanting to put in a new process or automate parts of your business. 

“As you go through it, you recognize where you fit on this scale,” Collinsworth said. “For me, especially when putting in and implementing new things, it’s good for me to have a scorecard. This helped me understand where I am at as a business on this scale.”

The maturity level scale includes: 

Initial

Unpredictable processes, poorly controlled and reactive

Managed

Processes characterized for projects and if often reactive

Defined

Processes characterized for the organization and is proactive (standards set)

Quantitatively Managed

Processes measured and controlled

Optimizing

Focus on process improvement

Let’s learn more about this scale.

Level 1 – Initial

New businesses generally fall in this level on the maturity scale. In dollar amounts, they are less than $1 million in revenue and don’t have many predictable processes in place. They run less automation and software solutions, are poorly controlled, and mainly are reactive to what is happening around them.

The example Collinsworth gave during his presentation was a client calls the office to ask if the crew is still going to mulch the property. They are at the job site but don’t seem to have any mulch. The owner runs to the truck, drives to a supplier, picks up the mulch, drives to the crew’s location to drop it off. There are too many bags at the property, so he must come back later to pick it up.

In this example, there are plenty of ways to automate the process and not be reactive. That includes using landscape software to establish purchasing of supplies and materials, proper scheduling of crews to go to a job site when the material is available and knowing ahead of time what jobs you need to perform and the supplies you will need.

Putting systems in place to scale

Collinsworth pointed out that for Level 1 businesses, not looking to add landscape software and automated systems can slow your business growth and stop you from scaling your business forward to the next level. And what limits landscapers from growing is their inability to update their process, and search for solutions to assist their business in getting to the next level.

“I found these were some of the limiting factors to landscapers growing,” said Collinsworth. “If you couldn’t get past those stages where your business was more systematic with software and hardware, it really didn’t matter how good your work was, you couldn’t scale. If you don’t go through this process, you will get stuck in a plateau and not be able to go to the next phase.”

By Level 2 and Level 3, the processes are starting to become more defined and revenue is growing. By the time a company has hit Level 2 in his example, the owner isn’t reacting to a job he didn’t know was happening but is still bringing the supplies to the crew on the job site. By Level 3, the processes are in place through landscape software where the crews are picking up supplies and materials before they leave for the job. This can be accomplished through a crew tracking mobile app, where crew leaders see what is needed for each job before heading to the site.

Work to become a Level 4 landscaper

A goal every landscaper should aim for is to become a Level 4 landscaping business in the maturity scale. According to Collinsworth, that’s a business that has processes in place that are measured and controlled and are more managed than other businesses.

Using his example, Collinsworth said a client calls the manager to tell them that they did a great job, the property looks great, the crew cleaned everything up and can’t wait to refer them to their friends. That’s because there were processes in place to get the landscaper to that point. Using landscape business management software, they scheduled their crews appropriately, the correct amount of materials and supplies prior to heading to the job site was obtained by the crew leader and they followed a process when leaving a job site.

It’s a well-run business and many landscapers are happy to reach this level of revenue, which Collinsworth said is between $7-10 million annual. It’s a healthy business that is producing results that customers are happy with. But there is still room to improve and continue to scale in order to reach the final level.

“A lot of us stay there and there is nothing wrong with that,” said Collinsworth. “People are happy, but there is still a little bit more in the system to make more revenue.”

The pinnacle of maturity

Where every landscaping business wants to get to is Level 5 on the maturity scale. At this level, your business is running fully optimized and your focus is on constantly improving the processes you have in place. Because you have a landscape software already in place, you have been tracking all your data and collecting as much information as possible, you can make these kinds of adjustments with the best information available.

The difference in outcomes directly reflects your ability to optimize your business practices so that you are running a more efficient organization. And in the end, it not only increases your revenue per job but also expands your customer base, as happy customers are more likely to refer you to other people for more work.

“There is a big difference and a different outcome for the client,” said Collinsworth. “To me, these are driven by processes we put in place through the software we are choosing to use. The guys that are very systematic, they know what to do, how long to be there, know what to take and are incentivized to do it the right way, and the client is happy because they have quality work done.”

The good problems to have

Once you have reached the Level 5 maturity rank, you are at a place where you are having good problems in your business. By installing landscape business management software, your processes are optimized and automated and you have a system in place to achieve great results. Now you just need the people to produce those results for you, which means hiring more crew members if your landscape business is growing. And hiring more because you are growing and scaling is definitely a problem you want to have.

“Once we got to that Level 5, we weren’t worried about the systems breaking down, we were worried about the people being able to do the work showing up,” said Collinsworth. “And that’s okay. It’s a better way of doing it than having the people show up and not be able to produce. That’s an important part of the process. As you go through it with your own business, you can address this with landscape software.”

Let us know if you are ready to talk to someone about taking the steps necessary to reach Level 5 with your landscaping business. We have a team ready to help you, and we’d love to hear from you.

Customer Education Is More Important Than You Think

Customer Education Is More Important Than You Think

The customer is always right.

Sound familiar? It’s the most used customer service phrase and more than likely, you’ve said it a few times yourself over your career. But is it true? When you think about what the phrase is saying, it’s pretty vague, especially when you apply it to the landscaping industry. That’s because there is a time and place when the customer is right, and a time and place when you’re right. And that’s centered around the customer’s education in the landscape design, build and maintenance industry.

The two types of education we are going to look at are:

  1. The customer’s education in the industry and their expectations
  2. The customer’s knowledge of lawn care maintenance, design, and landscaping advice

Let’s dig into this a little more.

Customers are becoming more educated

As the landscape industry continues to grow, so too does the consumer’s knowledge of the industry. Many people are taking advantage of the services of lawn care maintenance specialists and landscape designers. And they are becoming more knowledgeable about how the process works, who is all involved and what they can get for their money.

The customer is always right.

Sound familiar? It’s the most used customer service phrase and more than likely, you’ve said it a few times yourself over your career. But is it true? When you think about what the phrase is saying, it’s pretty vague, especially when you apply it to the landscaping industry. That’s because there is a time and place when the customer is right, and a time and place when you’re right. And that’s centered around the customer’s education in the landscape design, build and maintenance industry.

The two types of education we are going to look at are:

  1. The customer’s education in the industry and their expectations
  2. The customer’s knowledge of lawn care maintenance, design, and landscaping advice

Let’s dig into this a little more.

Customers are becoming more educated

As the landscape industry continues to grow, so too does the consumer’s knowledge of the industry. Many people are taking advantage of the services of lawn care maintenance specialists and landscape designers. And they are becoming more knowledgeable about how the process works, who is all involved and what they can get for their money.

It also means their expectations of what they get out of your services is going to grow. And when customers become educated in the services and have higher expectations, gimmicks aren’t going to win you long-term business or be a sustainable source of revenue for the foreseeable future.

Customers are starting to look beyond the flashy gimmicks, the cheap sales and the deep discounts landscape designers and maintenance professionals are offering because value now plays an important part in consumer decision making. Consumers are more willing to pay a higher price for better service than go with a cheaper option that might not get them what they want, or that comes with a risk of a lack of professional service. And if you are cutting costs on your deals and not offering great service, a customer has no reason to stay with you and can quickly take their business elsewhere.

What are customers looking for?

With customer expectations growing, what they are looking for now is professionalism from their landscape providers. More than ever, people are using online reviews and websites as ways of deciding who they will select to handle their landscaping needs. So a professional-looking website with positive online reviews will do more for your business than cheap flashy flyers in the mail.

It’s also important to be as professional as possible in your design and quotes. Having a presentation ready for your customers will do a lot more to win a job than just sending a .pdf file to them. That’s where landscape software helps to put together a tight presentation. That includes having a colorful design and concept art, possibly with 3D renderings and video presentations. As well as a fully costed out quote that details everything involved in their project.

Professionalism sells well, so take a look at your branding and customer service practices, because that is what customers are looking at. Even the simple things like answering emails and phone calls, showing up exactly when you say you will, and being clear about your expectations for the job, so that you can meet the customers.

Dive into customer education

The customer is always right, except when they are wrong. And it happens. Customers are not experts in all things landscaping. That is where you come in. Plenty of homeowners have never received any sort of advice on lawn care maintenance before. And that is a great way to earn yourself an in into their maintenance needs.

There is a significant gap in how customers are learning about lawn care needs. Some get it from reading online, others from television shows and gardening specific television. But directly from someone, directed at them specifically, will get them listening far more than any television spot will. It can be how you gain the trust of your customers but providing them with the advice and expertise they are searching for. And if you are working with them on their landscape design, you become a partner in their projects, which gets them more invested in what you have to say.

When you have completed a quote from your landscape software, you don’t just walk in, hand it to them and let them figure it out. You become their partner in the project and walk them through each step of the journey. It takes away some of that sticker shock if your price is higher than they expected. You have the chance to explain why things cost as much as they do, which is a lot better than having them go find information on their own, which may be wrong, and then expecting you to come down in price.

Become the authority in landscaping

What landscape software has helped many professionals in the industry become is the authority. It gives them greater confidence going into a presentation that the numbers are right, the design is flawless and their company image is professional. That confidence isn’t something that can be measured, but you will start to see greater numbers of quotes coming back as victories because you became the confident authority on landscaping.

The customer is right in what they want and you should try and accommodate them as much as possible. But you are the authority in the industry with the knowledge and knowhow and the expert. And a confident owner who has answers to questions will definitely succeed more than the owner who is trying to slip deals through by shaving off the sticker price until the customer says yes.

Think long-term and use education as a sales tool and a way to bring confidence and assurance to your customers. That will bring in more business, help you scale your operation, and keep you busy all season long.

Let us know if you’re ready to learn more about how you can use DynaSCAPE’s leading landscaping software to help your customers better understand their landscaping projects. Contact us today.

The Importance of Updating Your Software

Often in the landscape industry, it’s talked about how the techniques of using spreadsheets for job proposals, designing with paper and pencils, and tracking timesheets using punch cards is an outdated way of doing business. It’s also said that landscape software is the solution to improve efficiency, while also speeding up many of the processes landscaping businesses  perform each day. By using landscape software, you can move away from this outdated routine and start to really scale your business.

What happens when your software becomes the outdated way of doing things though? If you’re using outdated software, it may be time to consider upgrading/updating to something that’s current.

Let’s talk about what updating really is and what you are getting out of it, including:

  • Moving to a web-based or cloud-based delivery system
  • Having the ability to update software automatically
  • Secured data
  • Greater support for today’s technology
  • Adding mobile applications to your workforce

Let’s see what updated software looks like:

Web-based or cloud-based system

You only have to look at a new laptop system today to see that the world is shifting away from CD-style software. Delivering software via a CD-ROM drive isn’t an option going forward, as laptops physically don’t come with CD-ROM drives anymore. A new system has taken over the business software industry – cloud-based systems.

These systems are entirely web-based, and are accessed through a website rather than clicking on an icon on your desktop to start a program. What this revelation in software delivery has done is create software that’s accessible from anywhere, by anyone with proper access. Whether on a laptop at home or work, in the airport, on the road at a conference or trade show, or at a customer’s residence, you can access your landscape software simply by logging in through the cloud or web-based entry.

Consider how the old system worked; you would install one CD-based software onto one computer and could only access that software on one machine. Today, cloud-based software allows for multiple people to access the same business software from any laptop or mobile device they desire. As long as you have an internet connection, you can access your account.

DynaSCAPE’s Manage360 is cloud-based, allowing for users to access it through a web portal from anywhere in the world. No more installation of software locally or managing space on a joint office computer. Instead, it’s a web-based system that enables users to conveniently access it from wherever they happen to be.

Regular software updates

One of the greatest benefits to using a cloud-based system for software delivery is that updates are made to the cloud, not to individual CDs or downloads like before. Think about what you had to do every time an update came out for your old software: you either had to spend more money to purchase the updated version, or download the latest patch and install it on your machine.

With DynaSCAPE’s Manage360, updates are just part of the everyday life of our landscape business management software. As our development team enhances Manage360’s offering, you will be able to use those new enhancements without updating to the latest version or purchasing another physical software. Instead, updates happen automatically, meaning you never have to wonder if you are running the latest version of our landscape business software.

A secure hosting platform

One of the other major benefits of web-based or cloud-based software is that hosting is generally done on a server that is regularly backed up. Compare that to how often you back up your own personal computer, and the files you create and edit to ensure they don’t get erased. A computer crash can wipe out years of data that has never been backed up, and if you’re not constantly doing backups, you are at risk of losing the vital data of your business.

The servers that power DynaSCAPE’s Manage360 are hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and are backed up daily to ensure the highest performance and data security. With an immense amount of data going into your system, you can rest easy knowing that it’ll be secure tomorrow and is safe from physical threats in your own office, such as floods and fires, as well as theft from outside sources.

Old software can’t work with new technology

One of the major constraints of some software is that it was built for the time it was created. It can’t run on today’s platforms or browsers. Remember, there was a time when Internet Explorer was the browser of choice for most PC users; however, today Google Chrome is the heavy favorite, and older software simply isn’t compatible with it.

The same can be said for different versions of Windows. Older versions of Manage360 are only compatible with Windows 7 or lower, which Microsoft no longer supports. If you require help with Windows 7, you’re flying solo. Similarly, the legacy version of Manage360 only integrates with the desktop version of QuickBooks. If you’ve transitioned to using QuickBooks Online, you won’t be able to integrate your older software.

Taking your landscapers mobile

Another enhancement is the use of mobile technology. Mobile technology is connected through the internet to servers where it can upload information. Sound familiar? With an older version of software on a single computer, you can’t connect mobile devices, such as the DynaSCAPE Mobile Crew Tracking App, as information from the app needs to flow into a server to be used in the cloud-based Manage360. To be more accurate in your crews’ time sheets, jobs and tasks, the mobile app is a great way to track your clock-ins, materials used, and take notes while on-site.

This means increased accuracy and a paperless environment, as everything is connected in the cloud. It’s also a faster way to do business when data collection is automated which leads to faster job costing, invoicing and analytics capture.

Keep up-to-date with your software

Having the latest software is important for the long-term success of your business. As new features come out or the core product is enhanced, you’ll want to have access to those products and features, which you can only get by moving to a cloud- or web-based software delivery system. At DynaSCAPE, we want you to stay in line with industry demands as we continue to improve our software based on the industry’s needs. Consider moving to the newest version of Manage360 and take your landscape business to the next level.

You don’t need to sharpen pencils to start a landscape design

You don’t need to sharpen pencils to start a landscape design

Every landscape design for a backyard, garden, pool, outdoor living space or kitchen, starts with a blank page. There is only the possibility of what the design could be, with ideas being tossed around by the customer and designer.

There is also a looming deadline to meet to get the design back to the customer, and as soon as the first pencil hits the paper, the timer has started.

Landscape designers do have a choice in how they complete their designs. They can sharpen their pencils, grab their rulers and protractors, and have an eraser handy for mistakes. Or they can use a landscape design software that will have them working on the finer details quickly.

What are designers getting with landscape design software?

  • Pre-built templates
  • Pre-defined layers, line weights and text labels
  • Ability to start from another available project
  • Ability to upload a photo to design from

You don’t need pencil and paper for this class on landscape design.

Let’s get right into how it works.

Working to scale

Scale is everything in a landscape design. No matter how big the paper is you are designing on, it will never be as large as the real thing. So scale is always something important to keep in mind when working on a landscape design. But that means every detail has to be measured exactly to keep the scale consistent. It’s time-consuming and difficult to replicate over and over again.

If only a template was available to start every design off on the right scale. With landscape design software, select the template and prototype you want to start working with, the size of paper to print on and the scale to work with. Right away, your CAD software has you ready to work to scale.

Working with layers and lines

A landscape design has many different layers and lines woven through it. A line to represent the house here, the driveway there, the new deck, the garden, the landscape around the pool. It all needs to be represented in a way that is easy to tell apart from each other, and easy enough to adjust later. Landscape designers can shade in the bricks of a wall or the color of a driveway, but it’s another time-consuming task to get the outline of a property completed quickly.

Having pre-defined line weights in landscape design software makes this process very easy to get started. With different layers built into the landscape software for things such as buildings, decks, driveways and fences, getting a different line weight and color is a click away. To insert the house the deck is going to be built off, select a building layer and insert your proper measurements to instantly create the line. No measuring with a ruler, no switching pencils, and no hoping it’s still to scale. As landscape design software will take care of the scale aspect you selected before, giving you an accurate starting point for your design.

Add your labels

Another time-consuming part can be labelling a design to point out specific details about each layer and line. What does everything represent? What does it all mean? And if you’re labelling by hand, can your customer read what is says? With a CAD landscape design software, text and labels are pre-defined and easily editable, so your labels are clear, to scale and uniform. A professional-looking landscape design should be labelled properly and with a software solution, much of the labelling can be completed automatically. And you can easily turn the labels on and off to get an unobstructed view of the design, just as it is.

Working from another file

There generally aren’t extra pages of a landscape design laying around for a designer to get their hands on to start designing. They have to do the work themselves, collect the measurements and geometry and produce the first sketch. So, every single design has to begin with a blank piece of paper. And again, more time is being spent than if they were able to just grab a pre-made layout or template of the property. Which generally doesn’t exist.

For users of CAD software, however, an AutoCAD file could be available, and if it is, you have just saved yourself plenty of time getting the project started. Landscape design software allows you to import AutoCAD files and use them as your base plan. It will include all property lines, buildings, sidewalks and driveways. Everything you need to get your project started with accurate information. And best of all, you don’t have to freehand draw everything from scratch and it remains all in scale.

Scan to start

Much like working with AutoCAD files, landscape design software allows you to scan in images to begin tracing. Has your customer come up with their own idea for a design on a piece of scrap paper? Well, you can scan it in and start from there. Or from a site plan, a lot plan or a sketch you have done from in the field. With pencil and paper, you generally can’t turn your sketches done on-site into job-winning designs. You need to start from the beginning and work with a blank page.

Whereas, by scanning in a lot plan, you have the property lines, dimensions, buildings and other obstructions all available to trace. It’s an easy way to start your design right and get the lines you need. Then you can start quickly working on the finer details of your landscape design.

Drop the pencil, pick up a mouse

Some landscape designers don’t want to drop the pencils and pick up a computer mouse and use landscape design software. They prefer a hands-on approach to landscape design. The industry, however, is moving towards the more automated, computer-assisted designs. That’s because customers want them faster and designers are under more pressure to complete designs faster.

Just in starting time alone, landscape design software will have you working on the major details in minutes, with accurate and to scale outlines. Get working on your customer’s vision for their backyard space quickly, with a full CAD landscape design software.

Prepping for the Season of Business

Prepping for the Season of Business

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

“Get clear.

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!