While the months since March 2020 have been interesting, to say the least, few of us would immediately consider them to be positive. However, when we peel back the layers to take a closer look, there are certainly some wonderful side effects of the changes in the world such as:
- A reduction in pollution due to decreased air travel and the use of cars. Dolphins in the canals of Venice!
- More time with our children and family members in our home as they are not rushing to sports and classes
- Saving money on vacations which may have been planned
The same philosophy can be applied to some positive outcomes within industries. While it may be easy to assume that all industries have had a downturn, it is not necessarily the case. Here we will look at the positive effects on the landscaping industry. Primarily through the adoption and use of landscape business software.
In a mid-year 2020 survey conducted by the National Association of Landscaping Professionals, 60 percent of residential landscaping contractors found that their revenues were ahead of expectations for this year. Eighty percent of residential companies reported increases in spending on enhancements. Clearly, it is not all doom and gloom.
Key benefits to the landscaping industry in 2020 so far:
Shorter timeline to winning proposals
With the lockdown commencing in March 2020, meeting in person with customers was no longer an option. Face-to-face landscape proposals and presentations were suddenly a thing of the past, yet many homeowners were wishing to upgrade their outdoor spaces, especially as they were spending so much more time both living and working from home.
Technology to the rescue. Email, phone, and video calls became the norm for both presenting and making amendments to landscaping proposals. This new way of working also provided a faster way to get proposals presented and amended, and ultimately a potential “superhighway” to a signed contract.
How Landscaping Software Helps
Landscaping companies who had already made the change to landscape design software such as DSIDesign, were a step ahead, as they were accustomed to creating their landscape designs electronically. They were able to get to work faster as they were using technology as opposed to hand drawings, saving approximately 20-25% timewise vs hand sketches.
According to Patrick DuChene, of DuChene Design solutions “The world is 1000 miles an hour. It was 100 miles an hour five years ago. So the quicker you’re able to do your job effectively and accurately, the more you’re going to succeed. As times change, the world evolves into where people are realizing that they need to communicate well with clients, be interactive, and they keep up. If you don’t, you’re not going to be busy.”
Benefits to the environment
The dolphins in the canals of Venice were not the only ones to benefit from the side effects of the global crisis. Landscape business owners have been driving less. With proposals and designs being shared electronically, both time and gas have been saved. Additionally, there has certainly been less paper being produced, due to designs being emailed vs printed on large scale color printers.
Landscape companies have had to get even more creative, quickly. Instead of a walk around a client’s property before quoting a job, solutions such as looking at Google Earth to get an outline of a property were used or asking a client to send photos of their space.
Design sign-offs have also been more efficient. Again, no driving required, just an excellent quality design and proposal. Using full-color landscape design software such as DSIColor, for example, could help a client truly picture the final job. Walking a client through the emailed design over the phone or video, perhaps some amendments, and then a signed-off project. Work could be scheduled and commence.
Efficient, professional, and free from fossil fuels.
Reflect and Redirect
The additional office time and need for amending existing processes to fit within new protocols have provided landscaping companies with a chance to look further at their existing systems. They have had the time to reflect upon what is working well and see where some processes might be better redirected in other ways.
For example, while going door-to-door with flyers may no longer be socially acceptable, adapting and improving social media presence and strategy has been an opportunity. How is a business providing free content of value to its customers for example? Which marketing channels are the most effective? Additional tips on marketing landscaping businesses can be found in our blog 5 Tips for Marketing Your Landscape Business.
Secondly, when preparing electronic proposals for customers, many landscaping businesses find that they are quoting on similar projects multiple times. Companies who already are employing landscaping business software, such as Manage360, enjoy the benefits of using templates and repurposing content for similar jobs with their software. These business management systems can potentially tie into a landscape design software as well, which is precisely how accurate bids are created. The person creating estimates benefits from having their suppliers at their fingertips to figure out exactly how much it’s going to cost.
Ultimately as businesses, we need profit to be able to operate. As noted above, even in these changing times, there are ways to increase your profit, while embracing new ways of working and provide benefits to the environment as well.
Ready to learn more about how DynaScape can help you increase your margins? Visit our online store, or contact the DynaScape sales team to purchase or discuss our Design software, or end-to-end Landscape Business software, Manage360. We can be reached by phone: 1.800.710.1900 x2 or by email: email@example.com.