Why Software Is Key In Growing Your Business

Jay Worth of SingleOps explains how software can benefit green industry companies and offers suggestions on how to get started.

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In January 2020, Salesforce released its “State of the Connected Customer” report. It stated that 75 percent of consumers expected a business to use technology to deliver a better customer experience. 

A survey from Oracle showed a related result: 77 percent of consumers felt inefficiencies in their service experience “detracted from their quality of life.” Also, 84 percent of businesses that improved the experience for their customers saw an increase in revenue

When considering your customer’s expectations, experiences and revenue increases, the research is explicit: You should be using software to run your lawn care, tree care or landscaping business. 

The Benefits

More professional looking proposals, generating proposals faster, tracking job histories, improved job scheduling functions, automated communication and reporting are among several benefits landscape companies can gain from using software.

In addition, as stated above, your customers expect you to use this. The tools are available. You wouldn’t still use a two-handed saw for cutting down trees. You have adopted the usage of the internet, email and cellphones. Why? Because they make your life and running your business easier. Why would you still use old-fashioned methods to send proposals and manage job scheduling? 

In short, if you’re not using software to help you keep track of proposals, questions from clients or to send work orders to your field labor, you’re missing the mark in 2022. 

What To Look For In Software

The needs of every business are different. Think about the service lines that you currently offer. Which are most important for you to focus on growing? Which are most profitable for you right now? 

If your focus is design/build, you should look for software that allows you to propose large planting jobs and hardscaping. If you run a lawn care business, something that caters to recurring visits is where you should focus your energy. For tree care companies and full-service landscapers, you want something that quickly does both recurring jobs and one-off job proposals. 

Other Considerations

Here are some items that you should consider when comparing software options.

  • Time tracking: Do you need to keep track of the hours spent on the jobsite? How about the ability for crew members to clock in and out? Ask about all the different ways the software you’re considering keeps track of your time. 

  • Scheduling: How easy is it to schedule work in the software? What about if you have a cancellation: Can you rearrange without throwing off the whole day? What about batch rescheduling (in case you get rained out for an entire day)? 

  • Automation: What things will the software do for you automatically? Things like following up on outstanding proposals or communicating with a customer when their job has been completed or rescheduled can save you many hours per week. 

  • Implementation: This refers to the process you go through from “signed contract” to “using the software daily.” How long does that take for the software you’re considering? Do you have the option to work on it yourself? Do you have someone to help walk you through issues with the implementation? 

  • Customer support: Take a look at some reviews. Talk to people you know who are currently using the software and ask what their experience has been. Is the customer support team responsive when there’s an issue? 

  • Product improvement: This may be harder to answer on your own, but ask anyway. What are they doing to improve the product? How are they listening to their customers (other businesses like yours) about what they need from the software? Ask the person you’re talking to from each software company you’re considering. 

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a great starting point as you start to shop for software to help you run your business more efficiently and effectively.