In this day and age, staying on top of the latest technology is a critical component of guaranteeing future success for any company. Below are nine tips for using technology to boost sales and cut costs for your landscaping business.
1. Job Estimators
Consider using software, such as LandPro Systems, to help prepare accurate estimates of how much a particular job could cost. The best estimates are typically very detailed, including everything from fuel expenses to document fees.
2. Mobile Credit Card Readers
Consider using an electronic system and mobile credit card reader, such as Square, so you can collect payments from your clients immediately after job completion.
3. Customer Management Help
Consider implementing an online customer relationship management system through Salesforce.com or Microsoft Excel. These systems can be used to track every current or prospective customer, offering a complete data set that can be used to localize trends among your current clients. This data set can then be used to identify more prospective customers. The data set can also serve as a list for mailings, email blasts and phone calls for your sales team.
4. Business Management Software
If you are looking to more quickly handle scheduling, estimates and accounting, online landscaping business management systems, such as Aspire, may be worth considering.
5. Landscape Design Software
If you offer landscape design services, consider using software like DynaSCAPE or PRO Landscape in order to produce 3D color renderings of past or proposed projects for prospective clients. The life-like visuals could help increase their confidence in your company and secure their business.
6. Smart Controllers
If you offer irrigation installation and maintenance services, consider adding smart controllers to your offerings to save time and meet increasing demand among customers. Smart controllers receive data from local weather stations or the weather service, and use that information to compute evapotranspiration—the process of transferring moisture from the earth to the atmosphere by evaporation of water and transpiration from plants—and adjust the irrigation of the landscape accordingly.
7. Extended-Run Battery Backpacks
If you frequently work on large landscaping projects, consider using a backpack battery that has an extensive run time. It may allow your crews to work for longer on one charge to speed up jobs and eliminate the need for carrying multiple batteries.
8. Route Optimizer
Consider a job-matching app like LawnStarter, which uses global positioning systems (GPS) to add new landscaping jobs that align with existing job routes to reduce time spent driving between properties.
If you regularly work on large lawns, or are conducting inspection services for roofs, gutters or treetops, consider increasing the efficiency of your business by using drones to survey potential problems.
Maya Sawla is with the business advisory technology division at Sageworks, a financial information company that provides financial analysis and cash flow applications to business owners and their accountants.