Any business owner knows that how a company is perceived makes a big impact on consumers. Brand recognition and digital identity influence the choices modern buyers make when selecting products and services. The landscaping industry is no different.
Whether you own a national chain of landscaping businesses or a small local business, your website and marketing methods affect success. If you’ve found yourself asking the question, “how can I make my landscaping business more profitable?”, you’re not alone. As most landscaping firms do operate at the local level, your website needs to leave an impression.
Throughout this article, we’ll more closely examine the key elements of a successful landscaping business.
Stand Out When Making a Bid
Bidding on a landscaping job is a standard procedure in the industry. However, relying on past successes, or resting on your laurels, may not guarantee future wins. The landscaping industry is becoming highly competitive, especially with large, more bountiful jobs. Everything from the price you estimate to your response time, and the proposal itself makes a difference in the outcome of a bid.
Winning a bid takes dedication, due diligence, and a whole lot of creativity. This is where using state of the art proposal software can help. Companies like Arborgold provide tools that maximize outcomes while minimizing the time spent on developing your proposal. Our digital landscape design tool offers the chance to create a mock-up of any future project. Or, you can use the tool to upload any photo or drawing you’ve drafted for the project.
Things to include in a proposal include:
- Materials required for the job
- Visualization of a potential finished project
- References for previous work on similar projects
- Cost evaluation of tools, resources, and labor
With creative proposals, well-researched evaluations, and eye-catching visuals, your bid will stand out among competitors. Project managers aren’t only looking for the landscaper who will save them the most money, but one who is dependable and has a proven track record for success.
Get Organized With a CRM
Organization is a powerful resource in business. When companies are organized, they better delegate tasks and manage workforces. Scheduling projects and overseeing billing are two huge tasks that, if not strictly monitored, could go very badly very quickly. One way to organize these things is through something called Customer Relationship Management software, or CRM.
CRM software provides the tools needed to track everything from work orders to profit margins. You can see employee schedules, send e-mails, monitor ongoing bids, and upload new landscape designs all from the comfort of your computer. In fact, a CRM gives you the freedom to work from anywhere you like. The information is stored through your supplier’s cloud. For Arborgold clients, our cloud and mobile app alert you to changes and keep you updated in real-time. Some other features of landscaping CRM include:
- Notifications of overdue bids via widgets
- Automated follow-up emails
- Task creation, delegation and prospecting tool for team members
- Manage and create reports
- View ROI
- Keep tabs on project development and overdue deadlines
As the name of the software suggests, your CRM dashboard allows you to foster relationships with your customers by better managing interactions, information, and productivity.
Maintain Billing and Accounts Seamlessly
Very few people like dealing with the ugly side of the business, the accounts receivable side. Using software that incorporates billing, quotes, deposits, and payments into one easy tool will improve the financial portion of landscaping. Having to constantly hound customers or forgetting to send an invoice looks unprofessional and can have a negative effect on your business. Tools that implement automation smooth out these kinks so billing occurs regularly and on schedule.
Billing is a big part of any landscaping contract. Using specialized billing software lets you see every current contract, setup automated invoicing, and receive payments online. The process can be adjusted as necessary as changes are made to service levels and price points. When a contract is paid off, it becomes visibly complete within your billing tool, so you don’t accidentally continue to invoice your client.
One amazing feature of billing software which helps landscaping businesses get ahead is the forecast tool. This option lets you see current cash flow and future cash flow estimates based on previous work. Each project bill can be viewed at a flat rate or by individual line item.
Show Your Customers You Care
Bid design, schedule organization, and a well-managed billing system aren’t enough to find success in landscaping. You should also put a focus on the customer. Customer interaction plays a large role in brand notability. Everything from the emails you send, to the phone calls you take, make an impact on how your business is perceived. Using business software with an integrated message center helps you stay on top of communication.
Arborgold communication software sends text notifications to alert you that you’ve missed a call, need to send a follow-up email, and the like. Once you’ve won the bid on a job, your team gets busy following through with expectations for the job. This might leave some slack where customer service once sat. Missing phone calls, social media messages, and emails can hurt your business, especially if you’re a small local landscaper. Our 24-hour, 7-day a week customer portal gives your customers access to live information regarding invoices, jobs, estimates, and customer service issues.
Build a Better Website
Finally, in a world dictated by what’s hot online, having an up to date and interesting website is a great way to get ahead in the landscaping industry. Hiring a third-party web designer to create the perfect online space will pay off later. E way your customers see you online could change their opinion on who the best local for their landscaping project is.
On your new company website, some things to include are:
- Customer testimonials
- Photo examples of past work
- Current services and products
- An “about me” page
- Access to social media and contact information
Your layout should be a good representation of the colors and themes used in your landscaping projects. It should appeal to the customer base you most wish to work with. For example, if your goal is to work for high-end commercial properties, providing landscaping examples from work at schools, hotels, hospitals, and government buildings is a good place to start.
Choose Software Designed for Landscapers
There’s an unending supply of business software available over the internet. Many of them are useful and incorporate some of the tools mentioned above. Working with software that is specifically designed for your industry offers an advantage over competitors who may be using a generic billing tool or CRM dashboard.
Landscaping is a unique industry. The jobs you take on as a landscaper are bid on and billed differently than they would be for a marketing firm or even a construction company. The way you interact with your clients is also different. Unlike a shoe shop that might send mass emails with promotions and coupons inside, landscaping emails tend to include more exclusive and client-specific materials.
Arborgold specializes in software for landscaping, plant health care, pest control, tree care, lawn care, and similar industries. We’re proud to create tools that allow our clients to better manage teams, projects, and finances. With our Arborgold Sprout software, cloud and mobile app, you can rest assured your landscaping business needs are being met.
For more information on landscaping software, our unique CRM structure, or mobile app, contact Arborgold today. Our experienced staff is happy to answer any questions you might have.