Landscaping may be a tactile job, but it still requires the finesse of software to run smoothly. If you’re new to the landscaping business model, you might be curious to learn more about the different types of management software and which is best for you.
From the CRM dashboard to customizable invoice templates, there are lots of things that set one provider apart from the next. While there’s no one right or wrong answer, there are features that tip the scale. Here are a few of the leading software providers in the landscaping industry.
A leader in tree, lawn, and landscape management software, Arborgold has 20 years of experience and a long list of success stories behind it. While field management software covers a variety of industries, Arborgold chose to focus specifically on the landscaping industry. It offers the benefit of tree and lawn-specific tools and templates.
Arborgold has four payment plans, which vary based on features and user type.
Sprout – For $59/month, the Sprout package offers users access to the CRM, message center, estimates and bids, scheduling, job management, invoicing, QB online, sync, and reporting options.
Entrepreneur – The Entrepreneur package is $99/month and includes all the features of Sprout plus advanced scheduling, a landscape CAD tool, land measure tool, email marketing, and GPS tracking.
Premium – At $149/month, the Premium package provides equal features to both Sprout and Entrepreneur with the addition of job costing, plant and tree inventory, a customer portal, batch renewal, and custom templates.
Ultimate – The Ultimate package costs $179/month and includes all of the above plus a dynamic proposal system, automated follow-up, supply chain management, project management, marketing automation, third-party integration, and QB desktop sync.
Arborgold integrates easily with Google Calendar, SMS text, email platforms, and QuickBooks.
A free tool designed by Google, Google Calendar combines information from multiple tools to streamline team management. Integrating Gmail, Sites, Hangouts chat, OneDrive, and Contacts, Google Calendar allows access to all the information you’ve collected at once from one location. That makes it easy to pull data directly from client emails and enter it into your schedule.
Google Calendar is accessible from any resource, including your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Calendars can also be published to an internal company website so that there’s a readily available working copy of the schedule for everyone to see.
Twilio is a cloud communications platform that specializes in voice, video, and mobile communication. The company currently operates out of fourteen countries, spread throughout twenty-four different offices. In short, it operates at the global level and has the numbers to do so successfully.
The Twilio pricing model is attractive in that businesses only pay for what they use. For example, businesses that want to include programmable voice features can do so for $0.0085/minute for received calls and $0.013 for outgoing voice. Other features of Twilio include:
- Programmable SMS
- SendGrid Email API
- Elastic SIP Trunking
- WhatsApp API
- Programmable Video
- Programmable Chat
- Programmable Wireless
Twilio services are geared toward marketing, operations, and customer service models, making it a useful tool for any industry.
All small businesses need accounting software to manage the numbers. QuickBooks is an all-in-one solution that performs tasks such as:
- Invoice creation
- Expense tracking
- Receipt organization
- Mileage tracking
- Time tracking
- Employee payments
- Vendor payments
- Estimate creation
- Sales tax calculation
- Multi-currency support
- Project tracking
QuickBooks offers four payment options, including:
EasyStart – For $20.00/month, users can track income, receipts, sales, and tax. They can also send reports, invoices, and estimates.
Essentials – The Essentials plan at $35.00/month offers the EasyStart benefits with the addition of time tracking, currency conversion, bill and payment management, and the option for multiple users.
Plus – As you might expect, the Plus package combines EasyStart and Essentials and adds to it. Users of Plus can also track inventory and project stats.
Self-Employed – For businesses that don’t require all the bells and whistles, the Self-Employed package provides the bare bones of accounting for only $10.00/month. It also helps organize and separate business and personal transactions.
QuickBooks provides the option for add-ons of standard and advanced payroll to each package.
Spreadsheets are the foundation of any well-organized company. Landscape business owners can use MS Excel to organize payments, employees, inventory, and more. For business users, there are three packages to choose from:
Office 365 Business – This package requires an annual commitment and costs $8.25/user/month. It offers access to Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, and OneDrive.
Office 365 Business Premium – For 12.50/user/month, businesses gain access to the same apps featured above, along with SharePoint, Exchange, and Teams.
Office 365 Business Essentials – A mobile and web-only service offering no desktop Microsoft app access, Office 365 Business Essentials is only $5.00/user/month. It does offer access to SharePoint, Teams, Exchange, and OneDrive.
New users can try MS Excel free for one month before opting into a package.
MobileCrew is a specialty app created and distributed by Arborgold. The app was designed to give landscape business owners access to crew information while their teams are in the field. Through the app, management can share work orders, weather conditions, changes to service plans, and watch employees punch in and out for shifts, all in real-time.
The app works on Android and iPhone devices and is available for download through both app stores.
Another app designed by Arborgold for landscape business owners is MobileEstimator. As the name suggests, this app creates estimates at the mobile level. The estimator app includes a high-quality digital image creator so that custom drawings can be added to each estimate. While the app runs on mobile phones and tablets, it produces professional level estimates.
From the app, users can modify and manage task lists, map out locations for scheduled appointments, access client history, and more. Like MobileCrew, this app is available for Android and iPhone users from the app stores.
Using Your Software
Each software has its own unique benefits, the most notable being that you can use some of them together. If you can’t find the perfect all-in-one software for your landscaping company, you can make it by finding two or three different platforms to get the work done. Don’t be afraid to explore. Some software brands even offer a free trial.