Best technology apps designed to help Arborists run their business
A quick online search reveals that there are over seven million apps in existence with more being created each day. As the owner of a tree care company, you might be wondering how to identify the best apps to download for running your business.
Good news: Arborgold has done the research for you!
Below are 10 important business categories along with some specific recommendations for apps that every arborist should consider incorporating into the business operations.
The right apps can make your life a lot easier and make running your business more efficient and effective, so be sure to check them out. Some require a fee but a number of them are free.
#1 – Business Management
Below are some widely used apps for organizing and coordinating your business operations on a day-to-day basis.
- Arborgold (our top recommendation for arborists because every feature and function on the platform is custom designed for the lawn, landscape and tree care industry)
- >G-Suite (provides access to a core set of Google apps that include Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Slides, Forms, Hangouts Meet and more)
- >Microsoft Office 365 (a subscription service that includes Word, PowerPoint and Excel functionality, along with Outlook you’re not using Gmail)
- Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar (schedule meetings and events and get reminders about upcoming meetings)
- >Weather Channel (enables planning and/or rescheduling service calls depending on the forecast)
- >Gas Buddy (helps your crew find the cheapest gas station for cost-savings at the pump)
#2 – Accounting and Finance
As your business grows, so do your financial requirements. Quickbooks offers several plans at different pricing levels to help your business thrive. Tools include the ability to auto-track income and expenses, pay employees and vendor, tax assistance and more. Also, the Arborgold platform includes cutting-edge billing and invoicing software to keep your company’s finances healthy. We can even integrate with Quickbooks. Click here to take a product tour and see all the features that Arborgold has to offer.
#3 – Email Marketing
From time to time, you may want or need to contact your customers with information about your company’s products, services, fees, special promotions, etc. >Send Grid and Mailchimp are examples of email marketing platforms that offer a suite of easy-to-use tools for all of your communications with clients. Both offer a free package level, but there’s a limit to the number of emails that you can send with the free account. The monthly fees to upgrade the account are very reasonable.
#4 – Reputation Management
As a business owner, it’s essential to know what people are saying about your company, especially if unflattering reviews or negative comments are posted. The sooner that you are made aware of an issue, the faster you can provide excellent customer service to fix the problem.
>Google Alerts is a fast, easy, and free way to monitor the web for references to your company. Just go to Google.com/alerts, enter the name of your business in the “Create an alert about” field, click on “Create Alert,” and you’ll be notified via email if your company’s name shows up online. While Google Alerts isn’t fool-proof and might miss some mentions, it’s a pretty reliable way to keep track of how your company is being talked about publicly.
>Critical Mention is another resource for monitoring the web. The company offers different pricing levels where you can then request a demo to learn more.
#5 – Website and Online Presence
Want to create a high-quality and engaging website that you can be proud of without spending thousands of dollars? Some platforms for reasonably priced online website builders with a variety of user-friendly templates include >WordPress and >Squarespace. Each platform offers different features, but all are very popular for small businesses like yours. If you haven’t already done so, register your company’s URL for a nominal yearly fee at a site such as >Go Daddy, which also offers website builder features.
If your business sells products or merchandise online, you may want to explore setting up an online store with >Shopify. You can sign up for a 14-day free trial to test it out.
#6 – Advertising and Promotion
In bygone days, companies had to place an expensive display ad in the local newspaper in order to reach a wide audience. Now there are many more options available at significantly lower price points to attract and engage with current and potential customers:
- >Google Local (a paid local offer from Google Ads)
- >Google AdWords (paid search engine marketing through keywords to increase traffic to your website or to generate new business leads)
- >Angi HomeServices (supports lead generation for local professional services)*
- >Yelp (directory listing with reviews about your business)
- >Yellow Pages (directory listing with reviews about your business)
- >Moz Local (offers research tools to rank and/or prioritize keywords to describe your company; free trial is available)
*You might like to know that Arborgold integrates to Angi. Any leads from Angi go into Arborgold accounts for automated follow up from your company’s sales team.
#7 – Social Media
Social media offers many opportunities to showcase your company’s unique personality. You can establish a business account at no charge on all of the platforms shown below, but there are fees if you want to “boost” a post or an ad to reach a wider audience for news such as a seasonal promotion. Developing a robust social media presence requires a long-term, strategic approach and is most successful if your company pays a staff member or outside contractor to manage social media for your company, especially if you have a presence on multiple platforms.
Here are the social media apps that many small businesses are using today:
- >Hootsuite (a dashboard to manage most all of your social media accounts)
- >Google Business (a profile page for your company)
- LinkedIn (a platform to share business news)
- Facebook (most popular platform for info sharing; paid advertising available)
- >Instagram (good platform if you have a lot of photos to share; paid advertising available)
- >Tik Tok (a platform featuring short, creative videos; paid advertising available)
#8 – Time Tracking and Payroll
Managing payroll hours to ensure the profitability of revenues on every customer visit can be challenging. By using GPS location and digital on-site job check-ins to track time on the job, time in the shop and time on the road separately, your company will have a much better understanding of profit and loss at all levels of the operation.
Through the Arborgold app, you can keep a close eye on overhead and direct costs through our time tracking software in preparation for payroll export to apps such as Gusto, ADP, Paychex or Quickbooks Payroll. All offer a variety of plans at different pricing levels. Contact us at [email protected] for more details we’ll be glad to help you navigate the process.
#9 – Inventory and Supply Chain Management
Arborgold is your go-to platform for this category. Here are some of the many functions on our app related to inventory and supply chain management:
- Manage vendors and vendor rates
- Track material inventory levels in real time based on job usage
- Manage purchase orders
- Record deliveries
- Get access to real time pricing at large material warehouses like SiteOne and LandscapeHub
- And more – ask us for details!
#10 – Document Storage
Migrate important files to a secure location in the cloud and you’ll never lose sleep over lost documents, photos, videos, etc.
Dropbox offers 2GB of storage for free with their Basic account and you can always upgrade for more storage space if needed (for a fee).
Another free document storage platform is Google Drive, which also offers an enhanced version for a very nominal monthly fee if more file storage space is needed.
Here’s a tip: You can store Google Drive documents inside Arborgold contacts. Let us know if you have questions about how to do that.