Many landscapers feel like it is impossible to balance the demands of running a successful landscaping company while also spending time with family, friends, and hobbies.
However, with the right planning, mindset, and tools, you can maximize the success of your landscaping business while minimizing the amount of time you have to work each week.
How Landscape Business Owners Balance Work & Life
Below are 5 tips from landscape business efficiency experts to help you balance your personal life while you grow your landscaping business.
1 – Set Office Hours
As a landscape business owner, you can often feel tethered to your email or laptop at all hours of the day managing client correspondence, schedules and operations, handling challenges and disputes or any other number of what feel like emergencies.
However, there is a “law of diminishing returns” when it comes to working too hard too often. Efficiency experts have studied this phenomenon, and the results are clear: any work done after 40 hours a week is going to be less productive than any work done before the 40-hour mark. This is because focus, creativity, and drive can get worn out after a long week. This is especially true, experts say, if you’re in overdrive week after week.
If you have a habit of working long hours and weekends, challenge yourself to put work away at the end of the day. Neuroscience and efficiency experts find that doing this will increase your productivity during more regular work hours.
Some landscape business owners can find this hard to implement. To start, set business hours on your landscaping website, business cards, and set expectations with your employees. This will help minimize the hours during which customers and employees try to reach out. Then screen your calls after you end your work for the night, and don’t check your email until the next morning.
Try it for a month and we’re sure you’ll see a change in what you’re able to accomplish during your more limited work hours!
2 – Delegate More Effectively
Any business management course will discuss the importance of delegating more effectively. However, as a landscape business owner who has seen your company grow from seed to sow, it can sometimes be hard to let go.
However, taking care of too many of the “little things” yourself quickly limits how much your landscaping business can grow.
A good mindset, say some business efficiency experts, is to delegate to “multiply” yourself. Consider that every time you’re able to delegate a portion of your responsibilities, you’re giving them to someone who has more time on their hands to potentially take more of that same type of work as your landscape business grows. Even more importantly, you’re opening up more time for yourself to do more big-picture planning and operations.
Instead of seeing delegation as an in-the-moment move to take a load off your plate, consider it to be a strategic leadership move. By passing on some of your responsibilities, you’re preparing your team to be better equipped to handle the growth you’re planning for the future.
3 – Take a Vacation
Just like working too many hours a week can decrease your productivity, so too can your effectiveness as a landscape business owner if you’re burned out. Some landscape business owners feel like taking a vacation is selfish. However, in reality, it helps you to reboot, helping to reset your body and your mind for more effective work when you return.
Once you’re out of the day-to-day hustle and bustle, many business owners find themselves better able to problem solve and find creative solutions for growth.
If you don’t think your business can run without you, it may be time to take a harder look at tip number 2 above about delegating. Consider the old adage “If your business can’t run without you then you don’t really own a business, you own a job.”
To choose the best time to take a vacation when you own a landscaping business, take a look through old service orders. What weeks out of the year are you historically less busy? This should give you a great idea for when leaving your business will be less stressful for you.
4 – Don't Ignore Your Health and Fitness
Is it impossible to make it to the gym because you're always dealing with issues at the office? Do you wish you could eat healthier instead of always grabbing meals on the road between visits to clients? Stress and crazy scheduling can make it hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle if you own a landscaping company.
However, staying healthy and fit has huge impacts on your overall productivity and effectiveness as a business owner. Making health and fitness a priority will help increase your energy and help you sleep better. It’s also been shown to make you more productive, help you stay more focused on tasks, and help you get things done more quickly.
More holistically, staying healthy and fit also decreases your risk of chronic disease, can help minimize chronic pain, and minimizes your personal healthcare costs.
It also means you’ll have more energy to engage with family, friends, and in hobbies.
It can be difficult for a landscape business owner to make time for health and fitness, however, with some strategic planning and diligence, it is possible! Start by committing to a 15-minute walk 3 days a week in your neighborhood or at the gym before you start your workday or during your lunch break. After a few weeks, add on a couple more days or 10 extra minutes. Once you’re comfortable with the routine, start to add in strength training or higher intensity cardio. Going slowly can ease you mentally into the idea of making fitness a priority and can also prevent you from physically overdoing it by going too hard right out of the gate.
For healthier eating, start easy by grilling some extra chicken breasts and veggies over the weekend. Tuck 5 lunch portions into food containers to eat for healthy lunches for the week. When you’re used to the eating healthy from home routine, mix up your lunches with some simple and easy meal planning recipes online.
5 – Use a Landscaping Business Software
If you’re still patching together excel docs and word docs for your landscape proposals while using multiple different software to manage scheduling and billing, then you’re probably only half as efficient as you could be.
Work smarter, not harder.
For a reasonable cost, you can integrate all of your major operations into a single landscape business management software. Unite proposals/bids, CAD drawing tools, messaging, appointment calendars, labor/equipment scheduling, work order management, QuickBooks, email marketing, activity history, automated renewals, document control, reporting, and more under a single platform. Not only does this minimize having to enter the same information into more than one place, but it also empowers you with more data to better serve your customers.
Many landscape business owners find that the right landscape business management software can cut their administrative time in half. They also often see an increase in conversion rate since follow-up processes are easier and more streamlined, helping to get to customers faster and more efficiently while preventing any lead from ever falling through the cracks.
Balance Life & Work as a Landscape Business Owner – Consider the Long Game
It can be easy to get caught up in the daily duties and emergencies that come with owning a business. However, a constant “firefighting” mode is not only unsustainable, it’s also unproductive. By stepping back and taking a more strategic and balanced approach to running your landscaping business, you can not only run your business more efficiently, but you can also find more satisfaction in your work-life balance.
How can we help?
Steps 1-4 are more about your mindset and personal steps you can take to increase your company’s efficiency, but when it comes to an effective landscape business software, we’re here for you! Our software was design specifically for landscape professionals and has all the nuts and bolts in an easy-to-use software to help you run your business more efficiently. Take a quick tour of our landscape software or explore the features of Arborgold today!