5 Ways to Organize Your Lawn Care Business So You Can Grow
Each year there are plenty of opportunities for a fresh start as you organize your lawn care businesses for growth and expansion. Field-based businesses face many challenges, but staying organized helps minimize business disruptions and time waste.
At Arborgold, we supply business software to field-based businesses across a broad range of industries. Working closely with landscapers and snow removal companies, we’ve developed programs and apps to keep your brand on target and organized.
Here, we’ll talk about 5 ways you can organize your own lawn care business for a prosperous year.
1. Organize Finances for a Profitable Lawn Care Company
Typically, lawn care companies start small, earning anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 in the first year. As businesses flourish and grow, you can expect more lucrative income, up to $250,000, even for a small landscaping business. To reach this point, owners need to organize lawn care business finances and maintain bills and invoices.
There are many ways you can organize your business financially, including:
Connecting with a CPA
If you haven’t already, getting connected with an accountant is an important step in organizing landscaping finances. Even small businesses with few accounts to manage have a lot of incoming and outgoing business expenses to account for, balance, and report. A CPA can get you on the track for success, show your accounting department best business practices, and give you advice on end-of-year filing for the highest profit margin possible.
Use Accounting Business Software
At Arborgold, we offer a variety of business software services to landscaping firms, including accounting and invoicing software. This software maintains records, sends you reports, does invoicing and integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks and other professional accounting software. Efficient business software allows you to simplify your business plan and say goodbye to paper invoices and similar materials forever.
Be Vigilant with Your Budget
Every company creates a budget of some kind, but for field-based businesses, it’s especially important to set realistic expectations where your budget is concerned. There are expenditures landscaping businesses incur that a brick-and-mortar retail boutique doesn’t. Expenditures like travel, inventory, labor, gas, machinery repair, and more.
Setting and maintaining a realistic budget will keep your finances more organized and your team on track for success.
2. Keep Track of Your Lawn Care Clients
Tracking your clients is another crucial element of business planning. Clients may have diverse needs and varying levels of service., and you want to make sure your marketing efforts don’t go to waste. Some of the different customer traits to track and help maintain your client base include:
- Recurring services vs. one-time services
- Local customers vs. out-of-town customers
- Big jobs vs. small maintenance tasks
Business software keeps an updated list of all company clients, where they live, services they use, whether they’ve used promotions in the past, and more. With a different business account for each client, you can see who has made payments, which clients you’re waiting on payments for, and past clients who haven’t ordered new services.
Use lawn care business software to schedule and organize follow-up correspondence with customers, no matter their service level. Bring back past clients and attract new ones by monitoring current promotions and offers. Stay organized by automating tasks where possible.
You can also get help with invoicing and customer reminders. Use dedicated email templates to create follow-ups with customers using one-time services, and reminders for customers using recurring services.
3. Monitor Inventory
Inventory control is critical to staying organized in lawn care. This includes machinery used on the job, and your plant nursery inventory. To deliver high-quality customer service and to be prepared for each job, you need to know what’s in your greenhouse.
You can ensure inventory is organized in a variety of ways, including:
A Clean Start to the Year
As you begin the lawn care season, consider cleaning out the old and bringing in the new. Many landscaping companies wind up with outdated products, dead plants, and broken tools bogging down the storage space. Rather than counting inventory you don’t need and won’t use, clear out any unnecessary items before you get up and running this year.
Once you’ve gotten the overflow out the door, you can focus on counting and logging all current tools and supplies. This should be kept in a digital and paper log for employees to check in and out.
Minimal Seasonal Overflow
Lawn care companies tend to shut down or switch tasks in the off-season. This means a lot of expensive supplies are hanging around in the winter, unused until spring. Some of these supplies need to hang around until you need them again, but there are some products you can clear out until next year.
A great way to organize your inventory is by ensuring you have minimal seasonal overflow in storage. Anything you will not be using during the winter or next landscaping season can be sold before you close down for the season. Just be sure to get in early and order new supplies before you open for the spring season.
Arborgold Inventory Tracking Software
Inventory tracking software is a time saver. Rather than counting inventory every night, you can count on your inventory tracking software to update you as items are scanned in and out. From supplies to machinery and equipment, know exactly what’s in the shop and what to order.
Inventory software also lets you automate many functions, including ordering new supplies. When stock gets low, the software can send you an alert and reorder what’s needed. You can also track your equipment so you’re aware of when machines are available for the next job.
4. Track Employees in the Field
It isn’t just inventory you need to track in lawn care, your employees are also coming and going. Monitoring employee activity is important on many levels, including:
- Job scheduling
- Equipment management
- Customer service
There are two ways to track employees in the field, through scheduling software and physical GPS tracking. Both are available through Arborgold business software.
Scheduling software lets you see which employees are currently on a job, who’s out sick, and when an employee goes on vacation. This is important to the overall organization of your company because it lets you plan current and upcoming jobs accordingly. If you know half your staff has taken a holiday off, you won’t schedule multiple big jobs until they’re back.
Scheduling applications work in many ways. You can organize automated schedules to be sent to staff, and you can allow for incoming scheduling processes from your staff. In other words, online scheduling applications allow your staff to apply for time-off, register a sick day, or ask for overtime. This saves time and money and lets you keep tabs on your employees.
GPS Tracking Software
Tracking software is a great tool for scheduling and staff safety. It lets you keep physical tabs on your employees as they’re out in the field. For lawn care businesses, management can’t walk out into the office and spot who’s working and who isn’t. You rely on external resources to keep you in the know.
GPS tracking through your business software lets you see which staff members are working jobs nearby. This is helpful for sharing tools and equipment, and as a safety protocol to ensure your team is where they need to be.
GPS tracking software is also useful for monitoring transportation. If a staffer is on the way to a job site, you can physically watch the route they take and help them navigate detours or traffic stalls. GPS vehicle tracking is great for monitoring and optimizing fuel usage in company vehicles.
5. Employ Company-Wide Communication Strategies for a Successful Lawn Care Business
Communication is a huge factor in the organization of any company. To organize lawn care business communication strategies across your company, consider using internal chat features and crew apps. This keeps you in touch 24/7 through any mobile device without the worry of external parties getting involved in company conversations.
Our MobileCrew App is useful for keeping crew members apprised of current weather conditions, daily jobs, and schedule changes. Crew members can stay connected, punch in and out for shifts, record new information about current jobs, and communicate.
Arborgold business software offers real-time communication across departments, making it easy to stay in touch with your staff no matter where they are. Whether your team is in the next room or across town on a job, you can communicate about anything from schedule changes to equipment malfunctions.
Company-wide communication strategies through your business software provides a sense of unity. You can open different channels to create a space for staff to communicate openly, like a local social media platform. Or you can use channels strictly for business and organize chats by job assignment or management level.
Take a Tour with Arborgold Today
Arborgold works with field-based businesses across North America, supporting companies in a range of needs. From resource management to accounting and invoicing to automation and engagement, our software has tools to support you every step of the way as your company grows.
Interested in learning more about Arborgold software and how it can help your lawn care business grow? We invite you to take a tour of our software services today.