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Get the most out of this busy season.

March 16, 2021

Busy Season

Work is starting to ramp up. The grass is getting green again, phones are ringing, and your calendars are getting filled. Busy season is almost upon us. It’s an exciting time because there is so much potential for your business to grow. How do you make sure you reach your full potential this season? Here are a few ideas on how to get the most out of this busy season.

Your Customers

It all starts with the customer. There’s no room for complacency. Customer expectations are higher than ever. Everyone wants an “Amazon” experience when they’re dealing with a company. Can you deliver proposals before you leave their driveway? Do they get text reminders on the day of their appointment? Can they easily pay with a click of a button? A few years ago this would have been considered revolutionary but has become commonplace. As a result, the competition for winning customers is higher than ever.  

An example of adapting to customer needs comes from Nick Welliver, owner/operator of Hilton Head Landscapes, who said in a recent podcast interview that his company usually sends 400 proposals a year, but by implementing management software they were able to send 230 proposals just in two months. Customers were not only happier with the speed proposals that were sent out, Hilton Head Landscapes was also able to get more work scheduled.  

Finding ways to impress your customers can lead to growth you hadn’t considered before. Kristin Crawford from Tree Huggers said that by switching to software they were able to win more clients because of how easy it was for customers to sign and communicate digitally. The last thing you want is to miss out on potential deals because you were too slow to get back to them.

Your Crew

Second in importance, only to your customers, are your employees. Look for areas you can improve their work experience. Having happy and engaged employees is the key to every business’s success. Do you incentivize employees through rewards, extra pay? Do you have buy-in from your crews?  

Noel Boyer, the owner of All About Trees, has a two-pronged approach to keeping his crews engaged. The first is allowing his employees to make decisions and resolve conflict without him needing to step in. This builds trust. He also takes his team to climbing competitions. This gives employees a chance to use their skills in a competitive setting, bond as a crew, and see how they compare to others in the industry. 

Weed wacker crew

How are you tracking employee development? Establish a review process. Hold bi-annual reviews to assess their strengths and weaknesses. Ask them to review leadership. By keeping an open dialogue, employees will always know where they stand, and you’ll get valuable feedback on where to improve leadership.

Identify bottlenecks. Ask your office employees where they feel they could be more efficient. There are probably ways to make their jobs faster and easier. Often, office employees are slowed down by too much paperwork, switching between multiple softwares, and disorganization. Your employees might not know the solution, but they can voice issues they are experiencing. 

Another way to get more out of your crews is to make their schedules in advance. No one wants to show up to work, especially on the weekends, and not know where they will be going or for how long. You’ll find that having employees’ schedules laid out for them will help them get to job sites faster, be more productive, and be less stressed.

An even more innovative way to get the most out of your crews is to begin considering autonomous mowers. Greenzie, an Atlanta startup, creates software to run autonomous robotic lawnmowers. Your crew’s benefit is that they can focus on the detailed part of landscaping while the robot takes care of the mundane task of striping a field. This is just one example of the industry’s innovation and might not fit your specific needs. The critical part is always to be searching for ways to improve because your competition certainly is. 

Your Business

After you’ve assessed your customer’s wellbeing and your employee’s satisfaction, it’s time to turn towards how you can get the most out of your business operations. Are there processes you can streamline? Are there repetitive tasks that could be automated? Research how your competitors are answering these questions and see if it’s a good fit for you. 

Think of ways to update your team on the company’s progress. Consider starting a weekly team meeting to keep your workers up to date on how things are going. Use a monthly meeting to celebrate big wins and praise employees who did an outstanding job. Think about starting an incentive program to reward employees for their hard work.  

How are you tracking employee development? Establish a review process. Hold bi-annual reviews to assess their strengths and weaknesses. Ask them to review leadership. By keeping an open dialogue, employees will always know where they stand, and you’ll get valuable feedback on where to improve leadership.

Identify bottlenecks. Ask your office employees where they feel they could be more efficient. There are probably ways to make their jobs faster and easier. Often, office employees are slowed down by too much paperwork, switching between multiple softwares, and disorganization. Your employees might not know the solution, but they can voice issues they are experiencing. 

Conclusion

The best landscape management software doesn’t come cheap. This is why it’s essential to ask the right questions to make sure you are getting the best fit for your company. Management software tends to have similar features, but what sets them apart are how easy they are to use, the customer care you will receive, and if they truly understand your business. Since you know the right questions, go out there and transform your business.