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Should We Add (or Change) Landscaping Business Management Software When Business is Booming?

Posted On Sep 19, 2018 10:41:27 AM By Nanette Seven, Vice President

Landscape business management softwareHow many times have you heard someone use the expression change is hard? It gets thrown around all of the time in business—admittedly for good reason. Change really is hard, the main reason for which is because it requires work.

While change is always hard to some degree, the truth is, it’s hardest when it will result in long-term benefits rather than short-term ones. It’s more difficult for business owners to make changes when the reward will not be immediate because it means muddling through some tough times first. It’s also particularly hard when business is booming and the need for change seems almost unnecessary—at least for the time being. There is an inclination to want to put off changes rather than focus on them today.

This is something we often see when it comes to the decision to add or change landscaping business management software. Business is profitable and it’s going strong so the argument is, why should I make changes now when I can just wait? You might even be asking do I really need to add or change landscaping business management software when my business is booming?

The short answer is, yes. We’ll explain why making this change, even when business is booming, is an investment in your continued success and one that you should not risk putting off.

What Will Happen if I Fail to Add or Change Landscaping Business Management Software?

In order to best understand why you should consider adding or changing your landscaping business management software while your business is booming, let’s first look at what could happen if you choose not to.

You Hire an Administrative Person to Perform the Work

Administrative person performing workBusiness is going well, you’re selling a lot of jobs, and naturally, you have a need to keep up with the growing paperwork and processing that needs to be performed for those jobs. So you go out and hire an administrative person. This is a very common occurrence. It’s often one of the first things that landscape business owners decide to do when their business is growing. They feel the struggle to “keep up,” so they feel the best thing to do is add another body to their team.

The problem is, you’ve now ended up with an extremely high administrative overhead to support a position whose primary job responsibilities could have been handled by the right landscaping business management software.

There are also risks to hiring a person to perform the tasks that could have been handled by software, namely fraud, and embezzlement. It may sound like the type of scenario that could “never happen to you,” but the truth is, fraud is on the rise in the Green Industry and a lot of it is occurring at the administrative level, where an employee has access to the company checkbook. Hiring a person for tasks that could be handled more securely with software introduces some risk.

You Start Adding More and More “Tools”

In order to keep up with your booming business, you need tools in place. In addition to an administrative person, this might also mean spreadsheets, whiteboards, and maybe even computer programs like Outlook and Quickbooks. You might even have a landscape scheduling software program that you use to create your routes.

As you grow, you might add more tools but the trouble is, none of them are integrated. Each tool will require you to enter the data over and over again since none of these tools “talk to one another.” Without any integration, it’s a very cumbersome way of doing business. As you grow, you’ll likely find that adding more and more tools is only adding more and more work.

What you really could have used is landscaping business management software—a single tool that could do it all. While using multiple tools might have worked for you when you were a small business, the more you grow, the more inefficient you’ll find these methods to be.

You Start Making Mistakes

As your company grows, so does the amount of data that you need to process. That can make running reports and processing information increasingly challenging. If you’re working with paper spreadsheets to try and keep up with an ever-growing business, chances are, mistakes are being made. These could be anything from billing blunders to sales errors to field mistakes, all of which could have been prevented if you were working with more up-to-date information and continually processing data in real time.

You Aren’t as Profitable as You Could Be

If business is going well you might be inclined to say, “we’re good for now.” But what if you could be better? What if you could be even more profitable than you are? The fact is, with the right tools, you’ll be able to have a better grasp on your bottom line and ensure that more dollars are going to it.

You’ll also give your sales team the tools they need to sell more jobs. Landscaping business management software will ensure they’re working with the most up-to-date numbers, allowing them to sell with confidence. Adopting landscaping business management software now, while business is booming, will not only help you maintain that current momentum but it will also give you the resources you need to be better than perhaps you even realized you could be.

Why Put It Off?

The Future is Now written on desert roadThese examples are just some of the scenarios that we have seen play out in real life when landscape business owners chose to put off adding landscaping business management software during a period of growth. With all the failures that could take place by not implementing software, one might wonder why put it off?

Of course, there are a lot of reasons why landscape business owners fail to implement software sooner. Here are three of the most common reasons we hear.

1. It’s Not a Tangible Investment

We hear this one a lot and it makes sense, given the fact that landscape business owners are such visual people. It’s easy to say “I’m going to invest in new trucks” because it’s a purchase that is tangible. You can see how your investment in some new trucks could help support your continued growth.

Investing in landscaping business management software is not quite so tangible for most people. Even so, it is an investment in your business that can provide you with tremendous support and that will become apparent sooner than you may realize. Plus the additional profit you could end up making may mean you can buy even more of those shiny, new trucks.

2. Times are Good, I Don’t Need It Now

Here’s the thing about putting it off because times are good—you will quite likely hit periods where you do have to operate leaner. If you’ve been in business long enough you know that it ebbs and flows. And when times are lean, you want to be prepared. You want to be running as efficiently as possible with strong systems already in place. Waiting until times are lean to put the systems in place is a mistake.

The thing about investing in landscape business software is that it’s a product that will help you when times are good and when times are not-so-good. You’re investing in a product that will support your business no matter what.

3. There’s a Learning Curve

There is absolutely no denying that there is a learning curve to adopting a new software product. This is a common reason why landscape business owners put off implementation. But isn’t a learning curve true of anything new? When did you ever implement a new system or a new product and not have to deal with getting to know and understand it?

Yes, software is going to be a big change and it’s going to take time to learn the system. It’s important to recognize this fact and have realistic expectations about how the process will go. It’s not going to be an overnight change but it’s going to be one that will make you better—and therefore it’s worth it. Your team should understand that this is going to be a challenge but that everyone is going to get through it together. In the end, you’ll come out stronger on the other side.

Take the Leap

Include landscaping business software on laptop and mobileDespite your success, if you’re feeling as though you’re not as efficient as you could be and you’re getting bogged down by data entry or you feel like you’re starting to struggle to keep up with your company’s growth, then now is the time to make a change and implement landscaping business management software.

How do you know if it’s truly right for you? We like to use the 80/20 rule of thumb. Is the product going to do 80 percent of what you need it to do? If so, then landscape business software is the right choice. Be wary of any company that claims its product can help you with 100 percent of your business. That’s unrealistic and unachievable. But if it can help with 80 percent of what you need to get completed (perhaps even eliminating the need for one or more administrative person), then it’s a wise choice.

Ultimately, it comes down to an honest look at your business. When times are good, it can be easy to overlook areas where you could improve but the truth is, they’re there. If an honest evaluation of your growing business reveals that you could use some support to push forward, then you shouldn’t be afraid to take that leap. Down the road, your future self will thank you for having the courage to get those systems in place when you did.

If you’re ready to see how landscaping business management software can help support your booming business, or you have questions that we can help with, then let’s explore and see what Asset can do for you.

Landscape Software Buyer's Guide

Topics: Technology, Production & Operations, Accounting & Financial Reporting, Sales & Estimating

Nanette Seven, Vice President

Written by Nanette Seven, Vice President

As a child, I was tasked with summer chores like weeding the rose garden, and helping to plant and harvest the vegetable garden. These childhood “chores” evolved into something I enjoyed. I have a passion for being outside, whether it is getting my hands dirty gardening, coaching and watching sports, or being on the Chesapeake Bay. Outdoors is where I would prefer to be. So, when the opportunity to work for a high-end residential design/build company presented itself, it seemed a good fit. I never imagined that almost 25 years later I would still be working in the landscape industry. I feel fortunate to have worked for Include for the past 20+ years. I wake up every day and do something that I truly enjoy, and with people I honestly like being around. I travel quite extensively to industry events to stay current on the changing needs of the landscape industry. Learning from our clients, consultants, and peers is also a focus of mine; I want to know what they need to help their businesses grow and thrive. This valuable information is used to help build and improve the software and services Include provides. I personally get great satisfaction knowing that what Include Software does as a team is unmatched in our industry. We provide leading edge software with top-notch customer service, and make a positive impact on people and their businesses every single day.