Successful lawn care businesses are those that are run and managed by people who are empowered to create systems and structures that foster productivity, efficiency, and strategic decision-making with regard to growth and revenue generation.
This blog shares tips on how you can create better structures that will enable you to run your lawn care business more profitably:
Start by organizing your finances
One of the most critical factors in any business is knowing your numbers. A lawn care business is no exception. When you’re fully aware of what’s coming in and what’s going out, only then can you adequately budget and plan financially.
To have visibility on these numbers, you need to have a system in place that allows you to create and track estimates and quotes, and invoices. The process should include all costs relating to equipment, inventory, labor, administrative costs, and any other costs that you incur to complete a job. This gives you insight into where your money is coming from, how it’s being utilized, and how much is left over at the end.
A well-advised place to start is to organize yourself using specialist tools that enable you to track your jobs, invoices, and payments. If you can do this from a single platform that in the same place organizes all your business operations such as scheduling, job tracking, and inventory management, then you are in a very strong position to start making better informed financial decisions regarding your business. Tools and software such as Jobber have been developed specifically for this purpose. With in-built reporting features, you are able to start gaining valuable insight into how your business is performing and what this means for the bottom line.Aside from tracking jobs, invoices, and payments, you should also consider tracking your overall expenses. Since there are different types of expenses, you should consider the best expenses tracker to use for your lawn care business. This will help you have your expense record in one place.
Develop a lead management strategy
Lawn care leads come from many sources––emails, text messages, phone calls, and also from prospects who reach out to you while on the job. How you handle these leads directly impacts the speed at which your business will grow. Ensure you have a way to respond to the leads quickly and appropriately.
You can start by creating a notification alert to your team announcing a lead that requires action. It can also be done via sending an automated message acknowledging receipt of the communication they’ve had with you. However, you will need a system in place to ensure these leads are followed up.
How you communicate to clients can either build the connection you have with them or break it. That’s why automated messages should be followed immediately by a call or formal email requesting further information to know the client’s needs. Research shows that responding within five minutes of receiving a lead improves your chances of getting a job by nine times.
Be strategic on job scheduling
Traveling to job sites can significantly add to your running costs if you’re not strategic about how you schedule your jobs. One of the best lawn care business tips is to plan and manage your jobs efficiently, considering route optimization, the level of expertise required and equipment needed.
Instead of planning jobs by your team’s availability or the order in which they came in, try and create a more strategic schedule that minimizes the travel time. For example, if you have multiple orders from one side of the town that’s spread across the week, schedule them all the same day or as close as possible.
Improve your bidding strategy
Apart from having a system to track your finances, you also need a way to monitor the market around you. Ensure you’re well informed about how your competitors are pricing similar services. Otherwise, you might price your services too low, undercutting your profits without even knowing. Similarly, your job quotes may be the reason you’re missing out on customers you might’ve gained.
A good bidding strategy is important in ensuring competitive pricing. Have a system that helps you predict how much goes into a particular job and the profit margin you’ll get. This helps you create more realistic quotes within the market range that are acceptable to clients. You also want to ensure that creating quotes and estimates doesn’t take too long, otherwise the customer may find someone who’s quicker.
Monitor your teams
Included in the factors that determine the profitability of your lawn care business are your employees—starting with your administrative team that may be the ones receiving most of the leads. If the leads aren’t acted upon promptly, the custom may look elsewhere. Encourage good performance and incentivize ways in which people win more jobs for the business. Growing your customer base translates to more jobs and in turn, greater profits. You can’t afford to lose customers at any point in the service cycle so address any issues that are occurring if leads appear to be dropping off before converting. Smart software like the app from Jobber mentioned above can really help with the tracking and monitoring of leads.
The field teams also need to play their role to ensure that jobs are completed on time and professionally to satisfy existing customers. Job checklists are a great way to maintain consistently high service levels as well as feedback forms. Look for creative ways to assess how your team are performing and empower them to be ambassadors of your company and brand. A happy and productive team will be capable of far more than a disconnected and disenchanted one.
You can run a profitable lawn care business by developing better strategies for financial management, following leads, bidding, and being meticulous with organized job scheduling. Review your current systems and processes and identify areas that may need adjusting. Within this whole process utilize new smart technology to help you do this and enjoy more informed decision-making as a result.
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