Yard Maintenance - Landscaping: Industry of the Month

By: Andrea Lotz Monday October 6, 2014 comments

Summary:

AllProWebTools solves the communication and scheduling problems common to many of these small businesses. 

  • Companies with a stretched thin or partially absentee owner
  • Several in-field teams working under one manager

By upgrading their customer relations strategy, lead acquisition, and productivity tools, small business yard and landscaping companies can improve efficiency and meet the needs of more new customers.  They also increase their ability to attract new customers by improving their website and marketing capabilities.

Integrating all these functions into one software solution can save them a lot of energy, and give them access to unique, time-saving tools.

Includes:

  • Small Landscapers
  • Tree Trimmers
  • Lawn and Sprinkler Maintenance, Fertilizers
  • Gardeners
  • Pond, Swimming Pool, and Hot Tub Installation, Design, Maintenance

Recommended Tools:

Workflow Timeline

The Workflow Timeline gives owners, managers, and employees access to a live feed of important business updates. 

  • Stay connected and in-the-loop without progress reports and phone calls.
  • All users can easily track the status of projects, new orders, and timecard notes.
  • All the tools below post to the Workflow Timeline, making it a powerful tool for small business owners

Customer Service

Customer satisfaction is critical for small landscapers and yard maintenance companies.  Using Customer Relationship Management tools (CRM) helps keep customers happy and draws in new leads.

  • Client Notes: Internal client notes post automatically to theWorkflowTimeline, so everyone has the most current information. That way, the team can work together to meet the client’s needs as quickly and efficiently as possible.
    • Clients can be given access to client notes as status updates
  • Customer Database: Keep the contact information of all past customers, current customers, leads, affiliates, and more in one database, which is integrated with the sales pipeline.
  • Acquire Leads: Search for businesses that might benefit from the company’s services, using the online tool. Drop a map pin on the desired location, and then click through leads as they come up.  Searchers instantly access contact information and a preview of the website.  Leads can be skipped for later, added to the sales pipeline, or rejected.
  • Mobile Invoicing: Generate invoices instantly from a mobile device.

Productivity

Especially with a spread-out workforce, it’s important to have all workers accounted for.  Making use of AllProWebTools’ timecard and tasking tools, both of which post to the Workflow Timeline, makes a manager or owner’s job easier.  Scrolling through the Timeline gives them up-to-the minute information, without the need for constant drop-ins or phone calls.

  • Timecards: Workers clock in from a mobile device, with location verified by GPS, so managers and owners can see exactly when they got to work. For companies who bill by the hour, this provides accurate to the minute data for the invoice. 
  • Pay in Advance: Companies can also charge a retainer and have employees clock in to drain from that retainer.
  • Track Sales Commission: If the company has a sales team, automatically track their commission based on business generated.
  • Tasking: Managers and workers can assign each other tasks with various priority levels. Tasks can be shared among several employees and set to recur on any schedule.  It’s perfect for setting a standard to-do list for each project. 
  • Updated tasks post to the Workflow Timeline, so all employees can track progress.

Website

These companies don’t usually sell products online, but having a web presence is a great way to acquire leads, provide information to potential customers, and give current customers a place to recommend the company’s services. 

  • Online Scheduling: Clients can make their own appointments online, or indicate time blocks when they will be available, without picking up the phone. This is perfect for companies that spend a lot of time playing phone tag.
  • Opt-In Lead Box: Send new customer notifications as a text directly to the owner or manager, to keep up with leads on the go.
  • Video Testimonials: Let satisfied customers speak for themselves with engaging testimonials, including before-and-after footage.

Marketing

Many small landscaping and yard maintenance companies get new business from word of mouth and the phone book, but a more proactive strategy could yield more dramatic results.  Tapping into the resource of past customers and affiliate marketing can give an edge to small businesses that do outstanding work.

  • Automated Email Marketing: Find out how many website visits, leads, and appointments result from each individual email campaign, to make it clear what’s working and what isn’t.
    • Send past customers automated emails at set times after a job is completed to offer upsells and maintenance offers, or to request a testimonial.
    • Proactively seek out maintenance work by reminding customers of periodic maintenance needs.
    • Offer special deals or send newsletters.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Give affiliates credit for referring new clients your way. Assign each affiliate a unique tracking URL to see how many website visits, lead box opt-ins, and even sales result directly from their actions. 

 

Hypothetical Case:

A small landscaping contractor does all the following:

  • Sales teams go door-to-door seeking business
  • A team is sent to make a quote
  • Help to source materials, plants, etc.
  • Arrive at the home and work on the project

They have three small teams which can each tackle a different project at once, or who can work together to quickly execute one.

The owner spends most of his time in the office, and the one manager drives from site to site to monitor progress.

Dashboard

The company starts with AllProWebTools and quickly starts getting integrated.  All the web tools are hosted from one dashboard.  The main feature of the dashboard is a Workflow Timeline, a live feed of important business updates.  The workers can access the dashboard from their mobile phones, and the manager and owner can see it at the office and on the go with smartphones. 

Just by scrolling, they can see:

  • New projects and sales
  • Timecard notes and internal client notes on each project
  • Tasks for the day

Productivity

The manager and owner use the tasking tool to make to-do lists for each project, and monitor how time was spent on the site each day.

  • The timecard tool allows them to charge a retainer for each project, which the workers clock into for accurate to the minute invoicing
  • Timecard notes tell the client how the time was spent
  • Uses tasking to create to-do lists for each project and set recurring tasks
  • Each user’s individual timeline reveals how the day was spent

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The company had CRM, but getting those tools from AllProWebTools, integrated with all the other tools, gave them the ability to store that information in a more useful customer database.  The list can include clients, leads, affiliates, and more. 

  • Client notes keep track of what work has been done on each site, and what issues remain
  • Automatically send client notes to the customer by email, so they can track the status of their project without a phone call

Website

The company uses the website as a way to promote the business and schedule appointments for consultations and quotes.

  • Online scheduling allows clients to make appointments
  • Attractive, clean-looking site with an image slider
  • Image gallery shows past work, including before and after pictures.

Marketing

All marketing reports draw information from each one of the web tools, so they provide a unique perspective on the business.  Automated email campaigns are combined with powerful marketing tools, making it clear which ones are making the most impact.

  • Company email box provided byAllProWebTools
    • Tracks click-throughs and emails opened
  • Lead box offers special offer for filling in email address
    • Automated email sends welcome message and coupon code
  • Emails customers two weeks after project completion, or send surveys throughout the process, to check satisfaction
  • Sends upsell and maintenance reminders every season
  • Event Tracker shows how their marketing initiatives have made an impact over longer periods of time or day by day

Overall

The landscaping company is better organized and works as a smoother team.  They spend less time asking questions and checking in, and more time working.  Their increased efficiency allows them to take on more jobs, and plan for more growth in the future.  AllProWebTools made the hard parts simple.

Andrea Lotz

About the Author: Andrea Lotz

Andrea is the resident writer for AllProWebTools. She loves to write about just about anything, especially small businesses, sustainability, and whatever is new and upcoming on the horizon.  She lives in Fort Collins and spends her free time cycling, welding, cooking, and playing ukulele. 

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