Running a business always comes with its challenges and the landscaping industry is no different.
With specialized tools, distinct plants, and maybe even a fleet of trucks, there are many moving parts with the average landscaping firm. Throw in the added stressors of bothersome pests and critters, local regulations, and supply chain issues and there are plenty of reasons for landscaping companies to look for an edge over the competition.
Landscaping is more of an art than a business but the bottom line still matters, especially with all the work it takes for the job to be complete. Using the wrong plants or misplacing a valuable tool can drain your time and energy, which is less time for you to focus on growing your business.
Here are five business hacks landscapers can use to make their business more efficient:
Use GPS Bluetooth Tracking
Losing tools can be an inconvenience for any landscaping company, but some tools are far more irreplaceable than others. Let’s say your crew leaves behind a shovel and a few leaf rakes in someone’s front yard. No big deal. But if they misplace two lawn mowers all of a sudden your inventory of 10 lawn mowers is down to eight, and that’s a problem. Now you are limited to what jobs you can take on and you have look for the two lost mowers. This issue can be solved with GPS Bluetooth tracking.
So, what is that? Basically, Bluetooth tracking sets come with several key fob-sized beacons that can be attached to your tools or assets and are linked to the server by a gateway device or a smartphone app. Those beacons share their general location data when they come in range of the system’s main tracking device. Instead of combing through customers’ property to find lawn mowers or grass trimmers, you can go to the area and get pinged when you are in range of the tool.
Use GPS Asset Tracking
As irritating as it is to lose lawn mowers or hedge trimmers, losing bigger assets like trailers or woodchippers can really cripple your business. A pair of lost hedge trimmers may limit your daily progress but a lost trailer can paralyze your whole operation, especially if you don’t have that many to begin with.
GPS asset tracking is the best way to make sure larger assets don’t get misplaced. The GPS trackers are attached to an asset and share its exact location on the GPS system’s server. Many services provide real-time updates on the asset as well. Once installed, you can just check from your phone to see where the asset is. This is a great way to mitigate theft affecting your business and can lower insurance costs since you have constant proof of the asset’s location.
Offering Different Types Of Plants
One of the best ways to stand out in business is to sell something new to the market, and in landscaping a great way to do that is by offering new and different plants. Competing landscaping companies are already offering different services to gain an edge, but you could go a step further by cornering the market on Ostrich Ferns, for example.
Ultimately, if someone is hiring a landscaping service, they don’t just want their yard to look good, they want it to look cool. Unique plants are a creative way to stick out among potential customers and give them the sleekest look possible.
Of course, there are limits to this. Any landscaper should know they need to use plants that are compatible to the local climate, so going way out of the box and planting palm trees in Maine or arid sagebrush in Florida would not be a good idea. You have to be cost effective as well. Shipping plants from far away is obviously expensive and if it does not result in any business growth then there is no point in doing it. The key is to find the balance between unique plants that people want without paying so much for the plants that it isn’t worth it.
Be As Fuel-Efficient As Possible
Gas is a necessary cost for any landscaping company but there are still ways to pay less at the pump. The two easiest ways to curtail gas usage are to remove unneeded weight from your cars and trucks and to limit how often your vehicles are in idle. These may not seem like huge difference-makers when it comes to saving gas, but every little action adds up and eventually it will show up on the bottom line.
If your landscaping company has more discretionary income then you have a few more options. The first choice would be to replace your current fleet of vehicles with more fuel-efficient cars and trucks or even electric vehicles. This would clearly be an expensive endeavor, but it could save you money in the long run.
Another option would be to have a boundary area of your business operations, that way you can cut out long drives and therefore save gas. This obviously is not an option for everyone since many firms are not in a position to turn down clients, but if your local landscaping market is already strong then it is something to consider.
Partner With Similar Companies
Getting your name out there is crucial to any company’s success. It is important to have a brand presence on social media but that still may not lead to any tangible growth, and traditional advertising options like television ads or billboards are very expensive.
An innovative way to grow your brand is to partner with a similar company and offer discounts for their company. For example, your landscaping company partners with “Bob’s Pest Control” to offer 10 percent off their next pest extermination when they use your landscaping service. It can work in reverse, too, and that way both companies get their names out there.
This type of symbiotic relationship helps both companies grow without shelling out a bunch of money on advertising.