Regardless whether you’ve been in the industry for decades or have recently started, you will always want to make your landscaping business as efficient as possible. While you may already have a few things in mind, read on for practical tips and advice to improve your daily operations.
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1. Reduce Or Improve Non-Value-Added Activities
In the customer’s eyes, businesses have two activities: value-added (VA) and non-value-added (NVA). VA activities heavily contribute to the value of your products and services. In your case, your crew’s work on-site, like trimming, planting, building garden structures, and so forth–activities that your customers see and value. (1)
On the other hand, NVA activities are things most of your customers don’t ever see or care about. Some examples are equipment transportation, route optimization, calculating quotes, drafting contracts, and scheduling. While they’re essential to your operations, these activities don’t directly impact customer satisfaction or retention. (1)
To make your landscaping business efficient, the first thing to do is reduce or improve NVA activities. Doing so can let your employees focus on VA activities and expose your customers more to the excellent work you do. One of the key ways to achieve this is to start using smart technology such as Jobber’s specialist software for landscapers that can handle NVAs with ease.
A landscaping management program can take all those tedious NVA tasks away from your crew and do it faster than any human can. For one, they can generate a quote in seconds after someone inputs all the client’s requests. They can also perform route optimizations, dispatch rerouting, and rescheduling instantly, considering real-time conditions like traffic, worker availability, and customer-specific demands.
Also, business management software can make it easy to generate an estimate template whenever you need to turn a lead into a customer and convert the estimate into a quote once your prospect is ready to say yes. Reducing NVA activities and increasing the efficiency of your operations will lead to a more profitable landscaping business.
2. Make Sure To Hear What Your Crew And Customers Have To Say
It’s a great idea that you’re looking around the web for tips on how you can run your landscaping business more efficiently. However, have you tried asking your crew if they have some great ideas to put on the table? Try doing it once; you’ll discover that you can learn a few lessons and valuable opinions from your employees.
While you may think your employees may not have the best ideas, research found that 82% of employees have invaluable suggestions in store. Sadly, 34% of these employees believe that their employers don’t hear them out. While 18% of them are afraid to speak up.
On the other hand, you should also put some time into listening to your customers. Here are some of the things you can benefit from when you listen to your customers:
- Improved customer loyalty
- Reduced customer churn
- Improved service
- Increased customers
Aside from those benefits, letting your customers feel heard and understood is one of the best things you can do to improve your customers’ experience with you.
3. Continually Upskill Your Crew
One of the things you may not hear from employees is that they crave uptraining. If you had thought about it before but thought that your employees might not like it, these statistics may change your mind.
- 59% of employees believe that uptraining can improve their performance
- 51% of employees report that it improves their self-esteem and self-confidence
- 41% of employees say that it dramatically helps with their time-management concerns
- 33% of employees think that it can help raise their chances of getting a pay raise
Aside from those employee-perceived benefits, uptraining your crew can increase employee retention, company morale, and customer satisfaction.
4. Maintain Your Equipment
You should maximize the life of all your equipment. Unlike most service providers, landscapers heavily rely on their machines and tools to get the job done and quickly move over to their next client. Learning to maintain your equipment can prevent unnecessary expenses caused by repairs and replacements.
Moreover, maintaining your equipment can ensure that their warranties will continue to cover them. Take note that some equipment manufacturers require proof of routine maintenance before you can claim everything promised in the warranties.
Aside from avoiding expenses, ensuring all your equipment runs in excellent condition can reduce the chances of injury. While workers comp insurance can protect you from a sudden financial burden, your operations can get hit hard when one or two of your team stop coming to work, especially if your company is still in its infancy.
One of the most critical traits of a successful business owner is the willingness to search for knowledge on how to continually improve your business. With the tips listed above, you can now be armed with even more knowledge and ideas that you can use to grow your landscaping company further.
1. “Eliminate Non-Value Added Activities in Your Organization,” Source: https://flevy.com/blog/eliminate-non-value-added-activities-in-your-organization/
2. “Most Employees Don’t Feel Their Ideas Are Being Heard,” Source: https://smallbusiness.co.uk/employee-ideas-business-listening-2544393/
3. “Why (& How) You Should Actually Listen to Your Customers,” Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/service/listening-to-customers
4. “Why Employees Crave More Training And How Employers Aren’t Delivering It,” Source: https://www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/why-employees-crave-more-training-and-how-employers-arent-delivering-it/