Managing all the moving parts involved in running a lawn care business can be a headache for even the most organized business owner. Between keeping track of equipment, managing employees, attracting new customers and booking jobs, organizing scheduling, and administering payroll, lawn care business owners have more than enough to worry about.
Luckily, there are apps available to help you streamline processes and make your business run more efficiently.
These increasingly impressive apps have been created specifically to help make the job of running a lawn care business as easy and efficient as possible. And not just in the office, but on the job as well. Designed for service-based businesses, these apps can reduce costs and streamline both payroll and bidding processes, helping businesses improve their bottom lines.
So, if you have a lawn care business you’re looking to optimize, look no further. Start saving time and money by figuring out how to choose the best app for your lawn care business.
The number of lawn care apps on the market continues to grow, but all are not created equal.
Lawn care businesses come in all shapes and sizes, and before you dive in, you’re going to want to figure out just what elements of lawn care business software are relevant to your own business. After all, you want your lawn care app to fit the business you’re running. And no one needs to be paying for advanced features they’ll never use.
So, let’s start by identifying some of the essential elements involved in a successful lawn care business.
Whether you run a lawn care business of one or hundreds, keeping track of your crew is of primary importance. You need to know where your crew is, what your crew is doing, and when exactly they’re doing it.
A growing number of businesses are turning to GPS-based tracking to make sure they know precisely where their crews are while they’re on the clock. And because lawn care and landscaping businesses often require their crews to work on multiple job sites throughout the day, this emerging technology is a perfect fit for the lawn care and landscaping industries.
The benefits of employee GPS tracking are numerous (and we’ve outlined many of them in our Employee GPS Tracking Guide here), but we’ll still break them down for you briefly.
As a lawn care business owner, first and foremost you want to make sure you’re paying your crew for the work they’re actually doing.
Lawn care apps let you keep track of exactly where and when your crew members clock in and out. You pay your team members for the work done on the job site, and the best lawn care apps ensure that’s exactly what you’re paying for.
Another benefit of mobile tracking is the ability to optimize the routes your crews take to both get to and travel between landscaping jobs. Fuel costs add up. Being able to make sure your teams take the fastest and most efficient route to the customer’s property can save significant money.
Another benefit of mobile tracking is increased efficiency in scheduling jobs. The best lawn care apps allow you to create optimized routes between jobs. This vital time-saving functionality allows you to schedule more jobs and ensure you’re maximizing your billable hours.
If an emergency or last-minute job arises, the lawn care software can make sure you know exactly which crew to send that way, saving you both time and money. Managing scheduling just got a whole lot easier.
Additionally, having accurate and easily accessible records of how long each job took to complete allows lawn care business owners to more easily calculate and estimate how many actual man-hours it will take to finish a job. See how accurate your quote was, and which employees spent how much time on the job site. And all this information will also help inform future bids.
A lawn care business app that helps you keep track of which crews are using what, and most importantly, where, can be a huge benefit.
Many apps will also allow users to capture reference photos for both internal use and customer reports. If a piece of equipment is damaged or in need of repair, crew members can easily document the state of the equipment through the lawn care app.
Many lawn care business apps actually allow you to communicate with your crews, through the app. As a service-based business, keeping official records of communications with your crew and clients is never a bad idea. Requested changes in schedules or services can be communicated through the lawn care app to ensure official documentation of all changes.
The use of lawn care business apps allows crews to access customer information and service history in real-time, in addition to providing managers with updates on work order progress from the field.
For many lawn care businesses, what goes on inside the office can often be just as challenging as what goes on outside it. The administrative headaches that go along with day to day operations can not only be time consuming, but also hurt a company’s bottom line.
Lawn care business apps hold the potential to optimize payroll procedures, improving accuracy and efficiency by simplifying the entire payroll process. Your employees can use the app to clock in and out. Your administrative staff can access timesheets quickly and import them into your payroll system, making running payroll easier for everyone. Having a digital copy of your timesheets makes sense and is a great asset for your business too.
With a good lawn care business app, clocking in and out is as simple as a click of a button on your crew member’s mobile device.
Not to mention, landscaping job sites are far from the cleanest work environment. Luckily, lawn care apps mean saying goodbye to unreliable paper time sheets. The best lawn care apps ensure your employees’ hours are clocked instantly, reliably, and securely.
Many lawn care businesses rely on diverse crews, often made up of team members speaking several different native languages. Operating a service-based business, landscaping business owners will want to make sure their hiring pools are as wide-reaching as possible, and that means using a lawn care business app that includes foreign language support.
Multilingual functionality allows employees to set the app to the language they’re most comfortable with, ensuring ease of use and lessening the potential for error in the attendance process.
Unless you plan on buying mobile devices for your entire crew, multi-platform applicability should also be a requirement in choosing a lawn care app.
Look for an app that is identical across supported platforms, so employees and managers can easily switch between any devices connected to their accounts. Some apps will even let employees share their devices.
Chances are, you’re going to need to export your payroll data to specific payroll-focused software. Make sure your lawn care app allows you to export reports in PDF and excel formats, ensuring quick transfers of data between programs. Quickbooks integration should be mandatory.
Keeping accurate records of every activity your crews and business performs protects you and your business and helps to ensure full compatibility with State and Federal government compliances.
Having been on the inside of several lawn care businesses, we can assure you, we are no strangers to the organizational mess that many offices take on. Eliminating the endless stacks of paper employee timesheets, payroll logs, and other paperwork can have countless benefits. Especially for small businesses that may not have the ability to employ payroll professionals.
The efficiency and reliability of the best apps for lawn care ensure that your employees will get paid faster, administrative tasks can be completed quicker, and your customer management will be streamlined.
One of the most important features of a lawn care app, it must be stated, is the ability for owners and managers to run their lawn care companies outside of the office. Whether you’re needed at the job site, or just prioritizing more time at home, being able to still run your business while outside of the brick-and-mortar office is truly invaluable.
Maybe it’s obvious, but we think it’s important enough to make sure the lawn care business app you choose allows for at least nearly full functionality from your phone or tablet. You want software that tracks smoothly and seamlessly across any and all devices that both you and your employees use.
Margins are thin in the landscaping business. And chances are your lawn care company experiences seasonal variations in workflow.
In choosing the best lawn care app for your business, you’re going to want to make sure the payment plan is flexible.
Ideal payment plans should bill relative to your active employees. And your plan should do the work of making sure not to charge for inactive employees, instead of you.
And here’s one that often goes unspoken - make sure, should you need to, the cancellation process has as few hassles as possible. Again, this is an unpredictable industry, needing to cancel your service shouldn’t be a punishable offense.
If you’re still feeling unsure or hesitant to commit to a payment contract, many apps for lawn care offer free limited-time trials to allow you to get comfortable using the software before committing. Some apps may even offer a free version with limited features.
To review, here are the key features we recommend focusing on when considering a lawn care app for your business.
Easy-to-use employee timekeeping
Multi-device and software compatibility
A flexible payment plan
Find an app that can satisfy each of these (and of course, we’re partial to ours here at Labor Sync) and we assure you your lawn care business will benefit.
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