Kids are dumb – can I say that? Maybe that’s too broad. Maybe it’s just that I was kind of a dumb kid. In addition to all the stupid things that I did and said, I also remember thinking lots of things that an adult would never think. Oddly, one of the most naïve things I thought was that jobs focused on manual labor were easy.
They are not easy – they are the opposite of easy. Not only are the jobs themselves difficult, managing the companies that support those jobs is even more difficult. If you own a landscaping or lawn care business, my hat is off to you. That is a difficult and often thankless job.
Getting three, five, twenty people to all show up at the right time to a house or office park in the middle of God knows where to sweat away in the sun is tough. Getting them to finish that job on time so that half of them can go to House A while the other half head off to Office B – that seems almost impossible.
If only there were some sort of lawn care software that would allow you to manage the scheduling, deployment, billing, and other back office functions that take up all of your time. If only there was a way to get it all done without getting caught in the weeds.
1. Keep everyone’s schedule in line
Field service software can help get your teams into the field with as little effort as possible. In its most basic form, this is software designed to replace your whiteboard. Right now, you’ve got a dry erase marker and a thousand sticky notes detailing where people need to go throughout the day. That’s not a great system.
First off, it’s clearly prone to error. You put a note in the wrong place and then no one has any idea what’s going on. Something gets prematurely erased or moved, we’re in the same spot.
Second, it’s not easily accessible. You can only see what’s going on if you’re in the office or maybe talking to someone on the phone. Updates to the schedule have to be pushed out, meaning people can have shifts to their schedule that they don’t know about, simply because they haven’t had time to call into the office.
Finally, it relies heavily on that one person. Usually we’re talking about an office manager, who is basically the glue holding your company together. They know everyone and everything, and when they’re sick or on vacation, it makes things very, very difficult.
Field service software solves these problems by automating the scheduling process while making it accessible to everyone. It also automates the system behind scheduling, so that a single missing person doesn’t break the whole process.
2. Track all of your stuff
Lawn care takes a lot of pieces to do well. It’s why you have a whole trailer full of leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and trimmers. All of that stuff requires care and management. If a piece goes missing or if something breaks down in the middle of the week, you’re going to be in a tight spot.
For a lot of that maintenance, you’re going to be relying on your team to tell you what needs work and what’s not where it’s supposed to be. However, you can keep ahead of the breakdown curve by setting up a preventative maintenance schedule.
Lawn care software can help you track all of the assets in your business, so that you never end up shorthanded. You can also build a preventative maintenance plan, allowing you to keep everything running in tip top condition, so you’ll never wind up at a job site with a busted mower.
3. Get paid faster
Doing the job is all well and good, but what everyone needs at the end of the day is to get paid. Field service software gives you the tools you need to bill clients on the spot and get paid seconds later.
While most businesses are still relying on paper billing, the best companies in the field are switching over to mobile and digital payments. Lawn care software generally offers you at least two different ways to cut down the length of time that it takes for you to get paid.
First, you’ll often be able to build an online payment portal, allowing customers to log in and pay their bills. This not only cuts down on physical payments, but it also allows you to cut out all the processing and document-shuffling time that comes with paper bills.
Second, many software solutions give you the chance to accept payments on mobile while you’re on the customer’s site. For smaller clients, this is going to be a great option. While large customers will have existing accounts and departments that you’re working with, smaller clients are just going to have Hal, the guy who pays stuff.
With mobile payments, you can get Hal to pay you today. The same day that you’re doing the work.
If you’re still on the fence about getting lawn care software, you should take some time to consider just how much time you spend on tasks that software could easily replace. I think you’ll find that a good piece of software could save you hours every day, and would only set you back pennies or a few bucks at most.
To learn more about how field service software can help your lawn care or landscaping business, check out Capterra’s field service blog. For a full listing of lawn care software options, head over to our field service directory.
Looking for Field Service Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Field Service Management software solutions.