We’re in the middle of spring and with the onset of summer, we’ll have our plates full with landscaping jobs. Your company is known for finishing beautiful projects. But is your backend process as precise and meticulous as the actual job done? Do you know how to run a profitable landscaping business?
Paying utmost attention to the job is a priority, but paying equal attention to the behind-the-scenes of a job will get you better profit margins and aid in making smarter estimates. Having a consistent inflow of profit means regular and growing salaries and incentives for your workers. This causes lower employee turnover. Less frustrated workers mean they’ll stick longer. It is also important to streamline all processes to make the onboarding process systematic and uniform for all your employees. Happy workers deliver the best results, which drives great profits!
Curious enough? Read on to learn how to run a profitable landscaping business.
Table of Contents
Are you and your customers on the same page?
Clear and crisp communication with your customers is key to understanding their expectations. If they’re realistic enough to be met. Setting expectations right at the start will make sure you don’t end up over-bidding and losing the customer or under-bidding and losing on profits.
All that effort in quoting/estimating will not go in vain if both parties are on the same page from the start, hence minimizing losses; monetary and otherwise.
Distribution of Job Roles
Heard of too many cooks spoiling the broth? Having a dedicated person for each job role leaves little room for error. A qualified Project Manager with relevant experience will do his job of managing accounts, tracking profits and costs, managing contractors, and pricing well, as this has been his cup of tea.
Having multiple people taking care of similar tasks will create confusion. Here, even a small percent change can result in big losses in the long run. Plus, one person keeping track of all costs and inventory makes him a go-to for all relevant queries for your entire company, making your process even smoother.
Efficient distribution of responsibilities allows each team member to properly focus on their duty only. This results in methodical and timely responses for your leads, which makes conversions highly likely. Your customer service also leaves a lasting impression. Organized assets = maximum profits.
Fast Turnaround time
You can reduce the turnaround time in your bidding process. Your sales team spends hours measuring properties either by going on-site or by using manual tools like Google Earth. You’re wasting hundreds of precious hours on low-value-add work. Attentive.ai automated measurement software gets the job done in just 3-clicks, saving your team time and effort in the bidding process.
You can also put in multiple properties to be measured at the same time. This allows you to work more efficiently and accurately across several bids.
Tracking Data and Equipment for Accuracy
Consistent collection of all kinds of data gives you a trustworthy almanac to go back to and review your past performance, track labor and material costs, historical pricing, and plan your future estimates accurately. Use a regularly updated list of all materials for all your bids to achieve maximum accuracy.
You can perform a competitive analysis with this data and run a more aggressive approach for the next job. A shot in the dark is not the idle way to make smart estimates. Knowing your past hits and misses eliminates the possibility of losses.
Inaccurate Markup is your bane
The way you price your landscaping jobs can either result in comfortable returns or painful losses. When deciding your gross margin for a job, include all the costs incurred in the markup while providing the service, i.e. rented equipment, driving fuel, labor, and subcontractors. Everything boils down to accurate bidding and an estimate including all your costs.
Labor and material costs are higher than you think
Are you aware of the actual material and labor costs? Do you record the start and end times of your on-ground crew? If not, now’s the time to put a clock on this. You should probably keep a keen eye on the materials being used on a job too. Tracking all materials, big or small, and allotting them to correct jobs can save you big bucks. Minimal waste is higher profit.
Consistency is Key
Variation can cost you your hard-earned profits. Going back to the Job Distribution point, since everyone has a different eye for detail, it will cause various inconsistent estimates.
Having an estimate template that your estimators follow gives you uniform bids. These templates should include all the possible hidden costs that your team members might otherwise forget, like fuel, cleanup and demo costs. This saves time and minimizes monetary losses.
Having periodic group feedback sessions with your team helps you manage the jobs better. These sessions will throw better light on what more can be done to improve the outcome of a project. You can then hone the process of task distribution further between project managers and job executioners.
Real-Time Visibility on the jobs
Addressing issues arising while a job is in-progress gives you the opportunity to fix the problem with minimal costs, which otherwise would have been a surprise at the end of the month while closing your books. Keeping close tabs on the job-level performance of your team will give you a clearer picture of your profits and losses.
Don’t lose out on hidden revenue opportunities
You might not be aware, your clients might ask your crew for small enhancements or changes in the original job done. This will cost you labor overtime but you will not be including this in your markup, hence a loss. All enhancement tasks need to be billed and you are to be kept in the loop by your crew.
We understand how busy this season can get for a Commercial Landscaping Business owner. Managing the company and your on-ground crew needs some serious attention and time.
Let Attentive.ai alleviate your troubles and provide you with speedy automated takeoffs. Lesser the time spent on measuring the serviceable land, more the time you and your team have to spend on maximizing your profits!
Are you running a successful and profitable landscaping business already? Share more tips with us in the comments section.