If you own a lawn care or landscaping business, there are tons of options available to you to help automate and run your business online. Each lawn care company is different, so there's certainly not a "one size fits all" option out there - some companies bill annually and others weekly, some landscaping schedule crews day to day and others by the week, and still others have multi-state operations that require custom development to handle the sheer amount of work available.
Based on all of the feedback we've received from our tenants on Turfhop, as well as people that have talked to us on Instagram (@turfhop - give us a follow!) here's some items that you should think through when selecting an app to run your lawn care business.
Not all landscaping/lawn care business software systems are made alike. Make sure the app you use has all of the functions available to your business to make it work. While not every business NEEDS every function, it's important to know what kind of power your need to run your company. Examples include...
- Online bill pay for your customers via credit cards - if you don't need this, then more power to you to get a smaller, more streamlined system.
- Integration with accounting software like Quickbooks - larger companies need apps that can tie everything together into one system.
- Calendars and Scheduling - we've found that this is the most complicated piece to the puzzle. Finding a system that either works exactly for your business out of the box, or that is flexible enough to work for your business is incredibly challenging.
- Website Integrations - Do you need a website for your business? Does your app or CRM integrate for easy use online with your website?
- Marketing Tools - Do you want to send our email blasts to your lawn customers? Are appointment reminders beneficial to your business?
If you've done your research, you'll know that there are price points for every consumer. The real question is, if it has the power you need, how much is it actually going to cost you to use? Think through any extra or hidden costs associated with using a system.
If the lawn care CRM uses any kind of credit card processing, there's going to be percentage fees associated with that. In our experience, most lawn care software programs charge anywhere from 4 - 5% per transaction. This is typically to cover the cost of the merchant processor (which will usually charge 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction), and then their fee to cover the money handling.
Do you have to pay for hosting of a website in addition to your business softare? Hosting can cost anywhere from $10/mo to $100/mo depending on your provider. If you're able to have a website built through your business software, you're able to save money there.
Are there subscription fees to use the app entirely? If there is, are the benefits great enough to outweigh the cost? Are you a one-man operation with 5-7 yards to manage or a team of 3 administrators with 4 or 5 crews? Be aware of the entire cost and make sure your software fits your budget. Check and see if any functions in the system are "premium" or come with every price point.
3. Customer Support
How accessible a company is can be a make or break scenario for any CRM. While there are different methods of communication out there, determine what works best for your business. For instance, if you're only available to work on your business after normal business hours, check and see if the software you're looking for offers after hours support, or if they have a ticketing system for you to send requests.
Is there an active social media account that you can talk to? Many software companies are available online through a variety of different methods. Sometimes, if you just need a quick question answered, the best bet may be to reach out to their social team.
Do you just want to talk to someone on the phone? Try giving the company a call and see if someone answers the phone. Can't find the comapny's phone number? You may have to ask for a support phone number if you don't have an existing account with the system.
When it comes down to it, you need to find the software that fits best for your business. Of course, we would love for you to give Turfhop a try, but if you're working with another CRM that's working well for your business, we just ask that you let us know where we can improve! Our goal at Turfhop is to bring value to your lawn care or landscaping business through automation and easy-to-use tools online. We have lawn care professionals and other in the green industry that work with us everyday to customize our lawn care CRM to help automate the entire yardwork workflow, but if you think there's something we could do to make our system better, we want to hear about it!