If you’re among the experienced ranks of lawn and landscape providers, you know that the busy season is a major event! While the spring and summer months can get chaotic, they provide an important opportunity for your business to thrive. Careful preparation can help you minimize extra costs and maximize your profits.
Lawn and Landscape Busy Season Checklist
When it comes to preparing for lawn and landscape providers’ busy season, a checklist can help you stay on track and organized. Consider these essential checklist items:
1. Check Your Equipment
Maintenance is an important part of setting yourself up for success in the busy season. Set aside time to inspect and service every vehicle in your fleet, as well as your full collection of equipment. Prepare any necessary repairs and preventative maintenance to keep business humming along once the spring and summer months hit. Develop a regular maintenance plan for your most highly-used pieces of equipment to avoid any disruptions of service.
2. Take Inventory
While you’re still in the lull of the slow season, take a comprehensive inventory of your supplies. This should include any service supplies you have, but remember not to neglect your office supplies!
Make sure you don’t run out of the tools you need to market your business, maintain your schedule, and keep growing. Use this time to stock up on commonly used items and throw out any clutter that has accumulated in your workspace.
3. Don’t Overbook
When spring and summer appointment requests start rolling in, it can be tempting to put every single one on the books. However, overbooking can lead to disaster and dissatisfied customers.
Instead, create a meticulous schedule that accurately accounts for each employee’s schedule, any anticipated absences, and a realistic account of the workload team members can take on. From there, book only what your current employee roster can handle. If needed, hire additional employees to support your efforts to get lawn and landscape maintenance to as many customers as possible during the busy season.
4. Plan Your Routes
Speaking of delays — avoid any unanticipated detours by mapping out efficient routes for your employees. Making sure your entire team knows the lay of the land can help optimize the efficiency of your business.
Assign appointments to your team based on proximity to the next appointment to save time and gas. For example, assign technicians to jobs along specific routes or within designated areas.
5. Calculate Costs Accurately
When it comes to calculating costs, details matter. Consider elements beyond the time spent hedging or mowing, such as gas prices, travel time, equipment maintenance, and required insurance. Calculate your prices based on these factors, as well as the time and resources you’ll need to put into paperwork, billing, and customer service.
6. Track All Factors
If you’re serious about growing your business, you will need to track nearly every factor of your lawn care service to develop informed plans, including:
- Advertisement costs and efficacy
- Customer growth
- Services routes
- Billable hours
- Employee costs
When considering what data to track, remember that the ultimate goal is to pinpoint inefficiencies and improve upon them for the next season.
7. Stay Up-to-Date with Billing
During the busy season, it can be easy to fall behind with invoices and billing. Instead, expedite the billing process to maintain a steady cash flow and avoid customers falling through the cracks. Set quick deadlines for producing invoices and develop a system for following up with clients within a certain time frame.
8. Save Training for the Slow Season
There is a time to reap and a time to sow, and the busy season is the time for you to reap the benefits of your cold season training! Make sure to schedule your professional development during the slow season to maximize your downtime and improve your team’s efficiency in the winter and spring.
9. Connect With Local Partners
As you head into your busiest quarter, invest in beefing up your customer base. Now is the time to encourage friends, family, and loyal customers to refer others to your business. Consider partnering with local supply businesses to raise brand awareness among your community.
10. Be Ready To Multitask
Surviving the hectic seasons of lawn care is all about mindset. As a lawn care business owner, you can maximize your efficiency by learning more about business while you work. Listen to business-minded podcasts or audiobooks while you work and travel between jobs.
11. Set Goals
Chances are, you manage a team of landscaping and lawn care professionals who get as burnt out as you do during your high volume months. Set company-wide business goals — with fun incentives — to keep your team motivated during the dog days of summer.
12. Streamline Your Business Processes
Managing a well-oiled lawn care business involves balancing business processes with the daily logistics of landscaping. Using tools like Slingshot’s Central Inbox communication services give you the bandwidth to communicate with customers and employees while making sure you’re still providing extraordinary lawn care to your clients.
If you’re a small or growing lawn care business, Business Process Outsourcing might be the best option for you. Maximize your efforts by outsourcing processes like HR, data analysis, and sales — so you can focus on what you do best.
13. Optimize Customer Service
Between scheduling, equipment maintenance, and the daily grind of providing stellar landscaping services, don’t forget about your team of customer service representatives. Power your CSR team with the resources they need heading into what will be their busiest time of year, too!
Depending on your business model, you may not have time to take care of customer service needs as much as you’d like. As you head into the summer months, set up Customer Support services to make sure every one of your clients gets the support they need while you focus on making their homefront look flawless.
14. Launch a Spring Marketing Campaign
Now is the time to launch a marketing campaign to maximize your spring and summer months! In addition to local advertising, Slingshot’s Sales and Lead Response services can help take your spring campaign to the next level.
15. Don’t Forget to Breathe
When you get caught up in the hectic days of summer, don’t forget that all of your efforts will be worth it come the slow season! Remember to use your lawn and landscape busy season checklist, be mindful of your business processes, and arm your business with the resources it needs to thrive this busy season.
Finally, don’t forget to take a moment to catch your breath in between clients.