Software is important in being able to scale any business. It will help to reduce the amount of time required for a task allowing that time to be allocated on money making aspects of the business. Software will streamline processes allowing for that reduction of time while also increasing accuracy. This allows the business to scale as anyone can take over that process when trained appropriately. It will also improve communication throughout the company from employees to employees, as well as with clients. Having the proper software for a landscaping business can help to improve all of these aspects in your business.
Estimating Software for Landscapers
At How to Hardscape, we have a Budget and Estimate Spreadsheet that allows for the budgeting of your season while basing your estimates for each project on that budget allowing you to accurately charge each project to recover costs and earn profit on every job. This is a great starting point in any landscaping business that allows them to understand their overhead expenses while associating them to every hour of every project that is being estimated. You can recover labor costs and other employee expenses while being able to budget overtime hours. Projects can be estimated using production rates to accurately produce estimates, material costs can be added to projects, and your profit margin can be calculated for that.
Spreadsheets are a great starting point for any landscaping business when first starting out. It keeps your overhead costs low and helps you to understand the budgeting process, as well as how that budgeting process affects your estimating. However, as you continue to grow and add crews, spreadsheets become a little bit too inefficient and clunky. They do not hold the same data, communication, or efficiency that a software will hold and eventually you will be looking to software solutions in order to help you through this scaling step in your business.
The right software will help you manage projects from the time a lead enters your business to the invoicing of a completed project and everything in between. It should increase the communication from office staff, sales people, to the project managers and foremen. This should not only improve the efficiency and eventual profitability of a business, but also the culture of your company and end product for your client.
Software comes at a cost which is typically recurring in order to continue to provide the service that it does for your business. This cost needs to be budgeted for, preferably prior to implementing it into your business. Doing so will ensure that you are billing that overhead expense out to ever project in order to recover that cost. As you should be doing in your budget for every incurred cost of the business. However, cost should not be the one determining factor of choosing a software to run the estimating of your business. Features and functionality should be of the most importance when it comes to choosing the right software for your business.
Landscaping Estimate Software
This is where two excellent options come into the picture.
These options not only help you manage your projects from lead to invoicing, but they also help you to know your numbers, schedule, and improve communication in your business.
Thesy will help you to compare divisions of your business if you have a variety of services offered in your projects to see which is bringing in the most profit to your business. You can also compare sales people within your business to see whos projects are remaining on schedule and keeping profitable. Additionally, you can do the same with the foremen to further dive into what may be happening and diagnose a problem within the business before it begins to eat away at your profitability.
The job costing of this software is where it shines among many others, offering real time job costing for projects on the go. Foremen or project managers can add material costs to projects day in and day out while logging time spent on a project. This all moves into a job costing feature that allows the breakdown of what the estimated costs were on a project versus the real time costs to see how the project is progressing. This is such an important aspect of any project-based business in order to diagnose and fix problems in real-time if need be. This could be something as simple as the crew needing a piece of equipment in order to improve their efficiency on the site that they did not previously have access to. Or it could be somebody on the crew continuously calling in sick which decreases the efficiency. In either of these cases, the problem can be assessed and a solution can be put into place in order to get the project back on schedule and profitable by the end of it.
Both software are easy to use landscape bidding software and beyond with a lift sidebar moving through the tasks from lead to invoicing. These are some of the features and how they will lead you from a lead coming into the business to invoicing the client for the end product.
- When a lead comes into the business, a consultation can be scheduled by adding a salesperson to the consultation, inserting client information, adding a date and time, and sending an automated email out to the client with a link for them to add it to their calendar if necessary.
- The estimate can then be created from scratch or using templates that can be dragged onto the estimate so that the estimator does not miss any step of the installation process or leave out any necessary material cost. Production rates can also be used to estimate time associated with various aspects of the build in order to provide an accurate estimated number of hours and cost. A variety of work areas can be created for the various features or services being offered on that build.
- Once the estimate has been prepared, a proposal can be seamlessly submitted through email. The client receives the email and has a link that they can click to view the proposal with the various work areas highlighted within it. The client can then approve all or specific work areas and signing to commence the work.
- That signed contract is received in the software and a job folder can be organized with that proposal, designs, and any other photos of the job site along with notes for the project manager and foremen for them to be able to access.
- Using the allotted time for that project based on the project proposal, it can be dragged and dropped onto the scheduler and assigned to a project manager who will be notified.
- The app will allow the project manager to see all of the project information along with the job folder, notes, photos, designs, address, contact details , and the job hours with a progress bar. They can clock in and clock out with the opportunity to add notes to the job folder or even send notes to the client. What was completed can be noted along with any additional material or hours that are being added to the job that were not accounted for in the initial estimate.
- All of this documenting allows for the real-time job costing that is extremely intuitive. The job costing allows for the toggling of work areas and to view material costs and job hours, as well as all of the necessary information to discern whether or not the project is on track or falling behind.
- Upon project completion, the invoice can be sent out. The software is also QuickBooks integrated for all of your bookkeeping and accounting needs.
If you want to learn more about the Headquarters Software click here. It is specifically made for landscapers by a landscaper that still operates their business. Included in the pricing for the software is access to a content section which includes hardscape and business related courses to help you learn more skills or to train your employees. All of this for $199/month.
In comparison to other competing landscape business software on the market, SynkedUp is reasonably priced at $399/month considering the intuitive workflow from lead to invoicing that it offers along with the job costing functionality that it offers. The team has worked hard to make it incredibly seamless to implement into a landscaping business and to take care of so many aspects needed to run a functioning landscaping business day in and day out.
If you want to learn more about SynkedUp click here. Schedule a demo call with them in order to see whether or not this software is right for your business and begin implementing it today. Regardless of whether or not you are going to begin to implement it this year into your business, it is important that you understand the software out there on the market that can benefit your business and begin budgeting for that immediately. This will allow for you to charge what you are worth to your clients and to recoup the costs associated with doing business.