Beyond Technology: How To Take Charge of Your Landscaping Business

In this fast paced, high speed technology world we live in today, it’s hard to decipher what is a distraction or an application that will yield a profitable ROI for a landscape company. With all these gadgets and services entering into the business world daily, how do you choose which one is a good fit?

Okay, this might be a hard thing to do as a landscaping company owner, but give it a try. Lock yourself in a quiet room. (Don’t be a pessimist now!) Block off a half hour on your calendar. (You can do it.) Sit down with a pen in paper, and ask yourself a couple questions. “What is the current problem or challenge I’m seeking a technology solution for?” Write down what comes to mind. Then follow up with, “What is the root of the problem or challenge?” Write it down, read over your answers, and you will often find your challenges are much more rudimentary than you thought.

Technology is not always the best solution in the landscape contracting world. It is a delivery conduit for a solution. Hardware or software are simply a tool leveraged to deliver or automate a solution and often a process or system of processes. An individual technology only aids in the implementation of a solution. Often the technology (hardware or software, IE cell phone or app), focuses on the symptoms of a problem or only part of the problem.  On the other hand, complete integration of the solutions through technology isn’t the answer either. The problem here lies in the fact that all your answers and data are often generated from the same source in a completely integrated solution which prevents solid checks and balances.  At a minimum, achieving those checks and balance in a completely integrated technology is cost prohibitive, which is the reason one doesn’t exist for the green industry.  We use a cohesive system with separation in technology solutions to help provide for important and cost effective checks. Payroll should be generated via a system that defines start and end time along with some high level of distinction between productive and non-productive time.  However, I don’t believe that it should be generated by field tracking or time on the job documentation information.  Keeping these processes separate provides a cheap easy way to compare (check and balance) what the “Time Clock” says vs what the field reports say.

We often hear, “If we just had a program that (insert perceived solution here) we’d be all set.” The challenge again is that this is only addressing the symptom and not solving the problem.  Think of this analogy of fixing a roof leak. The leak is resolved by catching the rain water in a container and then it is heated to turn the water into vapor. This vapor is captured in an apparatus that condenses the vapor back into water and empties into a tube that goes out the window.  Replacing a single shingle on the roof would have prevented the leak to begin with. We as humans often over complicate things. There is less energy and time spent on going back to the basics.

LandOpt has defined processes and provides a system to run your business on.  A system is a collection of processes that when executed together produce consistent, proven, and predictable results. These processes span the four pillars of business: Sales, Human Resources, Business Management, and Operations. They provide not only the shingles but the walls, windows, heater, and other components for the house. The contractor provides the foundation. The foundation is their existing successful business that has the potential to experience improved performance through a cohesive and complete system instead of a single piece of technology.

LandOpt leverages technology, as the last piece of the equation. We first define the process. We then marry the process to other processes to define the system. Once the processes are individually and relatedly solid, we automate some of them with technology. For instance, our Customer Relationship Process is executed and managed through the use of a customized Customer Relationship Management Software. Our License Agreement not only provides for the use of our defined system but it also provides for our team of success coaches to support, drive, and maintain implementation of the LandOpt System.

Education and Professional Development make up a large percentage of LandOpt’s operating budget as well. These opportunities present the Licensee Contractor with the ability to learn concepts, ideologies, and the physical system. This knowledge + model provides an environment that breaks the “day to day” cycle that consumes many business owners and their teams. The coach drives the wedge into the cycle through interaction with the business owner and their team in order to create the opening for the knowledge to “seep” in.

In short, technology is not the solution but only part of the solution. Start looking at the core of the issues or challenges at hand. Chances are the answers lie in basic business principles. LandOpt offers those proven principles along with technology to solve problems and implement solutions ,not mask them with pretty colors and flashing lights.

To learn more about LandOpt and how they can take you beyond technology visit www.landopt.com or call 412.567.4345

David Gallagher
David Gallagher
david.gallagher@landopt.com

With over 20 years of experience in the Green Industry, David supports LandOpt and its customers with his extensive industry background and leadership skills. As Director of Success, he empowers LandOpt’s team of Success Coaches to assist their customers during the implementation process. Through solid training and mentoring support, David ensures client success and satisfaction with the LandOpt Business Operating System. David has filled many roles within the green and white industries throughout his entire career. As a team member, consultant, or owner within various companies, David has remained focused on developing and implementing systems that are scalable and repeatable, while fostering the continued professional growth of the green and white industries.

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