A lot of you seemed to find last year’s list valuable, so we decided to revisit the idea and make a straight comparison a bit easier to do. When selecting landscape business software, it can be useful to consider options that integrate with all aspects of your business, from first customer contact through business reporting and analytics. We looked at several criteria:
All good software companies are continually making their product better and more tailored to their users’ needs. A huge difference in what we’re seeing this year versus last year? Mobile. Busy landscape professionals like you can’t be tethered to a desk, so enhanced mobile functionality has become the norm.
Are you ready to find the perfect landscape software for YOUR business? Let’s help you sell more, run more profitably, and free up some valuable time with our picks for 2016.
Price: $499.99 startup fee + $99.99/month per user
You may like: drag and drop scheduling makes operations management a breeze
HindSite offers software products for lawn care and irrigation companies. Managing multiple crews can be a challenge, which is why HindSite offers a CRM (not sure what that is?) to help streamline the sales process. Their Field Central product also allows you to schedule and route your crews easily, and to see in real time what they are doing.
When the work is complete, HindSite integrates with Quickbooks online to not only help you invoice your clients, but see an overview of where your business is.
Price: Free (ad-supported)
You may like: price is terrific for those just starting out
Yardbook is an interesting entry in the landscape business software arena. Rather than relying on paid subscriptions, users see ads – much like you would in many mobile apps – while using Yardbook to run their business. This means that Yardbook is free to use. It’s a very streamlined interface, offering CRM functionality that allows the user to create and assign leads, create estimates. and track them through the sales process.
For when owners are wearing their “operations management” hats, Yardbook offers job scheduling and routing, and timesheets for tracking what’s been done. Two very industry-specific features are equipment maintenance logs, and chemical tracking (for the reporting required of applicators). When everything’s done, you can use Yardbook to invoice your clients.
Price: $199/month, additional users $9.99/month
You may like: Ability to create company budgets and break those down per crew helps with employee buy-in and better profits
LMN landscape management software is another tool with a lot of functionality for lawn and landscape business owners. As with the other software options already discussed, LMN offers a CRM and tools to help move through the sales process. There’s a robust estimating feature, and plenty of tools like scheduling, mobile time tracking, and reporting to help keep your business moving forward.
What intrigued us with LMN is their focus on training and development. A core part of their business is making sure users know exactly how to get the most from their software. Workshops and bootcamps provide immersive training, and their Leaders Summits are geared to help take your business to the next level.
Real Green Systems
Price: varies (users can purchase “modules” for different functional requirements)
You may like: A robust feature set that makes it easier to find upsell opportunities within your existing client base
Real Green is a powerful tool for landscape professionals looking to essentially “build their own software” with modules that can be added on, for an additional price. Real Green includes modules for invoicing, payment capture, scheduling, call logs, routing, mapping, customer history, contact manager, business reports, technical support and marketing. It also allows you to track employees’ performance to determine who’s a rock star – and who needs some help getting there.
Price: starts at $20/month for one user
You may like: Automated route optimization reduces labor hours and fuel usage, and helps prevent the fatigue that comes from staring at a windshield for hours
Clip offers many of the key features that other software choices do. They offer comprehensive billing (with QuickBooks integration), customer payment portal, job costing, employee tracking, contact manager, work projections and custom reporting. It also offers scheduling specific to services that include automatic rescheduling and dynamic scheduling based on your service needs. For the landscape professional who can’t stay in an office all day, CLIP2Go allows users to work efficiently and effectively in the field.
Price: $47/month intro level
You may like: Technicians can log a job as completed in the mobile app and instantly generate an invoice
Service Autopilot offers a platform for lawn care, snow removal, cleaning, and field service business professionals. The common denominator there is that these are all businesses that make multiple service stops throughout the day. The lawn care version helps you to manage your scheduling, expenses, customers, employees, marketing, issue tickets and reporting. The mobile app makes it easy to gather data from your employees throughout the day and make decisions on the go.
Price: $59/month plus add-on features
You may like: If you feel like important tasks fall through the cracks, Jobber offers a to-do list feature that will even send reminders to your crew members. Details matter.
As with most landscape business software options, Jobber offers scheduling, routing, invoicing, a contact manager, employee tracking, mapping, reports, payment capture and QuickBooks syncing.Drag and drop scheduling and a system that facilitates assigning tasks and tracking time helps keep your team running at peak efficiency. Jobber also has a notification system for clients. Whether you’re scheduling a consultation or a service call, Jobber can send your client both email and SMS (text) reminders to ensure that everyone is there when they need to be there.
Price: $50/month (paid annually) for a single user
You may like: The product is landscaper and customer focused with an eye towards true ease of use. Unlike last year, its now fully featured and offers and a complete end-to-end solution.
Describeit landscape business software was designed out of a frustrating experience with the sales process at a local nursery. We set out to build a better solution that gave customers (homeowners) the information they needed (photos, descriptions, details) in the format they wanted (online and interactive), while not adding any extra work to the landscaper’s plate. A tall order to be sure, but after much input from our industry partners we’ve engineered a solution that provides maximum impact for all aspects of your business from lead gen, customer relationships, proposals & invoicing, scheduling, project management, and timesheets without requiring a doctoral degree to figure it out.
Describeit is responsive and nimble with our customers enabling us to address issues and provide enhancements much faster than the industry averages.
1. Know Your Budget
There’s a wide range of price points for landscape software, running from free to hundreds of dollars a month. It’s not wise to choose on price alone. Many experts advise that you should invest in the business software that will serve your business, not today, but where you see your business 3-5 years from now. There can be a bit of a learning curve as you apply new software to your business’s processes and procedures; selecting one that grows with your business means you won’t have to re-invent the wheel.
2. Know Your Biggest Pain Points
Sales 101 is identifying your customer’s pain point, right? You need to know what their problem is before you can offer a solution. Similarly, it can be overwhelming to sort through all the features each software solution offers, so start with YOUR problem. Are you struggling primarily with scheduling and routing? Ignore all the other features, and start comparing apples to apples. Then look at your #2 problem, then your #3 problem
3. Find something that works with the way you work
You could find a landscape software offering that will make you a millionaire, end world hunger, and give all your kids puppies, but if you hate using it, you’re wasting your money and you’ll never see results. Really test drive your options, whether that’s with a trial subscription or an online demo with one of their reps. Do you like the interface? Is it pretty intuitive? If you spend a lot of time in the field, is it as good on mobile as it is on desktop? With all the choices out there, there’s more than likely one that works for your business.
The reason most landscaping tools fail to improve your business or your life is because they are too complicated and they never get implemented in your business.
We are admittedly biased, but we think Describeit is awesome software built with love to enable landscapers to tell their story and delight their customers all the way through the sales process without over-complication for you or them.
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