It’s hard to think of a business more associated with the great outdoors than landscaping. After all, if you work in landscaping, then you’re going to be spending your days working in your customers’ yards. That is, unless you’re responsible for the world’s coolest fallout shelter:
Source: Messy Nessy Chic
Of course, this oversimplifies the complexities of what goes on behind-the-scenes at a professional landscaping business. Like any modern organization, landscaping businesses rely on planning and organization as much as they do physical labor. And, a lot of that organizing takes place through the use of computer software.
Fortunately, recent years have seen the rise of landscape management software that can help you with the more tedious, desk-bound aspects of the job.
To find out just how useful this software can be, we surveyed landscape industry workers and asked them about the software they use, including their most used and most desired landscape management software features.
Note: Although “landscape management software” is a term used to differentiate these kinds of programs from “landscape software,” which is used by homeowners to plan out their own landscape design, we’ll be referring to the industry-specific software as “landscape software” throughout this report for the sake of brevity.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Use of Landscape Industry-Specific Software
The first thing we asked our respondents was whether or not they used landscape industry-specific software as a part of their business.
We defined “landscape industry-specific software” as “software specifically designed for professionals/organizations working in the landscape industry, as opposed to software that can be used by professionals/organizations in many different industries.”
Almost three-fourths (74 percent) of our respondents indicate that they do use this type of software, while 9 percent use a different kind of software, 9 percent use spreadsheets and 8 percent use handwritten notes.
We found that, of those respondents who use landscape industry-specific software, it is actually the features which are specific to the industry which are the most useful to them (as opposed to features that are part of the system but would also be part of similar systems geared towards different industries).
Specific features include things such as landscape design and tracking fieldwork/groundskeeping, while more general features include accounting, billing/invoicing, CRM and so forth.
Seventy-eight percent find those specific features to be the most useful aspect of their software system, while only 22 percent find the generalized features to be most useful.
We also wanted to know how frequently our respondents use their software, and it turned out to be quite frequently, indeed.
Fully half of respondents use their software multiple times per day, with another 43 percent using it multiple times per week and only 7 percent using it only a few times a month or less.
From this data, we can see the importance of landscape management software to landscape businesses.
Almost 75 percent of businesses use an industry-specific software platform, nearly 80 percent find the industry-specific functions to be the most useful part of their software system and over 90 percent use their software multiple times per week, showing just how crucial this software is to users.
Most Desired Landscape Software Features
We asked all of our respondents—both those who use industry-specific software and those who use a different type of software—which other types of software systems they use to help manage their business.
No individual type of software is used by a majority of our respondents, but the most used include accounting (13 percent) and scheduling (12 percent). Only 2 percent of respondents indicate that they solely use landscape industry-specific software.
This implies that you should seek out landscape management software that either contains the other features you might need—especially accounting and scheduling, but also human resources (HR) and customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities.
Alternatively, look for software that easily integrates with other software systems that do provide these features.
For those of our respondents who do not use industry-specific software, but use a different kind of software instead, we asked what features they would most want from landscape-specific software.
Though there is no clear majority here, again, the most desired feature is billing and invoices (17 percent), followed by collecting payments (11 percent) and landscape design (11 percent).
These findings fit with the answers to our previous questions:
Landscape businesses want software that will help them meet industry-specific needs, such as design work and fieldwork/groundskeeping management, but they also want access to the basic economic/accounting functionalities that allow any business to function properly.
Most Used Landscape Software Features
We not only wanted to establish what features landscapers desired in their software, but also what features of landscape management software are especially useful to those businesses already using industry-specific software.
Unsurprisingly, our results matched up with what we had previously seen, though with a few new pieces of important information.
Yet again, no particular feature was most used by a majority of respondents, but the highest-ranked feature was billing and invoices (13 percent), followed closely by landscape design (12 percent) and CRM (12 percent).
The industry-specific ability to track fieldwork and groundskeeping also rated relatively highly (9 percent), as did generalized features such as collecting payments (9 percent) and scheduling/dispatching (9 percent).
Team management/assignments also rank highly for this question, with 10 percent of respondents listing it among their most used features, even though only 6 percent of respondents in our earlier question list it as a highly desired feature.
This indicates that team management might be an unexpectedly useful and productive feature of landscape management software, so you may want to look into it as an important component of your own software choice.
Conclusions & Next Steps
Our findings are probably not all that surprising; it turns out most landscape businesses find landscape management software to be of great benefit to their organization.
Though they find industry-specific features to be the most useful in their software, they are also reliant upon some basic, generalized functionalities, particularly those that help them manage the economics of their business.
These are important factors to keep in mind as you begin your own search for the right landscape management software for you! Here are some next steps on that search:
- Read user reviews of the top landscaping software to see how your fellow landscapers feel about particular vendors and platforms.
- Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. I’m happy to help you figure out what your own landscape management software needs might be and connect you to one of our expert software advisors for a free, no-obligation consultation!