Running a Successful Lawn Care Business: How to Manage the Day-to-Day
Let’s face it—there is a lot to juggle when managing the day-to-day operations of a lawn care company.
You provide services to your customers, but you rarely see your customers face-to-face. You manage a crew (or multiple crews) that operate out in the field, so you don’t always have the luxury of working from the same location. To top it off, you might have a busy day planned that is interrupted by uncooperative weather.
The unique challenges that lawn care companies face need solid processes to ensure your business runs smoothly. You want to provide top-notch service, communicate with your customers, and keep your team in the loop.
So as the owner of a lawn care company, how do you ensure that your operations are smooth? Let’s dive head first into a few ways you can ensure smooth operations, keep your clients happy, and have an informed (and efficient) team.
Scheduling and organizing the team
An organized team is at the core of any successful lawn care business. Your goal is to get as much work done as efficiently as possible, all while continuing to provide high-quality service.
Of course, you need to consider your customers when scheduling, but you also need to factor in what works for your company. Your schedule should be set up in such a way that maximizes efficiency and profits.
To do this, we recommend two strategies:
1. Group your clients and schedule based on their neighborhood or location
By focusing on a particular area, on any given day, you’ll cut down on driving time during the day and your team can focus on getting their daily work done.
2. Focus on repeat business
Repeat business allows you to create a predictable schedule that maximizes efficiency for you and your crew(s).
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Communicating with your team
Your work takes place out in the field and you may have crews at different locations. This means you’re often communicating with your employees without the luxury of face-to-face conversations.
Find ways to improve your internal communication process so everyone on your team (including yourself) has the information required to get the job done.
Your first step in improving your internal communication process is identifying what you need to communicate: schedule changes, upsell opportunities, job delays, etc. You want to identify areas that require communication but you don’t want to create unnecessary back-and-forth and noise.
Once you identify the right information, put together a process to make sure everyone follows through. High priorities will often require immediate communication, like a phone call, but a lot of information can wait until the end of the day.
Jobber’s team communication features can remove extra steps and automate much of your internal communication. You can empower employees to add notes and photos to jobs, adjust job line items, and schedule follow-up visits.
Communicating with your clients
So you’ve developed a great process for communicating with your team, but you also need a plan to effectively communicate with your clients. If you want your customer service to stand out, it’s not enough to just communicate with your clients when they sign up for your services and when it’s time for them to pay. You need to communicate with your clients at key points before and after the job.
Start by sending your clients appointment reminder emails or texts. Not only is this a great way to prevent last minute cancellations, but your clients will appreciate it!
This is also an opportunity to provide special instructions. Is it important that your clients don’t water their lawn before you arrive? Are your services based on good weather? Make sure you use appointment reminders to communicate these important details:
Hi [client name],
This is a friendly reminder from [your company name] that we have an upcoming service appointment on [the date of the service appointment].
Please do not water your lawn on the day of your service. Please note that our services are weather permitting. If we are delayed due to rain, we will contact you with details on rescheduling the service.
Please contact us with any questions. Thanks and have a great day!
[your company name]
[company phone number]
Following up with your customers after the job is complete
You often complete your work without interacting with your clients. This is where follow-up emails can help.
One of the easiest ways to improve your customer service is by sending your clients a follow-up email when a visit is complete. You can use Jobber’s Client Communication feature to automatically trigger an email to your client:
Hi [customer name],
Our team has completed [description of job/work here]. If you have any questions about the work or service, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
[your company name]
[company phone number]
Bonus: track crew locations in Jobber so you have confirmation that your crew was at a particular location in case of any customer disputes.
Dealing with weather
When businesses talk about weathering the storm, it’s usually a metaphor. Not when it comes to lawn care—weather is a real factor for your business and something you need to be prepared for.
We’ve talked with a lot of different lawn care companies whose clients are a bit confused when it comes to their weather policy. In these instances, it’s not usually an instance with the weather policy—instead, it’s a client communication issue. There’s nothing you can do to change the weather and you’ll often have to postpone or reschedule jobs. But you can be proactive so that weather has a minimal impact on your business.
Have a policy
Make sure you have a policy when it comes to weather that impacts your work and make sure to communicate this policy to your staff and clients.
It’s one thing to casually say to your clients that “you don’t work in the rain” but it’s a completely different thing to properly communicate your policy. Include the policy in your quotes, estimates, and, as mentioned previously, in your appointment reminders.
Properly communicating your policy will help clearly set expectations with your clients. This will reduce unnecessary questions back to you when it rains and will keep your clients happy.
Have a system
One of the main challenges lawn care businesses face when postponing or rescheduling services is keeping track of the changes. This is where scheduling software like Jobber comes in handy.
With Jobber, you can reschedule all visits from one day, with or without impacting future visits. Also, because job details are directly associated with invoices, you’ll avoid double entry. Jobber reminds you to collect payment for a visit and you don’t have to worry about accidentally double charging a client.
Put a system in place and you’ll reduce mistakes when rescheduling because of the weather.
Make the most out of your rainy day
Being rained out from client visits doesn’t mean you can’t be productive. Make the most out of your rainy days by being prepared to complete tasks that don’t normally get your full attention.
Take a look at any feedback you’ve collected from clients. How is your team doing?
Look at your current clients and schedule. Are there any upsell opportunities? A rainy day is
A rainy day is the perfect opportunity to make sure your equipment is operating smoothly.
Make the most out of bad weather by looking at your business and finding ways to be more efficient.
Completing your day
There is a lot to juggle when managing the day-to-day of a lawn care business. Your business will always change as you add new clients, change staff, and start offering new services. You’re never done finding efficiencies, so be sure to revisit your business processes a couple times a year.
Have a good handle on your day-to-day and ready to optimize your payment process after a job well done? Check out the Jobber Academy article on when to invoice your customers.