Your business is up and running, and there’s a lot to manage! Finding the software to handle invoicing, scheduling, job tracking and client accounts, not to mention on-the-go signatures and payments, can be a challenge. The record-keeping “paperwork” behind any business is stressful, and managing your spray unit service is another animal. But the good news is that costs are decreasing on financial software, and more software packages are being created specifically for the landscape industry. There are plenty of software options to consider to help manage your spray equipment and your team, but what are the key reasons to use a software program and what do you look for?
- Perpetual accounting abilities: This seems basic, but some companies that are paper-driven or use a database of manual entries do not keep accurate numbers on a day-to-day basis! Knowing your financial position at all times is vital, particularly at the end of each quarter, fiscal year, and during audit and tax season.
- Cloud and Mobile Compatibility: This may be vital to your business, or it could be an added bonus. Some owners and managers prefer to access the day’s details from their smart phone, but others are comfortable with printing an invoice and going on their way. Larger companies usually go with cloud compatibility for wider access. Which works better for you?
- What They Do: There are software packages with more than enough features for modern business management and record keeping. Chemical tracking, equipment maintenance schedules, and route planning are just a few of the features that are available. But just because they exist doesn’t mean that you need all of them. Overcomplicating your system can hurt, rather than help, your business.
- Price: Unlike spray rigs, software costs are elastic. Ranging from free to a reasonable $20 monthly subscription fee to a one-time price of two thousand dollars or more, there’s a software package that fits your price range and your needs. Mixing and matching features can cause fluctuations, but at the end of the day there’s a combination that will work for you.
Some popular software programs include:
- Gopher: An inexpensive option for businesses that do not require cloud or mobile compatibility, Gopher offers the basic features like detailed scheduling, routes, staff records, and billing. It also provides more detailed features like chemical applications, timesheets, and equipment maintenance. It’s a one-stop shop for basic, no-frills software.
- ArborGold: This software touts features for every part of your company: sales, production, marketing, accounting and management. It also integrates calendars to QuickBooks, provides mobile and cloud compatibility, and offers a customer portal for self-service, payments and scheduling!
- YardBook: This software features three main segments: Sales, including a business profile, account management and estimates; Business Operations, including scheduling, routing, timesheets and equipment maintenance; and Finance and Records, including pricing catalogs, invoicing, expenses and chemical tracking! YardBook seems to have all the main features for the deceptive price of $0. Free. Their website explains, “Yardbook has a sponsored ad business model similar to Google and Facebook. This model enables our users to benefit from the software for free and has enabled Yardbook to continuously innovate and improve the product.”
So whether you’re looking to purchase software for the first time, or you’re looking for something that better suits your needs, make sure you find a software package that fits you and your business perfectly!