The green industry tends to be incredibly hectic during the busy season. When the weather warms up and lawn, tree and pest needs start to grow, it can be difficult to manage time and complete all the work that has to be done. You certainly don’t want to disappoint customers with long wait times, and no business owner enjoys turning away new clients because they just can’t handle anything more. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but there are strategies you can implement to make the most of your time. Remember these time management strategies when you’re feeling the crunch.
Time Management Tips to Increase Productivity
Answer questions before they are asked
Do you find that at the start of every spring season you’re bombarded with calls from customers asking when you will start scheduling services? Or do you find that you are frequently educating customers on the common types of weeds in the area? Think about the questions you answer over and over again, and then find a way to get that information to your clients before you start getting the phone calls. This time management tip will save you time from answering common questions.
Send an email to all of your customers early season that includes dates for when you will start scheduling services. Create a small brochure or flier about common types of weeds, and how they are treated, that you can hand out at start-up appointments or mail out at the beginning of the season. Use whatever method works best for you. Creating and sending materials like this will take more of your time up front, but this is something you can prepare before the rush starts, and it will save you time answering questions during the busy season.
Plan each day at the start
At the start of each day, take some time to plan out your schedule and refine your to-do list. Strategize how you will attack the day’s tasks, and be realistic about the amount of time each will take you. Prepare any materials, paperwork, or equipment you may need for the day. This may sound counterintuitive, as you are adding yet another chore to your already long list.
However, having a plan for the day will reduce stress and help keep you focused. When you don’t plan ahead, you risk situations such as arriving at a job site only to realize you need a part or tool that’s back at the office or in another truck, or being late to your next appointment. If you’re not planning your day, you’re likely not preparing your team members for the day either—and if they don’t have clear instructions and goals, they may also be losing time waiting on you for answers.
Organize your office
Think about the time you spend preparing for jobs, creating schedules, or helping clients. Do you find yourself thumbing through a stack of files trying to locate a specific customer’s paperwork? Do you have to dig around the office for a while before you find the part you need for tomorrow’s job? This is time that’s wasted, and it can be avoided if you are organized. To improve time management in this area implement a filing system for customers based on name, subdivision, or whatever works best for you. Create and label bins for parts, and keep them in a spot where you know to find them. It will take time to set up organization systems, but you’ll save so much more time in the future when you know exactly where and how to find what you’re looking for.
Have a contingency plan for rain
It’s not a good feeling when you have a full week scheduled and suddenly a large storm system moves into the area. Rain can put a major dent in your plans, but don’t let it derail you completely. Have a contingency plan for rain days, so you are still making the most of your time.
Here are some suggested activities you can take on when the rain is pouring:
- Organize the office and inventory
- Clean the trucks and warehouse
- Catch up on office work
- Work on marketing materials
- Label and put away newly-ordered equipment
- Remove debris from job sites
- Perform maintenance on equipment
- Do lawn care work that can still be done in the rain, like edging and sod flipping
You’ll still need to find time in the future to complete the work you were going to do before the rain arrived, but these are all tasks that still do need to be done at some point. A rainy day is the perfect time to get these sorts of tasks done without feeling like you’re just wasting the day away.
Let the Experts Save You Time
Having better time management leads to increased productivity, meaning you’ll get the same amount of work done in less time than before. Every minute saved is another minute you can spend doing the things that are really important for growing your business, including marketing programs.
Mike Valestin, owner of Valestin Landscape Design Company and Spring Green franchise owner, doubled his customer base after implementing Spring Green’s marketing plans. “I wasn’t expecting the hits from the marketing campaign that came in via the call center,” said Valestin. “It was big. The sale just kept coming in.”
Let the experts at Spring Green save you time and help you manage your growth with our 40 years of experience and our proven expertise in marketing and technology. Learn more about how Spring Green can expand your lawn, tree and pest services. Call 1-800-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmygreenindustrybusiness.com.