How Managers Can Prepare Their Millennial Staff for Leadership Roles

Posted on Thu, Sep 29, 2016

By 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be Millennials. The group otherwise known as Generation Y (people born early 1980’s to early 2000’s), are coming to an age where they can be regularly considered for leadership roles in most businesses. While they might get a bad rap for the things we hear about all the time, like being lazy or entitled, there are quite a few studies that say otherwise. Regardless of your notions of this younger generation, they’re a large portion of today’s workforce and that cannot be ignored. This is especially the case for field service industries such as lawn maintenance, irrigation, snow plowing and other lines of physically taxing work.


Millennials are needed for these jobs. And as they stay with a company long enough and continue to build their skills, they will eventually work their way up the rungs and become leadership whether you’re ready or not. How can you ensure that they’re ready to fall into those positions as they open up? What can you do as a leader to prepare them for more responsibility? Here are a few ways that managers can help Millennials prepare for leadership roles.

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Tags: field service business

Why You Should Implement Field Service Software When You're "Small"

Posted on Tue, Sep 27, 2016

As a growing field service business, you might operate with fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, trial and error methods. And that is perfectly fine! Plenty of entrepreneurs and business owners are entering uncharted territory. They might have never dealt with customers the way they need to now that they run a business. They might have never held a sales position before, but since they’re responsible for growing the business, they have to sell now. And many have never had bookkeeping experience.


They have to learn as they go, otherwise they won't be able to grow. 


I asked our sales reps recently what was one of the biggest reasons why field service businesses were hesitant to try using software to help run their daily operations. They hear from business owners all the time that they “just aren’t big enough to use software”. That, in their mind, they’re just a small business that doesn’t have the need for field service software. But many of these 5 man/woman operations have the same needs as the larger companies that have 50+ employees.

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Tags: field service business

Why Speed is Relative for Lawn Maintenance Businesses

Posted on Thu, Sep 22, 2016

Seth Godin, author and marketing guru, wrote a blog post recently called Speed is Relative. In his usual fashion, Godin uses imagery and metaphors to get a point across about entrepreneurship and good business practices. Here is the post:


“If you moved to Norway or Haiti or Bolivia, you'd notice something immediately: People don't move at the same speed you do.

The same thing is true about different organizations and different pockets of the internet. Or months of the year, for that matter.

There's not an absolute speed, a correct velocity, a posted limit or minimum for all of us. It's relative.

Given that, how does your speed match your goals and your strategy? Not compared to everyone else, but compared to the one and only thing you have control over?

Passing the slow cars on the road is an illusion, a chance to fool yourself into thinking you're making good progress. To a sloth, even a loris is a speedster.

Pick your own pace.”


As I sometimes do in my off hours of work, it got me thinking about some of our lawn maintenance customers. How does this post on speed relate to them? There were a few points that he made that really stood out to me.

 

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Tags: Lawn Maintenance

6 Steps to Setting up a Successful Lawn Maintenance Business Facebook Page

Posted on Tue, Sep 20, 2016

Facebook is a powerful tool for small businesses. Potential customers can use it as a search engine to find businesses and service providers in their area. People can research companies, beyond just their about page on their website. As a lawn maintenance business, it is important to have a great online presence. A well put together Facebook page can be a lead generator for your business and can help serve as an important piece of your marketing mix.


Many lawn maintenance businesses aren’t doing social media right if at all. There are businesses that will sign up for a social media account, post for a week or two and then give up with their efforts. There are others that post irrelevant posts to their industry and really don’t have a strategy to what they’re doing on Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts.


So what goes into creating a great Facebook account for lawn maintenance businesses? Here are the 6 steps that you should follow in order to set up an awesome Facebook page.

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Tags: field service

6 Ways to Close More Lawn Maintenance Sales

Posted on Thu, Sep 15, 2016

Do you remember that scene in Glengarry Glen Ross when Alec Baldwin launches into that tirade which has more than one sales cliche in it? “Coffee’s for closers only” and of course


“A-B-C. A-always, B-be, C-closing. Always be closing!”

 

 

Since Baldwin was a skeevy real-estate salesman in that movie and not selling lawn maintenance services, there might not be much applicable wisdom from that speech (except for the fact that yelling “coffee’s for closers only” at co-workers on occasion can be a lot of fun). But he does talk a lot about closing deals. And while your watch doesn’t need to be worth more than other people’s cars, Baldwin’s character does hammer home the importance of the close.


As a lawn maintenance business, you do need to close deals in order to grow. You need to have a good amount of new customers coming in the door. Here are 6 ways that you can close more of your lawn maintenance deals.

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Tags: lawn maintenance business

How to Retain Seasonal Field Service Customers

Posted on Tue, Sep 13, 2016

Many field service businesses are seasonal. For the lawn maintenance, irrigation, landscaping and other outdoor service companies, they can only work when the weather permits them. That can be a scary proposition for businesses that rely on having a recurring income coming from a regular customer base. For seasonal businesses, retaining customers can be much harder because of the offseason. You lose contact with customers for a period time and that gives them a chance to shop around, explore other options or drop you altogether.


What is a field service business to do? For one thing, the off-season is not a time to sit back on your heels. You need to be active and work to retain customers, year after year. You can’t just put your entire customer base on the backburner for the winter and expect to keep 100% of your customers, it just doesn’t work that way. Customers need to be kept in the loop, they need to be aware of your presence. So here is how you can retain your seasonal field service customers and keep them coming back year after year.

 

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Tags: field service

Are You Running A Lifestyle Or A Business?

Posted on Thu, Sep 08, 2016

Key question, are you running your business as a lifestyle or a business? Next, why did you get into your own business? Hang on to your answers. A 2016 Green Industry Survey by HindSite Software revealed the following startling information.


  1.       82% of respondents experienced revenue growth. Yet…..  
  2.        Profits remained virtually unchanged
  3.       40% had profit levels of only 1%-10%
  4.       Only 6% had improving profit margins as a goal
  5.       As written by the survey - “It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone in the green industry that green industry businesses are focused – on satisfying their customers. They overwhelmingly find a satisfied customer to be more important to their business than making the margin they expect/budgeted on their jobs.”
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Tags: field service business

How Software Helps You Run a Lean Irrigation Business

Posted on Tue, Sep 06, 2016

Running a lean business is a strategy that many industries have adopted. As with many innovations to production and business in general, the concept was pioneered within the automotive industry. The idea is to eliminate waste in product or production in your business while simultaneously satisfying customer wants.

 

For irrigation businesses, there are numerous benefits to running a lean business. As Ruth King puts it, inventory is a bet. Each time you purchase inventory, you’re making a bet that you will sell those parts. It is a bet that the accounts you service are going to need those parts and a bet that you can sell those parts before they become obsolete or new models become available, which is a constant with irrigation controllers and panels.

 

Running a lean irrigation business can be tricky when you have a larger customer base. You can have potentially hundreds of different parts on hand, but only regularly use ten of them for your work. That doesn’t mean that you can get by without having the rest in your inventory. So how do you manage all of it? How can you run a lean business and reduce waste in your irrigation business? Here is how software can help.

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Tags: irrigation business, irrigation business software

5 Questions to Ask Before Handing Down a Family Owned Lawn Care Business

Posted on Thu, Sep 01, 2016

Owning and operating a lawn maintenance business as a family can be incredibly rewarding. It can be a gratifying experience to work alongside your family and to teach your children skills that can benefit them for years and years to come. Being able to build a business from the ground up and do so with the people you care about the most is something that most could only dream of doing.


But it comes with its own set of unique issues. Money, power within the business and family disputes can all factor into how easy it will be to transition away from a leadership role and hand over the keys to your kingdom. In the popular book on management, Traction, the author Gino Wickman says that in order for a job to be a good fit for a person and the person to be a good fit for the job, they need to want it, get it, and have the capacity to perform in the role.


Mixing family and business can work, but it isn’t the easiest thing to accomplish. Here are 5 questions to ask when handing down a family lawn care business.

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Tags: lawn care business

5 Business Lessons From the Minnesota State Fair

Posted on Tue, Aug 30, 2016

Every year, The Great Minnesota Get Together draws almost 2 million fair-goers to Saint Paul over the weeks prior to Labor Day. The Minnesota State Fair, the largest of them all by daily attendance standards, is a massive, sometimes overwhelming, fried food frenzy that has everything from prize pigs to butter sculptures to grandstand concerts.


It is a right of passage for Minnesotans. And they know that in order to enjoy the fair to its fullest extent, you need to prepare and go about it like a pro. So here are the five lessons field service businesses that can learn from the Minnesota State Fair.

 

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Tags: field service business