field service business, field service software, irrigation business

A Note To Field Service Businesses: Never Stop Learning!

Dec 18, 2013

By David Crary  

We as humans usually like to reach an end point.  Crossing the finish line of a race, knowing we have a retirement date set, or reaching the conclusion of a good book.  We like the finality and knowing we completed something, whether it took us a few hours or an entire lifetime.

learningThat’s why it seems that when we finish school, we feel like we’re done learning.  We got our degree or certificate and feel accomplished, as we should!  School is a tough road and finishing that and venturing on to the “real world” is a big step.  But if there is one thing I have learned as a field service business owner it’s that you should never really stop learning.

When I owned my irrigation business, I felt like I knew all I needed to run my business.  I had my certifications, I knew how to install systems and how to keep my business afloat.  What I learned many years later however, was that I didn’t know everything.  I wasn’t done learning and really I would never be as a business owner.  I foolishly thought that if I completed the learning courses and had my business set up and running, I was good to go.  Little did I know that I needed to continue learning to continue growing.  If I would not have continued to learn about my business, I would have never developed my field service software that helps hundreds of businesses become more efficient today.

Wondering what exactly you could continue to learn about and grow from?  Here are just a few things:

Field Service Software – Are you using a field service software program?  If not, this is something you will want to learn more about.  Field service software works to streamline your processes, can eliminate paperwork, and helps businesses grow.

If you are already using field service software, good for you!  You are a step ahead of the game.  But are you using your software program to its fullest potential?  Software companies issue many updates throughout a single year.  The great thing about software is that it continues to grow and develop all the time.  However, this also means there is a lot to learn about the program at any given time throughout the year.

We have customers say to us all the time “Oh, I didn’t know your program could do that!”  Usually they learn the basics of our program, but don’t realize or don’t make the time to learn our newest additions.  If you have field service software, I strongly suggest you call your provider and ask for an appointment to learn more ways you can utilize the system for your business’ benefit.

Equipment & Parts – Have you been using the same mower since you started?  What about the parts and systems you install?  Have you changed these up at all over the last 5 years?

I am not saying to go out and buy all new equipment just for the sake of change, but could a change benefit you?  Have you looked into “greener” solutions for your customers?  What about switching up your equipment to using ethanol fuel?

Keeping up to date on the newest equipment out there for your industry can really benefit your business.  Customers are usually looking for the most up to date things and if you can promote a water saving sprinkler system, or a mower that pushes out less emissions into the environment, you have a better chance of making a sale.

Attend trade shows, read forums, or network with your peers to find out what the ‘newest and coolest’ is.  It’s best to not fall behind on the times, while your competitor continues to adapt to the ever evolving industry.

Customers – Learn about your customers.  These are the people who are buying your product.  What things do they like?  Are more customers demanding greener solutions?  Do people in your area appreciate local small businesses?

Send out customer surveys after every service or at least once a year.  Ask them what they like, their dislikes, what they are looking for in a service business, how you can improve, and any other useful questions you can think of.

Compile the answers and take a serious look at what your customers had to say.  You can learn a lot from customer feedback, and in my personal opinion, the best way to grow is to listen to what your customers have to say and make adjustments accordingly.

It can be hard to find the time to keep yourself and your business up to date, but staying up to date truly benefits your business.  Your customers are constantly searching for the latest and greatest.  If you fall behind, you could miss out on big opportunities.  Continuing your education well beyond high school or college is not only good for your personal well being, but also helps your business as a whole.

Since we mentioned keeping up to date on the newest and coolest equipment above, we thought we would share our Green Industry Equipment Report.  We surveyed hundreds of contractors to find out what brands they are using and why.  Start your learning today by downloading this report!