Lawn care apps are technology solutions that help landscaping businesses manage their operations and field technicians effectively. The process of digitizing and automating otherwise monotonous landscaping scheduling and dispatching work is a trend that only continues to accelerate.
If you’re one of those landscaping business owners who is just starting to look for the best lawn care apps, know that while you may have reached the saturation point a bit later than others, there is still ample opportunity to push your business forward with technology. In fact, adopting a modern landscaping business software can propel you over your competitors and provide a sustainable advantage in a matter of months.
However, picking the right lawn care business software is anything but straightforward. There is a ton of planning and assessment involved. You need to do your homework and understand what makes good landscaping software before you dive deep into the sea of landscaping solutions looking for the right fit.
To ease your burden of choosing the right software, we have put together a list of must-have landscaping software features and the top 9 lawn care apps that stand out from the crowd.
What makes a great lawn care app?
While each lawn care company has different criteria when it comes to selecting the best lawn mowing app for their gardening business, here are a few elements we feel the best landscaping apps must have.
1. Work order management
Work orders, aka jobs, are at the heart of a landscaping business. A good lawn care app must enable internal stakeholders like back-office administrators and field technicians to create, approve/reject, manage, and print work orders from anywhere, at any time, on any device without a hitch.
2. Self-service booking experience
Gone are the days where you waited around for customers to reach out to your admin team to schedule appointments. Today’s tech-savvy customers demand an uber-like, on-demand experience. Their expectations can be fulfilled only by offering them a self-service booking portal that is user-friendly and intuitive.
3. Quick scheduling and dispatching
When landscape scheduling is managed through spreadsheets, both back-office administrators and dispatchers need to sift through a ton of paperwork before they can schedule a work order or dispatch technicians. Ease down their administrative burden by offering them a single source of truth which comes with an intuitive calendar and actionable insights.
4. Geolocation services
Rather than micromanaging field technicians and checking in frequently to see where they are, what task they are working on, identify employee work patterns and real-time location proactively with geolocation services. What’s more, inbuilt smart routing aspects can help you send automated ETA and delay alerts to your customers proactively.
5. Landscaping job estimates and quotations
The process of creating job estimates for landscaping need not be arduous or time consuming. Empower internal stakeholders to create job estimates instantly by choosing from an array of pre-approved templates and add services from the pre-existing list in just a matter of minutes. Also, your customers can digitally review and approve your estimates in just a click.
6. Hassle-free invoicing
Tired of chasing customers for unpaid invoices? Automate the end-to-end process from quotation creation to invoicing for landscape and store and process all landscaping job documents (work orders, quotations, and invoices) in a single, touchless stream of digital approvals. What’s more, you can store payment transaction histories and also sync with your existing accounting software seamlessly.
7. Recurring job management
Take the chaos out of organizing recurring lawn care appointments for your customers by using automated recurring job management. What’s more, rescheduling a recurring job appointment need not be complex or impossible; it can be as easy as selecting that specific instance and updating the date and time.
8. Timesheet management
Businesses of all types need to track the time their employees spend performing their jobs. When it comes to landscaping businesses, their ability to bill for the time their field technicians spent on lawn care is important. In addition to simplifying the customer billing and invoice process, proper timesheet management will help track employee productivity as well.
Top 9 landscaping apps for every landscaping business in 2021
Luckily for landscaping business owners, there are a ton of free cloud-based landscaping apps available to cater to every need of a landscaping company, be it a large franchise or an early-stage startup. Listed below are the 9 best landscaping apps available for free:
1. Timesheet app
2. Estimating and quotations app
There are a ton of free estimate generator apps available in both play store and apple store for the usage of landscaping field technicians. They can download a specific app like free estimate generator or estimate maker to create landscaping job estimates on the go.
3. Invoice generator
Having a handy invoice generating app like Google Forms or free landscaping invoice apps like QuickBooks, Zoho Books, Invoicely, and Due will help landscaping business owners send timely and accurate invoices to their customers.
4. Document signer
It is essential to provide your customers with a convenient way to view, accept/reject, and sign the estimates or invoices that you send them.
Instead of wondering whether your clients have a PDF preview app or acrobat reader available on their device, it is better to send across all billing documents in an e-signature app like HelloSign or DocuSign.
5. Weather Guide
Since your technicians will be working outside for most of their day, it is better to have a handy weather guide app on their mobile devices so that they know what kind of day they are looking forward to. This can be done using Google’s built-in weather feature or by installing a weather app like AccuWeather, Weather Channel, Dark Sky, and more.
6. Plant Referencing Guide
Your customers will expect your technicians to have a proverbial green thumb when it comes to understanding their garden. However, you can’t expect your technicians to identify everything from trees to perennials, all the time.
7. Work order management
Work orders or jobs are the lifeblood of a landscaping business operation. Although you can easily manage work orders with Google Forms and Online Spreadsheets, using a dedicated work order app like Maintain X or Smart Work Order will help lawn care teams reduce manual intervention and associated errors.
8. Recurring tasks
It is common practice for lawn care businesses to offer subscription plans to their customers for lawn care. When you manually schedule a landscaping job for a repeated interval, there are high chances that you will find it hard to keep up with the date and timing and end up missing an appointment or cause a double–booking fiasco.
To manage recurring visits in your lawn care job, you can either use task management tools like To-Doist and Google Keep or instead use a recurring job management app like Recurlog, Retasky, or Routine Task.
9. Routing app
While you can use paper-based route maps to help your technicians navigate to a customer’s location, it will only add more chaos to the already complicated task.
So, offering them route maps through Google Maps or WhatsApp Location Share feature will not only simplify the work of your technicians but also ease down the workload of your dispatchers.
Tools to automate your lawn care operations
More and more landscaping companies are moving away from their outdated approaches to lawn care operations. These landscaping business owners are opting in for all-in-one landscaping apps that streamline end-to-end back-office operations in a landscaping company while saving valuable time for back-office administrators and technicians.
In a tech-savvy world, the future of lawn care businesses relies on how well businesses manage and empower their back-office operations and field technicians. Field service management platforms like Zuper will automate the end-to-end process of lawn care operations like work order management, scheduling, dispatching, real-time tracking, quotations, recurring landscaping jobs, invoicing, customer management, and more.
Here’s how an end-to-end lawn care operations management app like Zuper can improve your operational efficiency in 10 simple steps:
- Streamline your work order management process
- Simplify field workforce scheduling and dispatching
- Provide technician’s an easy-to-navigate inbuilt route tracker
- Enable stakeholders to communicate right within the work order
- Keep your customers informed with real-time notifications
- Empower technicians to generate invoices and estimates on-the-go
- Manage and reschedule recurring landscaping jobs with ease
- Integrate seamlessly with other third-party apps and software
- Ensure compliance and enforce regulations with rule-based workflows
- Eliminate timesheet problems and time-theft risks with automation
Take your lawn care management to the next level
Whether you’re a budding lawn care provider or just looking to improve the efficiency of your lawn care operations, investing in automated landscaping business software like Zuper is essential. Rather than using a ton of free landscaping apps and leaving your data siloed and scattered in multiple interfaces, try looking for a packaged landscaping solution.
While landscaping business software like Zuper requires a bit of IT investment when opposed to your free lawn care apps, it will go a long way in generating the much-needed ROI and driving up your revenue with efficient lawn care operations. What’s more, Zuper integrates effortlessly with your best landscaping apps and helps you establish a single source of truth.
Try Zuper for free and use it as a benchmark against other free apps for the lawn care business to see what it is like to have an end-to-end lawn care business app to manage your landscaping operations.