TLC: What are some of the mistakes you’ve seen landscapers make?
Dave Tucker: Most landscapers don’t understand that they are not just cutting grass or fertilizing lawns – they are running a business. Often I see company owners who are running ragged and frazzled trying to keep up because they don’t realize that they are really running a business that offers these services. Once we can get them to understand this concept, success is very close at hand.
TLC: Does your company help find solutions for these mistakes?
Dave Tucker: Yes, besides offering software that helps them run their business, we also offer classes, consulting, on-site visits, and even one-on-one coaching to help them go beyond “working” and into “business development.”
TLC: What type of advantages do you feel you hold over your competitors?
Dave Tucker: We are a “deep” software program that is being used by almost 11,000 landscaping companies throughout the world. This gives us the confidence that we can handle any “special” needs that a customer might have. From a small, owner/operator to a large multimillion-dollar company. We also are much more concerned with their company’s success than just selling them a software package. We created the CLIP Partner Program because we want to be an integral part of our customers’ success, not just a “product” company.
TLC: What trends do you see affecting the future of the landscaping market and how will your company address them?
Dave Tucker: Integration and utilization of information to stay ahead of the competition. This industry is maturing. If the landscaper wants to maximize his profits and success, he needs to have information quickly and accurately at his fingertips. With the proper information, the landscaper will be able to offer the customer better service at a very reasonable price and still make a great profit!
TLC: Finally, do you have a tip for an old pro or someone just getting into the business?
Dave Tucker: Realize that you are selling time. Everything boils down to “how much money do you make in a given hour of time.” Find the niche in the market that fits you and stick to it, don’t get caught up in finding work anywhere you can. Keep your route tight, travel time down, services limited and equipment purchases to a minimum and you will succeed much easier. A 10% increase in productivity can translate into 100% or even 200% increase in profits.