Landscape & Irrigation

September 2017

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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T hough work is out there, finding employees to do the work is becoming increasingly difficult. This was apparent throughout the HindSite Software's Green Industry Benchmark Report: Attracting and retaining employees was the #1 issue cited by green industry businesses, with 27% saying it was their biggest issue. 49% said it was somewhat difficult finding good employees, while 38% said it was very difficult finding employees. Just 13% said it was somewhat or very easy. Last year, 79% said it was somewhat or very difficult, so it's up 8% year-over-year. And if the economy does improve and we experience job growth, expect it to become increasingly more difficult to find employees. The even scarier part — the vast majority of businesses expect to grow their staff this year. Seventy-five percent expect to grow their staff in 2017. In a competitive marketplace, that's going to be very difficult. So how do you overcome a labor shortage? Always be hiring. Don't wait until you need the staff to be looking for staff. I'd keep help wanted information on your trucks, in your storefront, on your website, and even on customer-facing documents such as invoices and estimates. Build the infrastructure to hire before needing a body is a requirement. Find ways to be more productive without hiring staff. That may mean investing in equipment that enables you get more work done. If you own a lawn maintenance business, it may be a lawn mower with a better production rate. If it's an irrigation business, maybe a trencher that can save you time. But equipment isn't the only way to improve productivity. Software can also help. We've talked to irrigation businesses that were thinking of hiring another office manager to handle the load, but instead installed HindSite and found that not only did they not have to hire more office help, but they also freed their existing office staff to work on other projects. There are tons of little ways software can save you time that add up to big savings. It's a relatively small expense — and in most cases a lot less expensive than hiring someone. Examine your training. Frequent training cannot only make your team more productive, but it can also help you retain employees. So consider how you train your employees. Ask your staff how they felt training went. What could have been improved? Figure out what they struggled to do in their first days, weeks and months on the job, and put together a plan to improve your training. Fo r t h e p a s t f ive ye a r s , H i n d S i t e S o f t wa r e ( w w w. hindsitesoft has been conducting an annual comprehensive survey of green industry businesses. HindSite analyzes and cross-references the data, and then releases the Green Industry Benchmark Report. HindSite asks questions about virtually every facet of the respondent's business to create the most comprehensive look at the green industry available. From hiring to revenue growth to sales and marketing, HindSite analyzes every aspect of a typical green industry business. The Benchmark Report clocks in at nearly 60 pages and contains a wealth of information. For more information, visit 2017-green-industry-benchmark-report Information and graphics provided by HindSite Software. 8 September 2017 Landscape and Irrigation GREEN INDUSTRY BENCHMARK REPORT Overcoming the Labor Shortage

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