It was a fun week in Orlando during the inaugural Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference. Yes, 8o degrees in February was great for those of us from cold-weather regions, but most of the excitement was inside the conference hall where green industry professionals learned from each other through sessions and networking about technology in the green industry. Here are a few of my takeaways from the event:
1. Who do you use?
Yes, that question was heard many times during sessions and in conversation. Whether it was industry software, or an app from outside the industry, attendees wanted names to try. What I loved was the answer had a condition about how just because something works for one person, that doesn’t mean it will work for the other. It’s all about finding the right fit, and being able to stick with it even during the initial pains integrating the tools.
2. Convenience vs. caring.
Some customers already think of a landscaper as a commodity and technology may make that more true – out of sight, out of mind, right? The more you can use technology to make transactions easier, the less you’ll get facetime with customers. Some customers may love that, but that will impede your ability to build a relationship with those customers. This industry has a lot of passionate people in it, so don’t let technology take that away – instead use it to enhance your value. Don’t forget to touch base via technology like email/text, or in person, and show customers your value as a businessperson and as an educator about their property.
This industry has a lot of passionate people in it, so don’t let technology take that away – instead use it to enhance your value.
3. Change your perception.
You can’t look at spending money on technology as an expense; it’s an investment. A price tag on industry software may cause sticker shock, but the software can be just as important as an efficient mower or skid-steer. Many contractors talked about the fear of investing in software and other technologies but were better off, even if there were some difficulties getting everything integrated.
We have more on the event at lawnandlandscape.com and will cover it in our April issue. We are close to announcing details on the 2021 event, so keep an eye out for that.
See you there in 2021! – Brian Horn