Your landscaping business’s cash flow depends on the clarity and efficiency of your invoicing system. Non-standardized billing processes lead to unpredictable and lost revenue. It’s essential to have consistent, uniform invoicing to understand your organization’s profitability and overall business health accurately.
Issuing professional invoices with the same information and layout is crucial. When account managers leave off details, from cost breakdowns to client name and property information, it can lead to a range of issues, including:
- Compromised customer relationships
- Lost revenue from misplaced or forgotten invoices
- Unpredictable cash flow from late payments and past-due invoices
- Poor brand trust and loyalty due to miscommunication
Invoicing is how you secure revenue, but when you take a global view of your business, it’s interlinked with everything from client communication to identifying growth opportunities and preparing for challenges.
→ Understanding and optimizing how invoicing connects to every aspect of your operations is essential for building and maintaining a landscaping company capable of growth year after year.
The first step to gaining complete control of your business is standardizing the information and structure of the invoice.
How free invoice templates help landscaping business owners in the short term
If you’re jotting down labor and materials in an Excel spreadsheet, Paypal, or Google Docs, you’re not maximizing what your invoicing can do at even the most basic level.
You’re getting paid, but is it the right amount? What happens if you’re interrupted in the middle of an invoice draft? Is it easy to find it again in your computer storage? An invoice template can eliminate some of the billing hassles and offer a few benefits to landscape and lawn care business owners.
Save time and ensure accuracy
A template creates a fill-in-the-blank workflow so that no matter who makes the document, the same information is entered in the same location. Using a standardized format ensures consistency across clients, properties, and even branches of your business.
By taking the time to create a template, you communicate critical billing information to customers when every invoice you send, such as:
- Itemized services and hourly rates for labor
- Customer information, such as property address
- Subtotal and applicable taxes
- Payment terms and the total amount for service
- Payment due date
Templates also eliminate the mundane work of invoicing with a polished, professional appearance that includes:
- Company name and contact information
- Branding, such as fonts and colors
Miscommunication leads to frustration, brittle customer relationships, and in some cases, churn. Even in business, prevention is the best cure. A thorough, standardized invoice template is the best way to eliminate stress, misunderstandings, and overdue payments.
Establish a professional image
While it’d be nice if your landscaping work spoke for itself, how you portray yourself to existing and prospective customers goes a long way to growing and maintaining your customer base.
Just like in the field, attention to detail on a template adds up to the “wow” factor:
- Your logo and business information, including the account manager's phone number
- Service breakdown with labor, materials, and supplies
- Notes about special services and change orders
- Invoice issuing date, payment due date, and explanation of late fees
- Hyperlinks to online payments and account manager email
When every customer-facing interaction is branded and professional, you build trust, loyalty, and recognition. Customers feel confident and positive about paying when the invoice is clear and comprehensive.
Download our landscaping invoice example to get ideas for how to set your client communications apart from the competition.
During the busy season, every one of your team members, from the mowers and blowers to the account managers and operations, is doing at least three things at once.
When the daily routine demands multitasking, fragmented processes can slow down your team and leave them vulnerable to mistakes.
A single, standardized invoice template helps you streamline workflows and makes it easier to get more invoices out the door faster, and improves follow-up processes.
Why an invoice template is not scalable for efficient invoicing
Depending on your growth stage, you’ve probably realized that building success in the green industry demands adaptability. While a free landscaping invoice template is a good solution in the short term, it’s not a great solution when you have your sights set on growing revenue year over year.
No matter how well-trained your staff and precise your processes are, you’ll likely start encountering issues using a template in the future.
Templates lack flexibility
Standardization improves efficiency and brand loyalty while minimizing mistakes but also lacks flexibility. Making small adjustments and customizations to a landscape and lawn care invoice template is time-consuming, inefficient, and lacks professionalism and specificity in the delivery.
When customers require additional services after the contract is signed or want to change the scope of work on a landscaping job, it may be impossible to do with a template.
These shortcomings can create operational blindspots, leading to missed opportunities, inaccurate billing, or customer churn.
Manual edits may be necessary
A template is only as useful as the information it includes, especially during the busy season. It’s easy for a template to end up with outdated or inaccurate specifics. While the standardized format makes it easier to identify items that may need to be updated, it’s still time-consuming.
Sending out inaccurate invoices damages your customer relationships and leaves landscapers with the choice between:
- Accepting less money than a project cost, or…
- Asking for additional payment from the customer
Manual editing may seem tedious but acceptable until you send an invoice with errors in it.
Templates don’t solve all invoicing issues
Creating an invoice is just one step in the billing process. Optimizing invoicing also involves steps that templates can’t solve, including:
- Accepting and tracking invoice payments
- Managing accounts receivable
- Working with customers about payment status
When you have a full schedule, it’s easy to lose track of past-due accounts as you continue to send out new invoices. The more stale a bill grows, after 60 or 90 days, the harder it becomes to get payment from the customer.
Losing track of payments and accounts receivable also makes it impossible for a landscaping company to understand its profitability or cash flow. While a template makes creating an invoice easier, it doesn’t solve common pain points in the surrounding process.
All-in-one software, such as Aspire, solves landscapers’ most significant invoicing problems
New technology can’t solve all your problems, but when it comes to the processes surrounding the nuts and bolts of your operation, Aspire can help. Aspire is invoicing software with end-to-end functionality that not only provides templates to make billing easier but also the ability to track and manage aging invoices and improve cash flow.
With Aspire, you don’t need to manually move information between software, files, or even from manual notes into digital formats. All your data, processes, and communications are housed in a single, cloud-based location.
Having the information you can trust means sending more invoices faster, reinforcing client relationships, and improving cash flow.
Generate invoices right from the estimate
Aspire’s estimate functionality combines labor and materials into single line items with standardized layouts and language. Approved estimates become work tickets that flow from material ordering to scheduling and invoicing.
→ Generating invoices right from the estimates ensures landscapers bill accurately for their services—with set margins.
Anyone in your organization can create and send correct invoices, not just the account manager.
Software makes invoicing scalable
Templates are a short-term solution. As you grow your organization, whether adding service verticals and branches or expanding into untapped markets, it means creating more unique invoice templates for every new aspect of your business.
Invoicing software eliminates the stress, organization, and limits of using templates. With Aspire, there’s no limit to the services, branches, and districts you can expand into, each with its own invoice template and instant data population from completed work tickets.
Ensure every invoice includes critical information
Leaving a payment due date off an invoice is a simple mistake but easy to make when you’re in the middle of the 100 Days of Hell. The consequences are time-consuming, from finding the error to reissuing the invoice and chasing the customer for payment.
Aspire’s required fields ensure that every invoice is created with an invoice number automatically, and the right information, such as:
- Payment terms and due date
- Invoice date
- Itemized landscaping services
- Issues and notes
As a small-business owner, you can’t overstate the value of the peace of mind that comes from knowing every client communication is professional, standardized, and accurate, even when you’re not there to double-check.
Integration with bookkeeping and accounting
While templates are great for getting information to your customers, they don’t do anything for you when it comes to processing payments and closing the month.
With a one-way data push to your preferred accounting platform, you have comprehensive and trustworthy financial data at your fingertips, streamlining the end-of-month processes.
Aspire has the industry’s most powerful integrations, including QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, and Acumatica. Users can provide their customers with a client portal (linked in the invoice) to accept multiple online payment methods, including credit card and ACH bank transfer.
There are also open-API capabilities for Enterprise-level users, ensuring you can keep operating with the systems that work best for you.
Start with an invoice template, but when your operation demands more, Aspire scales with you
Switching from one-off invoices to a template system provides immediate benefits for landscaping companies in early growth stages:
- Saves time in creating and issuing invoices, improving cash flow
- Presents a professional image to customers
- Increases accuracy in billing
- Improves operational record keeping
If growth is your long-term goal for your landscaping business, then using templates for every aspect of your workflow, including estimates and contracts, is the first step in optimizing and streamlining processes.
Templates can’t help with long-term growth goals
Aspire's cloud-based, all-in-one functionality takes landscape businesses beyond the benefits a template can provide.
Instead of manually porting data across platforms, Aspire houses your entire workflow (even for multiple branches) in one location so you can:
- Create and send estimates using templates and kits, with in-platform virtual takeoffs
- Include set margins and markups in proposals so you’re always operating profitably
- Order materials and supplies while leveraging buying power with approved vendors
- Schedule work and optimize routes for your crews
- Invoice customers for a wide variety of contract types, from maintenance to time and materials
- Generate real-time reports with 360-degree data to gain unparalleled insights into your business operation
Schedule a demonstration to see why Aspire users grow at 3.5X the industry rate*
Ready to improve the way you invoice (and do everything else)? Schedule a demonstration with Aspire and see what end-to-end business management software would mean for your business.
*based on the analysis of data from the 2022 LM150 list