Profit in your landscape or lawn care business is critical to your success. Planning for it is the key, but so many just wing it. If you want to take control of your profitability, begin by choosing two or three of these tips from Green Industry experts to get started on the path to a more profitable business!
1. ”Speed up cash flow!” The #1 thing to do in your business today is to stop billing customers with 30 day terms, which often gets extended to 60 days. Convert all maintenance customers to an auto-charge system; whether via credit card or ACH. And, time these payments with pay-day so that the money hits your account within 2 days prior to payroll. | Jonathan Pototschnik: http://serviceautopilotacademy.com/
2. “What gets measured gets managed, and what gets managed gets improved.” Start with an estimating system and then measure the costs associated with the job (labor and materials). Do this throughout the job, not just at the end of it, so that you will know at any point in time if something needs to be adjusted in order to stay profitable; and to manage the next job even better. | Ed Laflamme: http://harvestlandscapeconsulting.com
3. “Most business owners open their business every single day and hope they make money, rather than opening their business every single day and knowing that they make money.” Budgeting and planning are vital to a business; otherwise you may not know that something is going wrong until it’s way too late. The reaction is to borrow to stay alive and then you are in dangerous territory. Success is found in planning, not in winging it. | Jason Cupp: http://www.jasoncupp.com
4. “Write down the strategic vision of your company. It is the ‘who, what, where, and (of course) the why’ of your company.” Everyone works hard, but that doesn’t give you direction. What’s the vision? Why do you exist? It only needs to be one page, but answer every one of those questions. Thinking this through and writing it down will help with decision-making, every day and long-term. | Domenic Chiarella: http://www.7of7best.com
5. “We are only as good as the people that work for us.” The culture of your company doesn’t just happen; it’s created by you. How you treat others; how you react to difficult situations; how you manage your team, and even the mundane, everyday tasks that you do – they are all reflected in how your employees/subs act and interact. Treat them well, with boundaries and respect, and that will be returned to you tenfold. | Jerry Gaeta: http://www.jerrygaetabusinessplan.com
6. “Understand your role.” Your job as the business owner is not to be the technician. Your role is to think about the processes of getting jobs done and making them profitable. Build a team and build the systems for your team to follow. As Michael Gerber wrote in The E-Myth, “Systems run the business, and people run the systems.” | Jim Huston: http://www.jrhuston.biz
7. “Ensure that you hit (and better yet beat) production goals.” It’s important to recover overhead. Determine overhead and divide it by the number of hours you’re selling. You have to sell and produce that number of hours to have a profitable year/season. Track these goals daily, weekly, and throughout the year, so that you can be aware of where you are and when/where you may need to pivot. | Jeffrey Scott: http://www.jeffreyscott.biz
8. “Join a trade association.” There is so much to learn from others in the industry. Being a business owner can feel like you’re on an island. Go to regular meetings to create friendships and share resources. It can help you be more profitable, and to grow your business. | Jody Shilan: http://www.fromdesign2build.com
9. “Your business will grow in direct relation to your personal growth.” To attain continuing levels of success, it’s important to push through personal resistance. We all have those things that hold us back. You know what they are, because they are uncomfortable to deal with (so you don’t). Enlist the help of a coach or consultant that will help you push through the discomfort. Grow yourself, and your business will follow. | Lori Petersen: http://account-solve.com/
The common thread among these experts is to pay attention to your business. Nurture it, take care of it, and it will take care of you.
Lori Petersen is the Owner and Chief Freedom Officer of AccountSolve LLC, a firm that specializes in profit improvement in the Green Industry. AccountSolve is a certified Master member of Profit First Professionals and has developed specific methodologies that help Green Industry businesses achieve higher levels of profitability and financial stability. Contact us for a free consultation by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org