While creating and managing a successful landscaping business is no small task, once you’ve established a stable operating model and a solid customer base, it’s time to set your sights on finding opportunities for growth. That said, optimizing your business processes takes a bit of trial and error.
More important, scaling up without falling down requires much more than hard work and initiative. You must acquire an in-depth knowledge of your business, including the change factors that affect it.
With this in mind, here are some simple tips and techniques you can use to achieve consistent and sustainable growth:
- Understand your numbers.
- Know what sets your business apart.
- Focus on doing less—but better.
- Capitalize on experience.
- Maintain consistency.
Now let's take a closer look at each.
1. Understand your numbers.
Although this may point may seem obvious, when you’re caught up in day-to-day task management, it’s easy to lose track of budgets and revenue. On the one hand, it’s essential to stay engaged in your business, but on the other, a narrow focus can cost your company dearly. Aside from keeping a watchful eye on estimates, forecasts, and profit margins, you must also stay mindful of operating expenses, such as staffing, equipment, and material costs.
Even more important, generating and sending accurate, consistent invoices and processing prompt payments will ensure you have enough revenue on hand to handle risk and weather challenges while continuing to maintain a positive cash flow.
2. Know what sets your business apart.
In the crowded world of landscape management and property maintenance, having an edge on the competition is crucial to long-term success. Positioning your company as experts in the field and distancing your business from competitors are the pivotal keys to staying top of mind with current and prospective customers. To that end, reflecting on your experience, training, certifications, and project history can help you discern your company’s strengths and hone in on an area of specialization.
Besides drilling down to determine areas of concentration, you should always think in terms of customer needs. If your company has a long-standing reputation for staying on schedule, keeping projects on budget, and providing stellar service, do not hesitate to showcase these strengths.
Likewise, if you’re dedicated to using environmentally friendly practices or participate in any business mentoring or community-centric events, it’s important to spotlight your company’s commitment to giving back through goodwill and humanitarian service. Although it may seem unnatural to speak of your aspirational pursuits or generosity, humanizing your business and establishing yourself as a thought-leader are both surefire ways to stand out.
3. Focus on doing less—but better.
Increasing productivity without adding more to your to-do list may seem like an aspirational goal at best, but rest assured, it is possible. In this way, developing a systemized work process and optimizing your business’s operations can help you understand and achieve your objectives with greater accuracy and a higher degree of success.
How? By leveraging technology and insight to identify and address inconsistencies and areas for improvement. For example, if your company has recurrent issues with staffing or material shortages, uncovering and analyzing these trends can assist you in pinpointing the problem and developing a solution. Similarly, if certain customers or locations seem to produce consistent challenges, understanding how these issues impact your business overall can help you decide whether it’s beneficial to continue the relationship or discontinue it in pursuit of more profitable opportunities.
4. Capitalize on experience.
Without question, incorporating your experience and expertise into your marketing and sales strategy is vital to industry positioning and company branding. But beyond advertising and customer relations management, business experience and in-field expertise are invaluable to managing internal operations.
Along these lines, it’s imperative to hire and retain a team of talented, experienced professionals in both leadership and front-line positions. Besides possessing industry knowledge and stellar decision-making abilities, experienced staffers can leverage their expertise and strong work ethic to help streamline processes and discover untapped opportunities for company growth. As an added benefit, these talented individuals are often experts at business-critical activities like estimating, production, and account management. While investing in the top talent may result in a higher staffing budget, in the long term, employing an experienced team is an invaluable investment in your company’s future.
5. Maintain consistency.
While smart investment strategies and solid operational goals are crucial to achieving business growth, for any plan to be successful, it must be repeatable. However, building and maintaining a forward-moving system of initiatives, actions, and momentum is easier said than done.
Beyond business intelligence, you’ll also need awareness, dedication, and drive. Gaining visibility of the people and processes which make your business most successful while recognizing and expanding on these strengths are crucial to sustaining the operations and standards levels your employees and customers have come to expect.
Once you are at the stage where you feel confident with the company’s direction, it’s time to test the waters and reach beyond your comfort zone. While this may mean adding to organizational stress levels and stretching operational capacity in the short term, taking risks in the name of upward mobility is just part of the process. However, on the same token, do not sacrifice consistency in pursuit of growth. Of course, assessing untapped market potential and exploring new opportunities for service is necessary for expansion, but not at the expense of quality, reputation, or long-term viability.
For more strategies for overcoming obstacles to strengthen your operation and grow your business, read our article, "5 Hidden Barriers to Growing Your Landscaping Business."
If you enjoyed this blog post, you might also want to read, "8 Ways Business Management Software Can Boost the Profits of Your Landscaping Business."
Trying to determine which business management system is best for your company? Click here to download our free, 20-page guide to selecting landscape business management software.