Each new year can bring about many changes in the landscape industry. Weather patterns can affect seasonal work, employees can be unpredictable at times, clients may switch to another service provider and technology may change. These are all potential disruptors to your business, and if you aren’t prepared for them, panicked decision-making could make an already tense financial situation worse.
It’s impossible to predict every threat a business could face, but having a plan can help you as an owner better prepare for the future. Here are some suggestions to help you develop a one-year business plan.
Be willing to take risks
It’s easy to get wrapped up in costs. Landscape business owners and operators need to control costs if they want to remain profitable and competitive when estimating projects. However, thinking only about costs is unhealthy for business growth. What’s worked in the past won’t work every time.
An ambitious business owner should ask themselves the following questions:
- Where do I want to be a year from now? 5 years? 10 years?
- What about my company isn’t working out the way I want it to?
- What can I learn from my competitors?
- What about my company is exceeding my expectations that I can further leverage?
Great successes are often the results of bold decision-making. A business will stagnate if it doesn’t look for ways to improve processes, make changes or try new things but it can be intimidating when there are plenty of risks involved. Still, making choices such as investing in new equipment, competing in a new market or developing new skills could result in a stronger financial return.
Take a careful look at your finances
Your company’s finances are no small matter. Differentiating your business will help you earn more clients and revenue, but a rock-solid budget will make sure a landscaping company can continue to survive even if some of your choices don’t pay off.
Meeting with a financial advisor can also provide some much-needed consulting. Regardless of how your budget is approached, though, here are some fundamental principles to consider:
- Set a goal for year-end revenue
- Track your expenses and spending
- Eliminate excessive spending
- Find faster, cheaper, and better ways to complete a task
- Analyze how much you earned and spent the past year
Setting a budget can be tedious, but it’s worth every second spent on it. There is much greater security in understanding your money rather than waiting for jobs to come in so that the next round of bills can be paid. Doing whatever it takes to stay busy while keeping spending in check will provide the balance needed to stay financially stable.
Develop a marketing strategy
Many contractors simply don’t have the time to think about how to grow their business. After all, you might be more focused on keeping your jobs on track. But it’s important to take a step back and think about who you want your future customers to be and how you want to expand your business.
Some ways to gain market share include the following:
- Manage an active, responsive social media page and website
- Target key neighborhoods to focus on
- Come up with seasonal promotions to do throughout the year
- Promote the company’s greatest strengths and success stories
Considering many business owners wear multiple hats when it comes to running their company, marketing can feel like a stressful addition to your to-do list. Hiring an additional employee or outsourcing your marketing needs might be a better option for you.
Whatever you decide to do in the coming year, realize that you won’t find comfort in the growth zone, and neither will you experience growth in the comfort zone. Doing new things for your business might be tough, but having a plan can help you succeed even when times get hard.
For more tips on how you can grow your business, check out these other business blog articles:
- Expert Advice from Successful Green Industry Business Owners
- 4 Tips for Building Your Landscape Business
- 4 Ways Landscape Companies are Using Social Media in 2019