Creating a Growth Plan for Your Landscaping Business
By John Waters
Every landscaping business owner wants to grow his or her business. Business owners are expected to generate revenue from their services so they can grow, and landscaping companies are no exception. However unfettered growth can be a detriment to your business, which is why you need a plan to grow the right way. A growth plan is the best way to prepare for your business’s future and ensure you don’t grow too quickly. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure you are creating a strong growth plan for your landscaping company.
Build a financial model for the future
Once your landscaping company starts regularly getting business, it is important to look at what your financial trends are and figure out what that could mean for future growth. Use these trends to map out your financial model and set goals. For example, if you are looking to double your revenue, use your financial model to project what your business would be like from $3 million in revenue to $6 million. How many jobs would you need to complete to reach that goal? Where would you get those jobs, and how many employees would you need? This financial model will help you establish the overhead necessary to support the increased cost of goods and manpower you will deal with. It is important that you project for future growth, because not projecting can lead you to an increase in business but not enough cash flow to pay for the goods and labor needed to complete those jobs.
Change your organizational structure
When many landscapers start their own business, it is usually with a small team (if they have a team at all). This means the owner can run every aspect of the business. However, this owner-do-everything organizational structure will not work as you grow. You have to look ahead and think about what your organizational structure will look like as you bring in more clients. What is your new work flow process, because a structure meant to deal with 20 clients may not work with 60 clients? What types of employees and how many do you need? Write out the new positions you need, and clearly define the job descriptions. You must find people to take on these new jobs or you should not grow. Establish clear standards to ensure each landscaping job is receiving the same amount of treatment and quality control. Promote or hire the right managers to ensure your staff is maintaining quality control.
Understand your market and create more opportunities
When creating a growth plan, it is important to figure out where your success comes from and whether there is room for that market to grow. For example, if your main moneymaker is hardscapes, then you need to figure out how much capacity you can handle in that market. If you think you can handle 20 percent of the market, then you need to figure out how to increase capacity to reach that increase in business. You also need to figure out how you will reach those potential customers. Create a marketing plan to reach new customers. In your marketing plan, it is important to determine where the market is and what problem you are solving. Creating a marketing plan along with your growth plan will ensure you can find the customer base to reach the manageable growth goal you set.
Create a strong company culture
One of the most important things you must do before you grow your business is for you, as a business owner, to grow as a leader. Strong leadership is a must, and you have to pass down those leadership skills to your employees. Practicing and teaching good leadership will improve your company culture by giving you and your team chances to grow. A company with a strong company culture trains good talent and retains good talent. Your landscaping business is nothing without good people and you keep good people by having a great culture.
Every landscaping business owner wants to grow their business, but you shouldn’t start growing without a plan. Follow these steps and you will create a growth plan that shows if you have the people, capital, processes, and culture to grow.
John Waters is the principal of Waters Business Consulting in Scottsdale, Ariz. He is an expert at helping landscapers develop leaders and grow their businesses. For more information, visit https://watersbusinessconsulting.com/.