Octoberfe$t Tips for Landscape Business Success
No matter where you are in the United States, your lawn, landscape and irrigation business is moving towards seasonal slow down. It’s now mostly contract or sales fulfillment time. Sure there is more to sell for many of you, such as deer repellent in some areas, fall clean ups, off season hardscape and landscape projects, and perhaps seasonal decor, but they round out the sales season. The buying public for the most part is focused on children and grandchildren in school, football, pumpkins, turkeys and Christmas.
Harvest festivals celebrate the years bounty and represent the preparation for winter and coming of a new year. October is the month to begin gearing up for 2018 if you want to be seriously successful. Here are some tips to create your success.
Run a profit and loss report for the fiscal year Oct 1, 2016 to Sept 30, 2017 and put the numbers in a spreadsheet.
Build a 2018 budget including realistic sales increase goals, and expense increases or decreases as appropriate. If you are adding, upgrading or trimming anything in overhead or production, those numbers need to be part of your cost calculations for for every service and project for 2018.
Do job cost analysis for clients, services and projects to make sure all are optimally priced for highest profit. Adjust as necessary for 2018.
Prep and send renewal contracts for 2018 while you are still working in 2017 because you are still fresh and active in the client's mind. Waiting until you have time in winter or when weather changes next spring and it looks like it’s time to start only leads to procrastination on the client’s part resulting in production inefficiency and uncertainty about many things on your end.
Price high enough to allow a discount for renewal or prepayment of 2018 services before the end of 2017 to create an incentive.
Pull the trigger on a field service software decision you have been deferring, because you will need the next two months to get it ready for 2018.
Evaluate marketing effectiveness for the past fiscal year. Examine the losers and why they were losers, then eliminate or modify. Look at the winners to see if a greater frequency or quantity would grow your business.
Never let a good crisis go to waste. Look at performance failures during the year. Examine employee injuries, service complaints in the field and office, major job cost overruns or anything else that made you fume and say ouch. Reverse engineer your problems, devising training and standard operating procedures to make sure these items never happen again. In some cases, excellent solutions can come from your staff. Get their input. Soliciting and including their input shows you value them and they will appreciate working with a progressive, better performing company.
Continue making marketing pushes to existing clients for services they do not have, but are still to be performed for other clients this season.
Cross market things like landscape maintenance to irrigation clients, irrigation to lawn care clients, etc while the season is active. Disatisfaction they may have experienced with their current provider is still fresh in their mind. Or consolidating services with you may provide a performance, cost or management advantage to them. It’s always easier to keep the wheels rolling than to try and get them rolling from a dead stop next year.
Call or email me for help with your operation.
Harold Fox 850-972-9301 or Harold@haroldfoxllc.com