Oct 2020 Common Business Problems and Solutions for Landscapers
Problem: You have advertised for a key employee several times and repeatedly find no-one.
Solution: We all know finding a key employee can be hard, but repeatedly talking about how hard or impossible it is to find a potential employee will not make it any easier. In fact, it will probably work against you. Instead, plan how you could find a strong employee. Create the compelling advertisement, think of all the places you could advertise (Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Membership Sites, Suppliers etc). Make a list of all the people you could ask that may know of a potential employee. Put the word out there! Also consider quoting additional jobs based on a subcontractors model, in other words, getting subcontractors to build projects. Improve your Instagram and website with quality images, so more potential key employees may notice your site and start following it. Lastly; take action, plan, and don’t lose hope.
Problem: You don’t like quoting and it’s taking too much of your time.
Solution: Firstly, qualify the enquiries so you don’t waste time visiting a job that is not right for you. Just quote the jobs that suit your business. Secondly, have you set up all your quoting templates and reviewed similar jobs so you can copy and paste parts of previous quotes? This will speed up the quoting process. Thirdly, do you have someone that can help with parts of the quote (getting prices, typing in data)? Next, set time aside each week and do the important quotes, so you don’t let them stack up. And Lastly, see quoting as an important part of your business that allows you to win work.
Problem: You are too busy to get much of your TO DO LIST done at the moment.
Solution: Every Friday, make a list of the priority tasks for the following week. Then prioritise them. Ask yourself, “which ones do I have to do and which ones could I give you someone else?”. Jump on the urgent tasks first and get them out of the way. Then delegate bits of or all of the other tasks. Don’t load up your to do list and expect to get everything done every day, this is not realistic.
Problem: You fail to leave site to do quotes/office work.
Solution: If you have many roles (like many business owners do), then schedule your day so you do the important part of your roles. Go to site, instruct the team leader/s, oversee their work and leave to attend to your other responsibilities. If you stay too long, your other key responsibilities and tasks will just stack and create more pressure. If you are on the tools, instruct your team leader/s what needs to happen on site 2 afternoons a week and trust them to do it. By leaving site at midday 2 days a week to do your other tasks, will allow you to stay on top of things and your evenings should be a little more relaxing.
Problem: I find it hard to manage some employees that don’t respect our rules.
Solution: Have a meeting and state the rules they are breaching. Ask them if there is anything going on that is causing this behaviour that they want to communicate. If there is a personal issue, (clashing with another crew member, problem at home etc), talk with them about this issue and how to deal with it, and you need them to agree to stop breaking the rule/s. Once you reach an agreement, make them accountable to the agreed change in their behaviour and continue to monitor it. If they continue to rattle the cage and it has been happening for too long, issue a written warning letting them know that the continued behaviour will jeopardise their job.
Problem: I now realise I have overpaid an employee and it frustrates me.
Solution: If you’re feeling the frustration of realising that you are overpaying an employee, you can’t ask them to take a wage reduction and expect them to stay motivated. So the way to deal with this issue is to ensure you are fully utilising them and getting value for money. So, list the daily and weekly expectations you have, then meet with them and communicate these expectations and hold them accountable.