Oct 2023 How to Run Your Landscaping Business During Tough Economic Times
We cannot control external occurrences, like the economy or the weather, but we can control our response to what happens. We have experienced an extended boom in the Landscape Industry, so what we might be experiencing now is business as usual, (in other words the boom has subsided). I know tougher economic times are a great opportunity for every business owner to focus on their business and move ahead in a positive dynamic way.
Here are some concepts and strategies you can use to ensure you operate in your own powerful way.
It’s time to improve systems
It can be easy to get complacent when times are easy. What do I mean? When you have many enquiries and can pick and choose your clients, it’s easy to get a little slack with your sales and quoting, tracking, managing jobs and marketing. Harder times teach us to look at all our systems and make sure we are running our business properly.
Set strong financial goals
Don’t be overly cautious or operate from a place of scarcity. The problem with this approach is you will stop moving forward with the enthusiasm, passion, and confidence you had in the past. In fact, you should be aiming to grow your financial goals at least 10- 20% more than last year. Your team wages and all your running costs would have increased a little compared with last year, so go after your goals, but analyse your P&L each month and compare it to your forecasted profit to ensure you are on track.
Don’t let a downturn in enquiries affect you, instead ramp up your marketing strategies
Don’t stay idle, or just do what you did last year, instead plan, and implement a more robust year with more effective marketing strategies. The energy you create will boost your confidence and momentum and have potential clients and employees taking notice. Visibility translates to more sales.
Give more attention to the alliances that have been working for you. Also plan your variety of social media reels, carousels, stories, team introductions and spend money on professional videographer and photographer content. Start networking with groups that could include your target market. Yes, it’s a little uncomfortable if you haven’t done it for a while, but not having enquiries is more uncomfortable.
What should I do if some prospects’ budgets have decreased?
If client budgets have decreased considerably, remember, they have contacted you, so impress them with your knowledge, ideas, material alternatives, cost saving measures, professionalism, proposed quality, and authenticity. Educate them on the costs of quality landscaping and the downside of cutting corners or working with someone that isn’t thorough or professional. Listen to the prospect and work at helping them.
Get your numbers right, update your costs
With wages and materials costs increasing several times a year and wages and running costs increasing annually, it’s important to re-work your quoting sheet (or updating costs) making sure you are covering costs and making the necessary profits on projects you are quoting. A Maintenance business should do the same and increase hourly charge out and material costs and mark-ups. Also go into your P&L for the last 3 months and do an analysis, then adjust how you charge accordingly and remove or reduce any costs you need to.
Build team morale
Show you care about every member of your team, take an interest in each member and their goals, helping them develop. Create a Team Building Calendar and go to events with the team. Also get trainers in to help build their onsite skills like paving, concreting, irrigation, and horticulture skills etc. Invest in your team, after all they are your biggest asset.
Look for opportunities
Look for new potential new income streams or expanding a current one. Often it’s right in front of you and you need to start researching it and questioning its viability. Perhaps talk to others that are already offering this service or product, but don’t take on something that you know will cause you overwhelm and affect the quality of your core business.
Move forward with a plan to take a proactive approach to your business, giving attention to areas of your business that need to be enhanced or improved, and 2024 will be better than expected.