Jul 2014 The problem with many landscape businesses and what to do about it!
The problem many landscape contractors around the country have is they have created a stressful business, that requires them have many responsibilities and while earning below average earnings. But it wasn’t meant to be that way when they got the idea to go into business for themselves. Starting a business meant doing something they loved doing (landscaping), being their own boss while earning much more money than if they were in a management role at another landscape business. If it hasn’t worked out as you hoped, don’t worry, there is an answer.
As a business owner we have 3 personalities. The technician, The Manager and The Entrepreneur.
The technician is the hands on doer. He is the tradesman in us who loves his hands. The Manager is the organiser, he gets things in order and the Entrepreneur is the visionary that wants to grow the business and have it systemised.
Many landscape contractors start in business with the personality of the technician. Sure it takes guts to take the leap and start working for yourself, so you could argue it is quite entrepreneurial and it is but for the first few years you probably operated your business mainly with the technician personality. Hands on approach – delivering a service and getting paid for it. After all you have to build a business and the only way to do that with limited resources is do most things yourself. I am not critical of that, I am full of admiration for all you guys that decided to go into business for yourself. But the technician continues to be the major personality that runs many landscape businesses.
The problem is many landscape contractors keep the technician’s perspective instead of evolving as the business grows and starting to see the business from the perspective of an entrepreneur. Now you probably thinking, I don’t want a big landscape business with massive staff and much stress. I am not saying that. All I am saying is that you just need to start thinking like an entrepreneur would and see your business with a different perspective. You have to switch from seeing that the work you do, landscaping, is not what really matters. What really matters so your situation can change is to see that the most important part of your business…is your business.
I will say it again, the most important part of your business, is your business. What I mean is you need to think differently about your business. Think the way an entrepreneur would. He would create a definite vision for his business. He would explain how his business acts, how it looks and how it does what it does. If you start thinking about his business as the commodity and start developing his business so it acts more consistently, so it has simple systems that can be replicated by his staff or by others.
Clearly for many landscape contractors, their business model isn’t working and something has to change and no you don’t have to grow to be 4 times the size, just start thinking systematically. Start thinking differently.
So if you are struggling – by putting out continual “fires”, losing staff, fixing mistakes, and making little profit. The answer to getting a business that works consistently and make more profit is in changing your business perspective.