6 Steps for Growing your Landscaping Business without Burning Out
Starting or growing your landscaping business can be challenging in any year. Constant labor and plant material shortages in the last few years have made it even more stressful. However, growing your business revenues doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you break down the target into smaller steps. Check out the list given below to learn how to grow your landscaping business without burning out.
Steps to Growing your Landscaping Business in a Sustainable Way
1. Invest incrementally in growing your revenues
The more you invest, the more returns you get, right? That’s definitely true in some cases. However, blindly investing more effort or finances into growing your landscaping business can sometimes have the opposite result. For example, pulling all stops and putting all your advertising budget into your first Facebook campaign may or may not produce the intended results. In this situation, you risk getting demoralized for any further investment and dropping the initiative altogether. A balanced approach is often the best way to ensure you test the waters, before diving in – whether it’s purchasing equipment for a new service, hiring more crew members, or advertising your business.
2. Set mini goals and a realistic landscaping business plan
Great businesses are built on long-term plans and require a realistic view of ground realities. Growing your landscaping business is no different. A good start would be to take an occasional step away from the hustle and look at the key metrics for your business. An honest examination of your revenue in comparison to the previous year or quarter will help you set better business objectives.
The next step would be to set targets for every year, quarter, and month. While you dive into this exercise, try to look at holistic performance of your landscaping business. It’s not always about the revenues, other metrics also play a crucial role in the long-term growth of your business. For example, new customers you gained and overall customer satisfaction are vital to ensure future growth of your landscaping business.
3. Ascertain your landscaping labor needs
Your landscaping crew is the engine of your business growth, but at the same time, labor costs account for around 30%-40% of your revenues. This is why optimizing your existing crews and mapping your hiring needs down to the last person is very important. A root-cause analysis of your labor needs can set your landscaping business for success. For example, if you consistently fail to win RFPs for important install projects, or have lost important customers, perhaps a relationship or project manager should be your next hire. When it comes to increasing the size of your crew, a needs analysis can tell you if you can generate enough work to support a bigger or multiple crews. If you’re unsure, you can always rely on contract labor until you’re confident to take the leap!
4. Optimize your business processes
One of the simplest ways to learn how to grow your landscaping business is by documenting your existing business processes. Do you have a routine set up for reviewing progress? What happens if a deal falls through, or if a customer cancels a maintenance contract? Asking these questions and documenting your existing SOPs is the first towards making your processes sustainable through your growth spurt. Needless to say, documenting your current processes can be a great way to find out where your team is dropping the ball. If you see any obvious areas that are currently draining your energy or your crew’s time, this could be an opportunity to fix them.
5. Get the right landscaping business management tools
Unfortunately, the landscaping industry is generally slow in the uptake of new technologies and management software. As per a 2021 Software Survey for Landscaping, 86% of the respondents claimed that they budget under 5% of revenues for software expenses. As the industry attempts to cope with the changed reality of supply chain disruptions, investing in the right management tools can be crucial for success. An important thing to remember is to analyze which business management software works best for your business. You can get started with our list of best project management software for landscapers.
6. Use free tools and services for growing your landscaping business
Some good things in life do come for free! You can get creative with many high-end management and scheduling programs that are free to get started. For example, Slack is great for cross-device coordination tool between project managers in your office and your crew. Another example can be making full use of platforms like Instagram and TikTok to highlight your best projects and attract new customers. Last but not least, in the age of on-demand services, why should project management and administrative tasks be any different? For instance, you can easily outsource routine tasks such as finding plant materials and coordinating deliveries to GoMaterials.
For many landscaping businesses the journey to becoming a larger, more successful business starts with a simple change of perspective. Aiming for growth can be deeply satisfying, provided you have done the groundwork and are ready to play the long game. As Warren Buffet said,
Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
What are some of the challenges that stop you from growing your landscaping business? Tell us on Facebook!