By John Corban
Should you plan your business growth and what are the benefits? Considering the challenges of the last twelve months (rain, COVID19, increased materials costs), some business owners could think it is hard to plan business growth. They might say “I am just trying to organise my business from week to week and maintain a reasonable productivity due to the unprecedented rainfall.” However, I believe these challenges only increase the need for planning business growth. Please read on.
Why do we need a plan for growth?
Running a business has its challenges even when the weather is fine. I believe every business should have a plan for the financial year and it starts with planning your sales and profits, also known as a financial forecast, but it doesn’t stop there.
Consider this – you wouldn’t want sales to be the same in this new financial year, as they were in the 2022 financial year, because wages, subcontractors fees, fuel costs, materials and other costs will most likely increase, therefore you will need your sales to increase also. Many landscaping businesses grow every year between 10% and 20%, so organic growth is happening anyway.
I believe your financial forecast or your sales/profit plan should also have a plan for the processes, systems, developing team members, quoting and project management. Why? Because when you plan your sales and profits, it sparks the question, how do I achieve the intended sales and profits? What areas in my business need attention or improving?
One example one might use to deal with heavy rain could be increasing quoting mark-ups, using heavy duty tarps to work under, asking employees to work on Saturdays or work longer hours on drier days and utilise days in lieu.
Another example could be to build less (and hopefully zero) of the wrong jobs. Tweak your qualifying client’s process, so more complicated projects or clients aren’t quoted, in other words, if the project doesn’t feel right, don’t quote them.
So what are the benefits of business growth?
- Creating a realistic plan means you will have definite goals for the year that create enthusiasm, and we all need that when the pandemic and weather interferes with weekly activities.
- Your enthusiasm will positively affect your team, associates and clients.
- It’s great to communicate the intention for the year to your team. You wouldn’t be talking about specific sales and profits, but the overall plan. A happy, passionate team that is working towards some inspiring business goals helps unify everyone.
- Improved systems and procedures improve efficiency and the way everyone works.
- It sets the path to offer a profit share system.
- Clients, and the projects you choose, will be more aligned with what you want.
- Increased sales and profits.
What can no plan for business growth mean?
If a business owner is thinking ‘let’s just keep operating the way we have and get through the next six months,” it will leave everyone feeling a little flat. And with inflation increasing, we all need to plan our sales/profit growth to ensure we are in a good, stable position throughout the year. No plan can have a more negative effect on the owner because he adopted the attitude that he just needs to keep everything together, rather than be proactive and plan better processes, sales and management.
So a business should always be planning its growth and improving systems to assist growth being realised. The enthusiasm that is created from a proactive approach will benefit every aspect of a business.
Business Coach for Landscapers, Horticulturists and Nursery owners
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