To really scale your lawn, irrigation or landscape business consistently, you need three conditions in place.
First off, you need capacity, in the form of a well honed leadership team: staffed with leaders in sales, administration/finance and operations. You need a team that has the capacity to develop new solutions as new growth challenges arise. It’s more than just having the physical capacity to get the work done; your team needs the mental and emotional capacity to work through new problems.
Old solutions won’t work on your new challenges. Your company needs the leadership capacity to develop sufficient bench strength as you scale. So that’s three types of capacity that your team must possess: physical, mental and leadership. When you have all three, and when YOU as the owner lead your company with clear metrics and expectations, then you have the best chance to profitably scale your business.
Secondly, your company needs the cash flow to fund your growth. Cash flow comes first and foremost from making a very good profit.
Without excess profit, it’s hard to create excess cash.
Make sure you are writing your contracts in a way that doesn’t strip you of cash. Even more importantly, make sure to use debt wisely to fund hard assets, so that your cash can fund the soft assets needed for growth.
When I take on a new client, I study their balance sheet / cash flow statements along with their profit-and-loss statement. It is critically important for them that I see how well they have managed their profit drivers and how effectively they have turned their profits into cash.
Client Service / Value Proposition
Third, your value proposition must be finely tuned and actively managed. For maintenance companies, client retention needs to be high in order to scale your business. For all companies, new clients should be clamoring for your services, and/or you should be clamoring for them, through your business development arm. The key is to not get distracted with Red Light leads…
To maintain a powerful value proposition, you must have customer-facing positions staffed and trained to actively engage with and delight your clients.
The best companies have straightforward service strategies that, in their totality, set them apart from the competition. It sounds simple, and it is, but doing it consistently as you scale is the challenge. Overcome that challenge and you will set yourself apart from your competition.
In today’s economy it’s easy to get complacent…
The real judge of excellence is to be doing better than your competition in any economy.
And if not, what’s holding you back? Use the triad of leadership capacity, profit/cash and client service/value to identify your next priority as you scale your business.