We recently held our Building Branches masterclass, where we spent 4 hours soaking up the knowledge from three top industry experts.
Those that attended got a literal playbook on how to build a branch network.
Here are some of my notes:
The first speaker Jerry Schill (Schill Grounds Management) explained how he first tore down his company to the roots before he built it back up, and then scaled it to rarefied heights.
Lesson: Jettison the part of your business that are not working, so you can get your structure right!
We then heard from Kevin McHale (McHale Landscape Design) who explained how his regional branch strategy has underpinned their extremely strong growth in the DC market, making them perhaps the biggest residential player there.
Lesson: Building branch density creates a magnetic brand. and will help you attain stronger margins.
Ben Collinsworth (Yellowstone Landscape) was the third speaker, he shared how he first hired the wrong branch manager and set loose expectations.. This gave him the insight that made him so much more successful later on.
Lesson: Make mistakes quickly, but don’t stay in the problem, pivot with confidence to the solution.
Every speaker also agreed on the following key points:
Five takeaways from the Building Branches masterclass,
You can put these to use even if you don’t plan to build branches.
1. Maximize your home base.
There is no reason to build a branch, especially from scratch, if you have not optimized your current base of operations.
Maximize market share right where you are! Don’t think branches are an easy growth strategy because they are not.
2. Set up good systems first.
You can’t manage a branch if you can’t manage your own operations with good (great) systems.
If you are running the home base by gut feel in any shape or form, it will backfire when you expand afar.
3. Have the Leadership Team “Plus” in place.
The “plus” means you not only have a strong team locally, but you can peel someone off to operate at the new branch, to oversee “culture” to ensure you integrate the two into a larger whole.
There is no synergy when the parts don’t integrate well.
4. Acquisitions can kick start it.
It’s hard to build up a branch from scratch, especially when you don’t have a base of business as a foundation.
An acquisition can help that. But don’t get lazy, because organic growth is still “the killer app”.
When you combine these two strategies, that’s when the magic happens.
5. Don’t forget the hugs.
The new branch needs over-communication and inclusion from the ownership and leadership, if it is to take on all the best attributes of your home base.
Like a child, if you leave it alone, it will underperform or worse. whither on the vine.
Your Challenge: Prepare Now Regardless Of Your Strategy.
Even if you don’t plan on building branches, you should plan on it, by getting the basics in place.
It will make you stronger no matter your next move.
Note: Having the right KPI’s and dialed-in-metrics is key to profitable expansion and healthy operations.
If you and your team join us for our upcoming Financial Master Class, you will learn which KPis to watch, and what score you should hit!
You will be better prepared for steering through the uncertainty of 2024 while enjoying healthy profits and growth.
The early bird ends December 1st for this event – so sign up now.