I recently spoke with Ron Edmonds, President of the Principium Group, a leading mergers and acquisitions firm serving the Green Industry. Ron and I were prepping for his talk at my Financial Master Class, chatting about how a company’s “value” is driven in part by removing the uncertainties in the business. The lower the uncertainties, the higher the value. Business Uncertainties can be split into two groups: internal and external. Our conversation on uncertainties reminded me of the Serenity Prayer: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. My version: Know what you can control internally and externally, and focus intently on those elements in your business; don’t stress on the rest. With that in mind, here are a couple examples to get your mind turning:
As we approach year-end it’s helpful to do a deep dive analysis on your numbers.
What worked? What didn’t? What should you change?
To do this correctly you need to look beyond the typical sales and profit benchmarks.
Hidden Inefficiencies and Opportunities
I recommend using a more sophisticated set of KPIs (i.e. benchmarks) to uncover the hidden efficiencies and opportunities in your operations.
Can You Compare Your Benchmarks?
As you do your analysis it helps to compare your numbers with other firms.
Let me emphatically state that accurate benchmarking between companies is possible, it just takes some effort.
You need an apples-to-apples format, and everyone needs direction on how to navigate the format.
I have spent 16+ years fine tuning and testing my benchmarking tools. This allows us to put on our Financial Master Class (details here) with accurate data.
Next year will not be easier than this year, in terms of making sales. There are uncertainties in the air: with the wars, the high interest rates and the upcoming election. All this makes it harder to set your budget. The best you can do is make a forecast, and then revisit those forecasts on a regular basis. Your budget cannot be set in stone.With that in mind, here are 3 sales strategies to help you think differently and increase your chances of sales success. Three sales strategies to help you think differently in 2024.
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.
A few weeks back I was honored to speak at the Kentucky Expo / Equip. It was a great show, seeing so many cutting edge technologies coming to market. I gave two presentations (to standing room only). One was on Open Book Management. To add some spice to my presentation, I included a case study from the highly successful Whispering Pines Landscape (“WPL”) in Ontario, owned by my good friend and client, Greg Wildeboer. When he and I started collaborating together in Dec 2015, he was under $4M, with a need to greatly improve cash flow and remove himself from the center of everything.He dreamt of implementing an effective profit sharing. (He had one in place, but it was not working great.)A PROFIT SHARING CASE STUDY: We proved that for Profit Sharing to be effective, you need “two shares”Gains: a fair and motivating way to share the financial gains. Numbers: a simple way to open the books and share the numbers.
Early in my consulting career I hired my own coach. The gentleman was low cost, had skills, and helped me refine my new business direction. A few years later I hired the “real deal” coach—it was a much bigger investment, and helped me build my skills and scale my business to what it is today. Who’s my next coach? It’s been a while since I worked with such a great coach, until this weekend.At the racetrack here in New Orleans I hired my first “real deal” driver development coach.He and I are similar, and his coaching techniques really resonated. They may also resonate with you, as you coach up your own team. SIX USEFUL COACHING TECHNIQUES
Steve Griggs is the founder and owner of Steve Griggs Design, based in Baluvelt, NY. He is author of the best-selling book, “Straight Dirt”. Steve is the original OG ("old guard") and very direct, and shares the straight dirt on contracting and how to work with...
This past week I had some thrilling conversations with my coaching clients on their growth strategies. I told a few of them “either you are buying low, or someone else is buying low, and they could be buying you!” Let me explain what I mean. Scale Determines Value. As the hype of the merger-mania floods our industry, it makes it looks sexy to sell one’s business. But unless you have achieved significant scale, you are losing out and leaving massive opportunities on the table. The scale of your business determines its value.
Budget season comes earlier than you think. It starts now. You need to budget early for a few reasons: It confirms your pricing for next year.It brings clarity to big investments. It forces you to get next year’s goals figured out now. The budgeting process should “ideally” start at the end of Q3 (September) after you have 8 months of current year actuals. Here are six critical guidelines.
The following seven landscape professionals were awarded the prestigious 2023 Mighty Oak for their outstanding achievement. This honor is given each year to one member of each of Jeffrey’s high-impact peer groups — based on how they performed the previous year. The Four Achievements
There are four “developmental” areas in which a winner must show outstanding achievement.
Company development (their team, processes, strategy, etc)
Financial achievement (how their finances have developed over the past couple years)
Here are the winning contractors plus insight to their path to success.