What a roller coaster year! Many of you achieved ground-breaking results, and yet you are tired and glad it’s over. I get it. But what did we learn? Upon reviewing my notes from last year, here are my top 7 lessons that greatly impacted our industry.
Wishing you a prosperous and Happy New Year in 2024! Setting New Goals for 2024I am so excited by what the new year brings, and what we can accomplish together. Today starts the new budget, the new set of goals, the new vision for yourself and your business.
If you could only achieve profit or revenue growth next year, which would you choose to focus on?
That’s the question I want you to consider, as you lock down your plans and budget for next year.
How much do you plan to grow in 2024?
I find that growth comes easy for most entrepreneurs. They are hardwired for it.
However, not enough time is spent figuring out how to improve the bottom line, which is a missed opportunity.
For this reason I recommend the following exercise.
What’s your 2024 marketing strategy? This was the question at two recent Leader’s Edge peer group meetings. I am going to lay out some answers here for you. We recently visited Gardens of Babylon in Nashville, a long-standing peer group member, with one of the strongest growth trends in our community. At the meeting they presented their most important systems, including marketing. Here are some of the nuggets from all these marketing discussions: Marketing Nuggets for 2024.
Marc Nissim is the owner of Harmony Design Group in Westfield, NJ. It’s 18 years old and does $5million in mostly DB business, with 10% maintenance. Marc shares how he overcame Dyslexia, found his true passion in the visual arts, and opened up a design business. He...
Over Thanksgiving I took my kids to the local NY style pizzeria in Blue Ridge, GA. The owner, my neighbor, invited us to come to his shop (Cucinella’s Pizzeria) to learn how to make thin crust pizza. Pizza SchoolIt was a super busy weekend, but he made time to teach us (while his restaurant was cranking out pizza.)We each got to stretch and toss the dough, ladle the sauce, and create our own custom pizzas. As I walked around the pizzeria I saw his simple systems hanging on the wall; it made me smile! (Photos below)He has check lists on how to stock, how to open and close, and a few other key procedures.
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:
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.
Ted Lucia is majority owner and President of the $13M Lucia Landscaping Inc., headquartered in Roseville, Michigan. Lucia Landscaping began as a small business in Metro Detroit and has rapidly expanded over the last 20+ years. Among other methods, this rapid expansion...