Every year we prune our large hedge, a Corkscrew Willow and our large Oakleaf Hydrangea. If we don’t, they get out of control.
Your business thrives and grows just like a garden, and it needs the same care and attention.
If you don’t prune your business (of bad-fit employees and clients) you will end up with a gangly mess that will suffocate itself.
Year’s ago, when I took on the management of the multi-million dollar services division of my landscape business (I was young), the first move I made was to prune the clients that no longer fit due to geography…and then the next major move I made was to restructure the services package, and again I pruned more clients.
Both times profit went up, as did our focus, quality, and sales momentum.
Dave and Jay (my clients who run an 8 figure landscape firm in Canada, and also founded the highly effective Greenius online safety training company) have opted this year to fire their “filthy fifty”, the 50 clients who no longer fit their business plan.
It’s a wise move. Every couple years your business evolves to the point where the bottom 10% of clients will not fit you anymore.
You can’t have clients for life, if you want a healthy evolving business.
Your Challenge for this quarter, identify the clients you currently have, that no longer fit your business plan (due to poor: margins, behavior, service mix, geography, or fill-in-the-blank.)
And pursue my strategy of “FIX, FIRE, FILL.” Fix the margins of old clients so they meet your current pricing. Hopefully they stay, but they may not. Fire the clients that cannot be fixed or simply don’t fit anymore. And back Fill your client base with new clients that meet your updated standards.
Start now, and you can begin next year with a more focused growth strategy.
Regards, Jeffrey Scott!
P.S. The Russell Landscape Group have done a wonderful job of growing their multi branch business, join us in Atlanta to learn how.