“Most people don’t plan to fail; they just fail to plan.” How important is planning in business? Author and business publisher John Beckley would argue that it is one of the most critical pieces in the operational puzzle. Without a forward-thinking plan, it is difficult to gain significant traction on the often upward climb toward achieving goals.
You went into business to be profitable. The number on the bottom line tells you you’re succeeding. But what now? In the ever-changing current of the green industry, it’s time to chart a course that will ensure your business not only remains profitable, but also vibrant and competitive over the long term. This calls for consistent, proactive planning in three key areas:
Knowing the numbers involves far more than occasionally looking at the books and budgeting accordingly. It requires diligent, careful attention to every source of cash inflow and outflow that impacts profits and your business’ ability to operate seamlessly and efficiently. It also includes being aware of non-cash events, such as depreciation and amortization of assets, and how these events influence the overall financial health of the business. Additionally, knowing when and how sales convert to revenue that can be used to pay down debt, fund operations or reinvest in the business is vital. Capturing the financial nuances of your business’ operations on an annual basis and keeping a vigilant eye on cash flow are two of the most critical measures you can take to keep your business healthy and thriving.
If growth is not on your radar, it should be. Whether you hope to grow your business organically or acquisitively, planning is key. Everything from sales to recruiting to business functions is impacted by growth. Your landscaping business needs to be able to weather it with minimal impact to profits and operations, meaning the systems and processes within it must be both scalable and able to be easily replicated, no matter how large the organization becomes. Planning how each team and department will function at each stage of growth helps to mitigate the uncertainties and hurdles that can obscure the path. Begin by looking at your business’ current operations and determining what elements can be further streamlined and simplified without sacrificing quality. Efficiency becomes even more critical as the business increases in size and scope.
Royalty thinks about and plans for it, and so should you: Who will step up when you step down? You worked hard to get your landscaping business where it is, but you won’t be around forever to contribute to its continued success. In fact, there’s something to be said for leaving on a high note, when your business is flourishing and you still have enough wind in your sails to pursue new paths. Recruiting with an eye toward the future and coaching and mentoring your team members to take on increasing responsibilities means that, when the time comes to hand over the reins, you can step away from your business with full confidence the right team members are in place to keep it moving forward. You can also rest assured that new life is being breathed into your business through the competent, innovative contributions of its new leadership and an energized, well-equipped team.
Do you prioritize planning to ensure the continued success and growth of your landscape contracting business? Take this quick quiz to find out.
- Do you regularly develop and implement an annual financial plan that accounts for both the expected and the unexpected?
- Do you have a clear understanding of the importance of cash flow planning for the financial health of your landscaping business?
- Do you feel confident in the ability of your business’ systems and processes to seamlessly grow along with it?
- Do you have a clear idea of how you will step away from your business when the time is right?
- Do you believe you have the right team members in the right roles to grow your business when you leave it?
If you answered no to most of these questions, you may want to consider how planning in key areas can benefit your business. Visit www.landopt.com to find out how LandOpt can help you plan for the future while making the most of the present.