Green Industry – Top Tips of the Trade

Whether you’re just starting a lawn and landscape business or you’ve been in the profession for awhile, advice and tips of the trade are always helpful in order to expand and grow. Over the last 26 years of owning and running a successful lawn and landscaping business, I can tell you that there’s always something to learn and/or a way of doing things more efficiently that can lead to growth and profitability. Here’s my top tips of the trade to help you grow and expand your business in the new year:

Know Your Numbers –

Implement a system in your business where you are reviewing profit and loss statements, expenses, insurance (especially worker’s compensation insurance), overhead, etc., quarterly and annually. Once you understand the numbers in your business, you can make better financial decisions going forward.

Annual Review Hot Tip: During your annual review with your landscape company’s insurance agent, make sure you review two things where worker’s compensation is concerned: classification codes and experience modification rates (EMR). These two areas can save you the most money when it comes to worker’s compensation insurance.

Prepare for the Unexpected –

As the saying goes, “plan for the worst and expect the best.” If 2020, taught us anything it taught us how real that statement can be. Plan ahead now by putting processes and procedures in place that define how you would handle the ‘what if’ scenario’s.

  • What if you had to shut down?
  • What if you had to temporarily lay-off staff?
  • What if you had to change the way you consult with clients?
  • What if you had to use money in savings to pay company bills?

Remember, it’s better to be proactive in your business than it is to be reactive. By answering these ‘what if’ scenarios now, you’re taking one step in a proactive area in your business.

Keep Debt Low –

There’s nothing more satisfying than paying off business loans, right?!? But paying off those loans takes a strategic approach. When trying to decide which business loans to pay off first, consider three things – 1) the loan balance size, 2) the interest rate, and 3) which loan(s) are affecting your beacon score.

No matter which of the three strategies you decide to take in paying off loan debt, make sure it’s the one that fits your business needs as a whole. By taking into consideration the ‘big picture’ for the business, it will help you to make the final decision on which loans to pay off first.

Pro Tip: When you are looking to make a big purchase, consider getting a quote from your local credit union. Credit unions tend to offer lower interest rates and better pay back options.

Build Value –

If your goal is to retire one day and sell your profitable business, then you need to start building value in your business now! One of the ways you can start by doing this is by creating a mission statement, setting your core values and mapping out the vision for the business as a whole. Every company needs a foundation and these three variables are the driving force behind the initiative to own and run a successful business. From there, it’s all about organization, delegation, the team and proper equipment (in the field and the office)!

Set Goals That Promote Growth –

Where do you see your business 5 years from now (and/or 10 years for that matter)? The best place to start with setting goals is with the big picture. Ask yourself:

  • Where is the business right now?
  • What would it take to get it where I want it to go?
  • How am I going to ensure that happens?

Knowing where you are going and how you are going to get there, creates a sense of determination and accountability. This also leads to the BEST piece of advice I can give you – hire a mentor now instead of later. Having a mentor that leads and guides you on the best practices for your business is a game changer and one I wish I had done earlier on in my career.

{One-on-One Consulting: Many aspiring entrepreneurs start their landscaping business with a dream and a solid work ethic. They invest countless hours, blood, sweat, and tears into their business – only to achieve mediocre results. At The Green Executive, we believe in working hard, but we also believe in working smart. With over 25+ years of experience in running a successful lawn and landscape company, we can help you set your priorities and get on track to making the money of your dreams. Click to setup a consultation!}

It’s our hope here at The Green Executive® that these top tips of the trade will help you grow your business in the new year. From here we leave you with these final resources:

Helpful Green Industry Resources –
  1. National Association of Landscaping Professionals
  2. Profit First for Landscapers
  3. Green Industry Business Owners – A Professional Networking Group
  4. Peer Groups – Landscape Peer Groups & Women of the Green Peer Group
  5. Guided Facility Tours