If you’re like most landscapers, you’re wondering if you’re anywhere near as profitable as you hoped to be. You’re probably also wondering if you have enough money in the bank to keep your business operational through next season. And guess what? You’re not alone. Many landscapers still find themselves wondering why they aren’t making as much money as they had hoped or planned for. And do you know why? The hard truth is this: most landscapers don’t have a clear enough plan for profit to begin with.
Have you ever asked yourself the below questions?
Don’t be ashamed if you haven’t because you’re not alone. We have found that many landscapers don’t have a clear understanding of the process required to build a profit-driven plan, let alone how to effectively execute on one. So, with the help of Breakthrough Academy, we are drafting this article series on how to create predictable profit for your landscaping business through the creation and execution of a one-page strategic plan. We are also co-hosting a live webinar on the topic, which will give you the opportunity to deep dive into the subject with us and ask any questions you might have.
There are three parts to growing profit predictably that you need to be aware of, so that 12 months from now, you can kick back in your chair and say, “Yep, I made the net profit I planned for.”
In this article, we’ll address part one: building your budget and strategic plan. We recommend you grab a notepad, so you can take notes along the way, and jot down any questions you have – you’ll have an opportunity to ask us in the Q & A part of the webinar. Alright, let’s get you started on learning the best way to create predictable profit for your landscaping business!
Whenever we put the words “plan” and “profit” in the same sentence, the first thing most contractors think of is… budget. Ironically, most contractors we’ve met do not have a clear budget in place for their company. But the truth is, having a detailed, well-thought-out budget is a critical first step in developing “the right plan” to driving a profitable season.
How to Build a Profit-Driven Budget
Once built, your budget will give you the numbers you’ll need in order to align your entire staff’s performance towards creating profit. Keeping that in mind, here are some key steps to building your profit-driven budget:
Once you have your budget in place, you’re all set for the next step. But you should know that having a solid budget is only the starting point. Think of a budget like a shovel on a jobsite; it’s necessary to have. You can’t move dirt without it. But if you don’t have a design and detailed plans, you won’t know where to dig and how deep to go. Ultimately, it’s impossible for the person using the shovel to know if they’re on track to complete the desired project, let alone when they will be done.
Of course, you’d never send a crew to a jobsite with a shovel, no project plans, and say “go!” Yet, without realizing it, many business owners do exactly this in their own businesses. A well-defined, strategic plan for your company should be developed on an annual basis, using the numbers you’ve identified within your budget.
How to Build a Strategic Plan
Simple and concise strategic plans are the foundation of success for any organization. You should be able to put what truly matters on one page and use this as a vision to guide your decision making. It should be developed based on your why as an entrepreneur, your company’s core values, and your high-level numbers (like profit and revenue goals). Below are the key elements to an effective strategic plan, so that you can eventually pair this with your budget to hit your desired net profit numbers.
Above is a screenshot of a one-page strategic plan template for business owners. We’ll provide you with a copy of this and teach you how to fill it out during the live webinar, so make sure you register and attend.
A finished strategic plan is simple to understand, but not to create. It can take a lot of work to think through and consolidate down into something you can put on one page and use to chart your course for next year. Don’t worry if you’ve never done this before – register for our webinar on December 12th and we’ll not only give you the resources you need to make this a reality, but we’ll also walk you through this crucial process step-by-step. You’ll also have the opportunity to get answers from us on any questions you might have.
But don’t just hold off on the webinar and expect us to deliver a magic bullet. We are here to guide you down the right path, but this process will require quite a bit of time and your focused attention to do right. So, make sure you check back in on the LMN Blog next Friday, where we will deep-dive into part two: defining weekly goals for all people in your organization. This part of the planning process is crucial to achieving your desired goals – it will provide a starting point from which you can break down your annual goals into monthly and weekly goals that will keep your company on track to achieving your deliverables and initiatives, and on time.