“Going into business without a business plan is like going on a mountain trek without a map or GPS support – you’ll eventually get lost and starve!” – Kevin J. Donaldson
Financial planning is crucial for a business owner. You work too hard to be spinning on a hamster wheel or flying by the seat of your pants! But, how do you connect your goals with actionable steps that will get you where you want to go? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all guide. The financial planning process and takeaways for each landscape business owner will be unique, because no two companies are the same.
However, the factors that influence the financial planning process are the same. Here’s what to consider when engaging in financial planning for your landscaping business.
The climate you’re working in will dictate key elements of your business’ model for growth. If you’re in a colder climate, you need to plan for a slow season since your work looks different depending on the calendar. Consider adding services like leaf clearing and snow removal to generate income in the colder months. The Profit First cash management system has helped hundreds of landscape business owners plan ahead for those slow months. It’s a helpful tool for any business owner who wants to keep their bases covered at all times. You should also use those “off” months to evaluate what’s working and not working for your business. You work too hard to repeat the same mistakes!
Determining your services and understanding how they impact your cash flow should also affect financial planning for your landscaping business. In his book The Pumpkin Plan, Profit First Founder Mike Michalowicz discusses ‘planting the right seeds,’ which means figuring out which services are most profitable rather than throwing a bunch of things to the wall to see what sticks. Focus on selling those services rather than trying all kinds of things that deplete resources but don’t grow your bottom line. Make sure you know which services are your bread and butter, bringing in the most profit, and which are non-essential to your bottom line. Then you won’t waste energy on selling and executing the service that’s least profitable for you.
Financial planning is about more than just a bottom line, though. What are your goals? Determine what aspects of your business you would like to see grow, and then plot the path that will lead you there. If you’d like to increase the number of clients who take advantage of your seasonal flower installations, your action steps might be marketing and upselling that particular service. Or if you want to tighten the turnaround time for invoicing, maybe you need to switch to a subscription model for payment. If your goal is to grow your client base, it could be beneficial to develop a referral program to gain new customers. Your financial planning takeaways should be specific to the goals you have for your company.
Since no two businesses are alike, seek 1:1 help from a professional who can help you with financial planning for your landscape business. Standardized numbers or blanket advice from gurus are not all that helpful. You need to sit down with someone to hash out the details of your particular circumstances. I’ve worked with many landscape business owners, empowering them to grow their businesses and plan for the future. Schedule a call with me today so we can get started growing yours.