Creating realistic growth goals is the foundation to your long term success.
One of the biggest challenges we have as landscape professionals is truly understanding the growth process and then thereafter; planning the growth process. We often allow our competitive market to grow the business vs. the business owner implementing sound growth strategies. The growth planning process is actually the key to any business throughout its existence. A successful landscape company must regularly review its business/marketing plan to ensure it continues to be in alignment with its core objectives. Identifying opportunities for growth is just like every other business strategy, you must look at the risk/reward of the opportunities presented which will create the growth and then benchmark the success of each facet of the process implemented to achieve it.
In every facet of your growth process; setting realistic goals should form the backbone of your company and are the most important part of your annual business plan. The most common growth goals for a landscape business are revenue growth (business volume) and of course profit. While we tend to look at ‘top-end’ growth, at the end of the day it is the ‘bottom-line’, profit which reflects the success. As the adage goes…sometimes it’s the quality of the growth, not necessarily the size of the growth. At the end of the day; failing to set realistic goals by being either too conservative or overly ambitious can have disastrous results on your company.
Some basic components of successful growth planning include:
Component I; What is your business VISION, GOALS, & MISSION STATEMENT
Component II; Of the business growth and profit-building process is your Company Culture, Business Operating Systems & Processes, Talent Management, & Employee Training.
Component III; Of your business growth plan is your Strategic Marketing Plan, Your Lead Generation, & Your Lead Conversion requirements and how you will simply generate income.
Component IV; Of your business growth plan is your benchmark processes; Financial Position, Cash Flow, & Financial Reporting. This is what drives managing costs and generates Profitability.
How should you plan realistic goals?
Most people fail to achieve their goals because they have a flawed process, set unattainable high expectations, or because they set goals that do not inspire them. Keep this in mind when forming your own goals, and remember that they don’t all have to be business related. It’s perfectly OK to include your personal goals here too. In fact, you should! A balanced mix of personal and professional goals will help you get a clear picture of what you want to accomplish across the board, and the time it will take to get there.
Conservative vs. Ambitious Goals?
If you have the choice between conservative goals and ambitious ones, Choose which one works best for you. For example, your company can either set a conservative revenue goals of $100,000 for the year with a profit margin target of 5% ($5,000) or a revenue target of $1,000,000 with a profit margin target of 25%. While the first choice might be the safer, more realistic one, take a moment to entertain the notion of the second, more ambitious plan. Taking an ambitious plan and trimming it down to more realistic proportions is far more productive than starting with a conservative plan and failing to push it to its true limits. To trim down the ambitious goals to realistic expectations, you should hold a meeting with all your departments to brainstorm and gauge the feasibility of your projected goals. Remember; the best growth is the pattern that returns positively to the bottom-line.
Looking for a good book on the subject, suggested reading;
- The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It Paperback – by Michael E. Gerber