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Like many landscape and lawn service contractors you must realize by now that spring is almost in the air. Taking the time now to prepare for the busy season will put you ahead of the game before the phones start ringing off the hook. If you hit the “SNOOZE” button this winter you better unplug the clock as GAME TIME is almost knocking at your front door.

While I preach about the fact that learning is continual, be aware that so is process improvement. It always seems that most contractors do the majority of their process improvement initiatives in the wintertime. While advanced planning and preparation is critical, you often might miss a thing or two that could be critical to your operational success. This is where reflection and being aware of what is happening in the moment is just as critical.

“Look at the last spring’s operations with a magnifying glass to identify what went well and what could be modified,”

Here are a few simple things you can do to get your company’s operations in order before business booms this spring:

■ Pinpoint ways to attract new clients, understanding what type of customers you need, where and when you need them are critical.

■ Improve administrative & operational processes, systems are imperative for best management practices, accountability and exceeding expectations throughout the entire organization.

■ Re-examine your vehicles and equipment, make sure your equipment is in tip-top shape. Prevent breakdowns and scheduling snafus with an once of prevention.

■ Set sales and production goals for employees, All good performance begins with clear expectations and goals. Without these, employees seldom reach their potential.

■ Train employees on seasonal work procedures, most companies are a combination of visual and communicative organizations. Reinforce training and performance procedures with visual aids and hands-on communicative training.

■ Identify ways to continually improve customer service, If your not improving your dying. Success is not defined by status-quo. it’s defined by innovation. innovate your organization by always looking at ways to deliver better.

Exceed our clients expectations…

Be the best at what you do. Uniforms, truck detail, employee presentation and skill at doing their jobs, use of technology, no-excuses attitude and ability to save money by doing it right the first time – these all add up to a compelling offer for your potential customers. Pay attention to the basics and do them better than anyone else. That, in and of itself, will make your company stand out.

Know what your competitors do well – and where they fall down. Fill the gap. Find ways to solve customer problems that your competitors can’t or won’t address. Talk about your company’s ability to tune in to customers. Know what your customers want, better than anyone else. And then supply those wants.

Teach everyone in your company that the customer comes first isn’t just a slogan, it’s a way of life. Always ask what else the customer needs. Give people the freedom to go outside the box to supply those needs. If in doubt, do it. If really in doubt check in and then do it. Teach your company to be nimble and customer centric by encouraging innovation and problem solving all the time. Empower your TEAM members to make customers HAPPY!

Oh, yes…Spring is in the air and it’s time to be prepared. Are you?

About the author; Steven Cohen is a landscape industry SME & Chief Innovation Officer at GreenMark Consulting Group; a Landscape-Snow Industry Business-Consulting/Advisory firm that specializes in helping small-medium sized growth oriented companies grow from under one million dollars to over five million dollars. You can reach Steven Cohen by phone at 610.905.3637. Email Steven at or visit our website at to learn more about our services.