The way to think and act smarter, process improvement through business systemization. Business Systems can bring Landscape CEOs’s the most important resource that all successful companies use to become successful, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s). People need consistency in the workplace to be their most productive. Labor-intensive businesses lose thousands of dollars daily, weekly, monthly, and annually from counter-productive employees and unproductive processes and work habits. Landscaping businesses are classic examples of workplace environments where employees must perform repeated actions daily to get the job done right.
Using well-planned, structured, and informative business systems in your landscape company will increase expected results from people in their daily job activities and decrease the frequency of human errors in every department, week after week and year over year. This alone helps translate into sales growth, better profit margins, operating efficiency, economies of scale, improved teamwork, and more time for you to focus on both short-term goals and long-term strategies.
“Your system is perfectly designed to produce the results you’re getting. So, if you want better results, you have to improve the system.”
Why business systemization works… Please don’t do it yourself so the system won’t rely on you. Let’s look at Bill’s Landscaping Company.
Bill is the CEO of Bill’s landscaping Company. Bill used to do everything in his company before he stepped back, looked at things from an “outside” perspective, and systematized it so that other people could do the tasks instead. Bill learned that for his company to be successful, he needed to ‘take action.’
Bill Take Action Plan-
Reflect on what’s happening in your company, create outlines for your systems, and then remove yourself from the middle of it.
1. Create a Strategic Objective, so everyone is on the same page
Bill created a Strategic Objective where Bill’s Landscaping goal was to be the landscaping company of choice in its market while “relentlessly working the business systems to perfection.”
Start by listing down your company’s specific goals, strengths, and strategies in a single-page document.
2. Create General Operating Procedures so TEAM members will make the right decisions.
Bill established 30 core principles for Bill’s Landscaping, including “Do it now, do it correctly, and do it the same each time,” which discourages his TEAM members from procrastinating and not following company protocols.
Expand upon your Strategic Objective by drafting a set of principles that are tried-and-true, sensible, and simple to understand and remember.
3. Create Working Procedures so you won’t have to do tasks yourself.
Bill and his management TEAM devised operational procedures for every facet of Bills Landscaping. These procedures are all tied to a cultural mindset of Bill’s Landscaping, which included the 4 key principles of business systematization.
Guiding the Business- Running the business- Doing the business & Getting the business. Bill also learned how these principles connected to his company’s mindset, ‘How we think,’ is connected to how we act, which is connected to how we perform, which is connected to how Bill’s Landscaping will deliver to those they serve, which is connected to Bill’s Customer service delivery model and ultimately, Bill’s Profitability.
To do this, analyze your system, devise an improvement plan, create a Working Procedure prototype, test and tweak it, then have your employees follow it.
4. Tweak your systems to get a highly efficient set of procedures.
Bill’s Landscaping old system of operational protocols initially contained 75 steps; this was cut down to 45 clear and concise Standard Operating Procedures after he and his staff continuously tweaked and updated the old procedures by evaluating why…’ what worked in the past, might not work in the present or future.’
In creating a Standard Operating Procedures, discuss possible changes with your TEAM members and document improvements that can be made and the reasons you are making them.
5- Keep systems simple (KISS) to make it faster to train new TEAM members.
Bill and his TEAM made the procedures in his system really simple so that anyone with an average IQ can get the job done and get it done right the first time.
Remove any technical jargon or complicated terms and replacing them with simpler, easier to understand words.
6- Stop multitasking so you can do a better job. Start working on your business, not in your business.
Bill now gives his full attention to whatever he’s doing and finishes it first before working on anything else or talking to any TEAM member who steps into his office.
Set aside all other tasks and focus on doing one thing at a time until each one is perfected.
When Bill finally took the time better to understand the operational mannerisms of Bill’s Landscaping, He realized that they could do better what they did. After being in business for 15 years, Bill finally realized that getting the work done was only part of running his business. Knowing how to get the work done in a process-oriented fashion was sometimes even more important.
Once you recognize your weaknesses, you can develop a plan to turn your weaknesses into your strengths.
So I now ask you…what percent of your business is systematized?
Want to read a good book? Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less by Sam Carpenter
About the author; Steven Cohen is a highly motivated landscape industry entrepreneur & chief innovation officer at GreenMark Consulting Group, a Landscape-Snow Industry Business-Consulting/Advisory firm specializing in helping small-medium-sized growth-oriented companies grow from under one million dollars to over five million dollars. Do you have a business or marketing question for Steven? You can reach Steven Cohen by phone at 610.905.3637. Email Steven at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.greenmarkgroup.com to learn more about our services.
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