Costly pitfalls to avoid when running a new landscaping business
Why Are Some Landscaping Companies Getting Successful While Others Bite The Dust?
Success sometimes means avoiding costly mistakes. Most successful landscaping service providers have avoided these potential pitfalls, or at least found ways to deal with them more effectively. Here are five ways you can potentially deviate from course.
1. Improperly handle pressure
Starting a business is not easy for anyone, especially if you are on a tight budget. Whether it’s negotiating prices with landscaping materials suppliers or making creative differences with customers, every aspect of the beginning will create enough pressure that you may begin to question your decision to start a business.
Some of these problems in the beginning are inevitable. Since you’re new to the market, you may not be able to do things your way. The best way to deal with initial pressure is to develop a strong mindset against failure, knowing that this is the only way you will learn. Knowing the setbacks are part of a new or growing business, learn to move forward quickly rather than what has already been done.
2. Show or succumb to unprofessional behavior
At some point, you may find yourself on the receiving end of unprofessional behavior. Or it is you who are exhibiting unprofessional behavior because you succumb to the pressures we talked about above.
If you are new to landscaping, you are likely to face many situations that will test your patience, work ethic, and integrity. It is important that you maintain the right work culture from the start, taking into account how you relate to your customers, suppliers and employees, in order to become part of the reputation you are developing.
In the age of social media, you don’t want to risk your reputation for an incident. Such an incident of bad behavior can damage your public image. Since landscaping companies grow through referrals, it’s important that you don’t encourage or allow anyone to come to you.
3. Experience negative cash flow
Profit on paper means nothing to a new landscaping company. You need to maintain positive cash flow. Check your cash availability and plan your investment accordingly.
One thing that is common with landscaping companies that started out small and grew into full-fledged businesses is that they have managed their cash flow well. It is recommended that you do not invest heavily in new equipment, but buy used equipment or rent it on your network to start with. This will help you keep managing your cash flow in your early days.
Similarly, review your lending practices from time to time to curb negative cash flow. Rely on technology right from the start to keep an eye on your cash flow. Landscape management software with built-in payment management tools can help you speed up payment processes and track cash flow immediately.
4. Get into bidding wars with low-cost competition
There will always be someone in the industry claiming they could do the job you did, but cheaper. Your dilemma is obvious – whether you want to join the battle or hold your own?
Most landscaping executives take a passive-aggressive approach to such a scenario as they keep the doors open to customers looking for a lower price but not straying from their standard prices. Often these customers come back when they find that the “cheaper competition” is doing badly. When you are able to deliver a fantastic customer experience (and great results), customers will see why it is worth paying a little extra for your services.
5. Don’t be prepared for seasonality
Many aspects of the landscaping business are seasonal. If you cannot manage seasonal demand efficiently, it can damage your business. Landscaping is one of those businesses where you need a lot of resources (time, labor, materials, and equipment), but usually only during certain times of the year. But you can’t get rid of it all in the off-season or you won’t be ready when the next season rolls around. You need to plan every resource so that you can deal more effectively with high season and off-season crises.
Take that away
Establishing a Landscaping business is tough at the beginning. Once you have successfully built your network of professionals, suppliers and customers, you can easily navigate through the challenges and make a name for yourself.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by Avee Mittal.