“Having a growing, profitable million-dollar or larger landscaping business that can thrive without your constant attention is the dream of many owners,” says Bill Silverman of Springboard Business Coaching.
At this year’s Landscapes educational conference, to be held October 19-21 in Louisville, KY, alongside the GIE+EXPO, Silverman will share the challenges of growing a successful seven-figure business, along with the lessons successful owners have learned, in his presentation, "What the Owners of Great Multi-Million-Dollar Landscaping Businesses Do (That You Should Do)."
Of course, not everyone wants to own and operate a multi-million-dollar landscaping company. But the keys to success Silverman plans to share will benefit any size company.
Silverman paints a familiar story. Landscapers often start out as solos and then add a crew or two to get a business off the ground. While growing their company, they become a jack-of-all-trades and continue to push harder as sales, accounts and service offerings increase.
One of the biggest challenges for owners, according to Silverman, is the failure to recognize that their business is getting more complex as it grows—and they need to change how they manage to sustain a growing, profitable business.
As they grow, rather than empower team members to assume more responsibility, owners continue to do it all. A couple of things happen at this juncture, Silverman emphasizes. The owner becomes the bottleneck in the business, choking off growth and team members become frustrated because their boss is “mucking it up,” causing some of the better employees to leave. The writing is on the wall. The ship needs a real captain, one with a first mate or two to run operations, sell, or handle more administrative chores.
Silverman will tell attendees that planning is critical for preparing for future growth. Failure to anticipate and prepare for the changes that come with growth will likely put a brake on future growth and potentially even break the business.
“The most successful business owners don’t let their businesses outpace them,” says Silverman. “They are proactive. They think about changing their roles and work well in advance to have a team and everything else they need—equipment, office and shop, sales and marketing systems, and so forth—in place to manage growth.
“A business is like a design/build project," Silverman continues. "You have to envision what the end product will look like to get your desired results. This requires having a plan that answers key questions such as how much do you want to grow and how many people and other resources will be required.”
Silverman will impress upon attendees a sense of urgency to meet challenges before it’s too late. “Because of the economy, businesses are growing more rapidly, and the window of opportunity to prepare for future growth is dramatically shortened—especially with hiring where the supply of good talent is becoming harder to come by,” he relates. “Successful business owners train and put good people in place in a timely fashion.”
You don’t have to be an owner of a multi-million-dollar company to run your company like one. Even owners of small and mid-size companies can appreciate not having the burden of making every decision, overseeing everything, or thinking customer service will suffer if they go on vacation.
Silverman will explain in detail how many of the most successful business owners focus on building self-sufficient crews early on, and then gradually build a management team to help run parts of the business. He will show how owners need to learn to run their businesses differently as they grow, replacing hands-on management with a new, hands-free system of controls, with meetings where they set and break down goals, develop strategies to reach them, measure progress, and hold their team accountable for results.
Doing what the owners of great multi-million-dollar companies do can lead to a smooth-running business with uninterrupted, profitable growth. To find out how, join Bill Silverman for his education session "What the Owners of Great Multi-Million Dollar Landscaping Businesses Do (That You Should Do)," Friday from 3 to 4:15 p.m.
Bill Silverman is the owner of Springboard Business Coaching. He is dedicated to helping contractors lead growing, profitable seven-figure businesses that can thrive without them. You can reach Bill at (856) 751-1989 or [email protected].