5 Simple Steps to More Profit

Get your landscape business staff thinking more about profit

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The owners of the most successful landscape companies are willing to share information that will help employees do their jobs better. Owners also share information that helps employees understand and communicate about the word profit.

When a company decides to start sharing certain financial information, and is willing to remain patient long enough for employees to start trusting the information, an important step in the life of a company happens: People learn to make decisions by considering how it will impact the company’s ability to make money.

Get yourself up to speed. Company owners and leaders must first understand the numbers themselves. Do whatever it takes to increase your awareness through a class or a good sit-down conversation with your CPA. Choose to become more aware of your costs and how you are estimating your work. This may be the toughest step, but also the most important.

Begin asking questions of your team. For example, “How much would you guess we spent on insurance, gas, or the hundreds of other costs that surround a company?” Asking specific questions about things employees are aware of helps everyone begin to understand that, “gas is not free just because we get it out of the tank in the yard.”

Get visual. As your team starts to become more aware of the costs of doing business, consider tracking some of these costs on a graph or chart where everyone can see progress being made. Everyone loves progress, and you will be amazed by how your crews will manage themselves once they know what is expected—and that it is being measured.

Put a cost to “on time.” As you continue to develop this understanding of costs and numbers, as well as a sense of trust throughout the team, you can challenge employees to save dollars by saving time.

Do some calculations with your team to discover what five fewer minutes spent in the morning would equate to, or what one more job for the day adds up to. It becomes very apparent to the team that minutes add up quickly, and depending on how we manage these minutes, it can have a negative or positive impact on the company.

Be willing to share in the rewards, but don’t make bonus systems too complicated. Just as you got into business to make money, your employees feel the same way. There are two mistakes that can be made in creating a bonus system or sharing rewards:

  1. Offering a bonus too early in the process before the crews know what they can do to earn the bonus.
  2. Waiting too long and making the rewards process too complicated.

Keep it simple and allow people to get some early wins from it. Base it on something as simple as getting out of the gate quicker in the morning or meeting the budgeted hours on a job.