While most business owners are happy to maintain their bottom line or even tolerate a slight drop-off in revenue in this current economy, Jonathan Goldhill, The Growth Coach in Los Angeles, says now is the time to grow your business.
However, during his one-hour webinar last week, he says a lot of landscape companies can’t grow because owners focus too much on the technical aspects of the company, and not the business side. If that is the case, then you don’t own a business, he says. Instead, you have a glorified job. Your goal should be to design a business that is worth a fortune when you sell it and is on auto pilot when you go on vacation, Goldhill says.
“Technical expertise is just not enough to be successful in your given field,” he says.
Goldhill says one way to know if you are in a glorified job is if to take a vacation and see if the business can run smoothly without you there. If it can’t, then you need to change.
“Too many small business owners think small and act small,” he says.
Another part of the problem, Goldhill says, is a lot of landscape company owners don’t pay close enough attention to their bottom line. While a company could be collecting revenue through projects, those same projects could be costing more than they are worth. A lot of owners confuse activity with accomplishment, Goldhill says.
“You’ve got to manage your costs very carefully,” he says.
Goldhill says it’s also important for owners to focus on sales and marketing, which is a problem for a lot of contractors.
“If you’re like 93 percent of contractors, your company is haphazard in selling and inconsistent in marketing,” he says.
Though it’s important to keep your current customers and to be able to say no to bad ones, you will have to attract new customers to grow. When meeting with a potential client, refrain from jumping right into the services you can offer, or sending in a bid before getting a budget number from them. You have to ask good questions and listen to what the client wants, Goldhill says.
Once you do that, you have to develop a unique selling proposition. If someone is considering 10 other companies, you have to have an arsenal on why people should do business with you.
“Your perspective customer is looking to discriminate between you are your competitor,” he says. “So, get them to focus on stuff beyond price.”