Numbers game

Departments - Editor’s Insight

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March 8, 2021

Brian Horn, editor, Lawn & Landscape

Budgets, line items, gross profit margin.

Not the sexiest part of running a business. For a lot of you, it’s your least favorite part of being the boss. You started a landscaping company because you enjoyed mowing lawns, installing a pristine hardscape or interacting with customers.

But all of that can be insignificant if you aren’t at least breaking even. The numbers are critical to keep you in business and growing the bottom line.

That’s why I am happy we are bringing back our Benchmarking Your Business report after a 3-year hiatus. For the report, we collect financial data from green industry professionals to get a feel for where these numbers fall nationally and regionally.

“For the report, we collect financial data from green industry professionals...to get a feel for where these numbers fall nationally and regionally.”

As part of the report, we also have a tool on our website that allows you to enter your financial data to see how you measure against the industry. You can access that tool at bit.ly/lawnbenchmark.

Also on that page, you’ll find charts provided by columnist Jim Huston to help you understand what percentage of a budget you should be spending on a specific line item.

I know the landscaping market has tons of micro-markets. One company might be paying a certain rate, while another company located just one city over could be paying $2 less. Regardless, hopefully this data will give you at least a ballpark idea of what your region pays.

We also have a few stories illustrating different methods of budgeting. Some of you don’t budget at all according to our columnists.

If you fall into this category, I hope this provides you a place to start. If you already have a budget in place, maybe this helps you take that next step in fine tuning your plan to grow your business. – Brian Horn