There is a question that you should ask yourself very early in your thinking about starting your own lawn care business. It may seem like a silly question but it isn't. The question is, "Do I plan to be a success?" You may think that it is a silly question because why would anyone go into a new business venture without a plan for success? But it is surprising how many people start a new business and do not plan to be successful.
You have to make an effort to stay one step ahead of success. But if success is coming your way as you think it will, you have to be ready for it. Success in the lawn care business means more customers or more demand for additional services from existing customers. It may mean a sudden arrival of a very large job like landing a golf course or a major corporate account which may call upon you to expand your business dramatically and quickly. So think ahead about how you will respond to such success so when it arrives, you are ready for it.
When you began your lawn care business, you no doubt wrote a business plan. Part of that business plan should have been a five year projection of growth for your business. Perhaps you predicted a conservative growth of 10% for each of the first five years of the business. That means that if you genuinely expect that kind of growth, if you have 50 customers, next year you will have 55. Are you ready for 5 new customers this year? Do you have the staff for that new business? How will that growth impact your equipment needs? If you need to add 10% more equipment to handle that business, do you have the storage for that equipment? Do you have the transportation to send out crews to five new customers each week?
These are practical questions. But if you genuinely expect to grow by 10% a year, that is a finite number. Because you are already supporting a specific number of customers, you know in detail how much resource each customer needs. You know how many customers one crew of workers can take care of in a week. You know how many mowers, edgers and other equipment to keep on hand and you know how much space and transportation you need to handle that workload. Your business may be very well tuned to the current number of customers so you very little excess but you have sufficient labor and equipment to handle your customer load.
To stay one step ahead of success, you begin each year planning to add the workers, the equipment and the support space and supplies to take care of the anticipated growth. Do a detailed review of your equipment and your physical facility and transportation. If you are at capacity, begin now planning to acquire new equipment and new space and transportation if that will be needed when that new business comes along.
Notice we used the word "when", not "if" the new business comes along. If you genuinely expect to succeed this year, you know that business is coming and you are already making plans to accommodate it. If you are not getting ready, you dream of success but if it comes, you will have no plan to handle that additional load. That means that new business is not a blessing, its a crisis as you stress your staff and equipment to handle the new business until you can get ready.
Managing a new yard care business means being ready when success arrives so you smoothly integrate it into your business plan. While you are planning, what will you do when explosive success arrives? While you cannot buy ahead for a sudden increase in business of perhaps 60-90%, you should have a plan to respond if sudden opportunity, like that big golf course deal, comes along.
A strategic partnership with another yard care service to help you handle the load is one way to be prepared. Or having your suppliers and financers ready to respond if you need to gear up in a hurry is another way to be ready for explosive growth. But start now planning for success. Then when it comes along, you simply implement your plan and enjoy the success that any kind of growth will bring for your business.