Business best: The importance of performing a mid-year check

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As we come closer to the end of summer, now might be a good time to meet with the leaders in your landscaping company to discuss and review your business goals and resolutions.

At the beginning of every year, it’s a smart idea to meet as a group and discuss where you want your company to go in the new year, as well as what specific goals you each plan to meet individually and as a group.

Take a look at a few discussion topics you can take with you into your mid-year business meeting to help make sure your landscaping company is where it needs to be.

Revisit your goals  

Whether you’re talking about the personal goals you set for yourself, your department or your crew or if you’re talking about goals you’ve set as a company, going back to these original goals is crucial.

“Before getting into the nitty-gritty of a check in, review the goals you set for your company at the beginning of the year,” Adreana Young with Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply says online. “Ask yourself where you stand on each of those goals. Sometimes you’ll be reminded of a goal or objective that you set out to do but forgot about. No matter how much or how little you’ve accomplished over the first six months of the year, take note of it.”

Once you’ve had the chance to sit down as a company and discuss what your goals were and where you currently stand with them, Young recommends three possible methods for addressing how you proceed.

First, if you see that you haven’t quite measured up to where you wanted to be at this time of the year, don’t fret. Take this time to reset, refocus or restart your goals. Even though you’ve fallen behind on a goal doesn’t mean you have to completely give up, especially since there are many more months ahead.

“Companies can go completely off goal or completely over goal, underperform or over-perform,” says Andrew Dickson, product and account manager with LandOpt. “We have the type of business where that can happen, but then they readjust, rethink and reevaluate.”

Simply treat today like it’s the first day of the year. Rewrite your goals and adjust them to where you can still reach that goal by the year’s end, but make sure the adjustments you make are attainable and measurable.

Secondly, look over your goals and see which ones are still relevant and which ones won’t benefit you or the company anymore. If there are some that could possibly be removed from the list to make more important goals a priority, Young recommends removing them and moving on to others.

“You can always come back to a goal,” Young says online. “If now isn’t the right time to start offering a new service or launching a new marketing plan for your company, it might be at another time. It’s okay to set goals down and come back to them later.”

Finally, if you are currently on par with your goals and are blowing through them with no issues whatsoever, carry on. Having this opportunity to share your success with your team or superiors will help you stay positive and motivated, and it could help give you the extra boost you need to finish out the year strong.

Before moving on to other aspects of the meeting, take time to personally review your goals once more, and examine whether or not things need to change based on the group conversations you’ve had.

“Never be hesitant to make changes to your goals based on the reality of where your business is today,” Young says online. “Your goals are only as good as your method of achieving them. Planning and reviewing those plans will help ensure you meet your goals and can give you peace of mind knowing where you stand.”

Talking with employees

After running through your goals, take time to talk with your employees and make sure they are doing well personally. If you’re the head of the company and have a small enough staff, make time to meet with everyone individually, or if you are the head of a department, team or crew, take time to meet with each member of your group.

Talk to them about their goals, whether work or personal, and really take time to let your employees know they are heard and important to you and to the overall growth and health of the company.

“When you have a better understanding of where your employees are, ask them for any input or for their perspective on the day-to-day of the business,” Young says online. “Including employees in the discussion about the business will help them feel more invested in the success of the company and you will also get another perspective from someone who understands the business.”

Money and equipment 

One aspect of every landscaping company that needs to be watched is the financial side, as many issues can arise throughout the year that could impede financial progress.

Young says that if your financial team has been on top of keeping close track of your landscaping company’s revenue and spending so far this year, this portion of the meeting could prove to be fairly quick.

Take time to look at what all your company is spending and what you’re bringing in, and ask your sales team if they are on track with their revenue goals so far. If so, keep up the good work, and if not, this is the perfect time to figure out what can be done.

“Tracking business expenses isn’t always easy though, so if you don’t have that information on hand, take a little more time to figure out where you are,” Young says online. “It can take time to get all of this information in order, but knowing what it costs you to do business is one of the best ways to make sure your business is successful.”

In his experience, Dickson says landscape contractors need to always keep in mind the following areas when creating their budgets: labor, vehicles and equipment (V&E), material costs, subcontractors, burden (cost of goods sold), office staff, owner’s salary, marketing and miscellaneous costs.

Take time to revisit each of these areas when reviewing finances, as taking more time to get it right and fix issues now could help save you time and money at the end of the year.

Along with checking out finances, take time to examine your company’s equipment to make sure nothing needs repairing or replacing.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the busy day-to-day of business, but ensuring your tools are in good working order will help you save money, save time and prevent injury,” Young says online.

Taking time to do this mid-year check for your landscaping company could help you spot inefficiencies, fix problems and refocus goals, which could help you come out as a more productive and successful company at the end of the year.

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