Business Smarts: Crafting Resolutions to Benefit Your Company - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Business Smarts: Crafting Resolutions to Benefit Your Company

New Year’s resolutions are often ambitious and well-intentioned goals you set for your personal life, but you can also craft some for your business as you head into the new year.

As you reflect on another year finished, these are just a few possible business resolution suggestions to focus on as you continue to grow and advance your company. Remember, setting these resolutions do no good if you don’t commit to them, so make sure whichever ones you choose are feasible for your operations.

Implement SOPs

As you review the previous year, evaluate what worked for your business and what did not. Is there always a traffic jam when employees are trying to leave the yard? Is there a communication breakdown at some point in the design-build process? Implementing standard operating procedures helps make your business more predictable and eliminates repeated problems.

Your SOPs should be written out, detailed and list exactly what needs to be accomplished and the goal of that specific process. Remember to review these SOPs and evaluate their effectiveness. If staggering start times still aren’t solving the departure issues in the morning, maybe direct reporting to job sites will work better.

Fine Tune Your Marketing Efforts

Word of mouth is a great source of leads, but it is not wise to solely depend on others to promote your company. As customers become more mindful of their spending, you need to have a strong marketing strategy that reaches your ideal clients and encourages them to contact you. Marketing shouldn’t be an afterthought or something you just throw some money at from time to time.

“Most landscaping companies do not have proper digital marketing strategies and execution in place — it’s just a fact,” Corey Halstead, co-owner of HALSTEAD Media. “They may have some of the elements of one – i.e. they run targeted Google Ads, but very few have a well-round system in place that leverages cross-platform efforts, proper retargeting funnels, etc.” 

Improve Customer Service

As the industry becomes increasingly competitive, one way to stand out from the crowd is to provide superior customer service. When evaluating your client management practices, ask your current customers why they choose to work with your company. This is something you can work to emphasize or if the only reason they pick you is that you’re the cheapest, it might be a sign things need to change.

One possible way to boost your customer service efforts is to provide a single point of contact for your clients. Engaging with them proactively is another way to encourage stronger satisfaction with your services. Don’t wait for a complaint; anticipate client questions and concerns. Leading the conversation and framing the customer’s experience will help get their expectations right from the start.

Increase Diversity

It’s easy to be open to new diverse hires. Yet it’s better to actively recruit from these talent pools instead of passively hoping they will decide to apply at your company. Having a diverse workforce helps deal with the competitive labor market and gives you access to new ideas and skill sets.

“I think that if companies don’t have diversity on all levels, we become stagnant and we don’t become exposed,” says Zech Strauser, founder and president of Strauser Nature’s Helpers, based in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. “A diverse company means we have a lot of different backgrounds and beliefs to create a unique team atmosphere.”

The NALP Foundation has released several free toolkits that help with both recruiting and retaining a more diverse workforce.

Invest in Company Culture

Last but certainly not least, continuing to invest in your company culture is always a good resolution. This could mean adding more professional development opportunities for your team or providing more resources, such as those that can aid working parents.

Consider conducting a survey with your staff to see what changes they’d like to see, rather than guessing at what might make them happier. Taking the time to prioritize what matters most to staff will help them feel appreciated and listened to.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.