Business Smarts: Reviewing Your KPIs - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Business Smarts: Reviewing Your KPIs

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the pulse of your lawn care or landscape business. They can let you know how your business is doing and where there is room to refine, improve and grow in the right direction.  

While there are a wealth of key performance indicators you can look at, it is better to focus on a few crucial ones that are directly related to your business goals.

Also keep in mind that not all metrics are key performance indicators, so be aware of what numbers have the most impact moving your landscape business forward. Take the time to make sure your KPIs are solid, are being evaluated regularly and are being updated as your business changes.

Are Your KPIs SMART?

KPIs can and will fail if they are poorly defined, lack accountability, aren’t achievable, lack specificity or are too hard to measure. This is why it’s best to make sure a KPI can meet the criteria of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound).

You need to ask yourself:  

  • Is the objective specific?
  • Can I measure progress to this goal?
  • Is the goal realistically attainable?
  • How relevant is this goal to the business?
  • What is the timeframe for achieving this goal?

You can use cookie-cutter KPIs as a starting point, but they need to evolve to address the unique aspects of your business to stand the test of time and be helpful for your business. Accountability is also critical as you can craft a great KPI but if no one is responsible for tracking and achieving the target, nothing is going to happen.

Reevaluating KPIs Regularly

Once you’re sure your KPIs are SMART, it’s important to regularly evaluate and reevaluate them. If you exceed your revenue target for the year, you need to determine if you set the bar too low or if something else is affecting this.

When reevaluating a KPI, check to see if it is actionable. Does it still apply to the business goal you’re trying to achieve? Review your targeted timelines with your team and set both short- and long-term milestones you want to hit.

Also, make sure your KPIs are aligned to your strategy and inform your decision-making. Without tying them to your strategy, you’re just collecting data. Just like how you need someone to be responsible for tracking and achieving the target, you need to make sure someone is analyzing the data to extract insights for your business to act on.

Updating Your KPIs

If you never update your KPIs, they can quickly become outdated and irrelevant. Don’t be afraid to ask if a KPI is still serving its purpose or if you need to add a new KPI.

Division gross profit is a KPI that can help you identify where you’re making money in the company and where you’re losing it. If you’re considering trimming back some of your services, this can be a prime KPI to add to help with your decision-making.

Even if you don’t get rid of a division, you may see where you aren’t marking a service up enough or other inefficiencies that you can change to improve a division’s profitability.

Safety is another KPI to consider including. Do you say safety is important to your company but it stops with that? Tracking KPIs like days lost from accidents, workers’ comp mod factor and property damage can all put safety in perspective. It can also give you insights as to what you need to do to improve your safety.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.