Growth of Commercial Landscape Management

Is growing your company part of the long-term strategy that your leadership team is pursuing?  Most companies have a goal of growth. How much growth and how fast to grow? These questions can be easily answered when doing a budget. 

 X% growth means you need this many people and this much equipment.  Filling this is on the budget and forecasting the sales is often a guess that experienced leaders can quite accurately predict.  


What if you are growing faster than predicted?

 Revenue and expenses often increase.  Are you still making the same margin per job with the growth?  Making the desired margin is the most important thing to watch.  Not making more money as a company with the growth can really have negative effects on the company. Also, it takes money to grow.  Do you have funding available to buy the equipment, trucks and potentially hire the overhead needed to manage more people?  

Growth is also important for the employees.

 Growth allows for advancement into newly created positions as the company expands.  Without this growth employees may want to find another job because they feel stuck in their position and have limited earnings potential.  Growth can have negative impacts on employees.  

 During fast growth you may have a difficult time getting or promoting employees into the new positions.  This often leads to putting people into positions that they are not trained properly for or not the right fit for them or the company.  This is where fast growth without proper planning can lead to issue throughout the company.  Issues include: Taking more of managements time to run the daily production which takes time away from the big picture growth projects that must occur. Becoming inefficient on job production which can lead to using too many hours on scheduled jobs.  Quality issues on a site due to improper site production.  In landscape management this may lead to the loss of sites which then can lead to overstaffing and excess equipment.  All of which will ultimately affect the profit of the company. All of the previous can also then lead to poor employee attitudes which ultimately will affect the culture of the company.

Finding and keeping good employees is often the hardest part of running a business.  Employees are the lifeblood of any organization.  Until recently that was our number one struggle in operating a company that is growing rapidly.  Covid has affected how we all operate our business.  The new struggle is now finding a truck, trailers, and equipment in order to facilitate the growth.  Not having any one of these things is stopping growth.  We are also seeing lags in getting material.  It is now taking weeks to get something that we used to go buy in the same day. What is the strategy now?  Grow slower? Get rid of older sites that are not as profitable and replace them with new ones?  Our discussions now are for still strong growth.  Instead of trucks and branded trailers does it mean a grass bed truck because it is available?   Now branding is different.  

Management is dealing with daily struggles and now the effects of a pandemic on supply chains. Growth is still coming and maybe even accelerating.  Our goals and culture have not changed but the way we manage has.  The winning companies in our industry must have the ability to manage an ever-changing environment.  This means that managing growth of our company is always a challenge and we as managers must also manage our personal growth so that we are all prepared for the next hurdle in our endless pursuit of being a leader in the Triangle market and beyond

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