Last week Tom Fochtman Ceibass CEO, was in Ponte Vedra, Florida for a 2 1/2 day planning session with the Executive Teams of both the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Board and Foundation, along with various committee chairs.

“Planning is an essential skill of the leadership of any company or enterprise,” said Tom. “Fundamentally, it enables the planners to anticipate, or to think and act in advance of situations they need to avoid, duties they need to perform and opportunities they need to capture. In very competitive markets like we find our industry in, people and companies who are better at planning produce, maintain and increase their competitive advantages.”

Tom went on to say that those companies that plan well get higher marks for their management teams and often get higher multiples when selling their businesses.

And for those companies that don’t plan well they produce their own breakdowns, they create higher costs for themselves, they seem to be “behind their competition,” they take on increased risks, and they decrease their likelihoods of success relative to those companies that do plan well. Simply put, they make less money.

So take the time to learn to plan. Hire a professional to help you in the process if your needs require one. Then plan. Look at different horizons of time (quarterly, yearly, 1 year, 3 year, 5 year). Write your action plans down so you can review them. Assess your skill at planning and then delivering on your plan.

If you don’t you will always be reacting to what is happening, instead of being proactive. And you will lose your competitive advantages over time and reduce the value of your business.