Last week the enterprise value specialists at Ceibass shared some of their thoughts on how to help ambitious lawn and landscape business owners with 2021 business planning. The response from readers was tremendous with many requests for more insights into the fundamental skill of planning. 

“The thing to recognize about planning is that it is a skill. You have to practice it, learn to observe and assess your skill at it, then create daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly habits to come back to your plan, see how you’re doing, and then adjust,” said Tom Fochtman, Ceibass CEO. “Remember, the first step is to come up with your intentions – what situations would you like to produce for your company. Then you create action plans to produce those situations. The more you practice and develop your capability to produce the intended outcomes you desire with your action plans, the better off you’ll be and the greater your competitive advantage.”

Tom went on to say that basically intentions and action plans are about reducing costs/risks, increasing revenues, and enhancing value for customers, employees and owners. This is where you aim your intentions. And that successful lawn and landscape business owners review their plans and strategies regularly, create ways to measure their efforts, and are disciplined enough to “hold” their intentions throughout the year. Good planning helps your invent and create rather than react. It saves times and gives renewed energy to the team.

The Ceibass team then got together and offered up some more thoughts on how to more effectively, strategically and competitively aim your 2021 planning:

Intend to be better than your competitors. Seek to produce competitive advantage.

Adopt new technology. Be the first.

Take a leadership role in your marketplace.

Know your competitors and what they are up to.

Get way better at sales and marketing.

Aim at making more of your most profitable offers. Build on your strengths. Your goal every year is to increase enterprise value.

Look to bridge the gaps in your current offers – at least match your competitors so that you negate their competitive advantages (react immediately to these competitive pressures).

Work with your clients to improve your retention rates.

Improve your means to assess your quality.

Take pictures, more and more pictures! Share with clients.

Integrate your actions plans and their outcomes into the formal reviews of employees.

Improve your systems and require everyone to put them into practice, no exceptions.

Figure out ways to reduce your customers’ costs which include time, energy, and money.

Build “value” in your company that translates to higher EBITDAs.

Figure out ways to communicate regularly with your customers –newsletters, emails, tips, etc. Become a valued resource for them in lawn and landscape.

Plan on increasing the leadership roles of your top employees. Give them more responsibility. Grow them into next gen leaders.

 Plan to take time every month to work ON your business instead of working IN it. Include your top employees.

Work with your customers to take care of their concerns for a second COVID shutdown and Recovery assumptions.

Keep a close watch on Cash Flow and Cash Flow assumptions.

Make sure you have an exit plan. Tie all your planning back to the purpose of increasing the value of your company.