The holidays are a good time for family road trips to spend time with your loved ones. On those journeys, it’s always good to have a road map (GPS nowadays) of where you’re heading. There are many twists and turns, so planning a destination is vital. The same is true with your business. Hopefully, when you started your company, you made a solid business plan. But how often do you look back at the road you’ve traveled so far to see if you’re still on the right track? Do you ever take the time to update the road map that is your Lawn Care Business Plan?
What’s In A Lawn Care Business Plan?
Your Lawn Care Business Plan is a guide to ensure you stay on course with where you want to go. You can never have too much information on it, but there is some information that you can’t do without.
Firstly, what services will your lawn care business provide? Depending on what region of the country you’re in, those services might include lawn maintenance, leaf cleanup, snow removal, and even putting up Christmas lights. The services you offer need to provide you with enough work year-round to support yourself and any employees, so keep that in mind.
Secondly, you should detail what you’re start-up costs and monthly overhead will be. With a lawn care business, you might be able to get by with little to no start-up cost. There could be some equipment that you don’t initially have, like trimmers or blowers, that would need to be purchased, but don’t go crazy. Overhead will include everything you’ll need to keep the business running. Don’t forget the hidden cost of equipment repair and gas to get to all of your jobs. The more detail you put in now, the less headache you’ll have in the future.
Next, you can’t forget marketing. Put together a solid plan on what your services will cost, and how you’re going to market your services to grow your business. If you’re struggling with this one, we’ve got some pretty good ideas for you right here.
Lastly, it’s time to plan your future. Where will you take your lawn care business in the future, and how quickly do you want to get there? It’s ok to start as aggressive here as you wish. Do you plan to expand the services you offer after year one? Mark it down. If you plan to have 500 customers by year three, write it in. Do you plan on creating a billion-dollar conglomerate megacorporation who’s sole purpose is world domination by year five? Well, those are some lofty goals and something you’ll probably want to not include in a business plan(for plausible deniability later). Point being, figure out where you want to go, and then write it in your plan.
Why Does My Plan Need Updating?
Just like you’re fancy GPS, your business road map needs updating occasionally as well. I see you smirking now, saying no way; my original plan was perfection! And while it might have been at the time, things could have changed over the years. You update your GPS because new roads are built all the time. They make traveling from one place to another more convenient or faster(even if they create traffic jams while under construction). Your Lawn Care Business Plan works in much the same way. You need to update it so you can take the more convenient and faster way to the success you’re looking to achieve.
Along with staying on the right road, that’s important as well. No one likes getting lost.
While you’re reviewing your year-end business results, pull out that business plan. Review anything you wrote in it that had a time frame for completion. Looking over the document allows you to determine what’s next if you were able to reach your goal, or to reevaluate and redefine the steps to get there if you didn’t quite make it. You can look at your longer-term goals and ensure you’re still in a good position to complete those as well. Be flexible and realistic; don’t expect that everything will go perfect. If you’re aiming for 500 customers in year three but only have 50 after year one, that gives you a good indication you should rework your marketing plan and push harder next year.
Updating your business plan allows you to adjust things if there’s stiff competition in your area and you might be losing customers. Having your plan up to date makes it easy to ask for additional financing if you decide to expand or purchase expensive equipment. Or perhaps your business plan just wasn’t written out very well when you originally drafted it. No matter the reason, your Lawn Care Business Plan is a living document that requires your attention to be effective.
Your Future Is Bright
Besides at year-end, there are other times it’s important to update your business plan. Such as:
- You change the location of your business
- Ownership changes or management restructures
- You blow past the goals you’ve set for yourself before the year is over(Yay you!)
- You need more financial support
Look for any important event or change to your business. That should be a trigger to look back at your business plan to see how it affects it.
No matter what plan you put in place, you won’t get anywhere without useful data. CLIPitc can help you get a grip on the numbers that show the health of your business. From job costing to employee efficiency, the easy to use software and mobile app will keep you informed. Try it for 30 days risk-free and see for yourself.
Running a lawn care company is hectic, but it can be a rewarding experience. Keep your document updated by expanding and adding goals. And don’t forget to celebrate the goals you reach along the way. Follow the road map you’ve laid out for yourself and your company to ensure that you reach your desired destination (hopefully there’s pie there, always have pie).