Tag Archives: business tips

5 ways to help grow your landscaping business

Landscaping is one of those industries that aren’t always stable. Whether you specialise in fencing, decking, artificial grass or the entire spectrum of garden layouts, here are a few tips that will help you grow your business and increase your leads no matter what your service offerings are:

  • Quote your jobs professionally

Because landscaping for homes or business parks is a luxury for most, people want to be able to ask for a quote and be given one up-front in return. Having a clear and concise quoting system will truly make your business seem more efficient. For example, if you’re pruning bushes or setting up a diamond mesh fence for a customer, invest in a good quality software package to assist with your quotes.

Estimations are no longer credited because they often go beyond the amount estimated, which is not acceptable for people who are committing to big, expensive jobs. If you start relying on a computer program to quickly spit out quotes that also include a breakdown of everything that is included, you will be able to make a good first impression and keep customers happy with your honest, efficient service.

Another perk of having the right cost estimations at hand is that you will eliminate any miscommunications through verbal agreements. Once you have something on paper, which is signed by both parties, you will always have something to backup your word.

  • Schedule your jobs properly

In such an on-and-off industry, it’s completely understandable that you’re not always going to have a busy schedule. However, this cannot rub off onto your customers. You need to schedule jobs accordingly and make sure that you have a set plan on when you’re going to be meeting with your customer for their diamond mesh job. It cannot be on your time, it also needs to suit them. In busier months, you’ll be thankful for this as things can quickly get out of hand. Track your business through CRM tools and applications which help you keep to schedules and plan your days accordingly.

  • Hire the correct staff for the job

From marketing your business to transporting the goods and processing your invoices, you cannot be one person who does everything. Depending on how busy you are, you will need to hire people who can take on these jobs without having to put extra pressure on yourself. Some of the most important landscaping roles include general assistants who can do maintenance and diamond mesh installations, licensed chemical applicators, a financial person who can put through jobs and quote on them, general office staff who can assist with any last minute admin issues and someone who can handle your digital marketing. Owning a business in a digital-driven world means that you will need to venture into this space. Someone will have to boost your business on social media and connect with customers on a daily basis.

Because this is such a yo-yo industry, it might be best to contract these positions or hire freelance individuals who can assist you when you need them most. The same goes for contractors and suppliers who supply your stock. You never want to put yourself in a difficult financial position, unless you have signed on retainer clients that are bringing in a constant flow of money.

  • Revamp or rebrand

On the back of the previous point, make sure your website is telling the brand story you want people to see and feel. Updating your website or rebranding your business’ look and feel can bring you great benefits. If you’re someone who still has the same, unchanged website since the early 2000s, it’s time to step things up a notch. Speak to a digital agency or someone with enough knowledge and industry know-how to help you create something that is mobile-friendly and optimised for search. By search, it means that the minute someone searches for landscaping companies near them, your company will show up.

  • Expand your expertise

Lastly, if you want to keep up with competitors around you, you’re going to need to think outside the box with your marketing abilities and start incorporating new ideas into your business offerings. For example, if you’re only offering diamond mesh fencing, perhaps you should consider pushing wooden fencing targets. The same goes for mowing lawns. With water conditions being uncertain, try looking at artificial grass. When you start to offer a variety of different services, it will set you apart from your competitors.

6 Financial Tips for New Small Business Owners

What is at the epicentre of every business? Money of course. So what is the one area of your business that should get special attention? The finances.

The first step is to understand basic finance terms, like assets, liabilities, capital, sales, cost of sales, expenses and profits. These make up the bottom line of every business and should be familiar to you even if you’re not totally comfortable with matters relating to accounting. Even a basic understanding will serve you well and help you to make better decisions for your business.

Once those terms are mastered, be sure to keep these tips in mind:

Spread the risk

Never depend on only one or two big clients to keep your business going. These clients can move on to a new supplier at any stage and take their money with them. Invest time and effort into smaller clients as well. They’ll generate a steady stream of income for your business, which will soften the blow if and when the big money spinners move on.

Insure properly

Insurance might seem like a dark hole money is disappearing into every month, but you’ll be glad the money was spent when the time to claim comes. Machinery, stock and site repairs can set you back thousands – if not millions – if you have to pay for it cash, but having proper insurance will delete a lot of those zeros.

Insurance types you should look into are building insurance, insurance against theft, fire and accidental damage, and personal accident and public liability insurance. There are many insurers to choose from in South Africa, so securing a deal that suits your pocket is definitely possible.

Stay on top of things

There are many factors to be aware of when it comes to the finances of a business, but you have to stay on top of everything to make the books balance at the end of the month. For instance, get paid and do payments on time, keep track of all overheads, invoices and receipts.

Easier said than done? Then hire an accountant and automate transactions. Debit orders, like those Digicash offers, ensure that customers pay on time. You won’t even have to do the reconciliation – it’ll be done for you.

Heed the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule states that 80% of results in business will come from 20% of the input. That means 20% of your marketing efforts are bringing in 80% of your business, 20% of your sales staff generates 80% of your profit, and so on. Find out where these 20% sits in your business, then invest time and money in it. Get rid of or limit the rest to increase efficiency.

Be easy to find

This last rule is not directly related to finance, but it’s worth a mention, because if people don’t know your business exists how are you expecting to make money? List your business on local directories, spend money on developing a website that ranks high on search engines and consciously develop your brand name. You don’t have to do everything at once – start with a website and build your business from there.