At Envisor, we have the privilege to work with landscape companies across the country. We are typically engaged as consultants to help our clients increase sales, increase profits, improve quality of life or a combination of all three. Our process is to help business owners identify their picture of success in business and in life and compare it to where they currently stand. With those two points in place, we can work together to formulate a strategic plan to achieve their ultimate success.
Typically, the steps to success in each company are not dramatically different and aren’t that complicated to understand intellectually. The challenge is in implementation. Unfortunately, while the plan may be simple, it’s not easy. Here’s why.
Implementing the plan takes courageous leadership. Leadership is doing the right things at the right time on a daily basis. I say “courageous” because it can be damn scary. Many times, the “right things” are counterintuitive for owners and leaders. Sometimes, it seems like decisions don’t line up with the facts. These are the tough decisions leaders have to make to move the organization forward.
Some common right things are:
- We need to hire a key person to move us forward.
- We need to raise the price or fire some key clients that are holding us back.
- We need to replace an individual whose job has outgrown him or her.
- We need to spend money we don’t have on equipment or software.
- We need to let a top performer go due to a poor attitude.
In the planning stage, all the right things make sense, but when the rubber hits the road in implementation, these decisions can become derailed by overanalysis and fear. The reason is each decision may come with some negative short-term consequences. For example, “How can I add overhead or fire customers when I am not making enough money?” Decisions relating to people are complicated. It’s emotional, we are dealing with people’s lives and relationships are involved.
Here’s the bottom line, folks: Many times, the decisions you are most afraid of are the ones that will set you free and allow your company and your team to perform at its highest level.
To overcome the fear of doing the right things and move your organization forward, we
recommend the following.
- Outline the pros and cons of each decision. Many times, doing nothing is much more detrimental than enacting steps.
- Seek wise counsel from trusted advisers. Know that your teammate’s advice is colored by his or her intimacy with the issue.
- Develop a reasonable worst-case scenario in terms of work and profits.
- Identify the return on investment (ROI) the decision will generate.
- Develop the sales and operations plan needed to generate more gross margin dollars to pay for changes.
- Rally yourself and your team to execute the transition plan.
It has been very rewarding watching business leaders make the tough decisions required to move their organizations forward and seeing huge ROI on growth, quality of life and profits.