Your mindset determines the success or failure of your business.
It guides your approach from how you solve problems to how you go about achieving your goals for your landscaping business. Without the right mindset, you’ll be left flip-flopping, wasting precious time and money.
Frustration will eventually set in and with it, a downward spiral. I want to help you avoid what mistakes you can. So let’s start correcting your course.
In the article “How to Get Your Next 100 Landscaping Clients in 90 Days,” we walked through four essential stages:
Stage 1: The Winning Mindset
Stage 2: Research
Stage 3: Sales Pitch
Stage 4: Perspective
It’s no coincidence ‘mindset’ sits at the top of the list, and the first hurdle for you to cross. It sets the foundation of all business, no matter the field. And is the defining trait between those who succeed and those who fail.
One aspect of creating a winning mindset is planning. Yes, planning. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” it’s no empty fortune cookie message.
What Does Planning Have to Do With Mindset
The short answer is ‘everything.’
For the longer answer, I’ll break it down into sections starting with the definition of the core concepts we will be focusing on: Random vs. Process.
Random vs. Process
Random is the seat-of-your-pants-plan-as-you-go-if-you-need-to approach. It doesn’t require well thought out strategies or processes beforehand.
You may look at this option and see the ‘time it saves,’ but I’d argue it comes down to impatience. You want to get down to the nitty-gritty of what you think will grow your business instead of spending time on what I call ‘pre-work.’
Right off the bat, you’re approaching your business’s success from a poor mindset. Impatience has no place in business. No place in success. So clear it out of your mind from the start. There is no short cut only an efficient path.
Still not convinced?
Say you want to scale your landscaping business, but you spend no time drafting a game plan or even a budget. Sure, you’ll kick things off faster, but guess what, you’ll crash more quickly too. How will you get back the time and money you spent doing it all the wrong way?
This is not to say that if you go in with a plan, you won’t encounter pitfalls. Everything you do in life comes with a chance of success or failure. Going in with a plan cuts your odds fifty-fifty. Without a plan, your odds are more like an 80% chance of failure versus a 20% chance you may not sink entirely to the bottom.
A process gives you a logistical advantage. What do I mean by that? It maps out the path of success for your business. It’s systematic, deliberate, and, most importantly, measurable.
With the parts of your strategy laid out in a step-by-step plan, you can better determine what works and what doesn’t. The pre-work takes some time in the beginning, but it saves you in the long run. Think ‘long-term’ whenever you’re approaching your business. Time spent well and with purpose is never wasted.
Break down your goals into actionable steps.
Create a sequence of tasks geared at achieving a master goal. In doing so, you realize two things:
1. You reduce the risk of pursuing the wrong objectives.
2. You’ll have a manual as it were for the completion of tasks that you follow each time.
Don’t only focus on business building processes but also the day to day tasks.
The manual you create for day to day duties (on-site with clients) will help in the training of new employees. The ultimate goal is to grow your business and step away from the “on-site” job to the backend. Hiring crew members is a core element in your scaling plans.
As much as you may think you can do everything, trust me, you can’t. With a list of tasks, you can delegate steps more efficiently and determine where best to spend your energies.
See those action steps you created? Are they feasible? I ask because ‘circumstance’ influences the moves you can reasonably make. That is not to say you shouldn’t dream big, of course, you’re heading for the stars, but before then, work within your means.
Being realistic adds to the likelihood of completing the tasks you’ve outlined. Bracket your goals in periods to distinguish the timeframe for accomplishment. Set five months, one year, five years, and ten-year goals. Each bracket gives you something to work towards each day.
Organize your business for success.
With an organized system completing tasks and staying on top of things becomes less stressful and more productive. Breaking down your goals into tasks isn’t the end of it. You need to have a document prepared with all the information. There are so many apps, free and paid, that you can use as your digital assistant.
Input your tasks and tick them off as you go along. Checks and balances will keep you accountable. As you scale your business and take on more moving parts, you’ll grow to appreciate the sanity-saving effects of a well-organized system.
Keep detailed records.
Being organized also includes keeping detailed records of everything. And I mean everything. Think — receipts and purchase orders, customer and employee files, contracts, accounting and tax records, emails and other business communications, inventory logs, customer complaints, and accident reports. I could go on for a minute, but you get the idea.
With detailed records, you can:
1. Foresee and possibly prevent potential issues: This is especially so for financial records. Proper financial tracking can help you avoid unnecessary debts and over budget spending.
2. Resolve problems faster: Client records can help you track the work done along with the crew member(s) responsible for the completion of the job. Should any discrepancies arise, an easy reference can be pulled up.
3. Mitigate the effects of potential damage: If a client files an incident report, you can get ahead of the matter and minimize any possible damage to your business.
Make an action plan.
A step a lot of people miss is the creation of an action plan. Breaking goals into tasks, organizing your business, and keeping detailed records are parts of the whole. An action plan puts and ties them all together. It’s your business manifesto of all your ideas to conquer or carve out your slice of the landscaping industry.
Don’t enter your business blind. Note the trends in the landscaping industry and the most significant threats you may face.
Competition and customer analysis should be part of your action plan.
Watch your competition to understand them. Not to play the comparison game or become a carbon copy. Pinpoint competition weaknesses, and from their faults, find the strength of your business. Your competitive advantage as it were. And on a quick note — learn from your competitors’ mistakes.
For customers, knowing what they want from their landscape professional will inform the products and services you provide. Your offerings fall into the sweet spot where your knowledge, passion, and customer needs intersect.
You create a system — stick with it. Unless, of course, it’s rubbish, in which case, fix it. But whatever you do, be consistent. Show up always and do what’s necessary to be successful every day.
Consistency creates positive habits necessary for the growth and success of your business. It builds trust between you and your clients because they’re confident you’ll always deliver. And on the one or two occasions, you have an off day, because it happens, your track record offers you a bit of cushioning.
Do everything with a purpose.
Remember what I said about time spent well and with a purpose not being a waste? That’s because each action you take is deliberate. It serves a specific purpose in the system you’ve created for your business.
You can’t be deliberate in your actions without focus. Focus on the things that matter. Focus on the goals and tasks at hand. Building a lasting business takes time. If you are just starting, you won’t get a flood of clients right away. You have to prove your worth. Show you can deliver the type of service your customers want.
If you’re scaling your business, you’ll need to restructure before you can effectively expand. You can’t rush reconstruction; it takes time.
Risks = Success.
You’ll never win if you’re afraid to lose. So while you’re setting up your business for success, calculated risks are going to become a thing. Consider your pros and cons, weigh the benefits against the possible downsides.
Deliberate, smart risk-taking can lead to huge rewards.
Set the right environment.
At the back of your mind, everything you do should set the right kind of environment. This environment is the embodiment of your company culture that attracts both clients and quality employees.
Set Measurable Markers
Set measurable goals that motivate you to achieve them.
It’s one of the golden rules of goal setting and the hallmark of a process mindset. Why? Measurable goals set milestones for your achievements. If your goal for the month is “to increase profits,” the vagueness of it means you’d settle for an extra dollar at the end of the month. That’s hardly a motivator to get out of bed.
Now, if you say you want to make a 50% (go big or go home) increase in your monthly income, you’ve got a specific target. One you’re more likely pumped to complete. With this target in mind, you have to be strategic and deliberate in the actions you take. At the end of the month, you’ll see if you hit the mark.
If you don’t, it’s not the end, my friend. Re-evaluate the plan you followed. Take out the steps that failed, tweak, and modify, then take it for another spin the following month. Rinse and repeat until you hit that 50%. But don’t stop there — up your milestone and go again.
Track your progress and growth.
Measurable markers eliminate the guesswork. Guesswork, between the unnecessary trials and errors and the mental back and forth, sucks up valuable time. That time is what you need to invest in upping your efficiency and increase the growth of your landscaping business. Then you have the sense of accomplishment that comes with being able to track your progress on paper. We are often hard on ourselves when we think we haven’t done enough. Keeping records of your achievements is proof that your efforts are not going in vain.
So, to recap, here is how you can develop the process mindset:
1. Break down your goals into actionable steps
2. Assess feasibility
3. Organize your business for success
4. Keep detailed records
5. Make an action plan
6. Do research
7. Be consistent
1. Do everything with purpose
2. Stay focused and be patient
3. Risks = Success
4. Set the right environment
Set Measurable Markers
1. Set measurable goals that motivate you to achieve them
2. Track your progress and growth
Being systematic, deliberate, and setting measurable markers serves to prove you are serious about your business. Clients will take notice, and so will potential partners.