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Discussion in 'Original Pictures Forum' started by etwman, Dec 20, 2002.
subscribed. read the whole thread. there's such a huge amount of great info here.
Here's a topic I haven't touched on. Any seasonal company, especially in our industry will need to watch this. We all have ups and downs, it is what it is. We have our busy seasons and our slow seasons. You will have hills and valleys in cash flow and these swings tend to be bigger the further north you are since your season is shorter.
I've spent time with alot of landscape company owners over the years and it blows my mind at how few run weekly cash flow reports of their company. Those who have budgets are even less than that, but that's a story for another post. Not doing either is very dangerous and is the reason why most companies get themselves in a real mess. Here's what I do weekly:
Add: Cash, Accounts Receivables, Savings and come up with that total. If you are really a tracking machine you'll know to the dollar where you are at with each of your projects under construction with design/build. DON'T include in this client deposits on projects that you haven't started. Only include what you've done to date.
Delete: All payables, credit card balances, lines of credit, payroll for the week, etc. Long term liabilities (loans) do not need to be included in this. Just the next payment if its within 30 days out.
What is that number? Now run that number at least once a week. Record it on a spreadsheet. Begin to form a database of where you are at so you can go back and reference years past, where were you at this time last year? This should be part of your dashboard. If you don't know these numbers you are in serious trouble. I can tell you daily what that number is in less than 5 minutes for work ending the previous day.
There's your fall advice. And if your are constantly in the red you're lacking efficiency, spending too much, or not pricing things right, simple as that.
The best part about this is that it has nothing to do with horticulture or landscaping and all to do with running a business. Obviously you take landscaping serious and be as knowledgeable as you can about it, it shows in your work. But, being able to tell every plant species and not being able to balance the books will get you no where in business. This is the stuff I love to read and put in a notebook for later reading. Great stuff..
Many people are surprised when I tell them that I don't even have a design program on my computer. I couldn't open the design software if I had it. I wrestled with that early on, and it would be neat to do that, but its not the best use of my time at the company. Sure I give suggestions and feedback based on my years experience, but I don't do the main design. That's our architects responsibility.
You can't build a business and do everything and you need to decide what you are best at and where you'll be needed most in 5 years. Work towards that.
Attached is a sign that hangs in our shop. It's located in 10 places around here. It's pretty powerful, simple, but makes everyone think what is best for the team. Enjoy.
I just picked up Marty's book. After several hours of reading through your thread, I decided that I needed to read that book. Your work, and most importantly, your business mind, is very inspirational. I am in the process of starting my company and I hope to look to guys like you and Marty for advice and inspiration.
Hope you are doing well,
i think this is perfect
i think this is awesome
I would however suggest you not place the sign overtop the washer/dryer in your house for your spouse to see.
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really? how do you explain solo business. they build a business with one guy doing everything.
You can't build a sizable business and do everything.
You'll eventually run yourself ragged. I've seen so many do it then sell out after a couple years. Sure you can do it all for a little while but you're setting yourself up for burnout down the road.
Hes also running a large install and hardscape company with a maintenance division that would crush any solo op. Not mowing 20 lawns a week
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