Recently, we ran across an article from our good friends over at Bob Clements International that we just had to share. You can find the link at the bottom of this blog post. KPM and Bob Clements share a joint passion for helping outdoor power equipment dealers be as successful as possible. Over the years, Bob Clements' has assisted KPM with dealer meetings, education, and other trainings.
“We may need to Get External to notice.”
The Landscape Industry has experienced steady growth between 2010 and 2015, with an average annual increase in revenue of 6%. In their 2016 Industry Outlook, Green Industry Pros writer and associate publisher Gregg Wartgow shares the results of their fall survey of Landscape Contractors, and the future is bright! Wartgow points out that “Roughly two-thirds expect to grow their sales in the installation, maintenance, and lawn care divisions [this year]”. Wartgow references housing starts, commercial construction and foreseen increase in per capita disposable income as key contributors to sustainable growth through 2020. These increases in new construction also draw in higher demand, which inevitably allows landscaping professionals to increase their profit margins.
An organization’s culture is developed, in most cases, through the activities of the people involved over time. The activities, by way of only a few examples may be:
- The way people speak to one another
- How they serve a customer
- The backdrop behind how decisions are made
- Empathy for customers and each other
- Or, from a long history of processes, procedures and policies
Sometimes a culture is borne out of an organizational creed, mission statement, prayer, or the leader in the organization.
It is entirely viable that a culture can attract people in the examples noted. “ABC company is a great company to work for,” one might hear. Do they pay high compensation? Do they give a lot of time off?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of small business births is exceeding the exit rate of companies, or company closures—a positive trend we haven’t seen since 2007. With increasing competition, how can your small business stay ahead of the pack?
As a dealer, you likely devote a fair amount of time to inventory management, right? Parts to keep your customers going, the optimal level, make-up and display of equipment to maximize your sales? Of course! But what about the other inventory you purchase with each payroll? That’s right, shop labor inventory! And it already has an established retail price, your posted shop labor rate.
Be Proud of Your Business Impact
When asked about your business or what type of work you do, how do you respond? Is it, “we sell lawn mowers,” or “I work for so and so and I fix mowers?” Why are we so modest when talking about our chosen business ventures or careers? Are we embarrassed? Well, of course not.
Independent We Stand
Independence Day, America’s birthday, the Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. One of the most important days in our history. We will celebrate with family and friends, each in our own way.
The most successful dealers can differentiate themselves from the competition (other independently owned dealers and the big box stores) and do not compete using price as a primary differentiator. Instead, they consistently deliver a unique bundle of services and are willing and able to invest the time, money and energy in promoting themselves as their own brand. Competing on price only, or entering "the race to the bottom," may reap a short-term benefit, but flies in the face of long-term existence.
Key Factors Contractors Consider
Over 90% of landscape contractors surveyed pointed to three key factors that influence their buying decision when purchasing equipment: Durability/Reliability, Productivity/Performance, and Brand Loyalty.