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Bruce’s View: Support growth by lowering costs

February 17, 2015 -  By

Bruce Wilson

This year may well be a breakout. Economic indicators show a faster growth rate for business, credit markets are loosening up and data point to an increase in labor market momentum. With construction spending on the rise, more robust growth in landscape maintenance services is sure to follow. For landscape contractors, an increased demand in opportunities and account activity will require strategies for cost management. It also may mean a need to staff up or find additional production labor.
With all that in mind, here are six ways to drive profitable growth while controlling costs:

1. Work smarter. Significant labor is wasted doing things that do not need to be done out of habit. Attract people who work smarter.

2. Carefully allocate resources. Make simple changes in systems and processes to increase efficiency and responsibility.

3. Demand accountability. Require managers to be results-oriented, to sequence tasks better, manage processes tighter and increase performance expectations.

4. Adjust pricing. Carefully choose which services customers are most willing to pay more and communicate the reason for the change.

5. Improve hiring and recruiting. Get everyone involved in generating referrals and contract with recruiting specialist trained in screening and placement.

6. Manage purchasing. Ask suppliers if they’ll pass along fuel and commodity savings to you.

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About the Author:

The author, of the Wilson-Oyler Group, is a 30-year industry veteran. Reach him at

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