Hunches go better with facts

August 5, 2016 -  By
Bruce Wilson

Bruce Wilson

“The degree of one’s emotions varies inversely with one’s knowledge of the facts,” said British philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell when explaining logical analysis. Here’s why he’s right when it comes to managing your business.

Every day, landscape owners make difficult decisions with incomplete information. With large contracts at stake, issues of urgency—such as client complaints, employee matters, tight bidding, etc.—can lead to decisions that may not be in your company’s best interest.

For example, if you were to be underbid on two consecutive jobs, it might cause you to think you need to cut your prices. But if you did an analysis of bids over a few years, it might not really be the case. You may be winning an acceptable percentage of opportunities or even winning at an above-goal rate.

It’s the same thing when losing an employee to a competitor for more money. Rather than panicking and giving everyone increases, a logical approach would be to analyze salaries. You may find out that although you might have underpaid a few employees, as a whole, your team is well-paid. Had you instinctively matched the higher rate, you might have upset your whole pay scale.

Many owners don’t ask enough questions or look into the details. You must collect statistics, costs, selling ratios and employee retention data so when the time comes for analysis, you can use these metrics to enable fact-based decision-making and improve performance.

This is posted in August 2016

About the Author:

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

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