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When the economy becomes uncertain, common advice given in this industry is to save up cash and grow your maintenance.

(Photo: Page Chichester / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images)

(Photo: Page Chichester / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images)

But that advice doesn’t make sense.

You can’t pivot your business and suddenly make a quick, significant change.

Do you think God reached out to Noah and said, “Hey it might rain soon, you should build an Ark in the next month or two.”

To survive any real monsoon, you have to prepare in advance.

Today, I’m holding a deep-dive webinar on this same topic. Here are the highlights of my counterintuitive strategies to keep your business watertight and afloat in rough seas.

Do’s and don’ts to navigate an uncertainty

  1. (Do) Remove uncertainty from your employees’ minds. It is key to increase your communication with and the confidence of your team. Include them in financial and numerical updates to share how the business is doing. Make them part of the ongoing discussion, good and bad. They will thank you.
  2. Don’t stockpile cash “in” the business. Everyone says you should do this, but it can make your operations sluggish when sitting on so much money. I have seen this happen before where excess cash blinds staff and thus hurts margins. It’s better to focus your team on being lean and accountable from both a cash flow and profit perspective.
  3. Don’t hunker down. Even when the economy is soft, someone is still buying and someone is still selling. It’s a time to buy low, as the saying goes. Be on the lookout for opportunities. Stay positive and keep your game face on!
  4. Don’t build up maintenance, unless it’s already part of your strategy for building enterprise value and keeping competitors off your clients’ property. If you are an install-driven company, you can’t just change stripes (especially once you see a storm on the horizon), but you can become more flexible with your overhead and operations. Own your strategy.
  5. (Do) Invest in marketing when times are good. It’s a muscle you need to keep strong. So you can turn up the marketing heat in times of need and then turn it down when you want. But never turn it off.
  6. Don’t ignore existing clients. Do a better job being client-centric. Never sacrifice service and never chase new clients when your existing clients want to buy more services from you. Build loyalty and upsell systems proactively.
  7. (Do) Invest in sales training. When times are good, your salespeople take orders and their sales skills tend to atrophy. Build a killer selling team through sales training and spend time improving the selling process. 
  8. Don’t ignore the fuzzy indicators. Leading indicators are hard to ascertain, like watching a long-term weather forecast. But if you spend time outside your business keeping tabs on the market and inside your business keeping tabs on the leading data points, you will sleep better at night and be more proactive in your decisions. 
  9. Don’t scale back on brainpower. Build a super strong leadership team that can think and act on its feet. Invest in the best and they will help you sail through bumpy waters. 

Your challenge

Don’t scale back your growth moves when it starts to rain. You can grow in all economies with the right approach.

And don’t forget to register for my next quarterly webinar on a new trending topic.

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Jeffrey Scott

About the Author:

Jeffrey Scott, MBA, author, specializes in growth and profit maximization in the Green Industry. His expertise is rooted in his personal success, growing his own company into a $10 million enterprise. Now, he facilitates the Leader’s Edge peer group for landscape business owners—members achieve a 27 percent profit increase in their first year. To learn more visit www.GetTheLeadersEdge.com.

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