For many people who start a business, expansion is the ultimate goal. This is particularly common with landscaping companies, because the model is so friendly to expanding. You can start by yourself, build a small team, and then start splitting into different teams to handle different jobs. Because it’s so often done, you may think that expanding is simple or easy. Even in this industry, it isn’t.
There are a lot of considerations to make when expanding your landscaping company. Here are several hard questions you should be able to ask and answer when you’re moving on to the next stage.
Can You Adapt to a New Management Style?
Managing a team that’s around you at all times is a very different experience from saying goodbye to several teams in the morning and then only hearing from them throughout the day. You need to change your techniques and tools to match the changes that are about to be happening in your average workday.
In particular, you’re going to want to focus on developing your communication and tracking tools. You’re going to want more than cell phones to keep the lines of communication open in the field. Also, you’re going to want a new way to keep records straight from all over your area. New landscaping software will help you organize your team, better.
Will Your Customers Still Trust You?
If you’re expanding from a one-team operation to a multi-team operation, you need to consider the effect this might have on your customers. Customers can get used to the luxury of working with the owner whenever they’re getting service. They may not react as well or trust any other employees that are sent around. The power of your brand may rely more on your presence than you expect.
Of course, this shouldn’t discourage you from expanding at all. As long as you have employees that have been trained well to deliver your standard of service, you’ll have no problem replacing the lost customers with some new ones. Of course, whether that’s possible is another question you should ask yourself.
Can You Trust Anyone to Manage in Your Absence?
It’s absolutely necessary that you have someone in place that you can trust before you attempt to expand. This person should meet some harsh qualifications. It should be someone that you’ve worked with for a long time, and knows what you expect from company behavior and customer service.
No matter how many times you expand, always start with someone you have experience working with to lead the new team. There’s no better way to help keep the culture alive.