Mid Year Check Up
Too often in the tree care industry during the middle of the year, business owners feel entrapped by their business. The work is booked out for a month or two, yet they are playing catchup from storm damage work, employees are about to leave to go back to school and many more challenges put the business owner on pins and needles. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Below are 7 questions to ask yourself at the halfway point in your year so you can make some corrections if necessary.
Are your repeat customers still loving your service? Obviously if your customers are not receiving the level of service that they deserve and expect, you need to make adjustments right now. New sales are great, but if your repeat customers are not happy with you, the amount of work you will need to put in to replacing that customer with a new one comes at too high of a cost. If your customer experience needs a refresh check out our article on that topic for ideas.
Is your company culture where you want it to be? There is never a good time within a business year to reevaluate your staff, but it is one of the most critical areas a business owner must pay attention to. Are there concerns that have popped up with any of your team members? Has turnover been an issue? Take a look at the pay and benefits that you offer. Do they support the desired culture you are trying to promote?
Has anything major happened in your local market? Sometimes business plans need to be altered due to something that happened outside of your organization. Keeping a pulse on what is going on in your community is an important part of assessing your business at the midpoint in the year. Have there been any large factory closings, did a new tree service come into town or was one of your competitors bought out by a national company? Any of these will have an impact on your business. Don’t be too focused just on your company and make sure you take time to know what is happening around you.
Are you meeting your revenue goals? At the halfway point in the year, there is still plenty time to reach your yearend goals, however, you need to know where you stand. Is one aspect of your business underperforming? What can you do to get back on track? Do you need to invest in additional marketing to stir up some more new business?
Does your company’s brand match your services? Many times a company’s brand (primarily the logo and website) does not match what the business actually does. Contrary to popular belief, during the year is a great time to begin exploring a rebrand of your logo and website. Most of this work will be done in the off-season, but getting it right takes time and now is the time to set the foundation for that process. Think about what your customer or prospect feels about your organization as well as how you want them to feel.
How is your equipment? Knowing what equipment you have and the condition of each piece is vital to every tree service. Obviously, making sure proper maintenance is being performed on the equipment is the most important part, however, ask yourself if there is a missing piece of equipment that can make your team safer and more efficient? Have there been jobs that your team members wished they had an additional piece of equipment? A mini-loader or spider lift? What would your first half numbers look like if you didn’t have equipment breakdowns or injuries that could have been prevented with different equipment?
How do your numbers look? Take time to review your company’s finances. You probably already do this every month, however take a deep dive in the middle of the year. How does the Profit & Loss statement look? What financial pressures have come up on your business? Talk to your accountant to determine if you should consider buying more equipment to lower your tax burden.
With the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to craft a second half plan for your business that will ensure you end up meeting or surpassing your overall annual goals for the company.
Written by: Eric Petersen