With 2018 in the books, it’s a good time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t during the year. That way you can properly plan for 2019. You may have missed out on some opportunities in 2018, but you can leverage these for 2019. There is also the ability in the new year to learn more and discover what customers most want.

Let’s start with this year in review by discerning missed opportunities. Consider these questions:

Did you have a positive net gain on customers?

If you were able to add more new customers than you lost, you have a net customer gain for 2018.

However, if you had a net loss, it’s essential to look back on why you lost more customers. Are there service issues? Have you raised prices too much for the area?

It’s vital to understand why you lost customers—was it due to a competitor? Is the real estate market impacting your business?

Did you spend less time creating quotes?

Are quotes a thorn in your side? If they take too long to put together, you may lose customers this way as well. You need a simple, easy way to create accurate quotes. There are a number of great options out there, including our very own platform.

What were the most used plants or flowers?

It’s important to know what you sell the most of, and if you are receiving the best price from a supplier. If the same core plants keep showing up on your orders, you need to investigate what the best price is.

How much turnover did you have?

Turnover can be a high cost, especially if it’s above normal. Due to the nature of the job, turnover remains relatively high in landscaping. If you see that your turnover was higher than years past, you should dive deeper into the data.

Turnover is inevitable but if there are things you can do to keep employees longer, you’ll mitigate costs associated with hiring and onboarding new employees. Give employees the incentive to stay.

Did you diversify your suppliers in 2018?

If you are still limited by the suppliers you have for materials, you need to think about joining a landscaping supply platform that can connect you with a broader range of suppliers than the selection you’re used to.

That’s the core of what we do here at LandscapeHub: connecting buyers with suppliers all over the country. This means you have more choices and the possibility of saving money. You also don’t have to worry about how to get your supplies as the platform takes care of all the logistics.

2019 Opportunities

Now that you have had a thorough review of 2018, it’s time to think about how to improve your business for the new year. What can you do to be better prepared to grow your business?

Keep Learning

You’ll find that no matter what your business is, learning is continuous, not finite. There are lots of areas you can learn about when it comes to landscaping. There are new trends to be explored. New plants are also an area to investigate to learn about how you might use these in your designs.

There are also opportunities for more learning by just staying up-to-date on the industry. There are lots of things outside your control in the landscaping industry. It’s good to keep an eye on these things so you will know if they may impact your business.

For example, pricing could go up on certain plants because of crop issues that decreased the yield. Another example would be just looking at weather trends and determining how to design a landscape that takes this into consideration.

How Can You Grow?

Like any business, you want to grow. Gaining new customers isn’t easy. You’ll need to invest time, money, and resources. This may include marketing tactics like email campaigns, direct mailers, or digital ads on Google. Look back at the data you have related to marketing objectives and see what worked.

Growth has to also be scalable. You can’t gain all those new clients and be unable to service them. You’ll need ways to streamline operations so you have more time to focus on serving your customers. That’s another key focus of ours here at LandscapeHub— streamlining the ordering process by offering lots of help for you when it comes to finding supplies, quotes, and more.

What Will You Achieve in 2019?

It’s time to put your plan into effect for 2019. To create your strategy for growth and retaining customers, you should examine the details of 2018. Here you can find information on what transpired and use it to inform what you’ll do this year.

A good place to start for 2019? Consider becoming a member of LandscapeHub. You’ll be able to do a lot more for your business through our platform. It’s easy to join, and there are no fees required. Learn more about how it works today.