CENTS ONLA trade show

Does Your Contracting Company Have a Business Plan?

Green Side vs. Business Side

CENTS ONLA trade show

Brochure for CENTS Trade Show by Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association (ONLA)

Many green industry contractors get started on accident (and without a long-term plan or strategy). They start mowing lawns as a side job for extra cash as teenagers, keep it up after high school and through college and eventually the enjoyment of their work, and the realization that there is great opportunity in the green industry pulls them in for life.

Because the green side of the business is usually what draws someone in, it is a priority from day one. It usually isn’t an area where the business is lacking.

But what about the business side of the business? Do most contractors have a plan in place for what they would like to do in one year, five years and ten years?

If not, a business plan is a good place to start.  The great news is, a business plan doesn’t need to be time consuming or complex.  It’s really about answering a series of questions about your business.  Creating a simple business plan helps you see your business as an owner  -from the outside, rather than as an employee from the inside.

Expert Advice for Your Business Plan

Frank Ross addresses the value of having a business plan on GreenIndustryPros.com . He says a business plan begins with defining your overall vision of your long-term goals.

Next comes the operating budget, which he compares to a road map that will show you how to reach company objectives in the shortest, least expensive and most efficient manner.

How do you get started with your operating budget? Sounds complicated, but Frank gives you the framework with five simple key elements.

Frank’s Five Key Elements of an Operating Budget:

1. Set your net profit goal

2. Forecast overhead

3. Establish your backlog

4. Prepare a labor budget

5. Prepare a sales budget

Frank elaborates on each element enough so that this article can act as a guide to help you create (or fine tune) your business plan and operating budget. Read the entire article here.


So what do you think? Do these five elements offer the framework someone needs to get started on their business plan and budget?

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