noun hab·it \ˈha-bət\
A usual way of behaving : something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way.
We all have them. Good and bad. Our actions become so routine to us that our brains flip on the autopilot and don’t think twice about what we’re doing.
Green industry business owners will develop habits that are unique to the job. Their habits can be something as simple as grabbing a cup of coffee as soon as you get to your shop or it can be something a little more complex, like locking up your trailers and shop for the day. Big or small, good or bad, habits take time to form, science says it actually takes an average of 66 days to form one. And equally as long to break one.
Here are 5 habits that green industry owners need to break or replace.
This is a common habit for business owners. They want to deliver anything that a customer asks about. It is why so many irrigation professionals say that they can do design/build landscaping, even if they know they’re more suited to stick with irrigation systems.
Just because a customer asks if you can do something, it doesn’t mean that you have to say yes. If you aren’t a landscaper, don’t try to be a landscaper. You’re going to wind up spending more time and misappropriating resources to a job that you shouldn’t even be on.
It wastes time that you could be spending elsewhere and it could potentially make your business look unprofessional if you don’t do a decent job. Find someone in the area that you can form a mutually beneficial relationship with and pass work to each other when it comes up.
When you deal with quite a few customers, this is an easy habit to form. A successful green industry business will have hundreds of customers. And those customers will have complaints and requests. Being too reactive to these can be a bad habit to have.
You need to identify what are some common complaints that you know can be discounted right off the bat. Is there a common issue that customers might see when you’re installing a new irrigation system? Or is there a quick fix or solution to a smart irrigation sensor not operating the way it should? Become proactive and whenever you’re out on the job, maybe leave a frequently asked questions sheet for your customers. It could save you time and a few headaches.
Activities become a habit because of repetition. Even if you feel like a system or process is working well for your business, it is a good idea to periodically step back and evaluate their overall effectiveness. It is a good idea to fine tune your processes.
The best way to do this is with hard data, not just a gut feeling. Use the data that you collect from your field service software(if you don’t currently use one, you can watch our demo here) and find gaps in your systems. Maybe you’re losing money by routing inefficiently or you could be billing your customers quicker, you should be evaluating these activities often and fine tuning them.
As a business owner, it is tough to take time off. You feel like if you do, you’re entire operation is going to fall apart. Even if your business is seasonal, there is still plenty of work that can be done in the office while you aren’t in the field.
Business owners wind up forming the habit of always being on the clock. They eventually burn themselves out because they feel the need to always work. Trust in the team you’ve built and take break every once in a while!
Similar to over promising to customers, this habit can overextend any business owner. Since you are so connected to your business, you’ll be wearing quite a few hats. You’re customer service, finance, marketing, sales, operations, everything really. You’ll start focusing your time on improving one aspect of the business, but likely be working on something else at the same time.
This might be okay while your business is just starting out, but once you have a larger customer base and more employees to manage, you have to be able to delegate. Prioritize your focus. If your know that you need a more effective way to bill, focus on that issue before working on anything else.