Starting a business is hard enough before you think about the odds. And when you do, it seems they’re stacked against you. Studies have shown that only 15 percent of small businesses survive beyond their first 5 years. Not very comforting; but at U.S. Lawns, the businesses we work with have a much higher success rate So, what makes the difference?. Let’s look at 5 basic failures suffered by small businesses, and some solutions we’ve seen over the years.
1. Self-reliance. In most contexts self-reliance would be considered a virtue. But far too often, small business owners take their D-I-Y attitude too far, placing the entire bulk of the operation squarely in their own hands. If something were to happen to the owner, the entire business would suffer. A small business of that sort can’t even comprehend expansion. Finding and recruiting trustworthy help becomes a time consuming drain. That’s why, at U.S. Lawns, we provide each owner with a personal advisor– a business mentor to guide you through your growth process. We also make sure you have access to an entire support staff at our Home Office in Orlando, as well as a network of 270+ other franchisees who are willing to help you succeed.
2. Drive-by estimating. This one is particularly true for contractors, and it’s one of the reasons the Small Business Administration deems construction the second riskiest business. The process of estimating and bidding a new site is a laborious one, and not always part of the owners skill set. Bid too low, and you turn no profit; too high, and you lose the job. Fortunately, when you partner with U.S. Lawns, we provide extensive training in estimating and bidding. We start all our new franchisees out with a six-day training session at our Orlando Headquarters, where you’ll learn all the financial ins and outs of the business that hold most contractors back.
3. Operational inefficiencies. This includes everything from paying too much in overhead to not hiring the right labor. Many small business owners go into business because they love the work, but they don’t necessarily understand the details of daily operation. At U.S. Lawns, we consider it our job to teach those skills, and to provide you with tools that will help manage those tasks. From increased purchasing power to our operational software to ongoing assistance with recruitment and retention, we help you get the essentials right.
4. Lack of repeat customers. Building a steady stream of customers can take time. Add the need to establish your brand, advertise and develop a reputation, and you’ve got a slow-growth business that’s anything but sustainable. With U.S. Lawns, you could have access a pre-established portfolio of prospective clients that includes companies who renew their contracts from year-to-year. Some of our franchisees start working with Fortune 500 clients right away. Grounds care is a $70 billion market that’s just waiting to be tapped. Go get yours.
5. Inability to replicate a profitable business model. You need to find your niche in the market without spending a ton of money. Small businesses can lack the capital to compete with the big guys, and the newer the business, the quicker it has to act Those “big guys” already have a plan and they can smell competition a mile away. It’s a crowded market, and small operation struggle. However, U.S. Lawns has been in business for 28 years, and is currently the largest franchise in commercial landscaping. By converting your independent landscaping business to U.S. Lawns, your “niche” has already been established, and you instantly join the big game.
Is your business struggling? Let your transformation begin here.