There’s no question that 2020 was a rough & unpredictable year for everyone. With the amount of uncertainty we’re facing with the ongoing pandemic, it can be a bit difficult planning for the upcoming New Year. However, in our industry, it’s vital to always plan ahead in order to get ahead. You want your business to focus on the big picture for long-term success instead of thinking week-to-week. Planning now for 2021 will place you ahead of your competition, and if there’s anything this year has taught us, it’s that preparation is key.
Planning for 2021 doesn’t have to be overly complex, but it does need to be organized and give you the framework to map out your next year. With the upcoming year potentially being as unpredictable as 2020, it’s important to reflect back on this year & apply any lessons learned into your planning. When putting together your plan for 2021, consider these 3 tips to help you be prepared & take your business to the next level of success:
1. Acknowledge Your Current State
Every business has been impacted in a different way and it’s led to different outcomes. In order to be prepared, it’s important to conduct an analysis of the current state of your business. Determining where your business stands, will allow & help you to kick-start planning for 2021. In order to do so, consider applying a technique used by many businesses called the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. This will help you determine the following:
- Strength: Areas you are currently performing well on & can help your business gain fast traction with skills, resources, and knowledge already in place.
- Weaknesses: Areas of your business that may be holding you back that should be removed, or improved.
- Opportunities: Opportunities available for your business to expand on.
- Threats: Reflect on the obstacles from 2020 and think about the threats your business may have experienced.
This is an important first step to begin planning as the findings from the SWOT analysis can help you identify areas that may need improvement, changes, or removal in order to maximize resources & success. It will help in determining the best path for your business for the upcoming year.
2. Preparation for Disruption
One of the biggest challenges that our industry has faced this year is with the supply chain. Supply chains have been disrupted for nearly 75% of U.S companies, and you can expect that impact to continue through 2021. Shipping/Trucking are also going through major changes with limited travel schedules, a giant workforce shortage, and higher demand. This also leads to higher manufacturers’ prices as there are less transport available, and costs associated with it are increased. As mentioned before, if you plan on including new services to your business, you’re going to need more supply/equipment. If your business faced any supply chain issues this year, you want to ensure you’re prepared for the upcoming year as supply chain disruptions are imminent.
In order to plan for any supply chain disruption in 2021, take advantage of an Early Order Program. Planning your purchases can help you save money on your bottom line but more importantly, with supply chain challenges, you can guarantee you have the product you need, when you need it. Take a look at how an Early Order Program can help you stay ahead of the competition and take your business to the next level of success:
- Beat the manufacturer’s price increases. Stay ahead of the increases and lock in your material costs now, before the prices go up. Connect with your local Central rep to learn how you can take advantage of additional cash discounts, double reward points, and extended terms.
- Increase Cash Flow: Get Product Now, Pay Later. When you take advantage of an Early Order Program, you get the products you need to finish your job now and stock up that you will need—and pay for it later in the season when cash is flowing better for your business.
- Easy Inventory Management. Whether you’re installing a new irrigation system, adding landscape lighting to a job, or getting ready for spring—you need product. When you don’t have the materials you need to do the job, work can be delayed, or worse yet—stopped. Nothing is worse than having to wait for materials to finish a job. Central can help you forecast your inventory levels based on your historical purchases, so that you have the right quantity of the products you need.
Better yet, Central has two Early Order Programs you can take advantage of this month! Ask your Central rep how you can take advantage or discounts as deep at 7% or extended terms as long as August 2021 with our Commitment or Turf EOP!
It’s vital for your business to be prepared, and stocked up during the ongoing supply chain issues. Now is the time to plan ahead, and ensure your business stays ahead of the competition.
3. Pivoting Is a Must
We’ve seen how unpredictable situations can arise and impact businesses. It’s uncertain if 2021 will repeat the same obstacles we’ve seen this year, so it’s important to ensure your business has the potential ability to pivot and adapt to any unforeseen changes in the future. Businesses that were able to quickly pivot their operations experienced a lesser impact than others, so you want to ensure your business will be able to do the same. Below are a couple ways to consider pivoting in our industry for your business:
- Include a new service to your business, such as fall-clean up, mosquito & tick control, or lighting services. Be sure that any service you plan to include is needed in your area and for the upcoming seasons.
- With Google My Business introducing video tools in 2021, you can pivot from in person meetings, to video chat calls with your customers.
- If your business is focused solely on commercial contracts, consider also working with residential. With more & more people staying or working from home, the residential market is booming. In fact, many contractors have been unable to complete residential projects due to the amount of bookings. Take a look at the 4 key areas to focus now that customers are spending more time at home.
Being able to adapt or pivot is critical in the face of challenges in 2021. You want to ensure your business is prepared and ready to overcome any new, or repeating obstacles.
Rely on Central to help, whether it’s questions about marketing strategy, strategic purchasing, or business planning during COVID-19. Central is the right partner for your business. We stay at the leading edge of the industry and we’re ready to help you grow!