5 Tips To Manage Costs And Increase Revenue

Years ago, a wonderfully bright minded man named Thomas Friedman (The World is Flat) stated the most profound thing I have heard in the business world for many years — “Don’t waste this recession!”  The lessons that we have learned over the last four years should not be forgotten. They should be used as a forward-thinking blueprint for the next few years to come.

How do we grow our business with the lessons the economy has taught us? Two simple ideas come to mind every time I present for clients and conferences throughout the world: cost management and revenue generation. Here are five solid ideas that you can take to your team and then take to the bank.

  1. Create a utility/fuel team that has the sole responsibility to identify the cost of utility/fuel usage during each month of the year. Set a goal of a reduction of utility cost by at least 10 percent. Strategize the methods in which the cost savings could take place (time and duration of usage, shutting down certain areas during the down time, managing route and fuel consumption on vehicles) and then look at what the savings would be. Offer a “spiff” or reward for the team if the goal is met. When one of my clients in Virginia did this, they were able to save more than $250,000 over the course of the year in 2012.
  2. Create a safety team and look at the cost of insurance based on the injury or incidences that occur. Develop a system of rewards for accident-free days; the rewards can escalate for the increased times they can boast an accident-free workplace – from popcorn to pizza to prizes to sharing in the profits: the 4 Ps plan for 30-, 60-, 90- and 120-day increments.
  3. Set a goal for a particular item in the retail store that we believe will benefit the customer if they were educated about its uses and successes. Challenge the sales team to educate and consult the customer about the particular product and track how successful you are each day, based on previous year at the same time. A client in Maryland offered Soil Moist as a “beat the summer watering costs” benefit for their clients and sold 400% more over the month prior. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a unified and motivated team to deliver on the goal…it works almost every time!
  4. Offer the scale and scope of your buying opportunities to your local clients. One garden center owner in Phoenix, who would see his landscape contractors come in with tired tools of the trade, suggested he could buy tools at a more affordable price than they were getting at the big box. By taking this simple customer need and figuring out a cost-effective solution, the owner was able to help this customer’s immediate need, but also realize a $30,000 increase in sales from this client, who began buying more plant material from him as well.
  5. The final idea is a tough one and has to do with labor hours. I am amazed at how many hours of the clock tick by before someone realizes that we should let some folks go for the day. At one client, it added up to over $80,000 of labor that was wasted by not watching the clock. Develop a system where you have a pre-determined time three times a day to review the talent and tasks at hand. As the tasks are reduced, so too should the talent. This one idea is the most successful way you could both manage costs and increase profitability. If you saved 10 hours a week with your staffing over the busy magic 90 days of the season it would amount to 160 hours of saved labor. These labor costs add up fast and will kill any profit that you are working to achieve.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “5 Tips To Manage Costs And Increase Revenue

More From Business Management...
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

August 25, 2016

7 Ways Albert Grimm Strives To Be An Effective Leader

Grimm, Greenhouse Grower's 2016 Head Grower Of The Year, tries to live by the "Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People” from author Stephen R. Covey.

Read More
Tidal Creek Growers

August 25, 2016

Maryland-Based SunMed Growers Nabs Cannabis License

The company was one of 15 licensees selected by the commission out of a pool of 145 grower applicants to receive one of the license pre-approvals.

Read More
Albert Grimm GOY feature

August 25, 2016

Up Close And Personal With Head Grower Of The Year Albert Grimm

According to Grimm, Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Head Grower Of The Year, the key to being a successful grower is educating and inspiring yourself, your staff, your customers, and the next generation of growers.

Read More
Latest Stories
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

August 25, 2016

7 Ways Albert Grimm Strives To Be An Effective Leader

Grimm, Greenhouse Grower's 2016 Head Grower Of The Year, tries to live by the "Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People” from author Stephen R. Covey.

Read More
Tidal Creek Growers

August 25, 2016

Maryland-Based SunMed Growers Nabs Cannabis License

The company was one of 15 licensees selected by the commission out of a pool of 145 grower applicants to receive one of the license pre-approvals.

Read More
Albert Grimm GOY feature

August 25, 2016

Up Close And Personal With Head Grower Of The Year Albe…

According to Grimm, Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Head Grower Of The Year, the key to being a successful grower is educating and inspiring yourself, your staff, your customers, and the next generation of growers.

Read More
Penn State Plant Bud

August 23, 2016

AmericanHort Is Helping Plant Importers Adjust To New R…

A report from Craig Regelbrugge at AmericanHort says the government is implementing a streamlined system for imports, in which all required data will be submitted electronically through a single window.

Read More
LuxFlora - feature

August 22, 2016

Check Out Luxflora’s International Adventures In Europe

A new, women-led professional organization provides its members the opportunity to gain insight, develop ideas, and build connections on its annual international trip.

Read More
MasterTag booth at Cultivate'16

August 17, 2016

5 Nuggets Of Wisdom From Cultivate’16

Here are five sweet pieces from the movers and shakers at Cultivate'16 to help improve your greenhouse business.

Read More
Cannabis ForwardGro

August 16, 2016

ForwardGro Receives License From Maryland Medical Canna…

The company, comprised of expert nursery growers, medical experts, business leaders, and patient advocates, says it can now apply its greenhouse growing experience, medical knowledge, and business expertise to effectively grow quality and consistent medical cannabis.

Read More
GreenhouseConnect 2015 Grower Supplier Meeting

August 16, 2016

5 Reasons You Need To Attend GreenhouseConnect

Greenhouse Grower’s annual event, which will take place Oct. 11-14 in Park City, UT, offers large-scale growing operations the chance to meet one on one with suppliers who can directly address your business needs.

Read More
Farwest Show Floor

August 14, 2016

Mobile App Now Available For 2016 Farwest Show

The app, available as a free download, can help attendees plan for everything from educational sessions to the New Varieties Showcase and Grower Showcase.

Read More

August 13, 2016

Plants Sales Are Up For Fourth Straight Year, According…

Growers declared spring 2016 to be a success in Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 State Of The Industry: Spring Crops Recap Survey.

Read More
Echinacea ‘Butterfly Rainbow Marcella’

August 12, 2016

IR-4 Project Receives Federal Funding For Pollinator An…

Grants from the Specialty Crop Research Initiative will fund IR-4 projects on protecting pollinators through ornamental horticulture, and downy mildew management strategies.

Read More
Emily Teng

August 11, 2016

American Floral Endowment Announces Its 2016 Scholarshi…

This year, thanks to the generosity of several donors, AFE awarded more than $35,000 to 17 students pursuing careers in horticulture.

Read More
Laura Drotleff

August 10, 2016

Customers Need Hand-Holding And TLC [Opinion]

If we want customers to use our plants, we need to provide basic information about the plants we produce.

Read More
Plug Connection Assortment

August 9, 2016

AmericanHort’s Plug And Cutting Conference Will Feature…

This year’s conference, which takes place Sept. 19-21 in Carlsbad, CA, features discussions on water, pest and disease control, and production inputs, as well as a biocontrols workshop and tour of local cuttings facilities.

Read More
Jim Nordlie

August 9, 2016

AFE Establishes Memorial Tribute For Long-Time Rose Gro…

Kennicott Brothers Company, Nordlie Inc., and The Pete Garcia Company established the Jim Nordlie Memorial Tribute through American Floral Endowment in honor of James “Jim” Nordlie, who passed away on July 1 at the age of 93.

Read More
Josh Henry, North Carolina State University

August 8, 2016

Get To Know Joshua Henry, Winner Of The 2016 Richard T.…

Henry, a graduate student at North Carolina State University, is pursuing a Master’s degree in horticultural sciences, with a focus on crop nutrition in bedding plants and flowering potted plants.

Read More
Andy And Micky Buist, Micandy Gardens

August 1, 2016

Micandy Gardens Uses New Technology And Energy Efficien…

With it's through energy efficiency, new technology, or the use of biocontrols, the Micandy ownership family of Andy, Micki, and Marcelyn Buist are constantly looking to make changes that will keep the company strong well into the future.

Read More
Obscura Screens From Svensson feature

July 28, 2016

3 New Products For Cannabis Producers

From screens to fertilizers to lighting, here are three new products that might help enhance your cannabis production system.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]