At The Landscape Academy we offer landscape business consultancy guidance and advice. During these difficult times we thought we would offer some simple suggestions that might help you and your business through these unchartered waters.
Talk to your clients and contacts
The events and decisions that we are all experiencing during this period are on a global scale and completely unprecedented, many actions are completely out of your control and our day to day lives have changed in a dramatic way. We feel it is important to remember everyone is in the same boat.
Communication is key to helping each other through this. Keep taking to your clients, suppliers, and contacts. If you are open with your clients about your decisions, they will understand. Discuss your plans for returning to their site or revisiting their proposed projects when things get back to normal. Clients want the reassurance just as much as we do. If you find your clients are dropping out because of money concerns, then perhaps approach them with financial options and maybe you can both find a way forward.
There are lots of other landscaping companies in the same position, speak to them to see what they are doing, contact the landscaping associations for advice, speak to peers. There are a lot of people out there who will and want to help.
Talk to your staff
Many of your employees may be feeling the pressure as much as you for many different reasons. Keep them in the loop with your developments and decisions. You might not have all the answers, but at the moment no-one does, so keep the dialogue open and honest. By working together as a team, you are all much more likely to be in a much stronger position once this period of unrest is over. You never know, they might have some good ideas that will help you and your business, and you might be able to help them!
Talk to your suppliers
A number of suppliers are changing their delivery times and procedures, and some are closing completely. Make sure you stay in touch to find out what your suppliers plans are, and the changes they have implemented. If you have a trade account with them, discuss your options for deferring payments for the time being, until things return to normal
Bank, lenders and landlords
Several financial companies are applying a payment deferment scheme, initially for 3 months. Discuss the details with your financial companies and banks, and if you feel this would benefit you or your company, then consider taking the option. It might be enough to take some of the pressure off, to give you a bit of breathing space, and allow you to bank a little bit of a financial safety net for when works resumes
Let’s face facts, no-one was expecting to be in this position at the start of the year. It certainly comes with added pressure and anxiety but try to utilise the time to do something positive for yourself and your business.
During our normal busy weeks, we never have enough time to complete all the jobs on our To Do lists. So why not take this unexpected time out to start working on your business rather than in it. Focus on all the things you would like to develop but never have the time for, do your research, take some online training courses or put procedure in place that will help your business run more smoothly.
Keep focussing on moving forward. Remember, this is a temporary state and it will change.
Lastly but most importantly – Look after yourself
Your mental health and wellbeing at a time like this is vitally important. Focus on some time to relax, listen to a meditation app, exercise, learn a new skill, volunteer in your community or spend time with your family if you are able to.
Whatever it is that makes you feel good, try to spend some time investing in your wellbeing. Our mental Heath Partner MHFA have produced some helpful and informative guidance. Check out the tips here and share it with anyone you think might need it.
Above all else, please do remember to keep yourself safe by following the advice from PHE and the Government, and be kind to yourself and others.