The landscape business world is changing fast, and with those changes, I have identified three keys to being successful in 2022 and beyond.
1. Get Your “Technology Stack” Figured Out.
For programmers this is a term for all the technologies they need to run their new application. But for you, the landscape business owner, a “technology stack" means all the technologies you need to run your company.
There are so many great options out there to help you with so many aspects of the business.
You can’t afford to be paper-based, but you also can’t afford to just add on every new technology each time you discover a new app.
You need a balanced approach.
It starts with the right landscape operating system, and it extends way beyond that to every part of your business.
If you are personally not that tech savvy, you want to develop a team of leaders in your firm to help you figure out the best tech for each area of the business.
This means that “tech-savvy” (or at least “tech-friendly”) should become one of the criteria you use for new leadership and management hires in your firm.
You can’t expect to remain old school, and succeed in the new decade.
If you personally can’t make it happen, surround yourself with people who can!
2. Professionalize Your Firm.
With the trend of increased private equity money flowing into our industry looking to buy businesses, it means that increasingly more competitors will be run (or overseen) by what I call "professional money."
It’s the professionalizing of our industry, and there is no going back.
So take a close look at how the larger and more professional firms around you are being run. You can follow them on LinkedIn to get a clue.
Look at how they treat their employees, specifically with regards to human resources, training, benefits, and rewards.
Look at how they invest in the latest tools, equipment and technologies.
Look at their work environment and how they invest in their culture.
You can’t sit on your laurels and expect to attract and retain the best employees, without giving them the best environment to excel.
Every great employee in your state has a choice where to work, so make your company one that is on everyone’s short list. (For more on this, check out my book on how to Become a Destination Company®)
3. Take Risks Outside The Box.
The two items above will help you get ahead, and this third item will help you stay ahead. You have to be willing to think and act outside the box to create a unique advantage for your firm. Here are some examples from my landscape coaching and peer group clients:
- Kevin from Ohio rolls out the red carpet for all his employees who leave him or who he fires. He treats them just as special when they leave as when they first came on board. This greatly increases the chances of these laborers and foremen returning to his firm within three years, all the wiser and ready to embrace his culture. He doesn’t accept everyone, just the ones he wants back.
- Marcus from Tennessee hires an overabundance of office admin to support his managers and people in the field; he hires them "off shore," so he can staff with over seven times the number of office people for the price of one local full time hire. To date, he has a staff of 18 support staff in accounting and in all areas of his business.
- Matt from Colorado has brought on a full time videographer to follow him and his staff around in order to document their work, and to promote it on social media. He took half his marketing budget and dedicated it to this one hire, and it has created a flow of employee and client leads, more than he can ever make use of.
Operating outside the box is where you move ahead of the competition and set the standards for the industry.
If you are going to compete and succeed in this coming decade, you need a combination of the right technology, a highly professional work environment, and the ability and desire to take risks outside the box. Don’t get complacent in 2022; instead look for ways to move ahead in each of these areas.
About the Author: Jeffrey Scott is the leading authority on growth and profit maximization in the landscape industry. He has consulted with over 300 lawn and landscape companies over the past 14+ years, His clients achieve between 25% to 200% profit improvement in their first year alone. He runs the largest peer group community in the industry. To learn more, and to sign up for his weekly newsletter, register on his homepage.