7 Business Lessons From 2020

Jan 4, 2021 | Growth Tips

Welcome to 2021!

As I spent the last few days with my family in the Netherlands (see some photos below), I have reflected on some of the biggest lessons I learned during the past 12 months that you can apply to 2021.

Some of these you will recognize, some will be reminders, and one of these I hope will inspire you to take action this year.

1. Take more time for family.

Some of us were forced to be with family because we could do nothing else. Others, like myself, were separated from family because the skies were closed and cities were quarantined. When we finally got together, we relished it.

Two weeks ago, I flew to Holland for Christmas to finally see all my kids and enjoy many meals together. Our new year’s resolution: have a family reunion more often in 2021.

Here is what I have found most helpful: take time every night to have dinner together, and take free time monthly, or at least once a quarter, to get away and reconnect. It will make you a stronger leader at home and a stronger business person at work.

2. Don’t take communication and team-building for granted.

This past year, it was harder than ever to maintain a group-oriented culture and sense of team. Communication with your employees has become more critical than ever.

The best companies, however, have always made communication a priority–which made 2020 easier for them. The big lesson that landscape business owners in my community learned was this:

All companies should over-communicate from top to bottom and bottom to top. Also, it’s essential to maintain meetings, events, and digital communication to keep team members feeling and acting as part of a whole. Bonding and communication was hard in 2020–it should become the norm in 2021.

I have reflected on some of the biggest lessons I learned during the past 12 months that you can apply to 2021. See what they are here. Share on X

3. Have your team run your business, so you can work strategically.

Every year, I help owners achieve more independence from their business; this year was no different. Crisis management took center stage, and then clearing one’s head and gaining perspective became important in order to finish the year strong.

I wrote last year about a member of my community, Sean Baxter (a landscape business owner from Kansas City), who bought an RV and traveled the country with his dad and family. It opened a whole new world for them as a family, and changed Sean’s perspective on how his business can be run without him micromanaging.

Setting up and entrusting your team to run the day-to-day remains an evergreen lesson. Build up your team, so they may build up and run your company.

4. Support peer groups are crucial.

Once the crisis started, I went into overdrive to support everyone in my community, and our community members did the same helping each other with ongoing support, feedback, and ideas. Towards the end of the year, our peer group members enjoyed cheering each other on to finish the year strong and achieve superior results.

The inspiration comes in the form of sharing photos of work and play, comparing benchmarks, and cheering one another on.

This year proved that if you go it alone, you are taking the slow road. You will go 10x further with a support group coached by the very best.

5. Make recruiting your top skill.

Years ago, I would tell my clients they were in the marketing business. Then, ten years ago, I shifted to telling them they were in the people business (hence my book, Become A Destination Company®). Now, my mantra is: “You need to become an expert in recruiting”.

This includes hiring in or freelancing the support needed to always be recruiting and taking advantage of the most contemporary techniques and software. When you raise recruiting to a higher level, you no longer have to settle on who you bring to your team.

Members of my community who became experts and set up recruiting systems are growing faster and more steadily than everyone else. This lesson stands for 2021. Become a recruiting expert, and build a Destination Company.

6. Simplify your business so you can scale it.

This year, I worked with many lawn and landscape business owners to simplify their businesses, remove side hustles, and combine legal entities and brands. This allowed them to focus their efforts, speed up the growth and improvements of their core service lines, and multiply their investments. (I still believe in adding new divisions that maximize “sale to client” and margins, as long as the core business is fine-tuned and rocking!) The lesson here–remove distractions in order to accelerate your growth.

7. Invest in your community.

We are all lucky to work in such a glorious industry that is essential, healthy for our employees, and brings joy to clients in their surroundings and their lives. My family personally sets aside earnings each year to give back to charities and our community. This year, we decided to focus and increase our giving to strengthen our local communities. Yes, we still support the needy and donate to charities around the world, but we now give as much–if not more locally–to help our brothers and sisters.

The more you give, the more you and your employees will get in return. Pay it forward.

Your Challenge In 2021:

Build upon successes, and share the wealth.


Regards, Jeffrey Scott!

P.S. Join me on February 16th to learn how to grow and structure your team in order to give yourself more free time, strategically grow your business, and build your wealth. Click here for more information and to register.

P.S.S. Here are those photos I promised you!