A Success Story in These Challenging Times

Jul 7, 2020 | Growth Tips

What I find most strange about this year, is how well many of my clients (lawn and landscape business owners) are doing.

Here is one story that will show you how to take adverse circumstances (lemons) and making wonderful lemonade.

This great example is from Planted Earth Landscaping, in Maryland.

Chris Vedrani, CEO and co-owner of this firm, has been a client of mine for two years. He shared the following story with me personally on our coaching call last month when we were discussing strategies for achieving 20% net profit, and building an open-book management strategy to bring his whole team on board.

Chris then shared it again during our recent Leaders Edge Peer Group meeting, where other top landscape professionals in my community come together to advance their businesses. At that point, I realized this story needed to be shared with my larger community. Here you go:  

“When all other landscape firms in our state were working their way through the pandemic, we decided to close our doors for a few weeks until we better understood the risks, and figured out how to keep our people safe. We were not forced to do this, but we knew it was the right thing to do, and our employees and clients applauded our courage to do the right thing.

A month later we opened up the doors and had to make some key decisions on how to get our work done. Our backlog had grown in our installation division, and yet our maintenance clients also were feeling anxious to have their properties opened up for the season.

So we opted to take all our landscape forces and dedicate them to our spring-clean-ups. By doing so we were able to get them done exceedingly quickly and efficiently.

After that, we shifted our Landscape forces back to their install division, borrowed our Enhancement crew (typically assigned to the Maintenance division) to assist Landscape with a concerted effort to eat away at our backlog.

Our crews from all divisions learned that sharing resources is to be encouraged, and because our jobs were organized perfectly with plants ready to go, our efficiency on these jobs was exceedingly high as well. 

We have never started the season so efficiently before, and our firm kicked off the year with record-breaking efficiency, profit, and cash flow.

And we are poised to do it again this month.

We have achieved a new normal in terms of efficiency and profitability that our past selves would be jealous of. 

We can’t wait for next year to do this all over again, but with an intentional plan.

Truly unbelievable.”

What can you learn from this?

  1. Don’t feel forced by your customers’ expectations to work inefficiently; line your work up to optimize productivity.
  2. Examine your old assumptions, and be willing to try things differently. 
  3. The old saying that you can turn lemons into lemonade is not just a cliché, but a real-world attitude to find money-making opportunities. So start looking!
  4. Your crews under different circumstances can produce more work, more efficiently than you currently assume.
  5. Build your culture focused on your employees’ health, security, and well-being, and then you can ask them to dig deep to give you more. 

Your Challenge:

Be willing to challenge the status quo within your firm. This takes vision, determination, data and a very optimistic outlook.

Examine all assumptions on how you work in order to build a more productive operation.

Do what’s best for your people, your clients, and also what’s best for your profit/loss statement. There is a win-win-win intersection that will allow your firm to achieve ”double double-digit profitability” as well as the highest levels of client and employee satisfaction.