A few weeks back I was honored to speak at the Kentucky Expo / Equip. It was a great show, seeing so many cutting edge technologies coming to market. I gave two presentations (to standing room only). One was on Open Book Management. To add some spice to my presentation, I included a case study from the highly successful Whispering Pines Landscape (“WPL”) in Ontario, owned by my good friend and client, Greg Wildeboer. When he and I started collaborating together in Dec 2015, he was under $4M, with a need to greatly improve cash flow and remove himself from the center of everything.He dreamt of implementing an effective profit sharing. (He had one in place, but it was not working great.)A PROFIT SHARING CASE STUDY: We proved that for Profit Sharing to be effective, you need “two shares”Gains: a fair and motivating way to share the financial gains. Numbers: a simple way to open the books and share the numbers.
Our Summer Growth Summit at Mariani Landscape in Lake Bluff, IL was the HOTTEST landscape event of the year! Over 3 days, we had 26 speakers covering inspiring and cutting-edge topics to help any attendee grow to their next level of success. The Summit concluded with a discussion between Jeffrey Scott and Frank Mariani regarding how Mariani Landscape grew from 90k in 1973 to 59 million in 2020. Then they discussed what has happened since making a private equity deal in 2020 and where the company is headed now. Frank and Jeffrey were like two old friends talking around the fire pit. They also covered the pitfalls of the 4 day work week, how to solve the labor issue, and how any company could pursue an acquisition growth strategy. Many companies brought their teams, and the energy was palpable. Here are 7 takeaways to get your mind thinking:
How do you know if you are giving your clients a five-star experience? You can check your google reviews, but that gives very limited info.Here are two stories to illustrate the need for clarifying your customer service vision in today’s uncertain economy. I was recently helping a friend of mine (an entrepreneur in another industry) with his 3-year growth plans. Over the past few years his business has scaled nicely, and he was enjoying the sweet spot that he called ELF (Easy, lucrative and fun). He wanted to keep growing, but it was not clear what direction he should take his business. Should he change direction, or do more of the same?
In March, I wrote that the common industry expression “100 days of hell” should be changed to “100 days to sell.”
It’s more upbeat and helps your team stay optimistic in tough times.
Here are two quick tips to keep you sane and selling in the 100 days of sales.
BrightView, our industry’s largest landscape firm, recently posted poor quarterly results. At the same time their CEO left, with no replacement announced.Did the CEO suddenly decide to leave or was he fired? Either way, the company has performed poorly. This begs the question: Is BrightView’s poor performance due to poor strategy or poor execution? Here is my view, with some lessons & cautionary tales for you.
As I work with landscape business leaders across the continent, I see people who are either “proactive and strategic”, or “reactive and highly tactical”. However, the proactive ones will have a more-profitable and more-fulfilling year. We can put these leaders into 3 categories. 1. In the weeds: Those who are deep in the details, putting out fires, reactive in their day to day duties. They are sucked into client and employee issues; and doing “the work” themselves.
Every year I am blessed to go to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, a 13 stage celebration of food and music.
I look forward to seeing the big names and the up-and-coming acts.
This year I was excited to see The Steve Miller Band. I have loved them ever since 6th grade.
I was lucky to catch a Q&A with Steve Miller right before he went onstage.
Since we are in the middle of 100 Days to Sell, I want to share a timely sales tip. This tip will increase your design-sales conversion and improve your margins.
Last week I shared two things that Mariani does uniquely well.
Here is the third thing they do uniquely well: Selling “premium specialty services” which helps to keep their clients “sticking” around.
Below are 3 examples, plus I explain “what it means for you.”
It’s a brilliant strategy, and one that you can copy.
(Note: Today’s the last day to get the super early bird discount for the Summer Growth Summit.)
Mariani’s Premium Specialty Services.
It’s not enough to do a great job serving your clients with commoditized landscape services.
It helps to find opportunities for additional services that go above and beyond your competition.
Mariani does this well.
For anyone who watches the show, Shark Tank, you have learned how the Sharks love companies with a unique, hard-to-copy product. It’s even more important for the Sharks that this uniqueness is translated into strong sales and profits.In prep for my Summer Growth Summit, I asked the marketing director at Mariani Landscape, Andrew Gross: What does Mariani do uniquely well? He shared with me 3 eye-opening answers.Over the next two weeks I am going to share those responses with you, in two parts. Here is Part 1.Note, I have included my own assessment on “What it means to you.”