Simple Systems: What You Can Learn From a Pizzeria

Simple Systems: What You Can Learn From a Pizzeria

Over Thanksgiving I took my kids to the local NY style pizzeria in Blue Ridge, GA. The owner, my neighbor, invited us to come to his shop (Cucinella’s Pizzeria) to learn how to make thin crust pizza. Pizza SchoolIt was a super busy weekend, but he made time to teach us (while his restaurant was cranking out pizza.)We each got to stretch and toss the dough, ladle the sauce, and create our own custom pizzas. As I walked around the pizzeria I saw his simple systems hanging on the wall; it made me smile! (Photos below)He has check lists on how to stock, how to open and close, and a few other key procedures.

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Ensure a Better 2024 by Managing Internal & External Uncertainty

Ensure a Better 2024 by Managing Internal & External Uncertainty

I recently spoke with Ron Edmonds, President of the Principium Group, a leading mergers and acquisitions firm serving the Green Industry. Ron and I were prepping for his talk at my Financial Master Class, chatting about how a company’s “value” is driven in part by removing the uncertainties in the business. The lower the uncertainties, the higher the value. Business Uncertainties can be split into two groups: internal and external. Our conversation on uncertainties reminded me of the Serenity Prayer: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. My version: Know what you can control internally and externally, and focus intently on those elements in your business; don’t stress on the rest. With that in mind, here are a couple examples to get your mind turning:

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5 Strategies to Build Successful Branches – Without Making Costly Mistakes

5 Strategies to Build Successful Branches – Without Making Costly Mistakes

Five takeaways from the Building Branches masterclass,

You can put these to use even if you don’t plan to build branches.

1. Maximize your home base.

There is no reason to build a branch, especially from scratch, if you have not optimized your current base of operations.

Maximize market share right where you are! Don’t think branches are an easy growth strategy because they are not.

2. Set up good systems first.

You can’t manage a branch if you can’t manage your own operations with good (great) systems.

If you are running the home base by gut feel in any shape or form, it will backfire when you expand afar.

3. Have the Leadership Team “Plus” in place.

The “plus” means you not only have a strong team locally, but you can peel someone off to operate at the new branch, to oversee “culture” to ensure you integrate the two into a larger whole.

There is no synergy when the parts don’t integrate well.

4. Acquisitions can kick start it.

It’s hard to build up a branch from scratch, especially when you don’t have a base of business as a foundation.

An acquisition can help that. But don’t get lazy, because organic growth is still “the killer app”.

When you combine these two strategies, that’s when the magic happens.

5. Don’t forget the hugs.

The new branch needs over-communication and inclusion from the ownership and leadership, if it is to take on all the best attributes of your home base.

Like a child, if you leave it alone, it will underperform or worse. whither on the vine.

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Profit Sharing Is Not A Quick Fix – But It Works!

Profit Sharing Is Not A Quick Fix – But It Works!

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.

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More Important Than Your Profit & Loss

More Important Than Your Profit & Loss

What’s more important than your profit loss and statement?? When I watch the news lately, it makes me wonder. In my early 20’s, I traveled to Israel and spent a few months there working on a Kibbutz. A Kibbutz is an Israeli communal living environment, where people work, eat and live together, pooling their monies and chores. (My job was running a sand blasting unit in a factory where they made tractor parts). It was quite inspiring.

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Are You an Entrepreneur or a Workaholic?

Are You an Entrepreneur or a Workaholic?

In discussing fast growth, I recognized there are two types of hard workers: Workaholics and Entrepreneurs.

Workaholics.

Here are some criteria that define this type:

Nonstop work 6+ days a week
Very few vacations, and possibly only in off season
Not many hobbies.
Family life does not come first.
Always on call.
What got you here, won’t get you there.

It used to be that all entrepreneurs were workaholics (just work harder!)

But things have evolved.

Workaholics may succeed early on, but then they plateau because of their approach.

They tend to breed inefficient mini-me’s who then burn out.

Entrepreneurs.

…are a different breed, they:

Understand the “work hard play hard” balance
Use delegation to take successive responsibilities off their plate.
Hire A and A+ players so that growth is not stopped by the Peter Principle (definition below)
Set up systems, measure on results.

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Lessons From Seven Top Landscape Companies

Lessons From Seven Top Landscape Companies

The following seven landscape professionals were awarded the prestigious 2023 Mighty Oak for their outstanding achievement. This honor is given each year to one member of each of Jeffrey’s high-impact peer groups — based on how they performed the previous year. The Four Achievements

There are four “developmental” areas in which a winner must show outstanding achievement.

Personal development
Professional development
Company development (their team, processes, strategy, etc)
Financial achievement (how their finances have developed over the past couple years)

Here are the winning contractors plus insight to their path to success.

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Jimmy Buffett’s Famous Business Strategy Is Not For Everyone

Jimmy Buffett’s Famous Business Strategy Is Not For Everyone

With the passing of Jimmy Buffett, I am inspired to ponder the oft cited “work/life balance” that Jimmy skewers. Jimmy sings about working as little as humanly possible. According to Jimmy, life should be about beach bumming, drinking whenever, and fooling around. And yet, Mr. Buffett passed away a wealthy man based on the incessant hard work he invested into his business.

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