Think Like An Owner

Dec 9, 2019 | Growth Tips

Wouldn’t it be great if your employees could read your mind and take initiative in the areas of the business that most need attention?

Many employees want to take more initiative, and earn promotions within your company, but they are unsure what to do.

Even if you have a career ladder, or path laid out for them, it can be unclear what traits and behaviors are most valued by you.

That’s why I wrote this article below, to help your team understand how they can play a bigger role inside your lawn or landscape business, and create their own opportunities for long term career success.

Pass this on to your employees.


It is not enough to wait for the boss to tell you what to do. He or she may not be good at communicating or delegating; or perhaps your supervisor thinks they already told you. If you want to grow your career, you have to think and act like an owner.

Ask yourself, “What would I do if this were my company? How would I help it grow?”

Here are some answers.

1. Bring in prospects (employees and clients)

The success of your company depends on its ability to attract new employees and clients; this is not just the role of recruiting or marketing. “Everyone in the company is in sales.”

Selling the business can start with passing out business cards, and extend to speaking to neighbors of clients, and employees of other companies that you meet on your day-to-day travels.

Plant seeds for the future.

Whomever you meet, collect and pass along the good contacts you make to your recruiting or sales team. Help the company grow, and you will too.

2. Find efficiencies and save the company money

For every dollar your company saves, it is between 10 and 20 times more valuable than making a dollar in new sales. Why is this? Because that dollar saved goes right to the bottom line. It is pure profit. And profit is good, because it is as important as blood and oxygen combined!  It fuels the health and growth of your company, your division and your own career.

Waste can be found everywhere in the company, here are a few areas to look:

  • Messy shop and unorganized trucks
  • Warranty
  • Material wastage
  • Call-backs from a client
  • Go-backs due to incomplete work
  • Unproductive yard time
  • Unbillable time
  • Unbilled extra work
  • Downtime due to equipment failure
  • Inaccurate or incomplete paperwork

Put on your “think like an owner” cap and find ways to help. If you are not sure where to start, ask your boss where he/she is trying to improve efficiencies. They will appreciate the fact that you care.

Increasing job efficiency can start by taking an extra walk around before you leave a client’s property. You can’t go wrong by raising your head and taking a bigger look at what is going on around you.

You will do better when you help your company do better.

3. Bring a “Yes Attitude” to work

You can single-handedly lift the attitude of your crew, department, and even company by having a consistent positive attitude.

“The attitude of few, influences the attitude of many.” 

Be optimistic no matter the challenge, even when others are negative. Lift other people’s outlook by keeping yours high. This includes saying “Yes” when a peer or supervisor asks you for help.

Just Say Yes, and find out how you can help. Positive attitudes are infectious – bring a Yes Attitude to work, and you will become instrumental in improving your company’s can-do spirit.

4. Generate referrals by hugging your customers

Your clients will refer you when they are wowed by your work and by the impression you leave with them each day when you come onto and leave their property.

Every customer interaction is an opportunity to make them happy they hired you. It starts with a genuine smile and a wave hello, and an extra touch like picking up their paper or garbage blowing around. It is further supported by a genuine question to see if there is anything else they need, and it ends with leaving a job site cleaner than you found it.

For those in the office, making your client feel “special” each time they call will go a long way. When you find out the client’s name, repeat it and give them a phone-hug, “Mr Smith, I am SO glad you called, how can I help you today?” Say this with enthusiasm, and you will be remembered and referred. I guarantee it!

5. Learn new, valuable skills

Would you like to increase your chances of earning a raise?

One thing you can do: learn new skills that your company needs in order to stay competitive. What skill would help you become more productive and help your company earn more profit or win more work? If you are not sure, ask your supervisor for suggestions. The more you learn and apply in a productive manner, the more you can earn. But don’t do it just for the money.

“Life is a journey, punctuated by learning new skills.”  

The more skills you master, the more you will feel motivated and satisfied by your work, and the more confident you will be. Do it for the internal satisfaction!

6. Raise the skills of those you supervise

The biggest headache facing companies and owners today is building the workforce. In order to grow, you must build a bench of skilled people. But who is teaching and raising up this bench?

If you supervise others, then you can be an instrumental teacher and mentor to your direct reports.

You may be wondering, “Isn’t it better that I keep my skills to myself, in order to protect my job?” or, “I can do this faster if I just do it myself.”

But that thinking backfires and holds back the company’s prosperity.

Think about it this way – in order for you to grow your career and make yourself more valuable, those underneath you must be able to step up into your shoes (and then someone has to step up into their shoes). How can you help make that happen?

7. Bring a higher standard to work

Owners appreciate employees who are focused and want to do things right.  But since no one is perfect, there is always room to improve. Where can you improve your focus and workmanship? Where do you spend excessive time, and what areas require more of your focus? Where are your clients not completely thrilled with your work?

Start with reflection:

  • On Friday think about one thing you could improve from the previous week, and commit to improving on it the following week.
  • Make notes at the end of each day on how you did to improve.
  • Keep a little black book of improvements!
  • Find one specific area each week to improve on.

By the end of a full year you will have improved in over 50 areas! Wow – that will have a huge impact with yourself, your peers and clients, and your company! Sweat the details, and your clients and boss will notice.