Last week, one of my long term peer groups met with me via Zoom and shared some extremely useful tips (below).
Some of them had doubts that a Zoom meeting could be productive and inspiring, but by the end of it, everyone was jazzed.
My friend Jason Craven, CEO of the $30M business Southern Botanical, was a guest speaker at this meeting, and he was inspiring. (By the way, you can listen to the interview of him on my podcast “The Ultimate Landscape CEO”. It comes out on Thursday.)
Let me share with you some takeaways from our peer group meeting:
1. Stay connected with your team. Jason Craven gets to spend a 1/3 of his time in the field with his people because he has delegated everything else in his business. His Leadership team has just four people overseeing everything. That allows him to keep his week organized and fun, while still giving weekly 1:1 time to his team leaders! Does your leadership team free you up?
2. Use applicant tracking software. This will allow you to build up a huge pipeline of future prospects. I predict this software will become as commonplace as QuickBooks. Are you on board?
3. Bookend your meetings with positive intentions. Start your team meetings with everyone sharing accomplishments and end with what excites each person. (This is how I run the peer group in my community. Bookends of energy, pride, action, and accomplishment. You’ve gotta love it!)
4. HR should be empowering your managers. Southern Botanical has a competitive advantage because all the HR duties are delegated to various HR experts so that managers are not bogged down. In this day and age, you can easily recruit part-time HR, so there should be NO stopping you no matter your size! (In the podcast you will learn how many you need.) Have you put this in place?
5. Build up a left and right hand. Every leadership position should be building up not only a right-hand woman (or man) but also a left-hand as well. It’s the only way to scale your business smoothly and steadily while avoiding hiccups when you lose someone.
6. Great employees make deposits into your culture. Poor performers are making withdrawals. You know that sucking sound when you feel it and hear it. But, are you using this information to give your “withdrawal” leaders feedback?
7. Commit to weekly one-on-ones. These will drive your business forward, whether you are $1M, $5M, and $30+M. The key is to delegate and keep your number of direct reports manageable.
8. Maintaining quality in maintenance is a team effort. Quality is a function of Pride and Accountability. There are clever ways to create pride by photo-sharing among crews and turning it into a fun contest. But you still need account managers to do quality control and give feedback. Tie their accountability to performing QC and this will allow you to hold your field staff accountable for quality. Have you let that slack this year?
9. Acquisitions start with rapport. A few members in my peer group have successfully grown with acquisitions, and the consensus was the conversation starts by getting to understand the drive and desires of the selling owner. Building understanding and rapport is initially more important than pricing or terms.
Find a community that will help you grow.
As a business owner, you need to make time to rub shoulders with other smart entrepreneurs and receive expert guidance from those who have done what you aspire to do.
When you get your assumptions checked, your energy tank refilled, and your vision clarified, you will experience far greater joy building your business and you will have more free time with your family.
Now that’s a blessing!