Are You Making This Costly Mistake?

The other day I finished up what I had to get done at the office and made a mad dash for the fitness class I take with my wife. The gym is located in a busy shopping and restaurant complex and it’s always a challenge to get there and get parked in time.

So naturally I was a bit frustrated when I pulled into the lot and found myself blocked by an idling construction truck and a crew taking their nice sweet time packing up. I waited, and waited, and waited as they chatted and laughed with each other and completely ignored me and the line of cars that had formed behind me. I tapped on my horn to get their attention but they just gave me a dirty look and then went right back to chatting, until finally they left.

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What did I and all the other drivers waiting in line see? We saw their company’s name on the side of their trucks and we saw a work crew that didn’t care about the impact they were having on others. This particular company does a lot of advertising in the area, and yet in those four minutes they reshaped my whole view of their business. I’m sure this is not what their CEO had in mind.

As owners we can’t be everywhere our crews are, but we can work to create a company culture that reinforces the image we want to project to the public, both in the work we do and the way we do it. Here are three tips for accomplishing that:

1. Never underestimate how much people notice your trucks. We track every prospect call that comes into Grunder Landscaping, and many of ours are from people who say they saw our name on a truck. These folks can be very good leads too, especially when they live in the neighborhoods we’re already working in. That’s why we make sure our vehicles are always clean and organized, with our name, logo, and phone number clearly displayed, and we’re careful to park them where they aren’t in anyone’s way.

2. Train your team to behave professionally in all that they do. Instill in them the importance of being considerate and polite, both on the job site and off. They are your company’s ambassadors whenever they’re in your trucks or wearing your logo, whether they’re ringing the doorbell to let a client know they’ll be working in their yard or letting a car that’s changing lanes go ahead of them.

3. Lead by example. Be professional and respectful to your team, and they’re far more likely to be professional and respectful to others in turn. When you’re the leader, all eyes are on you; live the values you want to instill in your team.