As most of you know, I am a firm believer in the old adage that people do business with people they know, like, and trust. It seems obvious that this is true, but how many of us really keep this top of mind as we try to win at sales and grow our businesses? This week I dropped by one company that sure does and learned about the low-cost, high-dividend event they hold every month to drive client engagement:
One lesson we’ve learned over the years at Grunder Landscaping Co. is just how much poor communication can get in the way of great performance.
No matter how much energy and effort you devote to installing and maintaining landscapes, if your team members aren’t communicating with each other and with your clients, you’re going to have problems.
As we all know, our prospects and clients have a lot of landscaping companies to choose from—some 505,643 to be exact, according to the most recent IBISWorld Report on the state of our industry in the US. So how do you distinguish yourself from so many competitors? How do you stand out in a sea of sameness?
Whether you’re an owner or a team member, October is a pivotal month. With the hectic demands of summer starting to wind down, it’s the perfect time to look back at what you’ve accomplished so far this year and where you hope to finish, what you did well and where you came up short. We take the time to do this at GLC because it’s our last big chance to fix what we can for the season and to set ourselves up for success in the new year.
I am always, always looking for ways to get better at running my landscaping business. Sure, I’m proud of the company my team and I have built. But, as one of my mentors, John Maxwell, likes to say, “Of all the things a leader should fear, complacency heads the list.”
That’s why I try to take advantage of every opportunity to learn from other landscaping business owners, and why the willingness of our industry colleagues to help each other grow is one of the things I love the most about our field. This past year I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Bob Grover, who founded Pacific Landscape Management in 2001 in Portland, Oregon. Focused on commercial maintenance, Bob and his team have managed to grow their company to $22 million a year in annual revenue—a remarkable and inspiring feat.
If I asked your team members to write down three adjectives that described your workplace, do you know—or could you accurately predict—what they’d say? Would their answers mirror the kind of company you want to run? Just as important, would they align with the kind of company that succeeds in the landscaping business?
I ask you this because, while we talk a lot about the importance of company culture to build and retain a winning team, many of us have a very limited understanding of how the people who work for us actually feel about the workplaces we’ve created for them to spend their days in. And then others of us have created obviously fun work environments in which there’s great affection among team members but also a very disappointing bottom line.
The balance is hard to get right.
One company that’s figured this all out in spades is Pacific Landscape Management, led by Bob Grover in Portland, Oregon.
These days we hear a lot about the “client experience” and how important it is to the success of a business.
In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, focusing on the client experience “has become the single most important way for an organization to achieve success—often becoming its key differentiator and competitive advantage.”
Some of you may reasonably be wondering if “client experience” is just another way of saying “customer service.” I don’t want to get too caught up on words—and I’m certainly guilty of using the two terms interchangeably on occasion—but I do think there’s a significant distinction worth thinking about.
Last weekend for Mother’s Day, I invited my extended family over for a cookout. Grilling is about the only culinary skill I’m good for, so when the warm weather hits, I try to take advantage of it.
We had a great time, filled with laughter. No matter how overwhelmed you may feel running a landscaping business this time of year, it’s important to take a break and celebrate the loved ones in your life.
But, full disclosure, the business person in me never really shuts off, so when my wife opened the gift I gave her—a couple outfits from a nice store—and all the women said, “Oh I love their clothes but I will never go in there!” I took note.