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What does Essential Mean for Landscape Companies?

As the coronavirus swept across the country and the globe, many individuals were, for the first time in their lives, being told they were “non-essential.” This, of course, was how government officials were determining what businesses and organizations could stay open and operating during this crisis. Many parents were faced with the painful and awkward task of informing their kids that mom or dad wasn’t essential for the community and needed to stay home instead of going to work because what they did for a living wasn’t very important. For others, it meant being put into the equivalent of social isolation. For some, this may result in some damaging psychological fallout.

Topics: Building A Better Landscape Business

How to Navigate COVID-19 with Your Landscape Business

There is no question that coronavirus (COVID-19) is profoundly affecting society and the economy. As the disease runs its course, we continue to discover how it touches virtually every aspect, large and small, of our lives. Happily, we are also discovering the resilience and abiding goodness in people of all ages, income levels, and communities as we all work together to battle this latest health crisis. 

Topics: Building A Better Landscape Business

Finding and Retaining Talent in the Landscape Industry

There’s an old saying, “You can’t find good help these days,” that for many in the green landscape industry seems to be especially true. The triple whammy of a low unemployment rate, rising wages, and a generally smaller pool of qualified individuals makes the hiring challenge for landscaping companies even greater. 

Topics: Business Organization Staffing & Development

Putting Your Knowledge on Paper:Why Are Landscape SOPs so Valuable?

All companies – landscaping businesses included – can run into problems when they don’t have a clear plan of action and a set of standards for any given task. If workers don’t know what to do and have no way of measuring how well they’re doing it, how will they get anything done? The result is often inefficiency, chaos, and confusion. What’s needed is a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Topics: Building A Better Landscape Business Clients & Services Staffing & Development

Want to be a more successful landscape business? Start analyzing your failures!

Nobody likes to fail. It’s uncomfortable, annoying, and even depressing. People instinctively try to avoid failure and when we fail, we don’t like to revisit those often painful experiences. Most of us prefer to simply forget about them and move on to something else more positive and pleasant.

But here’s the thing -- ignoring failure sets you up for failing again.

Instead, we need to embrace failure. Look it square in the eye and ask, “how and why did this happen?” As landscaping professionals it’s important that we look back at the prior year, understand what worked, and analyze what went wrong. Our mistakes can teach us what we need to do to improve.

Topics: Building A Better Landscape Business

How the 2019 Landscape Season Taught Me to Be a Better Boss

There is an interesting organizational dynamic that most companies, including landscaping businesses, experience: leadership perception. There is often a fundamental disconnect between how we, as bosses, think we lead and how our employees think we lead. Regardless of who thinks what, the only way we can truly know if we are leading and managing well is by the results we get from our employees.

One of the major factors contributing to this interesting leadership dynamic is an underlying misunderstanding of the origins of “bad behavior.” In many cases, bosses interpret bad behavior in employees as the byproduct of a bad employee. What they fail to understand is their possible role in creating that bad behavior. They don’t realize that they can be culpable as well through their influence on that employee and his or her behavior.

Topics: Building A Better Landscape Business Staffing & Development

How to correct landscape business failure when you uncover the truth about your year

At the end of the year, most landscape business owners are totally worn out and ready to do nothing for a while. At least that defines me; certainly, the creative well feels a bit dry. For many in colder climes, there is no rest after the warm-weather season – it’s time now to shift gears and get ready for winter snow management.

Topics: Building A Better Landscape Business

How to Avoid These 5 Ginormous Landscape Leadership Mistakes

As an owner, fessing up to missteps in business building and management is hard. When you know something isn’t going well in your operational systems or with your personnel, it’s easy to stand back and put your head in the sand or focus on something less challenging. The cost is your relational and professional credibility with your staff. You can’t afford that cost. It’s both too high and hard to come back from. So, what do you do? You have to face it head-on. Name it clearly without blaming or shaming anyone - especially yourself. Then, outline what needs to be done, write out the steps, and take action. 

Topics: Staffing & Development

Fall Landscape Business Building Opportunities That Owners Don’t Want to Miss

For landscape companies located in climates like New England’s where the growing season ends abruptly with cold, frost and snow, November represents the beginning of the end of the active landscape season. As a business owner, chances are you were knee-deep in installations and maintenance all year long, focusing your time and energy on the work at hand in the field. If sales and production went well, you might be looking forward to a little breathing room before you transition to the next season. If things didn't go so well, you might be wondering what the heck happened!

Topics: Business Organization

How To Get The Best Out Of Your Landscape Employees

That familiar lament of landscape business owners and managers – “you just can’t get good help these days” – is more myth than reality. The truth is, there’s plenty of good help out there and workers who really do want to be engaged, supported, and appreciated. However, often the problem is that business leaders are so busy and distracted that they only give employees peripheral attention. Let’s not kid ourselves – employees notice when their concerns are pushed to the back and they’re not receiving feedback on their efforts and performance.  Fortunately, there’s a better way to handle employee relations, it just takes a little effort.

Topics: Staffing & Development