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7 drivers for success in 2020

January 21, 2020 -  By
Chart over several years (Photo: matejmo/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Assess Being honest in your company’s assessment will help ensure the years ahead are productive and profitable. (Photo: matejmo/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

To ensure dramatic success for your lawn, landscape, tree or irrigation business this year, it helps to perform a look back at the last 12 months to see what worked well and what didn’t.

It can be overwhelming to look at every detail, so focus on the key drivers that will give you a competitive edge. Here are seven of them. They require an honest assessment by you and your team for you to build a productive road map for this coming year.

1. Culture of winning. What were your company’s biggest successes last year, and how did you celebrate as a team? Did you spend more time celebrating or correcting behavior? A winning team is infectious and helps you recruit A players. The good vibe starts with you as the owner.

2. Green light customers. How much time did your sales team spend with green light customers? And how much time did they spend (or waste) with shoppers, misfits and red light customers? Your firm is not in the business of providing estimates. The purpose of your business is to build relationships and provide solutions for clients who believe what you believe and want what you sell.

3. Champion leadership team. Did your team give you energy and free up your time? Or did members of your team create extra work for you and sap your motivation? Championship companies are led by champion leadership teams where each player is an expert in his or her area, and the team uses brutal honesty to hammer out issues and develop solutions to keep your company growing forward.

4. A deeper bench. Did you sufficiently invest in training up your No. 2 employees at all levels of your company? Or were you going full guns trying to get the work done but left with fewer leaders by year-end and less capacity than you need for this coming year? Your commitment to training at all levels will allow your company to scale and take advantage of this great economy.

5. Scalability of your business. Besides people, how did you grow the operational capacity of your business? Were salespeople and managers optimized in their roles with the goals they were given? The quickest way to mediocre profit is giving your people average goals. Were your goals too low this past year?

6. Speed of information. Employees at all levels feel respected when you share information with them, such as how they are doing, how their division is performing and how the company is performing. The key is the speed with which you share this information. With my clients, we implement a scorecard with key cash, profit, client and employee metrics. How well do you keep your team in the know?

7. Aspirational vision. Great companies are driven by aspirational goals. The truly great ones have more than one aspiration. Apple wanted to beat Microsoft and make insanely great products that its clients never knew they needed. Nike wanted to beat Adidas and turn sneakers into everyday wear. How well do you communicate your vision to your team and how uniquely aspirational is your vision?

Rate yourself 0-10 on each of these drivers. Where you score eight or higher, write down what you should continue doing. Where you score seven or lower, note what you need to improve. Be honest and self-aware when undertaking this assessment. Do this with your team and prioritize your actions to make 2020 your best year ever!

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Jeffrey Scott

About the Author:

Jeffrey Scott, MBA, author, specializes in growth and profit maximization in the Green Industry. His expertise is rooted in his personal success, growing his own company into a $10 million enterprise. Now, he facilitates the Leader’s Edge peer group for landscape business owners—members achieve a 27 percent profit increase in their first year. To learn more visit

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