Bland Landscaping grows while staying true to its roots

Building off five acquisitions in 2023, Bland Landscaping recently added Cameron’s Inc. of Indian Trail, N.C., to kick off 2024. (Photo: Bland Landscaping)
Building off five acquisitions in 2023, Bland Landscaping recently added Cameron’s Inc. of Indian Trail, N.C., to kick off 2024. (Photo: Bland Landscaping)

No matter how many companies it acquires, Bland Landscaping continues to put landscaping and its people first, says Kurt Bland, president and CEO of the Apex, N.C.-based company. Bland Landscaping also has branches in Wilmington, Garner, Greensboro, Charlotte, Durham and Wake Forest.

Kurt Bland
Kurt Bland

The company offers landscape maintenance, enhancements, snow and ice removal, design/build and irrigation services to commercial properties and also have a few legacy estate and residential clients.

Bland Landscaping was No. 52 on the 2023 LM150 list, which ranks the top revenue-generating landscaping companies in the country. The company experienced a 28-percent change in revenue from 2021 to 2022, with about 20 percent of that growth coming from acquisitions, Bland says. The company gained private equity backing in December 2017.

In November 2022, the company acquired The Byrd’s Group, which became its East Charlotte branch.

“They were a very highly respected company with more than four decades of market history as an industry leader in Charlotte,” Bland says.

Then in December 2022, Bland Landscaping acquired Mutch Landscaping in Apex, N.C., a few miles down the road from its home office. The Mutch team integrated into the company, and Bland turned the Mutch office into the new corporate headquarters and construction branch.

“Both of these were accretive and synergistic acquisitions that expanded our market share, secured needed talent and gave us excellent facility expansion options,” Bland says. “Their staff have largely stayed onboard with us and have been successful in our model. We knew what we were buying and who we were buying it from.”

The company closed its fifth acquisition in December.

“Accretive acquisitions accelerate our growth in new markets and maturing markets by gaining market share and securing talent,” he says. “It also allows us to flex the strength of our balance sheet and our capital structure.”

While integrating is never easy, Bland says it’s rewarding for those who enjoy strategy and execution. The process includes merging cultures, implementing new systems and communicating messaging to get individual buy-in.

“We don’t leave room for anyone to question our objectives, and we work hard to show how opportunities are created through acquisitions and organic growth,” he says.

In addition to acquisitions, Bland also attributes its growth to the company’s ability to invest in roles that support daily operations and production at the branch level.

“We have built out a sales team, added regional recruiters, invested in more designers, promoted from within and continued to build out our entire business model as a middle-market company,” Bland says.

Using technology like Go iLawn, SilkRoad human resource management, IntelliShift GPS, Boss LM, Pipedrive and other software has helped the company grow.

“The No. 1 thing that will determine our success or failure is and always will be people,” Bland says. “I’m not one who is enamored by finance or technology as primary drivers of business. Both are important, but we are in the people business. That’s the lifeblood of this organization.”

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