Business Insider: 3 must-do strategies to win in the coming decade

April 19, 2022 -  By
Photo: Panya Riamthaisong/iStock /Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: Panya Riamthaisong/iStock /Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The landscape business world is changing fast, and with those changes, I have identified three keys to success this year and beyond.

1. Figure out your “technology stack.”
For programmers, a “tech stack” refers to the behind-the-scenes technology to run an app. But for you as a landscape business leader, a tech stack means all the apps and software you use to run your business.

There are so many great options out there. You can’t afford to stick with what you know, but you also can’t afford to add on every new app you discover.

You need a balanced approach and a tech-savvy team of leaders to pull this off. It starts with the right operating software and extends beyond that to every part of your business.

If you are personally not tech savvy, you can counter that by hiring people who are. An affinity for technology should become one of the criteria you use for any new leadership hire in your firm. Change or die, as the saying goes. Build a team that embraces technology, and you will thrive and prosper.

2. Professionalize your firm.
With the trend of private equity money buying up firms in our industry, increasingly more competitors will be run (or overseen) by what I call “professional money.” It’s the professionalizing of our industry, and there is no going back.

So, take a close look at how the most professional firms in our industry run. You can follow them on LinkedIn to get a clue.

Look at how they treat their employees, specifically with regard to human resources, training, benefits and rewards.

Check out my podcast, The Ultimate Landscape CEO, for a recent interview with Keith Freeman, it will open your eyes to what professional benefits look like.

Professional firms invest in both their people and the latest equipment and technology. Pay attention to how they invest in their culture as well.

You can’t rely on your past successes and expect to attract and retain the best. All great employees in your city can choose where to work. Your firm must attract them by building a “Destination Company” environment.

(You can download a free copy of my book, Become a Destination Company)

3. Take risks.

To maintain a unique advantage in the marketplace, be willing to think and act outside the box. Here are three examples from my peer group members who are leaders in our industry:

⦁ Kevin from Ohio rolls out the red carpet for all his employees who leave his firm, even if he fires them. He has an off-boarding process that includes having them attend a final team meeting where they are celebrated. Treating them as well on their way out as when they came on board greatly increases the chances of these laborers and foremen returning to his firm within three years, all the wiser and ready to embrace his culture. He doesn’t accept everyone back, just the ones he wants.

⦁ Marcus from Tennessee hires an overabundance of admin staff to support his managers and people in the field. He hires freelancers from overseas, so he can fully staff all the admin duties in his office and give his managers assistants. To date, he has an overseas freelance staff of 18, including his accounting team, at roughly one-seventh the cost of local labor. This approach allows him to hire even more team members locally and grow his business and the local economy.

⦁ Matt from Colorado has brought on a full-time videographer to follow him and his staff around to document their work and to promote it on social media. He took half his marketing budget and dedicated it to this one hire, and it has created a flow of employee and client leads — more than he can ever make use of.

Operating outside the box is where you move ahead of the competition and set the standards for the industry. To succeed in this coming decade, combine the right technology with leaders who can implement it, supported by a professional and compelling work culture, enhanced with new techniques that are outside the box.

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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