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Grow with Grunder: 3 big changes that altered Landscape Workshop’s trajectory

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Graphic: Creative Stock/ DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images
Graphic: Creative Stock/ DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

Over the years, I’ve gotten to know JT Price and the team at Landscape Workshop in Birmingham, Ala., well, and I’ve been so impressed by their operation. The company has grown tremendously since JT took over the company in all senses of the word. Their internal culture has improved, their top-line revenue has grown astronomically and their profitability is up.

When JT took over, there were some critical changes he made that set the team up for the success it has seen over the last decade. Those three major changes were:

1. Having the right people in the right seats

Finding what people excel at and allowing them to focus on it has been a powerful driver of Landscape Workshop’s growth. As the company has made acquisitions, it has also acquired new talent, and getting the right people doing the right tasks has been the key to realizing economies of scale.

JT told me when I interviewed him on our podcast, The Grow Show powered by Stihl, that he’s learned a ton from the people who have joined Landscape Workshop through its acquisitions. He makes sure to get to know them and listen to their ideas, which is important for figuring out the best role for everyone moving forward.

I’ve seen this be true at my own company, too. Rearranging the team into roles so that people can work on what they’re passionate about and best use their skills is a powerful driver of growth.

2. Creating a performance culture

JT and his team have key metrics they use to measure their team’s performance to make reviews and promotion decisions as objective as possible. All team members are incentivized in some way on customer retention and profitability metrics.

These metrics are easy for the team to understand, and everyone in the company has an impact on these, too. The Landscape Workshop team always measures these two metrics in tandem for a great reason too, it would be easy to perform well at one to the detriment of the other. Like many things, there’s a balance required of team members here in order to be successful.

3. Sharing the info needed to make good decisions

Also on The Grow Show, JT shared a story of how six months into taking over the company, he asked account managers what they thought the company’s profit margins were. The answers were all over the place, but everyone agreed they thought the company was making a lot of money.

The truth was they weren’t profitable at all. It wasn’t the account managers’ fault that they didn’t know this, but how are they supposed to be successful in their roles if they don’t have the information they need to make decisions?

Today, Landscape Workshop relies on Aspire as its software system, and the team has opted to be very transparent with employees on metrics and performance so that it’s easier for team members to understand how they impact the company’s success.

Landscape Workshop has made headlines for the acquisitions they’ve made to grow to a projected $140M in revenue this year, but that’s only part of the story. By every indicator I’ve seen, this is a well-run company we can all learn something from. Whether we’re looking to buy other companies, be acquired or just continue running in our own lanes.

What I love about this industry is everyone’s willingness to share — the Landscape Workshop team doesn’t hold much close to the chest. We’ll spend 24 hours in Birmingham learning from their team during the upcoming Field Trip we’re hosting in partnership with NALP on June 11-12. Will I see you there?

P.S. You can find my interview with JT Price on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or YouTube. Search for The Grow Show. New episodes are released each Wednesday.

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