Grow with Grunder: Nothing happens if you do nothing

(Illustration: istock. com/Pinkypills)
(Illustration: istock. com/Pinkypills)

mI often say, “When you do nothing, what happens? Nothing.” But sometimes, doing nothing is something that sneaks up on you. You mean to make progress, but before you know it, a year has passed and nothing’s changed.

We have found, after 30 years of working with the owners and leaders of landscaping companies, that doing nothing is the number one barrier to companies’ success.

Every business has four pillars that they rest the success of their business on; platform, people, process and profit. This is the foundation of what we teach at The Grow Group and you must have all four in good order to succeed.

Here’s a quick overview of what we believe is the recipe to success:

  • Platform: A vision, mission and core values that are clearly defined and lived within the company’s daily operation.
  • People: A team and a strategy for investing in them.
  • Process: Systems that enable companies to replicate their successes.
  • Profits: The natural byproduct of doing platform, people and process well. Profits are needed to grow, to give back to the communities that support us, and to invest and compensate our teams fairly.

The foundation for successful companies is really quite simple to understand. The implementation, however, can be hard. Sometimes, it seems impossible. For me, the greatest source of inspiration has always come from observing, visiting or reading about other successful companies. I have learned a ton from the 175 companies that are in our ACE Peer Group Program, and from other entrepreneurs who are doing great things in other industries, too.

I’ve found ideas from a local grocery store chain in my hometown. I’ve toured a UPS facility and I got to see into the kitchen at one of my favorite restaurants near where I like to vacation in Florida. I’ve taken away ideas on marketing, branding, systems and more from all of these places. There are ideas literally everywhere, but I also have to say that the greatest success stories come from people who spend equal time gathering ideas as they do implementing them.

My friend JT Price runs the wildly successful Landscape Workshop headquartered in Birmingham, Ala. The company operates in 20 cities with sales of more than $130M. They’ve grown rapidly in just 10 years with a business model that’s very different from what I’ve done at Grunder Landscaping Co., and I’ve learned so much from the way they approach their work.

It makes me question what I’m doing in a good way. I often leave conversations with JT and CFO Christianna Denelsbeck wondering, “Why couldn’t we do it that way?” They make me think and that’s a good thing.

Another company I’m looking forward to learning from in 2024 will be Sebert Landscaping in Chicago. They’ve built a company model that centers sustainability as part of their platform. Once again, I find myself asking, “Why couldn’t we do it that way?” If we better marketed the sustainable practices we are already using in our business, could it become a reason that new clients choose to work with us?

So often, as landscape pros, we get so weighed down by the day-to-day that we accidentally end up putting off the work we need to do to get better or grow to the next level. Sometimes, it just takes some inspiration to break through that barrier, which is why The Grow Group partnered up with NALP to offer our annual field trip event.

This year, we’re excited to double the fun with TWO field trips — Landscape Workshop, June 11-12, and Sebert Landscaping., Sept. 17-18 — make plans now to join us at one or both. You’ll find plenty of inspiration to keep you from doing nothing in 2024. To get more information, visit here.

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