As you reflect on the year ahead, it is critical to bring along the important lessons you learned from the previous year.

As George Santayana wrote in The Life of Reason in 1905, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

(Photo: yusnizam / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images)

(Photo: yusnizam / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images)

Last year was tough enough. Make sure you learned from the experience.

1. Nothing goes up forever

I know this from the many recessions and stock market hiccups I have personally experienced over the decades. We learned this same lesson yet again this past year.

Nothing goes on forever — good or bad.

It’s never as good as it seems (or as bad as it seems, for that matter).

So don’t get lazy only trying to exploit the “easy” growth. Take advantage of the good times to make larger strategic decisions and difficult moves.

Don’t let external growth trump internal growth!

2. Be proactive, even if it’s costly

I just wrote about this. Don’t make the same mistake as Southwest Airlines. Don’t put off the big decisions (of upgrading systems) just because it’s costly and intrusive.

If it’s important, be proactive and take care of it.

It helps to play the Beer Truck game with your leadership team. Identify your weak areas (people and systems) that will be exposed if you lost a key person suddenly hit by a beer truck

3. Check your pricing and budgets quarterly

As we learned last year, your labor and material costs can change dramatically in season. Make sure you are prepared to update your budgets and pricing throughout the year.

I advise reviewing them once a quarter.

You can combine this with your leadership team having their quarterly offsite meeting, where you update your initiatives for the next quarter.

While doing this, it also doesn’t hurt to review your billable hours to make sure you are on track.

If you are off track, you can reset your urgency and even your budget and pricing based on billable hour variances. Keep the goals in sight!

Plus a fourth lesson, because you deserve a little extra this year!

4. Become a marketing expert

With an uncertain economy, don’t just delegate marketing and think your marketing person will handle it.

You have to become an expert yourself at marketing concepts. You can’t depend on a 10-year market rise to continue forever.

Shop around the marketing firm you are using, and get personally involved. It’s time to expand and strengthen your lead sources.

The Big Opportunity: Engage your team so you can capture all of their lessons from last year.

Don’t let the rush of the New Year distract you.

Get your team’s lessons codified and integrated into your 2023 plans! Survey your own team to ensure you capture the lessons they personally learned in your go-forward plans.

Good luck!

P.S. We are having a January White Sale. Get a $1,000 discount off membership in my high-impact Leader’s Edge Peer Group if you apply before Feb. 1.

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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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