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LM150 Lessons Learned: Q&A

June 12, 2014 -  By

What do you know now that you wish you knew then?

“I would have hired managers from outside the industry earlier.”

–Keith Rotolo, senior vice president/owner, Rotolo Consultants (RCI)

The hardest challenge for any business owner is to let go and trust others to do tasks that you might not think they can do as well. It took me about seven years to understand this concept. Ever since I have it’s been a blessing.”

–Brian DuMont, president/CEO, Yard-Nique

Does your company have any new programs or initiatives?

“All employees are now involved in profit sharing, and we increased the company contribution for retirement plans.”

–Gene Grant, CEO, Grant & Power Landscaping

“Every other week the entire company is involved in a quick ‘state of the business’ meeting related to sales, equipment, potential new hires, etc. This creates a great sense of buy-in at all levels of the company in a way that makes everyone feel like they are part of the process.”

–Chris Joyce, president, Joyce Landscaping

What are your top business obstacles and how are you overcoming them?

“We’re concerned about the impacts of the Affordable Care Act and minimum wage on our long-term contracts. We’re working with our brokers and finance team to determine the impact and our sales teams to determine how to incorporate into our sales price.”

– Jon Georgio, CEO, Gothic Landscape

“The cost of fuel/insurance/operating overhead and promoting quality over lowest price. We’re a lean company in every way possible. We encourage clients to do an apples-to-applescomparison of quotes.”

–David Frank, CEO/founder, David J. Frank Landscape Contracting

“Rising prices of ornamental trees and plants and an upcoming plant material shortage. We have to make sure we have partnerships with the right vendors to secure material on jobs we’ve already bid and won.”

–Michel Sallin, president/CEO, LegacyScapes

What are your top business obstacles and how are you overcoming them?

“H-2B is probably the biggest uncertainty we face. It appears we’ll be OK in 2014 but nothing is certain with this volatile program. We’re doubling down our efforts to recruit more homegrown workers, supervisors in particular.”

–Chris Clifton, president, Southview Design

Marisa Palmieri

About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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