Profit Power: Tales of a fast-growth company

February 23, 2017 -  By



Trent Haston.

This past week I was honored to have Trent Haston come speak to my Leader’s Edge peer group meeting in Charlotte, N.C. He is president and CEO of The Roby Family of Cos., which includes Andrew Roby, a fast-growing full-service, residential contracting company approaching $50 million in annual revenue.

He and his brother have grown their third-generation business from $3.5 million to $25 million in custom-residential work and also developed nearly $25 million in other diversified contracting services.

Leadership & charitable giving

His success is due in part to his alignment with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Trent embraced charity in a big way in 2008. That’s when he created a charitable fundraising plan that parlayed a strong charity brand (Make-A-Wish) with a strong business brand (the Roby Family of Cos.). His creative business plan included combining the constituents of both organizations and co-branding. Through an annual cornhole tournament called Pitchin’ for Wishes Cornhole Tourney, his firm has helped to raise more than $1.2 million for charity in nine years.

As Trent likes to say, “A true leader polishes his given diamond to serve the community for maximum return.”

He views his company as a diamond, and his job as chief diamond polisher.

Five gems

After hearing Trent’s story, I took away five gems (diamonds) that have allowed his company to accelerate growth:

  1. He’s cultivated a long-term vision for his company and adhered to it in good times and bad times.
  2. He’s reinvested his profits constantly to build and expand his company towards his vision.
  3. He’s taken on minority co-owners in his spin-off divisions.
  4. He’s achieved operational excellence and built a leadership team that gives the company a strong foundation for growth.
  5. He’s recognized that his main assets (outside of his employees) are his clients and vendors and he has cross-pollinated and expanded his services based on these two assets.

Here are a few points and questions to ponder as you think about what these insights mean to your business:

  • Is your vision so well clarified that you can keep your company focused in both good times and bad?
  • Have you built an operational team that allows you to focus on expansion?
  • Are you aligned with your community’s needs in such a way that they will support and drive your expansion?

As my good friend Shayne Newman, CEO of YardApes in New Milton, Conn., says, “The purpose of my company and the reason I built is so I can give back to the community.” It’s Shayne’s passion! What passion drives you and your employees to get up in the morning and go to work?

Trent’s success proves once again that you need a big vision and passion to build a great company.




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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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