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Profit Power: The true value of competition

January 22, 2019 -  By
Joe Burns (CEO of Colorburst, Atlanta) talking with Michael Hommel at the conference. Photo: Jeffrey Scott

Joe Burns (CEO of Colorburst, Atlanta) talking with Michael Hommel at the conference. (Photo: Jeffrey Scott)

Last week I spent some time with Michael Hommel, president of Designs by Sundown (Denver). He spoke at my third annual “Power of Collaborative Leadership” conference in Atlanta.

What gets Michael angry and disappointed?

It’s when he visits a competitor’s job site, and sees that they are doing work just as good as his work, or perhaps better than his work!

This is not the ranting of an egomaniac, rather, it is a steely eyed focus to be the best choice for his clients. He does not want his clients to have a better alternative than Designs By Sundown. But this requires a high standard that is embraced not only by himself but by his entire team.

And that is hard to do.

Mike has a high level of integrity with which I align. He wants to do business the right way and be known for being someone you can trust. When he walks onto his competitors’ job sites, it is not to poach an employee or steal a client. In fact, he keeps his head down when he is there. He just wants to view and appreciate their work and report back to his team what he saw.

He shares with them the details of where the competition is catching up or doing a better job.

That is the true value of competition, to keep raising the bar on the best to make them even better. It is a race to the top!

If you don’t know much about your competition, you can’t be better than they are. Don’t just take your prospects’ word, especially when they say you are more expensive (you probably aren’t … and if you are, then you should be worth it without feeling guilt or shame.)

Respect your true competition, and thank them for keeping you on your toes and keeping the bar high for our industry!

Your challenge: As a leader, it is your job to challenge your team to high standards and new heights. How are you currently challenging your team to be better? And what data and evidence are you employing?

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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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