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What do fast-growth companies have in common?

May 19, 2021 -  By
(Photo: igoriss / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

(Photo: igoriss / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

There is one thing that fast-growth companies have in common: they are always contemplating their next critical hire.

You may wonder, however, “Which comes first, the growth to support the new critical hire, or do we make the critical hire first and then grow?”

The answer for me is clear. A strong hire (from the industry or outside the industry) will help create and speed up the growth and make you money, whereas a weak hire will cost you money.

This came into focus recently as I talked with a few landscape business owners across the country, and the issues were all similar: needing a critical hire to free up their time and unleash the company’s next step of growth. 

Case in point

Brian Link, a client and friend from Illinois, had been struggling with his growth. He didn’t have sufficient production leadership needed for both his landscape and his snow business. Thus he was always being sucked into the details. It had become so frustrating he was even pondering the idea of quitting the snow business altogether.

Brian could feel the pain, but after discussions, he realized he needed to make a bigger decision to hire a top-notch manager.

What does it take to hire a superstar in a tight market? 

For Brian, the following worked:

  • Looking outside the industry for the right talent.
  • Spending more money on the pay package to get a higher-level person.
  • Fashioning a unique bonus, in this case, tied to the snow business.
  • Taking the time and determination to find the right person, not settling or giving up.

Not only did Brian find a great production leader, but he now loves (or at least likes) snow again. It’s amazing how quickly hate turns to love.

The investment in a critical position is peanuts compared to the growth and freedom it will bring you.

Growth is a series of critical new hires

Now that Brian has production leadership figured out, he has to think about his next critical hire. Growth is a series of key hires, be it in operations, sales or administration.

Keep making big decisions to keep moving forward.

Your challenge 

Plan for tomorrow’s growth today. Once you develop stability and momentum, you become constrained by the strength and talent of your leadership.

Figure out your next critical hire, and get after it.

And for those constrained by lack of foremen and labor, your bigger need may be an operational or HR leader who can recruit, train and develop your workforce.

You have heard me say for years Always Be Hiring. Now I am saying, “Always Be Hiring Your Next Critical Position”


P.S. To learn how effective an outside hire can be (in this case, outside COO and president of a landscape firm) Join me at my Summer Growth Summit, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, hosted by LanDesign of St Louis. The firm is run by an industry outsider that was recruited by the owner.

This article is tagged with and posted in Blog, Expert Insights
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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