Why Your Landscaping Company is a Great Place to Work and How to Keep it That Way

 Startup is Easy, Growing is Hard 

Chances are, when you first started your landscaping company, you knew everybody’s name. 

The team was small and tight-knit. You knew each person’s life story, their likes and dislikes, maybe even the names of all their kids. You’d shake hands with everyone on a regular basis, and the overall vibe of the company was more like a family than like a corporation.

If your company has grown rapidly, though, you may be experiencing some challenges.

You might not get to see everyone every day any more. You may no longer be the one in charge of hiring or onboarding new team members. And the warm, authentic personal connections—the human element that made your company such a great place to work in the beginning—may be starting to fade.


Don’t Let Growth Challenges Sink Your Company…  

If you let yourself get complacent about your employees’ morale, you’ll find it’s...

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Recruit High-Level Candidates on LinkedIn Through Your Personal Brand


This blog post written by Kelly was originally published as a guest post on Landscape Management Magazine's website. http://landscapemanagement.net/guest-post-recruit-high-level-candidates-on-linkedin-through-your-personal-brand/ 


LinkedIn is the world's largest professional networking site with over 530 million users, making it the go-to social media for job seekers and job recruiters.


If you’re looking for management candidates to help you grow your landscaping business, LinkedIn a great place to create new relationships.  Here’s a hint - it’s not just about posting jobs. These candidates probably aren’t actively seeking a new job because they’re already employed.  Use these tips to stand out and get their attention. 


Your Public Profile Essentials


No matter how long you’ve been using LinkedIn, take a good look at your public profile. This is the first thing potential recruits...

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Setting a Marketing Budget for a Landscape Company


The primary goal of marketing is to generate and nurture high-quality leads. You want to attract the right potential customers to your business and to set expectations in their minds about the experience they will have with your company. It is the role of sales to convert these leads into customers.


For almost all businesses, the right marketing strategy enables the company to grow faster and provide customers with a more satisfying experience.


It may seem as though your business is getting along just fine without investing in marketing, but you will likely reach a tipping point where it starts to make sense to invest in marketing, including  a marketing consultant. I go into more detail here on when creating a budget is worth your time, so if you are unsure if your business is at the right stage for this, start with that post and circle back. (After all, if you are not yet ready for a budget, you are likely not ready for a marketing budget either.)


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3 Ingredients to Success at Maffei Landscape


Last week I flew up to Cape Cod to visit an old friend, Bob Maffei and his company Maffei Landscape Contractors


I met Bob “growing up” in the industry, probably at a JP Horizons event and he’s about as good of a guy as you can get.


After reminiscing (and sharing hilarious stories I didn’t know about my parents), we talked shop and he offered some pointers about running a $10m landscaping business.  


Trying to be clever, I created a little equation from my takeaways.


Personal Accountability + Team Accountability + Enthusiasm = Success


Personal Accountability 


One thing that Bob kept repeating was the 5 stages of employee accountability.  


The lowest form of accountability - scratch that - the polar opposite of accountability is denial....  “The work I did at the client’s house was fine.”


Once they’re able to acknowledge (verbally or not)...

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3 Ways to Coach Your Team to Take More Initiative


“There’s two types of people in this world.” my friend Jane explained, “Clickers and non-clickers”.


She was describing the way that administrative employees tend to work.  They either click buttons on the computer to figure out a way to make progress, or they don’t - they sit back and ask for help.

In your business, you probably call clickers “Problem Solvers”.  And we’d probably agree to describe them as people who are not afraid to use Google, people who go above and beyond, people who keep their eyes open for opportunities, and people who have a helpful attitude.   

So, can you train someone to be a clicker?  

I believe the right person could be coached to take more initiative. Here’s how:


1. Give Them Permission 

Especially when someone is new, let them know it’s okay to look around for answers.  They may fear...
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Benchmarks For Landscaping Crews

A friend of mine is in the fitness industry and recently he hired a sales coach to help develop processes for new salespeople.


Being the nosey girl that I am, I asked to see some of their notes, hoping to find a nugget that I could apply to the green industry.


One video I stumbled across was about how to increase call volume.  The coach suggested sitting next to a new salesperson for one hour of the day with a list of names and phone numbers.  Then just listen to their calls, offer zero feedback, and make a tally every time they complete a call.


The idea here is that since the boss is right there and there are no distractions, they are going to be focused really hard in making calls.  


Once the hour is up, the next step is to use this as a benchmark.


Say, “Okay Brad, you made 50 calls in one hour and scheduled 16 appointments. That means hypothetically you could be scheduling 100 appointments in an 8 hour day.  I know...

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Cesar's Karaoke Kar

I spent last weekend in California for my birthday. We probably took about 10 Lyft rides over the course of the trip - but only one worth writing about…. 
When Cesar arrived, his red SUV had curvy white letters spelling out “Cesar’s Karaoke Kar”. Upon hopping inside, we were welcomed by bright pink seats, flashing LED lights, and a swirling disco ball.  
Cesar smiled big, handed us microphones and the next thing I knew we were reading lyrics from an iPad and singing “Greased Lightning” and other singalongs all the way to our destination. 
Most of the time you get from point A to point B with a friendly driver. Sometimes you get a really fantastic and magical experience. 
Everyday we have a choice to delight and surprise our customers.  
Looking for ways to reward your over achievers? Check out this list of 121 ideas.  
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I Was Dealt the Death Card…

I could smell burning incense as a curly-haired lady in a long skirt led me to the back of the building. We brushed aside the beaded curtains and walked into a dimly lit room with one table and two chairs.

After a meticulous shuffle, she began swiftly placing large cards in front of me and simultaneously informed me what they described.


First card – “your past”

Second card – “your current state”

Third card – “your near future”


As she flipped the third card, my eyebrows raised when I saw this:



Without hesitation, she continued flipping card after card, describing their meanings, but I wasn’t listening. I just kept staring at my impending doom.  

This was my first psychic reading experience, so I kept quiet as she began to interpret them in depth.

Good news friends...It turns out I’m not predicted to die.

The death card in this instance was faced towards me representing significant...

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Are Betta Fish Swimming In Your Company?


Earlier this year, a client told me his lead field supervisor, Emilio, quit and was going to work for a competing company.  


I could hear the pain in his voice as he thought aloud about finding a replacement for a local, bilingual, skilled individual who had been with him for 11 years.  


Fast forward three months...


This same leader was invited to a fiesta hosted by one of his up and coming leaders, Juan.  And, what he found out there was that Emilio was a Betta fish.



Betta Fish, ie: Betta splendens, are highly territorial and it’s not advised to put two males in the same tank as they often will fight each other to the death.


But, in the wild, Betta spar for only a few minutes before one fish backs off. Once a fish retreats, the match is over. *


Emilio had been “top Betta” at the company for so long that he deterred all the other individuals from stepping up.  Turnover wasn’t an...

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I Fell Off My Mountain Bike

I tried mountain biking for the first time this weekend... 

Started on a 10.5 mile trail that I learned today is rated "Intermediate/Difficult" (rated 4/6 on the difficulty factor). 

Needless to say, I crashed. A LOT! 

And at a certain point, I flipped over the front of my bike going downhill and found myself laying on the ground, bruised and scratched up. 

This is when I wanted to quit.  I wanted to lay on the floor a little while longer and just walk my bike back to the car. 

But, I got up.  I finished the loop. 

And today, as my body is sore all over, it reminds me that falling... as much as it hurts... falling is a necessary part of life.  

It means:

you're taking risks

you're gaining knowledge

you're building resilience 

you're growing & improving

Today is Monday, a great day to start fresh and push yourself. 

What "intermediate/difficult" trail will you tackle this week?  

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