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April 9, 2014
Marty Grunder
Marty Grunder

Marty Grunder

It’s 2014 and it’s a year to look forward to for us landscapers and green industry professionals. So, I wanted to share with you a list of 14 things I think all of us should be doing or considering for 2014. But, I came up with 28 because 14 weren’t enough (doing a little bit extra, more on that in a couple of minutes).  

1. Write out an “I will know we’ve been successful at our company if (     ) happens between now and December.”

2. I will personally do the following (     ) in 2014 to contribute to our company winning.

3. When I hit these goals, I will (     ) as my reward.

4. When we hit our company goals, I will (     ) for my team at my company.

Smart, successful landscapers and green industry pros begin with the end in mind. So, write these goals down now.

5. Get a vision statement – your ideal state, where you aspire to be.

6. Get a mission statement – what you’re going to do on a daily basis to achieve that vision.

7. Get some core values posted – the beliefs and behaviors you need present in your company to become successful.

8. Post these somewhere prominent at your company and live, eat, drink and breathe them.

Smart landscapers know coming up with these things is a work in progress and are created with your whole team. You don’t write them down one morning and come in and announce them. You ask your team questions like, “What’s important to us here to be successful? What is important to the client? How can we stand out from other landscapers? And how will we know a year from now if we’ve been successful?”

9. Set your trucks up the best possible way for efficiency.

10. Stop buying trucks off the lot. Instead order them with custom beds so you can place all the tools you need on them and eliminate loading and unloading time.

11. Buy one type of everything. Buy one brand of mowers, one brand of 2-cycle equipment, etc.

12. Buy enclosed trailers and trucks to eliminate unloading and loading and costly storage space.

Get with your team and tell them you expect them to make suggestions to save time and money and then listen and act on their suggestions.

13. Get a selling system. Quit freelancing and “winging” it. Systems improve your chances for success.

14. Take care of your current clients before you chase prospects.

15. Handwrite at least five thank you notes a week to clients.

16. Strengthen relationships with your clients by going and seeing them and treating them like you would treat a good friend.

People do business with people they know, like and trust. Let your clients get to know you by never being in a hurry and being interested in them. Make your clients like you by showing you appreciate them and watching out for their best interests. And build trust by doing what you said you would do and by delivering quality and value.

17. Tell your team you appreciate them.

18. Show your team you appreciate them.

19. Create a work environment people want to work in.

20. Have fun at work!

Too many of us take our teams for granted. Tell them you appreciate them by sharing specific compliments like, “I loved how you detailed those beds, Scott, and I was impressed with the pruning and final clean up. Great job!” Handwrite your top performers thank you notes and send them to their house. Look for ways to have fun – have pizzas after work, allow people to make fun of you and smile at your team. Yep smile, you’ll be amazed at what that does.

21. Read one business book a month.

22. Quit watching so much TV.

23. Don’t let social media run your life.

24. Watch “Profit” on CNBC.

Reading business books on leadership, sales, marketing and operations is a great way to stay on top of your game. Quit watching so much mindless TV; instead read, spend time with loved ones, or even just contemplate your next move. Don’t be a slave to social media. And, if you’re going to watch TV, watch the business show “Profit.” Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

25. Eat right.

26. Work out.

27. Go to bed at 10 p.m.

28. Get a physical from your doctor.

It’s hard to eat right in the work we do, but it can be done. Pack your lunch, or if you eat out, make good choices. Workout and, yes, a brisk walk is a workout in my book. Just get active. Go to bed at 10 p.m., those last two TV shows aren’t worth it, nor is working.

And, visit your doctor. We all have a lot we want to accomplish and, to do all that, we need to be healthy and full of energy. The above-mentioned will help you stay on your game. Your personal health supports all the items we’ve talked about. And finally, why 28, not 14?

Winners do more than everyone else, so in all that you do in 2014, do more than expected and I can promise you, success will find you.


Marty Grunder is a speaker, consultant and author; he owns Grunder Landscaping Co. See www.martygrunder.com; mail