It’s never too early to start thinking about retirement.
Laurie Broccolo, who owns Broccolo Tree and Lawn Care in Rochester, N.Y., truly loves her job. So when she began mapping out her retirement plan a few years ago, letting go of the reigns altogether or selling the company just didn’t make sense.
Instead, she decided that she’d rather gradually step back from the day-to-day operations of running the company and focus on what she loves the most. Right now, that’s Broccolo’s environmental consulting business, called Broccolo LEEDS (Landscape, Environmental Expertise and Design Services). To do this, she’s working to ensure the right people are in place so that she can pursue her passions.
“Having other pieces of the business running smoothly means I’m able to step back and focus on projects with a longer lead time, like environmental consulting,” says Broccolo.
Some of the projects Broccolo has worked on in recent years include assisting universities to develop green roofs, working with landscape architects to build rain gardens in new developments and designing a wetland for a commercial client.
“Because of my practical experience in the field, I know what works,” says Broccolo of her role in these projects. “For instance, landscape architects may choose burning bush because it turns red in the fall, but I can show them that it’s on the invasive species list. Then I recommend another native plant whose colors also turn.”
Because of environmental pressures and increased regulation of stormwater management, Broccolo says environmental services are at a premium.
“Developers and architects need more professionals that are experts in the physical aspects of the landscape,” she says. “This niche is a huge growth opportunity.”
This is one of three stories that appeared in Lawn & Landscape's Growing Green e-newsletter. For more on Broccolo Tree & Lawn Care:
The Broccolo Way: Here is how a Rochester, N.Y. company grew to $3 million by providing one great core service.
Staying active: Laurie Broccolo has grown her business by remaining involved in the industry and a step ahead of her competition.