Hey everyone – Please watch the video below and if you’re in the New York area on March 13th, please join us – the registration form link is below the video! Hope to see you there!!
Our client’s Landscape Design/Build and Maintenance firm in Northern Virginia (Sterling) is hiring the latest member of our growing team. A Maintenance Division Sales and Production Manager is largely responsible for adding new clients, selling additional work to existing client, delivering amazing and proactive customer service, completing property inspections, and some management of the various landscaping crews.
Position includes: sales, estimating, quality control, customer service, and client management.
This position requires at least 3+ years of lawn and landscape maintenance experience, and at least 1+ years of field experience. Must have verifiable sales and customer service experience, incredible communication and organizational skills, along with extensive maintenance experience and knowledge.
Please submit your confidential cover letter and resume for immediate consideration via this link.
For the last many years, I’ve been lucky to connect with my buddy Chuck Bowen, Editor of Lawn and Landscape, via phone every month. Chuck and I talk about the landscape and green industry, business trends, economic trends, sales strategies, customer service, and we do a LOT of laughing. Since the Green Industry is where I got my start in business, it has always been great to connect with an esteemed colleague and talk shop.
At some point in 2013, after I was sharing a few “major hurdles” that consulting clients were going through in their businesses, Chuck asked me, “Jason, how do we tell these stories to other business owners, while keeping these confidential?” It was a great question. Having been someone who has been through a LOT of trials and tribulations, along with success, in business, I knew the story needed to be told.
This Podcast Series was born. Chuck and I will get together and record our telephone conversations from time to time and put it out there for business owners of all kinds to hear, and hopefully, learn from. SO, listen. Yes, it is long, but I think its worth it if you’ve ever borrowed money from a bank.
As always, I welcome your awesome feedback!
Video link if the player doesn’t show below.
If you know any students enrolled at a recognized two-or four-year college or university, working toward a degree in horticulture, environmental science or other field related to a segment of the green industry, and you think they might be interested in a $2,500 scholarship – please send them this blog post.
Lawn & Landscape, and its parent company, GIE Media has established a fund to support academic scholarships and business internship placements for outstanding college students focused on leading in the green industry. GIE Media is giving away 2 scholarships of $2,500 each.
Lawn & Landscape is good friend’s business, and this program is designed to help develop some of the brilliant minds in the green industry, but the clock is ticking – applications must be postmarked no later than April 15, 2014.
The deadline to apply is April 15. You can find the application and more information here.
Successful companies are always looking to the future to find ways to develop the next generation of talent, ensuring the success of our industry. Kudos to Lawn & Landscape, and GIE Media, for demonstrating this level of forward thinking.
This article initially appeared on Landscape Management’s website
Company: Lakewood Landscape Group
Headquarters: Dothan, Ala.
2011 revenue: $900,000
Cupp devised a plan that Lakewood implemented in April—a bonus incentive program based on gross margin. Every month 2012 shows a year-over-year increase in gross margin over 2011, Lakewood workers get a bonus check.
“Every employee plays a role in the accountability of gross margin, and we wanted to make sure everybody participated in the benefits of that,” says Grant Faulk, who owns the company with his twin brother, Kyle.
The Faulks distribute the incentive checks monthly “so they can feel it and taste it every month,” Faulk says.
The program has revitalized and invigorated Lakewood’s workers. “Our employees have more of a self evaluation of themselves and their own efficiency than they had in the past,” Faulk observes. “They’re seeing how they can really play a role in getting the work done for less.”
The company is showing results in virtually every aspect of the business. Workers are reducing the time they spend filling up at the gas station, they’re taking shorter routes to jobs to conserve time and fuel, and they’re not forgetting anything back at the office anymore.
Although Faulk can’t estimate dollar amounts just yet, he anticipates the end of the year will show significant savings in fuel and labor costs. “If you can save one crew from having to drive over to this customer’s yard 20 minutes away because you’re right there, that saves money immediately,” he says.
The monthly bonus checks average $135 per worker, and Faulk estimates his workers have pocketed a total of $10,000 in gross margin bonus checks since the program launched. It’s indicative of the positive change in gross margin Lakewood has seen so far this year.
“We tell them upfront it’s not guaranteed,” Faulk says. “It all depends on the year-over-year comparison.” That said, there’s been only one month since April workers didn’t get a bonus check.
That the bonus program’s producing positive results is undeniable. Most notably, Lakewood’s crews are thinking globally now, promoting the company’s services across the board instead of focusing strictly on their own responsibilities.
“We’ve seen communication among different crew leaders, and the customer service is getting better. As a result, our customer retention is going to be higher,” Faulk says. “I also feel like everybody has taken a little bit more ownership, a ‘This is our company’ mentality. They’re thinking more about what everybody else is doing in relation to each other.”
Another twist to the gross margin bonus program: Workers who are late more than three times in a month aren’t eligible for that month’s bonus. Since the program started, Lakewood’s seen a 66 percent jump in on-time arrivals.
Not only are workers showing up on time, working more efficiently and problem solving on the job, they also feel valued.
Consequently, “I think we’ll see when the whole season’s behind us that customers’ needs will be met more thoroughly,” Faulk says. “We’re starting to see a bump in customers, and that’s what it’s all about. If we provide better customer service, that’s the end goal, and to make our employees feel part of a team.
“No matter what,” Faulk continues, “we’ll always have something to incentivize them. Whether it’s this way or another way, we won’t go back, that’s for sure.”