the fact that they prefer not to lay their people off during the off-season. In order to be able to keep team members on board year-round, and prevent the risk of ultimately losing them, the company added a Christmas Décor franchise back in 2002 — and recently won Veteran Franchise of the Year for their success. Pool says that the idea is to keep em- ployees busy — and employed. “We have weird weather in that when it does snow, it’s usually gone quickly, so we try to keep our construction division going, too,” Pool says. “Between that and the Christmas Décor franchise work, we’re able to keep most of our key em- ployees working.” Oasis Turf & Tree also believes in em- ploying their team in the off-season and typically uses this time to complete some of the training that they might not have time for during the busy season. “That’s the ideal time we can train on customer service, equipment, agronom- ics, and support them in working toward new certifications,” Zellner says.

PARTING WORDS OF WISDOM The companies that we spoke to about their growth all echoed a similar sentiment that there’s no “one way” that works for everyone. At the end of the day, whether it’s adding services — or perhaps becoming more specialized —

you have to find what works best for your business.

Greenscape’s Hurd says that can admittedly be difficult to do when you’re wrapped up in the business. For that rea- son, it often really helps to find a mentor or someone who can offer an outsider’s perspective.

“My best advice for a company that wants to grow is to find a mentor, ideally within the landscape industry, who can offer you advice and guidance,” he says. “I’ve had quite a few mentors over the years, both locally and nationally, that have helped me get to where I am today. They’ve opened my eyes to things I couldn’t see because I was too close to it all. Being involved in the NALP has always helped open my eyes to what’s happening on a national level — to see what other companies are doing.” Hurd also says to surround yourself with professionals from outside of the industry. Ultimately, you need a team of people to support your business who ar- en’t on the payroll — but whose services are just as important.

“It’s important that young companies start to build good relationships with bankers, insurance agents, attorneys, and accountants,” Hurd says. “Finding the right people will help you move forward. I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I was today had I not found the right

“There’s no secret sauce. It really does come down to great customer service in the end. You have to have well-trained people who do really great work — and you can’t let that slip

just because you’re growing. - Joshua Pool, LIC, chief operations officer of Timberline Landscaping

people behind-the-scenes that helped support our growth.” Pool adds that building relationships with other companies — just outside the scope of the green industry — has also helped Timberline to grow.

“Over the years we’ve built really great partnerships with concrete compa- nies or fencing companies — basically companies that offer services we don’t really want to get into but that are often considered part of a package for a large landscape project,” he explains. “That makes us a turnkey solution.” Reindl offers a few parting words of wisdom for companies who are working for growth — saying not to lose sight of what made you reach that point in the first place. For strong, organic growth, it’s more likely great customer service. “Quality results and customer experi- ence are two big things that will separate you from the competition and you can’t let them drop just because you’re grow- ing,” he says. “If you’re willing to invest in that growth — and, more specifically, in your people — then the growth will come. You just have to be ready to support it.” Pool says that it really does boil down to that customer experience if you want to keep growing your business. At the end of the day, people have to be happy and want to keep hiring you — or refer- ring your work to others. “There’s no secret sauce,” Pool says. “It really does come down to great custom- er service in the end. You have to have well-trained people who do really great work — and you can’t let that slip just because you’re growing. It means con- stantly looking at how you can maintain the good things you’re doing and make improvements where they’re needed. Plus, it means constantly evaluating and never becoming complacent. All of that adds up to smart growth.” TLP


THE VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE Check out the “Focus on Growth: How to Substantially Grow Your Company” panel discussion at LANDSCAPES 2020: The Virtual Experience on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 1:00- 2:15 p.m. Go to for more information.

Oasis Turf & Tree prefers to keep the focus narrowed and perfect the work that they do. Photo: Oasis Turf & Tree

National Association of Landscape Professionals 31

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